Dec 31, 2008
Dec 20, 2008
Finally, before I say goodbye for a Christmas break, I want to share with you an excerpt from a book by Max Lucado, God Came Near. Lucado is a phenomenal writer. His style is easy to read and understand, even when the topic is complicated. The portion of the book that I am sharing with you today is a beautiful description of the birth of Jesus and the importance of it. It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of the holiday season - shopping, parties, gift giving, etc. But the reason for the season really is the birth of Jesus and the reason for His birth was to grow into adulthood and take the sins of the world on to Himself so that we can choose to believe and accept Him.
As moments go, that one appeared no different than any other. If you could somehow pick it up off the timeline and examine it, it would look exactly like the ones that have passed while you have read these words. It came and it went. It was preceded and succeeded by others just like it. It was one of the countless moments that have marked time since eternity became measurable.
But in reality, that particular moment was like none other. For through that segment of time a spectacular thing occurred. God became a man. While the creatures of earth walked unaware, Divinity arrived. Heaven opened herself and placed her most precious one in a human womb.
The omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became pierceable. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. And he who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl.
God was given eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys, and a spleen. He stretched against the walls and floated in the amniotic fluids of his mother.
God had come near.
He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. The hands that first held him were unmanicured, calloused, and dirty.
He’s easier to stomach that way. There is something about keeping him divine that keeps him distant, packaged, predictable.
It all happened in a moment. In one moment … a most remarkable moment. The Word became flesh.
Dec 18, 2008
Barbara, Happy Handwork, sent this pretty nativity scene card. She enclosed a vintage looking Santa postcard and a mango passion fruit herbal tea bag. Thanks, Barbara!
This pretty red poinsettia card came from Alaura, Cottage Rose. She added a Darjeeling tea bag. Thank you, Alaura!
Beverly, Tea Time and Roses, sent this white dove card. She also included a beautiful vintage looking winter scene postcard. Thank you, Beverly!
Sheila, Quintessential Magpie, sent this Bethlehem scene card. She enclosed 8 darling gift tags. I thought it was very interesting and clever that Sheila included scripture that the pictures on the tags reminded her of. For the snowman tag: Proverbs 17:22 "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." And for the deer tag: Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the high places." I loved it, Sheila - thank you!
Brett, Southern Hostess, is our host for Trim The Tree Thursday. This week I'd like to show you some pictures of my family room mantle. The bricks are painted a creamy ivory and I love the combination of whites. So I used all whites and silver this year on my mantle. The wreath is silver and crystals.
Ro, A Hint of Home, recently gave me this great award. Thanks so much, Ro! Ro always has interesting posts and wonderful pictures of her beautiful home and town. She is a fabulous decorator.
You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award. The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas. You must link back to the person who gave you the award. You must list 5 things that you love about Christmas. If you can’t limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space! Pass the award along to as many people as you like. That can be 1 or 50. It’s up to you! But, you must pass it on to at least one person in order to keep the Christmas cheer going! Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment.
Dec 17, 2008
It's Christmas and I hate to sound grumpy but I discovered something recently that frankly, stunned me. Call me naive, but when people volunteer to participate in a swap, don't you expect that the participants are going to keep their promise and do it?
I participated in Foxglove, Fabric, and Folly's Very Vintage Christmas Swap as my very first swap this year. Heidi did a great job of matching people up and making all the necessary contacts. She's a very organized lady and has a beautiful blog filled with fun things - like her Very Vintage Halloween Swap and Very Vintage Valentine's Swap. Anyway, I had a GREAT swap experience! I was blessed to have had a wonderful swap partner who sent me the most fabulous box of goodies, as posted on December 16.
So here's my gripe. Why, oh why, would anyone go to the host blog and request to participate in a swap if they are not positive they are going to do it???? I just don't get it. Swaps are entirely voluntary. I was disappointed for a friend who participated in the swap and who kept her promise by sending a lovely package to her partner. Not only did she not receive a gift in return, but she has not heard a word of thanks or even a "got it, liked it, hated it, or whatever"! I am just awestruck that anyone, short of a total emergency, would do that. As I was getting ready to finish this post I stopped in to see Heidi's post today and she has actually posted about this very same topic, and quite well I might add. As hostess of the swap she has heard from what sounds like quite a few ladies who have sent their packages off and received nothing in return. Amazingly, she - THE HOSTESS, is one of them! Can you imagine?
Everyone understands when something happens to unavoidably prevent someone from keeping a commitment like a swap. We all know that when push comes to shove, our own family commitments take precedents. But we also know that a situation preventing a follow through does not happen that often. We know in advance of signing up for a swap what our financial and time situation is going to be like for the holiday weeks. As Heidi said in her post today, all one has to do in a circumstance which truly prevents a follow through is to contact the host or the swap partner. I actually had a very urgent situation with my father happening during the entire month of November. Making a 600 mile trip twice in two weeks, having two infusions, and getting sick myself seriously cut into my Christmas prep time. I did have to alter my original plan for the gifts I wanted to send my swap partner, but I did the best I could and got a relatively decent package off to her the first week in December. I definitely got the better end of that bargain - Mary sent me wonderful, thoughtful gifts. I just cannot imagine simply standing up a partner short of a total emergency.
In the stressful world we live in I realize a swap is pretty low priority. Gotta keep things in perspective. We all love blogging or we wouldn't do it. But it's not, nor should it be, our top priority. I'm pretty much done with my rant now...
But think about this one more thing when signing up for a swap...
We do not ALL have loving families to spend Christmas with and trees with gifts underneath. Imagine that YOUR swap gift is your partners ONLY gift.
Dec 16, 2008
Heidi, Foxgloves, Fabric, and Folly, was the hostess and organizer of A Very Vintage Christmas Swap. She matched all of us who wished to participate in the gift exchange in November and our packages were to be sent to our partner in early December.
I was blessed to meet a new friend during the swap. My swap partner, Mary, "The Merry Mermaid" of Seashore Days is a really nice woman with a beautiful blog. Mary posts about her family, her beautifully decorated home in California, entertaining, and her passion - acting in community theater. I had never visited Seashore Days before the Vintage Christmas swap and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Mary this month. Be sure to stop by Seashore Days soon and get to know the Merry Mermaid!
Mary sent me the loveliest package! The time and care she placed in the choosing of gifts was evident.