We’ve been musing together for a year here. Thank you for joining me! Here is a look back at the top 5 most-read Musings:
5. It Begins
Today, this brother
Is flying to meet up with this girl (and some other people)
To serve these people
In this country
Together they are being the hands & feet of Christ. In Africa, they are serving…here at home, they are inspiring this kid
Who is attacking lessons in reading & writing so he can study scripture and will be prepared when his time comes to go tell and he is looking for opportunities to go tell right here at home…at 6 years old.
I am humbled and convicted. My eyes are blurred with tears.
The world is full of needs– from the homeless in your neighborhood to orphans in Guatemala to widows in Uganda and so many more! Do you care? Are you praying, giving, going? Are you being the hands & feet of Christ? Are you letting His light shine through your life…not just in big, get-everyone’s-attention kind of ways but in every little choice you make each day?
Are you living your life to make great the name of God or to make great your own name?
When I say “you” I hear the question pointed at myself. What about me…what am I doing? For today, I am praying…for the group in & headed to Uganda…for my son and his burning desire to go tell…for you, as you muse with me on how we can be hands & feet.
- sisters rock. Especially mine. 2 have had babies in the past month and the other completed a 5k mud run. They are awesome friends and support and they tell it like it is. We can converse in movie quotes and disagree without having a falling out. I’m telling ya, they rock.
- my kiddos understand the meaning of the number 24601…that’s a win
- one of my kiddos dubbed a local pond “the lake of shining waters” – also a win!
- a group of men from our church took time out of their busy lives and drove to Georgia this weekend to attend Johnny Hunt’s men’s conference so they could grow and be challenged as men, husbands and fathers. That ROCKS.
- introduced my kids to this secret buddy idea (http://www.jessicalynette.com/12-habits/games-that-encourage-the-habit-of-noticing-others-needs/) and they took action on it, before I even assigned buddies! WIN
- texting and blogging is turning an acquaintanceship into a friendship…even though we live an ocean apart. (ok, technically, its a gulf but its still A LOT OF WATER!) That rocks!
- my baby brother taught my son to tie his shoes. That’s a win!
- my reluctant reader decided to teach a younger sibling to read…the lesson was successful. That’s a rockin’ win!
- long-overdue date with my Hero…great food and conversation. Win!
- and speaking of my Hero…he ROCKS. Just sayin’.
- Jesus has more grace for us than we can handle. That rocks.
- actually, He doesn’t just rock, He *is* the Rock and He has defeated the enemy eternally. That means, because of the ROCK, I WIN.
What’s rocking and winning in your neck of the woods?
I’m typing this just before bed and I’m bone tired. Just been one of those weeks. One thing on top of another.
In the past few days, though, I’ve been hit with a fresh dose of perspective. You know, the kind that makes you feel like you got punched in the gut by a semi truck?
And it got me to musing…
- my washing machine broke, I cannot wash clothes…somewhere a mother has nothing to feed her children.
- my baby is not feeling well and is very clingy and fussy…somewhere a set of parents are clinging to each other mourning the loss of their child
- someone treated me rudely…somewhere a young girl has been torn from her family and shipped across the globe to be mistreated, used, and abused
- my husband failed to communicate…somewhere a widow is reeling in shock from her sudden loss
- my kiddos are playing too loud & rowdy and won’t settle down…somewhere a family sits around a hospital bed praying for the best, that their precious one will be well & rowdy again soon
- I’m tired of beginning again, of starting over tomorrow…somewhere, someone just found out that they are all out of “tomorrows”
Suddenly my lot isn’t so bad. My complaints are turned to praises. My discontent & ungratefulness melt away.
When in doubt, check your perspective.
December 30th is, perhaps, the biggest day of the year around here. You see, my Nana, my Hero, and my first-born were all born on that day! Woohoo!
They each are so special to me and are huge blessings in my life.
Nana, the matriarch on my Mom’s side of the family, is a big part of the Spiritual foundation of our whole extended family. Her relationship with Christ and example of hard work, generosity, faithfulness, and love have influenced us all.
And then, my Hero. This guy is special, y’all. He loves and accepts me, he stays calm in almost every situation, he is an amazing dad (and has been since his 22nd birthday 😊), he works with a level of focus and commitment rarely seen, he will work all day and as soon as he gets home jump in to whatever he can do to help me around the house (like folding laundry!!) after a good wrestle with the kiddos, of course. The only thing he really doesn’t like is being recognized or being the center of attention, so I decided against a big party to celebrate turning 30 on the 30th and settled on a quieter day instead.
Last, but not least, my first-born son, Patrick. This is his 8th birthday but it seems like it has only been days since he was born, not years!
After 42 weeks of pregnancy (yep, he was LATE), plus 21 hours of labor, our 9lb 6oz little guy arrived…and we became the Johnson Family.
How can I describe Patrick to you?
Patrick shares his Daddy’s love for barbeque and already spends lots of time planning out his future restaurants…including drawing them out on graph paper, just like Daddy.
The name Patrick means “leads with righteousness” and his leadership skills are obvious in our home and on every sports team he has been on. He likes to make plans and encourage everyone to keep going until it is done.
When I am having a bad day I can always count on Patrick to write me an “I love mom” note or jump in to help me without being asked.
He has a hilarious sense of humor…and better yet has taken to tossing out his witty comebacks with a british-esque accent. Love. It.
He has fabulous fashion sense…when dressing up at least, everything else is sports shorts.
Last year he decorated his own birthday cake…reinacting a scene from Star Wars…’cause he’s just awesome like that.
He’s into LEGOs and sports and all things military and once confused Hootie and the Blowfish with Jonah and the Whale.
He is just a straight-up awesome kiddo. He has been my “big helper” since he could walk and I don’t know what I would do without him.
Happy Birthday Patrick!
Christmas is coming! Are you ready?
I don’t know about you but we try to keep the presents from holding center stage in our celebration. They are, however, a part of it.
There are all sorts of suggestions on how to give gifts to your children– 3 gifts to represent the Magi’s gifts, 4 gifts (want, need, wear, read), no gifts and donating or giving to others instead– but what I want to know is: what does one give a spouse?!?!?!
I think there are a few people who do well at this, you know, the ones with giving gifts as a love language.
Then there is the rest of us. The ones who said “lets not do gifts” but then, suspicious that the other spouse did rushes to CVS on Christmas Eve to find something…anything. Or the ones who bust the budget on a completely misguided attempt at what they wanted or needed.
Why is it that the ones we love most and know best are the hardest ones to choose a gift for? Argh!
This year, I am saying “no more!” to my gift giving frustration and I am offering my formula to you in hopes that your gift-giving and Christmas celebration will be more relaxed and enjoyable as a result.
**A few notes: Consider this formula fodder for brainstorming,a place to start. Each gift can be adjusted to fit your budget (from on-the-cheap to extravagant) and personality (if he doesn’t like to read, ignore the book suggestions…unless he might like an audio version). Also, as a wife, I wrote this thinking about my husband but I believe the formula would work just as well for husbands to choose gifts for their wives.**
The Spouse 4 Gift Formula -
1) A gift for him as a man. This could be something he needs or wants (like clothes, shoes, a book) or something for his favorite hobby (fishing rod, golf balls & tees, a specialty tool) or something you know he likes (gift card to his favorite restaurant or store) or an item for his collection. This is where you really consider his tastes and interests, things he has mentioned wanting, and how he likes to spend his time. You could stretch this category to include something he may need for work.
2) A gift for him as a Christian. It is important to encourage our spouses in their personal walk with Christ, so give a gift that does that. Print out & laminate verse cards for the passage he wants to memorize, a devotional or Bible study book, a new Bible…maybe even arrangements to attend a Men’s Conference.
3) A gift for him as a husband. Plan a special date night or a whole year of dates, find a book you can read & discuss together (so many options here! Could be about marriage or any topic you are both interested in or the latest fiction bestseller or a classic), create some “love coupons” or buy something for you to wear for him…not gonna go any further on this one, I think you get the idea.
4) A gift for him as a father. Plan a family fun day, a gift card or supplies for an activity he can do with the kiddos (model to build, puzzle, bowling, movie…) framed pictures for his desk at work, put together a Hero kit. This is a great time to have the kiddos make or choose a gift!
That’s it. Now I haven’t told you exactly what to give but hopefully I’ve given you a starting place to think about your man and ways that you can bless him in each area of his life. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Don’t forget to came back after Dec 25th and let me know what you gave.
I am thankful that I took this journey. I did not plan out in advance what I would write about, I expressed thankfulness for whatever came to mind each day. At one point I wished that I had not even started…I was feeling more grumpy than grateful. I wondered if anyone would notice if I quit. Then I remembered why I started this– to purposely focus on the things I have to be grateful for. It is not about showing off how grateful I am, it is about learning to be thankful as a daily habit. That is why it is called a journey.
And I’m thankful that I took it.
I am so blessed.