Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012

Well here it is.  Another December 31st.  Another year gone by.

2012 was a good year.  Oh, it had its moments.  But all in all I think every year is good.

I'm another year older, my children are another year old, but all is well.

It is snowing here now, and has been snowing since this morning.  The roads are just wet, and we need the moisture so badly I am not complaining.

In this, my last post of 2012, I want to encourage each one of you to move forward in your life.  Each day brings a new opportunity to do good.  A new opportunity to be more healthy.  A new opportunity to be an encourager to those around you.  So many people let the past consume them and drag them down.  If that is you, STOP IT TODAY.  The past is the past, and yes, it can hurt.  But you can't change it.  Learn from it, and MOVE ON.  (I really don't know why I am saying this, but maybe there is one person who needs to read this today, so if its you, then, yes, I am talking to YOU!)

Each day gives us another chance to become closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  My wish for you is that if you already know Him, that you desire a deeper walk with Him.  And if you don't know Him, that you won't let the sun set tonight without making that most important of all decisions, accepting Jesus as your Savior.

I wish you and your family peace, and joy and love.  Make 2013 the best year of your life.  No matter what 2012 brought, it is behind you, so leave it there.

I'm not much for resolutions, they seem to fade quickly.  But today, take stock of your life.  Try to look at yourself objectively and see what you need to keep on doing, and what you need to let go of. 

I'm not where I need to be, but I'm better than I was.

Thanks to each one of you who read this little blog.  You all mean the world to me, and I pray for you and your families.

May God bless you and yours.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Favorite Christmas Song

Please, take 4 minutes and click on the link above.  You will hear Brandon Heath singing "That Was The Night Before Christmas."

As our nation mourns, and my mother's heart breaks for those mothers who will never hold their child again, I am reminded that our God reigns.  He sits on the throne of heaven.

And for those who put their trust in Him, there is peace, even in the midst of an unimaginable storm.

Close your eyes, and listen to this song.  And ask God to heal the broken hearts in Connecticut, and across our nation today.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Grayson . . . . .

Since I started this little blog o' mine a few years ago, I have been so blessed to "meet" some amazing friends.  Friends that, although we have never met in person, I feel like I KNOW.

And I am blessed to be able to share a tiny portion of their lives through their blog, just like I share my life, with you.

Well, today, I wanna share a little bit about my blogging buddy Elizabeth, and her precious son, Grayson.

Isn't he HANDSOME????

I mean, just look at that face, and those eyes.  Wow!

Grayson, just turned two, and he lives in Texas with his mom and dad, and his soon to be born baby brother or sister.  Yes, Grayson's parents are expecting baby number two soon!

Now this is where the story of Grayson gets a little tough.  Because, you see, Grayson, is a very ill little boy.  He has Mitochondrial Disease.  I have to admit, before I came across Elizabeth's blog, Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tales, I had never heard of Mitochondrial Disease.  And I won't try to give you all the details of this disease, because I don't want to tell you something incorrect.  But I can tell you that at two years old Grayson doesn't sit up on his own, he doesn't walk, he doesn't take food by mouth.

In September of this year, Grayson's parents were told that Grayson has Leigh's Disease, which is a rare form of Mitochondrial Disease.

Leigh's Disease is fatal.

There is no cure.

Most children with Leigh's Disease don't survive childhood.

Can you even imagine hearing those words from a physician about your child??

I can't. 

But Elizabeth did.

This child, this family needs our prayers, yours and mine. 

I want to ask you, right now, to stop what you are doing and pray for Grayson.  And I would further ask you to somehow, someway, remind yourself to pray for Grayson and his parents DAILY.

Pray for Grayson like you would want someone to pray if he were YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER OR GRANDCHILD.

The Bible assures us that God is a healer.  Can God heal Grayson?  Yes, I believe that with all my heart.  Will he heal Grayson?  I can't answer that, because God's ways are higher than ours.  And I trust that He has a plan for Grayson and his family.

But I can tell you that the Bible says this in James 5:13-18:

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

These verses tell me that our prayers make a difference.  So today, tomorrow, every single day PRAY FOR GRAYSON.  And pray with FAITH!!

I know Elizabeth would love to hear from you.  So please, "follow" her blog.  Put in on your "blogroll" so that every time you check your blog, you will see her posts and it will remind you to PRAY FOR GRAYSON.  Visit her BLOG right now, and hear all about this amazing little boy.  Write Grayson's name on a post-it note and stick it on your refrigerator, on your Bible, on your bathroom mirror.

I am praying for Grayson, right now, and every single day.  Because I know I would want someone praying for him if he was mine.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Cards

After my last post, I'm sure you all think I'm a total SCROOGE.

I promise you I am not. 


I love Christmas music, and Christmas trees, and Christmas gifts and Christmas cookies!

I just wanted to remind everyone that it's not ABOUT the music, and the trees and the gifts and the cookies.  It's about Jesus!!!

However, lest you think I am not celebrating Christmas this year . . . feast your eyes on THESE:

Yep, I ordered my Christmas cards today!!  If you'll remember, the last two years I've received FREE Christmas cards from SHUTTERFLY.  And I've raved about them.

To tell you how much I loved their cards, this year I was NOT offered free Christmas cards.  But I ordered from Shutterfly anyway.  They are SO MUCH NICER than the Christmas cards I had ordered from Wal-Mart in years past.  Not knocking Wal-Mart, but I like Shutterfly Christmas cards better.  I think they are "nicer."  (Disclaimer:  I paid for my Shutterfly Christmas cards.  I just like 'em, so I'm tellin' ya I like 'em).

Now, maybe I can get my handsome hubby to drag up that Christmas tree box from the basement :).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

'Tis the Season To Feel Inadequate?

WOW!  Can you be-lieve it is December 4th??  I sure can't.  Especially since we are having unseasonably warm weather here in Missouri.

It was in the 70s this past weekend.  Still in the 60s today and supposed to be warm through the end of the week.  We've had no snow.  No ice.

Now don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining.  But really, for Missouri, this weather is weird.  Then again, we've had weird weather all year long.

It kind of makes it hard for me to get into the Christmas decorating mood.  But, other folks don't seem to have any trouble.

I follow several blogs.  Or maybe I should say I "subscribe" to a lot of blogs.  I get an e-mail when they post.  Well can I just say that these folks aren't have any trouble getting into the decorating mood, because their houses look like MAGAZINES!!!!  Feast your eyes on THIS!!!

Now let me give credit where credit is due.  These are NOT my pictures (not that you would EVER see anything like this at my house)!  I believe each of the pictures has the name of the blog on it.  The pictures are from Thistlewood Farms and At The Picket Fence

Some of these houses have 4 or 5 OR MORE Christmas trees in them and they are all lit up like the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.  They have some kind of wreath on every door, interior and exterior.  Their mantles are decorated to the hilt.  Every flat surface has some type of ornament or decoration on it.  And lots of the decorations are, get this, HOMEMADE.  And I don't mean homemade in a NEGATIVE way.  I mean in a BEAUTIFUL CUSTOM MADE WAY.  Even the bathrooms were decorated for the holidays!!!

And this time of year, that old green-eyed monster can creep up so easily.  It is hard sometimes to look at these beautiful blogs and not feel just a tiny bit inadequate.  My house, at its best, looks absolutely NOTHING like these blogs.  I don't have that many decorations.  I don't spend that much time or money on decorating.  And when I look at those blogs, it sometimes makes me feel like I should.  It sure makes me WANT my house to look beautiful.

Now listen.  DO NOT get me wrong.  I LOVE LOOKING AT ALL OF THOSE BEAUTIFUL HOMES ALL DECKED OUT FOR CHRISTMAS!  I admire the ladies (and gentlemen) who took the time and effort and money to make their homes so beautiful.  I'm not knocking them one little bit.  Frankly, there are times I wish I put a little bit more effort into that kind of stuff because it is just gorgeous.

I'm just reassuring you, that if your house doesn't look like that, you are not alone.

Guys, I'm here to tell you I don't have my Christmas tree up.  I haven't even drug the box up from the basement.  One year, just a couple of years ago, I didn't even put up a Christmas tree (gasp!).  Yes, I do think I will get the tree up sometime in the next couple of weeks.  But I can assure you I have VERY LITTLE in the way of Christmas decorations at my house.  I don't do any decorating in our bedrooms, or the bathrooms for that matter.  I will put the tree up in front of the front door, and I have a little sleigh my mother-in-law made for me years ago.  I do have a few decorations I put on my fireplace mantle, but I can assure you it looks NOTHING like the mantels I've been seeing on blogs. 

I haven't sent out Christmas cards yet.  To tell the truth, I haven't even ORDERED them yet. Plenty of time (hehehe!!!)  I have done some shopping, but I haven't wrapped a present.

But I can assure you today that Christmas is about one thing, and one thing only.  The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  As Luke wrote centuries ago: "Behind, 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 Savior, who is Christ the Lord!"

Again, I'm not saying that putting up a tree or decorating your house is wrong.  I really LOVE looking at beautifully decorated homes.  I wish I lived in one.  But don't let yourself feel bad if your reality doesn't live up to someone else's highlight reel.  Because its not about the tree, it's not about the decorations, its not about gifts.  It's about the Reason for the season.  The birth of a baby, in a stable.  A baby born to be a King.  Born to be crucified for your sins and mine.  To pay my debt and your debt.

So this year, if your house is beautifully decorated, then GREAT.  Good for you!! Please post some pictures so I can admire it.  And if your house isn't beautifully decorated, then GREAT.  Welcome to my world!!

Just don't let yourself feel inadequate.  Enjoy the fruits of other people labors and RELAX.  And if you START feeling inadequate, then just come over here to Down On The Farm . . . and you'll feel better!  You are probably MORE ready for Christmas than I am!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Good Old Days

Facebook.  This one little word evokes very strong feelings.  Folks either LOVE IT, or they HATE IT.
Me, I have mixed feelings.  There are times I really don't like it.  People making comments with WAYYYYYY too much information.  People using profanity.  People posting pictures that I don't think are appropiate (so I block them).
And then, there are moments where I really like Facebook.  I can keep in touch with people that frankly I wouldn't any other way.  I am up to date on the latest news.  I get to see pictures of kids and grandkids of friends and family that I wouldn't ordinarily get to see.
And then, then there are days where I get on Facebook and I see pictures that I have never seen before posted by one of my Aunts.

This is a picture of my sweet mother on the left.  She must have been about two years old.  In the middle is my mom's older brother, Ronnie, and her eldest sister, Wanda.  I have never seen this picture before.  And oh, how sweet it is.  Just a glimpse into life as it was years ago.  I can't really make out the background.  I don't know where this picture was taken.Is that a doll my mom is holding??

This is another picture of my mother when she was a teenager.  My mom is again on the left, and on the right is my mom's sister, Alicia.  Hard to imagine my mom on a date, and no, that guy is NOT my DAD!!  Just a boy she went to a dance with many, many years ago.

Now this picture, this picture brings back MEMORIES.  You see, my parents owned the Longhorn Restaurant in Eldon.  They bought it, oh, I'm guessing early 1970s, and owned it for a few years.  Honestly, I would have to ask my mom when they sold it.  I have spent HOURS in this restaurant.  When we were very little, we played in the back corner booth of the restaurant, underneath the gas furnace.  Back by the restrooms.  As we got older we worked.  I ran the cash register, bussed tables, and washed dishes (it was an automatic restaurant style dishwasher) after school and on weekends.  I wasn't very old.  We sold it when I was probably 12 or 13.  We played out back of the restaurant for hours and hours and hours while my mom ran the restaurant inside.  My dad worked for the railroad and he was gone a lot.  We weren't all old enough to be left at home alone, so we practically lived there.

I haven't thought of this place in years.  You know what's there now???  This:

Yep, McDonalds. 

A great big THANK YOU to my Aunt for posting these pictures.  I've enjoyed a few minutes of the Good Old Days this morning, and it brought back some GREAT MEMORIES.