Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy . . .

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. " Luke 2:1-14

As we run to complete our gift buying and gift giving; as we become more and more rushed, and less and less peace-filled; as the hectic time of what Christmas has become sweeps us under its power, let's take this opportunity to remember Christmas as it was intended - a celebration of the greatest gift ever given, the greatest sacrifice ever made, by the loving Father of all, who sent his Son to be born of a woman and laid in a humble manger, to live on Earth, to die as propitiation for our sins, and to be raised again on the third day as final Victory over death and hell.

Glory to God in the highest!!!

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My Family, Christmas 2005

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Positively positive

I was looking back over the posts I have typed, and they seem kind of . . . negative. Which is a shame, really. I'm not a negative kind of person. I have a good life, and I know and can appreciate how really rare that is. So, in honor of that, I have decided to put forth the effort to be a positive person, with my children, at work and in life in general. Specifically, I will not yell at my children for infractions that do not deserve yelling (ditto for spanking), or waste my time griping about things I cannot change (and things that are not nearly as bad as they feel). I will not get into long conversations with pessimists. I will not panic about the fact that there are X number of days until Christmas, and I'm completely not ready. (Although, as an aside, there really are not many days at all until Christmas, and I'm really, really not ready . . .)

Philosophically, I wonder why it is so hard for us to focus on the positives, to count our blessings? Why am I not insanely grateful every day that God sent his son to endure horrible punishments that no parent would ever want their child to undergo, all for me (and you, too)? Why is it so much easier to focus on the deplenishing balance in the checking account than to focus on the smiles of my children, or their beautiful, angelic, sleeping faces? I mean, I've met my kids awake - I understand why they might not seem like such a blessing when they're up and fighting. :) But they truly are wonderful, particularly one-on-one . . . and asleep. My husband is fabulously wonderful - kind, gentle, caring, considerate. Why is it so much easier to focus on the fact that the man cannot cook without dirtying every single dish in the house, or that he simply does not have the ability to put dirty clothes in the hamper, than to focus on the fact that he cooked a wonderful meal for us, or that the reason his clothes are so dirty is because he works so hard to provide for us?

I think it's all part of our fallen nature - another aspect of our humanity. But I, for one, am going to put more effort into the other side; into having a "blue skies" attitude. I will make it a point to be positively positive.

I'll let you know how it goes. I'm not really holding out that much hope that I'll be succesful.