Monday, December 31, 2012

It wasn't as bad as I thought

     In my last blog, I feared the hectic Christmas season would give me the Negative Nellys. I was  fretting it would be the first Christmas my kids wouldn't be at my house. I admit I had to fight the desire to pout about it.  But as I sit here today, thinking about how the week went, it all worked out. On Sunday afternoon the 23rd, we headed to Hollie and Zacks, where we met Brent and Caroline, so we could have the Russell family Christmas for a few hours.

     Then we headed to my moms for the big McDowell Christmas Eve Eve event. With so many ministers in the family (you know it) we have our own candle light service. We spent the night and opened Presents on Christmas Eve. We left around noon so that we could make it back to Big Mac for the Christmas Eve service at FBC Mcalester. The house was packed and we had a great time worshiping the new King! We wondered what to do with ourselves on Christmas Day. We decided to participate in a community Christmas event hosted by our church. About 11:00 we got a call from Hollie saying they were on theri way to our house for Christmas. This mom's heart was glad. They got here just in time for the snow. It was wonderful. We had a great time sledding and playing in the snow.

They headed home the next day and we had a little down time before Tim left on Thursday to go on his annual Father & Son fishing trip.  This year was a little special because Brent is moving out of state and may not be able to do it next year.  Anyway, they about froze but were very successful.

     I headed to Mom's for a girl shopping trip. We were on a mission to find a Mother of the Groom dress. I wish I could say we were successful but that wouldn't be the truth. Let me just say I am not prepared to wear a mini skirt to the wedding. I know the perfect dress is out there and I will find it even if I have to go shopping a few more times.(if you know what I mean)
     I realize that I wasted so much time dwelling on what I might miss that I could have missed everything. I am so blessed with a family that loves to get together no matter what the circumstance. I am blessed with a church that loves to worship and care for the needs of others. Most of all I am blessed with a Savior who will let this Negative Nelly whine but will bless her anyway.

Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, "Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!" Psalms 35:27

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I am changing my mind about Christmas.

     Christmas is very stressful to me. I have been trying to figure out the scheduling for Christmas. (Our schedule is a little weird since we have 2 ministers in the family) Everyone is running around buying gifts and decorating their house. I am not good at either one of these things. I fret over every gift I buy. I wonder if they are going to like the gift I give them or is it something that will end up in the next garage sale. As I hold that shirt from Penny's in my hand I wonder if the person receiving it will know how much they really mean to me. As I spend many hours shopping, wrapping , and cooking (ok, maybe not cooking) will it really be worth it? Some times I wish that this was the olden days where you received an orange and a peppermint stick and you felt blessed.
     This past week I made a decision to not get out the Christmas tree. Our kids are not going to be able to come to our house for Christmas and I knew Tim really didn't care if we had a tree or not. I hung a wreath on the door, put a Poinsettia on the table and sat the nativity on the hearth and called it done. I  just wanted to get the season over with so life could get back to normal. I wanted Christmas to move by quickly with no thought needed. I was almost successful until this past weekend when we had friends over and they started looking at the nativity.  I explained that Tim had gotten it from the Holy Lands when we were first  married. They  admired the beauty and the simplicity of the nativity. They saw something that I took for granted. But you know I was not yet ready to give up my simple,don't think, easy Christmas. I hung on to that until Monday morning when I sat down to read my daily devotional. The title of the devotional was "Fighting for Joy". The devotional talked about how we have let our negative mind take over the joy of Christmas.(You know me Negative Nelly)  I realized that I had let all the trappings of Christmas take away from my joy of Christmas. I had forgoten that the world changed at Christmas.  The Savior was born.
     This week as you prepare for this holiday season. Stop and take a minute to think about why you are doing the things you are doing. Ask your self if you have lost sight of the purpose of the season. If you have renew your mind and focus on the nativity. REMEMBER THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
Romans 12:2

Monday, December 3, 2012

I saw God work on a cruise ship

   This past week Tim and I were blessed to go on a cruise. (great deals on We traveled to New Orleans and hopped a ship headed to the Caribbean.  We were so excited. We had our suitcases packed with books to read and relaxation on the brain.  This was not our first cruise so we knew what to expect. We were a little hesitant,because the last trip was good,but not great. We went on our own and we ended up on the wrong boat. (I think you would call it a party boat)  In other words we didn't have a lot in common with the other passengers.   As I started to book this trip I was a little afraid we would get into the same situation so I began praying that the Lord would help us to make friends on this trip. As we started walking up the ramp to enter the boat we met a group of ladies traveling together from Alabama. We had a great time learning about them and anticipating the trip ahead.  We headed to our room then found a spot at the rail to  watch the boat pull out of port. We started a conversation with a young woman standing next to us.  She was all aglow because this was her honeymoon cruise.  As our ship slowly pulled out of port and headed toward the Gulf of Mexico she turned to us and said ,"will you pray with me?" We bowed our heads and heard the sweetest prayer come from this new friend as she thanked God for the trip and prayed for our protection. Two hours later we made our way to the dinning room for our evening meal where we met the people we would eat with every night. We met a couple from Georgia(Wayne and Mary) and two ladies from the Oklahoma City area.(Ruth and Margret) These people kept us laughing every evening.  As our food was delivered one of the ladies asked Tim to bless the food. After that, Tim asked the blessing at every meal. As I met person after person on the boat I kept seeing God's hand on our trip. God knew we needed to be refreshed. He placed people around us that would show us He cared. He allowed us to relax and be ministered to by people who didn't even know they were ministering. We saw his hand work all the way to Jamaica and back.
My God will supply all me needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Things I learned on the boat:  1. If you want to feel young get on a boat with old people.  
                                             2. Tattoos  do spread. (you could say the sag)
                                             3.You should never wear a bikini after 60 (men or women)
                                             4. You can eat to much ice cream.