Thursday, November 29, 2007

To Be in Awe as a Child

I picked up my precious 2 year old granddaughter from her Mother's Day out program this afternoon. As we drove down the main thoroughfare of our suburban community,
she continuously pointed and shouted, "Look! Look!" She had spotted the tinsel decorations displayed (year after year) on the utility posts lining the road. They were so familiar that while festive, they certainly didn't evoke the same awestruck response in me that they did in that sweet little red haired cherub. This evening I opened my email to find this quote . . . ponder for yourself . . . then look for all the reasons to truly be awed (child like) by THE PROMISE OF CHRISTMAS.

Those of us who are most familiar with the Spirit's promises are
in the greatest danger. ... familiarity may not breed contempt,
but it takes the edge off awe ... promises that drop the jaws or
widen the eyes of newcomers but provoke no more than a raised
eyebrow in the old-timers who have ceased to dream.
-- Jim McGuiggan

Homemade Gift Suggestion

Several folks I know have become bedazzled with beading. They are making many of their Christmas gifts. Fabulous looks you create yourself with a special friends' or family members' style in mind, provide a treasured gift. At the link below you will find a wide variety of fabulous beads and findings for your gifting endeavors.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Finest of Healthy Relationships

Relationships -- the last couple of entries mention these a few times. Please allow me to share a brief devotion I read recently about the most important relationship of all. Whatever gifts you give and in whatever way you celebrate the season, please know and remember

The relationship for which we were made, the relationship our heart never ceases to crave, is very specific. We are barely into the first chapter of the story when we encounter a significant fact: "Let Us make man in Our image." Making man was a relational affair from the very beginning. We were born in the womb of the greatest relationship the galaxies have ever known. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit . . . God made us for Himself.
Fawn Parish
It's All About You, Jesus

He who loves Me will be loved by My Father. John 14:21

Thoughtful Gift Giving

Have you checked out After posting that link yesterday, I also added a couple of links to purchase gifts. Is this a contradiction? I did give that some serious consideration, and believe it is not.

I love the idea that Christmas Changes the World promoted by the website above. They spoke of relational gift giving -- mostly home made gifts and gifts of your time. Many, many years I have done exactly that. It still takes much time, some times much money, and it may still produce the stress that keeps us from making a real difference in the lives of others through this Season meant to celebrate Christ's birth.

My hopes are that your gifts for loved ones, whether home made or store bought, are given in love and chosen especially for that person. Whether a large gift or a small one, one that shows your thoughtfulness about the gift recipient's likes and dislikes, I believe will be relational at its best. The carefully chosen gift says to the recipient, "You care about me, and who I am." Simple, well-chosen gifts say so much more than mountains of purchases just because we've been sucked into the commercial frenzy.

Over the next couple of weeks, we may add a few more of these links. Our recommendations will always be in line with our beliefs in a healthy & loving lifestyle. By offering online suggestions, it is our prayer that we might also contribute to stress reduction for you and your family because you will spend more time together and less time fighting the crowds in the shopping malls. Please spend some of that time making a difference -- being a part of how Christmas Changes the World.

We'll also take some time to share with you a little about each of the businesses represented by these links, and why we've chosen to include them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A More Peaceful Season Ahead

Silver bells. Ring-a-ling, here them ring. It's Christmas time in the city!

Where were you on Black Friday? And Today? It's Cyber-Monday you know? The report is that businesses will lose over 4 million dollars of productivity in the workplace today, as employees use their work computers to shop online. Sales figures for this year's marathon weekend were higher than last years. That is a HUGE deal in the retail world, but it is rather unsettling when we face the music of the price we pay to celebrate Christmas this way. How do we destress? Is it possible to bring back the peace and joy of the birth of The Savior to this season that at its true heart is all about JESUS!

A local newspaper columnist introduced the following website in her writing yesterday. Jesus offers us the most wonderful relationship EVER with Him, and because of Him we celebrate with family and friends. Would you like ideas for keeping your holiday more of a relational celebration of Jesus, family and friends? This site may have some perfect answers for you.

As you make plans for celebrations over the next month remember the words of the angels song to the shepherds that first Christmas in Bethelehem:
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Where will you find your peace this season? Please share your ideas.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Keep Your Life Simple

Cleaning out some of my vast collection of emails, I came across these words this morning. As we head into the incredibly jam packed weeks ahead, I believe these speak volumes to how we each determine the most important priorities for ourselves and our families. Very well written, and I only wish I could give credit to the one who penned them -- alas, that person remains anonymous to me at this time. Should I learn of the source I will certainly share with you. Perhaps there lies more precious wisdom from this same individual.

Insulate yourself from the killing pace of change. Granted, we have to keep up when it comes to business, but do we really need to strive to have the latest and greatest in all aspects of our lives? My answer is no. We don’t have to be trendy in every aspect of our lives to keep up. On the contrary, you’ll find it easier to run at the front of the pack if you keep your life simple, and if you keep in touch with who you are and where you’ve come, rather than what you own.

Train yourself to look at time as a precious resource rather than a merciless taskmaster. I am a firm believer in time management — managing to enjoy my life while conducting business, rather than filling in every gap with a meeting or project that will get me further ahead.

Hang out with people with whom you have fun. Seek out and make friends with people who accept and affirm your worth as a person.

Accept your human nature. You’ll never have the perfect answer to every question. Don’t lead yourself or others to believe you do. Make a habit of searching for challenging new concepts and opinions contrary to your own to help you develop a better understanding of your world and how to live well in it.

Develop your own list of things that make you feel good. Keep that list handy and apply at least one item to your life on a daily basis in order to keep the negative effects of stress at bay

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Holiday Stress & Depleted Energy Coming Right Up!

With Thanksgiving just over two weeks away, even the anticipation of Holiday Stress and Depleted Energy may have you singing the blues, while rejoicing would be so much more appropriate.

Skimming through a Natural Health magazine this morning with much to say about simplifying your holiday celebrations to be truly celebrations, I read of many suggestions on how to do this. Most of us would be wise to heed the ideas of smaller morning meaningful celebrations and rethinking our expectations of the perfect holiday.

Even with the best intentions in place, the season just naturally adds some stress to and depletes energy from our lives. Taking time to relax and enjoy life are so important in the midst of the busyness of the season. Being a reflexologist, one of my thoughts as I read through the article was the idea that reflexology reduces stress and promotes energy. In fact, some have said they believe that a 30-60 minute nap (and this happens often) during a reflexology session is the equivalent of a full restful night's (8 hours) sleep!

Treat yourself or a friend! Gift Certificates available -- email me at (please copy & paste into your email composer)

Friday, October 26, I posted a quote, mentioning how appropriate it was for life in my little part of the world recently. . . . it was amazing to see how quickly God came through in one area for our family.

As I was posting Richard Cecil's quote, "God denies a Christian nothing, but with a design to give him something better," my son and daughter-in-law had just been handed some very grim news about their chances of having a family. After praying for and attempting to begin a family for the past year and a half with no success, they chose to work with a fertility specialist. They had prayed for a clear cut answer, and they believed they were prepared for whatever news they received.

Mentally, I believe they were ready. When they arrived in Nashville four years ago (and that's another "God" story) my son, a free-lance video-editor, was working on a project for Shaohanna's Hope. Shaohanna's Hope is an organization founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Marybeth, to promote international adoptions. China is one of their particular favorites. My son fell in love with the "China Dolls" as he worked on the video. He and his wife knew that one day they would love to bring one of these precious children into their home. It appeared this was the time.

While mentally prepared to make that decision, their emotions took a beating that would be very difficult to describe. If you have walked in these shoes, you will understand the depth of that. If not, try to imagine how you might feel. Multiply that times about 100 or so -- maybe more.

God was so gracious to them. His Spirit ministered to them, and by Sunday afternoon -- just two days later -- they were so excited and so filled with joy about beginning the adoption process, and anticipating the day they would bring their child home.

Then another let down on Wednesday afternoon. While my son will be 30 in January, his wife turns 26 just a few days later. By Chinese law both partners must be 30 to even begin the application process. In the midst of their further disappointment they allowed themselves to be open to other possibilities. There are, of course, other countries to consider. El Salvador seemed to be their next choice.

As they began their El Salvador investigations on Thursday, Nov. 1, God had the most amazing surprise of all waiting for them. Five positive pregnancy tests later (and confirmation from the doctor on Friday) they have witnessed one incredible miracle!!! The miracle of life where death had been spoken. Amazingly, our daughter-in-law was pregnant as the doctor spoke such disheartening words into their life. How awesome the way God turned things around in 6 short days. As I typed "6 short days" the thought struck me that He also created the whole earth and everything in it in 6 short days -- of course, why not a positive pregnancy test (or 5) of them -- piece of cake for such an incredible, amazing God!


Our family and friends are praising God with everything we have for His "design to give them something better." If you were imagining their emotional pain earlier-- now imagine their joy indescribable! And what a witness and testament to God's faithfulness as they share their story. Praise the Lord!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Coffee vs Tea

Starbucks isn't my obsession, but I do enjoy a great cup of Joe. Taking in the aroma as it brews, and cradling that warm cup in my hand while savoring that first sip . . . . and my morning is off to its grand start.

Recently, I've been considering the health benefits of some tea varieties. . . . all those anti-oxidants, and I've even seen some info on tea's aid in weight loss. My current caffeine laden jolt of choice certainly offers none of those. What's more, I think often to a very enlightening scenario in my kitchen a few years back. Allow me to share.

Those programmable coffee makers . . . . you know the ones, and there's a good chance if you drink the dark liquid you own one as well. We loved the great benefit of the aroma wafting through the house each morning as we began to awaken to the new day ahead. . . . a wonderful experience until the morning I found coffee all over the counter, the cabinets and the floor. It seems I had not placed the carafe perfectly in its little home base. The eye-opening part that morning was not the coffee but all the finish it had stripped from the cabinet doors. It made me think twice wondering exactly what the substance was doing to the inside of my body, but I certainly didn't give up my morning "fix."

Today I took a step in a new direction. While I have plenty of teas from the grocery store that I enjoy lots of other times of the day, today I ordered some of those very special loose leaf types -- white and oolongs. The whites promise to be rich in anti-oxidants, and the oolong was represented as flowery and sweet, stimulating metabolic function contributing to weight management and a well balanced diet. I'm looking forward to this new adventure in taste (and health).

But will I be able to resist that morning urge? I'll be sure to share.