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Gifts from the Heart...

Today, the homeschool group our family is involved in, had a Gift Making Day.  The point was to reitterate that Christmas isn't just about getting, more importantly, it is about giving.

We began by reading the account of the Magi in Matthew 2:1-12.

"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him."And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet,

'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER, WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'"  

Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, "Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him." And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.   And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way."

So WHY do we give gifts?  Do we do it out of tradition, or obligation? Is it our pride or insecurities that lead us to give to keep up appearance? This season, I urge you to take a few minutes and ask yourself WHY.  Talk with your family and encourage even the youngest to give something this year, whether it be a handmade gift or even the gift of time. Use gift giving as a catalyst to discuss the TRUE reason we celebrate CHRISTmas! You will be truly blessed!

Merry Christmas!
Katie

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Don't Go It Alone!

After a long day shopping, we got a phone call about 10ish from my son. My children are both spending a couple of days at their Grammy's new house! They were totally excited! But there was much distress in his voice.

He called because he was scared! The loudness of suburbia was just a little much for him. He was worried about not being safe. The wonderful thing about this was what transpired as a result of his fears.
He called his Dad, and after a very ginger, understanding few yeses and nos, Jason prayed over him. He prayed the sweetest prayer, never making our son feel stupid or like a baby or that his fears were totally invalid. After they prayed Payton told his dad that he wanted to call because it made him feel like he was coming in our room (a place of refuge to him when fear has attacked).
You see, his fear was REAL to him. No matter how silly or foolish a child's fear sounds to us, the fact IS... it is REAL to them. I pray that when my children come to me, I will have the wisdom to speak to them out of love and compassion.
Last night could have been very different for my son! He could have tried to go it alone, per say. Not calling and being afraid, ALONE. But instead he called for reinforcements and slept peacefully all night.

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."Matthew 18:20

We need to all remember that God puts people in out lives to help along this journey. If you are having problems, pray to God, have a friend go before the throne with you.
GOD IS GOOD!
Katie

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A Thankful Heart

I am so thankful for so much! As this week begins, with a monster list, I have chosen to stop for a moment and remember all the things for which I am thankful! I have learned that it is a CHOICE to be made.

Instead of focusing on the list I need to accomplish over the next 2 days...here is my list of WHY I am thankful:

My God! With him All things are possible, including my list.
My Hubby! LOVE him more everyday! Thankful for the 19 years I've known him and the 17 years he's been my significant other. What a blessing he is to me!
My Children! LOVE THEM!! I can't say enough how much joy they bring to me. They are both caring and funny with bright smiles and a heart for God. I am truly blessed!
My Home. It has been over 2 months, still putting things away, but it is
a peaceful place to be. It is a great place to congregate, play games, watch movies, eat and read. Just sharing life with others in our home is wonderful. Friends and Family Welcome!
Family & Friends. These two are together, because many of the people
in my life fit into BOTH categories. I love the people God has place in our lives. People who love Him and are seeking Him. People we can pray with and play with...share our hearts with. What a blessing! I love you all!
Shadow, our dog. He's just SO good! Gotta pet him!
Good Books. I love to read and a home full of GREAT books blesses my.
Some encourage, some reprimand, some are good historical and biographical information and some are just good ol' laugh out louders and others will make you cry! Having a choice readily available is priceless!

I know I could go on and on today! The fact that family and friends will be in and out my doors this week is so exciting to me. As I go about my day, I hope to keep in mind why I am doing my list. Keeping in mind the end result is not to check it off, but to be hospitable and peaceful and most of all...Thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving week to you all!
Katie

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In the Midst of Chaos

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As I am sitting watching BOZ with my youngest neice, I am reminded how God can renew my Spirit in the simplest of ways. Just a few moments with cute little twin cartoon characters and a big Green bear praising God and speaking kindly to one another put a smile on my face.

Today, the past week, had been hard. Battling the unknown is always a scary thing. I know, when I can "see" or I know what the problem is, I know how to battle! Not knowing is a chance to walk by faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 "for we walk by faith, not by sight". It's hard to do! When all that I see is SCREAMING to me that which is contrary to the TRUTH, that is sometimes unseen, I just have to hold on to my faith and believe that God already won!

I find rest and peace in God.

I thank the Lord for Friend that are praying, for the BEAUTIFUL days we have had, for my WONDERFUL!!!! Husband, for my FAMILY!

GOD IS GOOD! Katie~

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