Friday, December 10, 2010

Having a servents heart this holiday season!

I wrote this last year at the Christmas but I still feel the same way, this year! I thought it was worth a re-post!

I head a lady complaining the other day, while I was waiting in a long line. (Of course!) She was moaning about everything that she had left to do for Christmas. As I listened to her run down her list, I could truly sympathise.

"I have to address 150 Christmas cards, wrap all my gifts, bake about a thousand cookies and finish getting stocking stuffers" The woman she was talking to could relate. She started naming off all the things that she had to do along with a comment about how she doesn't enjoy the holidays all that much.

I think we all can relate in a way. There is no doubt about it. The holidays are a busy time.
As I recalled the conversation (as I was wrapping a gift) I began to wonder. Is this what the holidays are all about? How much pressure do we put on ourselves?

Then I actually felt guilty for enjoying all those things that woman was complaining about! I love baking cookies. The kids enjoy having goodies to snack on and it makes this time of year special. The hard work I put into each baked treat is appreciated by my friends and family. Its not just flour, sugar and butter. Its my love given to my loved ones.

I also will admit to really enjoy wrapping gifts. I wait until my kids are asleep and then I put on a chick flick (White Christmas anyone?) Cocoa, a snack and turn the fireplace on. I savor this time. I get to wrap each gift in fun, beautiful or funky paper and then make it pretty with ribbon, bows or ornaments. I like to think that when the person receives the gift, they will feel a little more special! (Or at least be able to tell how special I think they are!)

It didn't always used to be like this.. I am afraid that I used to be just like that woman in line. Everything about the holidays was just another thing on my list to be checked off. But is that all there is? The holidays are just a series of things to get done, accomplished and then we can sleep tight at night?

What if we actually slowed down and -gasp- enjoyed the tedious "jobs" that go along with the holidays. You see I believe that its all about having a servants heart. I am leaning this more each day.

I am far from where I need to be.

If we look at these tasks as something that gives joy and pleasure to others the job is suddenly not a "job" but a gift. That time I put into sending a special note in their card or baking that extra batch of cookies is my gift of love.

I could say the same about not doing anything. I have cut out the things that really don't matter at all in order to .. well do nothing with my hubbie and kids. Then those other things that have to be done can be enjoyed rather than endured.

This season is all about the Creators wonderful gift to us.... his Son. If he gave me this gift begrudgingly, would I appreciate it as much? Would I cherish it knowing that it really didn't want to be given?

The truth is that it although it was at the biggest cost, it was joyfully given in love. That is how much I was loved. WOW. Shouldn't I have the same attitude of giving in this Holiday season?

Hopefully I can maintain this attitude throughout Christmas.. but check in on Christmas eve at 2:00am. :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Works for me Wednesday- the great clean out

So its Thursday....I was busy doing the WFMW on Wednesday so its a little late :)

Every year I look at my pile of presents to wrap and then my eyes just automatically wonder to the overflowing toy boxes and bins.

A couple years ago, I decided that enough was enough. The kids and I spend a couple days every December going through their toys. They actually love it because they thing they are playing all day, but they have some tough decisions to make.

I tell them that they have to choose quite a few toys to give to a little girl or boy that doesn't have many toys to play with. I try to explain the importance of giving or donating and how it helps people who have needs greater than ours.

Its hard for them but I am hoping that it starts them on the path of giving and service and putting other before themselves.

It also makes room for the new stuff- which totally works for this mama!

We watch for the donation truck and we talk about how when they sell these things, the money will help people who need things.

They are way to young to serve in a shelter or ministry along those lines so this is their holiday sacrifice. ......Because that is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown :)

For more great WFMW ideas visit We are That Family!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sure! I'll make cookies- a great deal!

It seems like the calls are coming more abundantly.

The preschool teacher wants to know if we can all bring in cookies. ( Along with the church, ladies meetings, neighbors get the idea!)

I love baking and often do it from scratch because I enjoy it. If you do not enjoy it however, its not much of a blessing. :) ((Or if like me, you are overwhelmed with cookie request.))

The thought of making homemade sugar, butter or cream cheese cutouts makes me tired.

That is why I am sharing this great deal with my girlfriends.

This week at Kroger Krusteaz Cookie Mix is on sale for $1.29. There are several coupons in the paper for $1 off per box. When I went to purchase the cookie mix I noticed that on the sugar cookie mix there are peelies for $.55 off which doubles at Kroger. Making the Sugar Cookie mix $.19 a box!!!!

I tried it out at home and the cookies are delicious. :)

My holidays just got more jolly ......

Monday, December 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday- 1 meat, 3 meals!

I am baking a whole chicken this week. Not only did I get it on sale and its delicious, it also provides enough chicken for 3 meals!! I can also freeze some of the soup for later on in the winter when I don't feel like cooking. I hope y'all have a yummy week!!!

Monday: Roasted chicken, roasted baby carrots, broccoli

Tuesday: Ravioli Lasagna, spinach salad, garlic bread

Wednesday: Leftovers- if its not movin, you can eat it....but mama is NOT cookin!

Thursday: Chicken Noodle soup in bread bowls

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Stuffed cheeseburgers, baked fries, peas

Sunday: Chicken Alfredo with sun dried tomato and spinach, mixed veggies, rolls