Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Years Wish

This is my wish for you in the New Year of 2011!  What an awesome YEAR this is going to be.

If you don't like country then mute the sound and read the words!!!  This Texas Girl sends you this WISH!
Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Closing Out the Year - Sackcloth Removal

The end of the year is always a very big deal to me.  I contemplate the past, start to look to the future and resolve in my heart what it all means.  I get quiet before God.  Because my birthday comes just two weeks after Christmas, I feel a double desire to organize my thoughts about the year past and the one to come.

The last couple of years have been emotionally draining as the Lord has walked me through paths I would not have chosen.  In this journey, I have met Him in a new way. As in the Old Testament, I can look back over this past year and see the markers.  Most of those markers were documented on my blog...who would have guessed God would use a blog to teach me for a full year?  Each lesson He walked me through was enforced through reading others' blogs...I am so grateful to you bloggers and your obedience to share.

 Step One - I began the year asking God to return me to His potter's wheel...so I posted Editing My Life.

 Step Two - As I started to submit to his hands, He walked me through past lessons that He had taught me and spoke "it is time to re-energize."  The trials had left me feeling lifeless and yet I had young ones around me  I needed to give life to...it was a heart issue.  So I stepped out and blogged a week of re-energizing, as I followed each one, I felt I could breathe again....and breathe deeply.

Not very original titles to my five days of posting....but the change in my heart was the opening to spring in my life...I could feel the buds of my heart starting to bloom again.

Step Three - God took me back down memory lane with my 15  Mommy Piggy Tale posts.  Here He reminded me of His faithfulness through the first 18 years of my life.  These posts brought every emotion to the surface, but mostly reminded me of the firm foundation I have built my life on. It also reminded me of who I was...somehow I felt I had lost ME.

Step Four - As I continued to submit to the Potter's wheel, I began to hear His voice again.  I know He had been speaking in the past years, but my ears had grown deaf.  So, through the sounds of nature, He opened my ears to hear His voice again. God Hears!

Step Five - God also decided to re-establish the foundation my marriage was built on.  I began to read and post all that I was reading.  Then, He gave me the precious gift of returning to the city where we began and walking down memory lane.  The two days finished on such a high note that I could only shout - Bravo, Bravo God, as He re-established our marriage, which had been tested through the shaking of the years of trials.

Step Six - He began to open my eyes...away from myself to see others.  He began giving me eyes to see again and my heart turned outward. When Headlines Hit Too Close to Home, was one post where He made me look outward.  In January 2011, I will begin mentoring a fifth grade girl at a high-risk school...I am so excited and have been praying for her.  The field in my neighborhood has been filled with opportunities to serve Him and love on people.  The pumpkin bread and caroling party opened doors for ministry.

The Final Step for this year, God started meeting financial needs through miracles.  The provisions provided for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other needs.  God touched my heart in the deepest way possible as He spoke to me, "I will take care of you!  How and when is my choice and through whom!"  I have never felt the love of the Father so deeply.  My heart's prayer is that I will share it with others.

So, as I close the door to 2010, I am not slamming it like I have in the past.  I am not wishing it never happened...I am rejoicing in the fruit the Lord has established in my life. Removing of the sackcloth hasn't been comfortable at times, but necessary in order for me to return to the living.  I am coming into an understanding of my journey through my reading of  Lost in the Middle, Midlife and the Grace of God by Paul David Tripp.  I am embracing the work God has been doing while on His Potter's wheel and excited about what He will do in this new year as I enter a new decade....yes, I will turn 50!!!

So long 2010... you have been good to me.  Welcome 2011!  Thank you all for your posts and maybe, just maybe, this year I will be able to learn to get to my points faster, making for shorter post.   

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yes Someone Knows the True Meaning of Christmas

MIA - our daughter
May Joy Reign in Your Home!!
From our house to yours....Merry Christmas!!!! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cry Out to Jesus!!

Thanks so much for letting me enjoy this season through my blog posts. However, this week, I want to stop in my celebration to open my comments for prayers.  May we all agree in prayer for the needs we know during this season. I am not so naive as not to realize that this time of year brings great pain and heartache for so many people.  It isn't a time of joy.  So, I want to take time to pray for...

1)  All of our soldiers,  those who are serving here and over on foreign soil.  For those who have been injured or even given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. Prayers for their families.
Todd one example...Paula@alifeimperfection.com

2) Prayers for those who are walking through losses of loved ones...babies in the womb, children, parents, family members, close friends.

3) Prayers for those without employment, who have experienced financial loss, loss of homes, loss of dreams, loss of hope.

4) Prayers for those who are battling serious illnesses or life-long health issues.

My neighbor Katherine...we went to her house for our caroling party.  Serious accident, age 73!
5) Prayer for those who are going through divorce or just recently divorced, the adults and children involved.

6) Prayers for those who are dealing with children and/or loved ones not walking with the Lord, rebellious children and/or loved ones.

7)  Prayers for those who don't know where a loved one is at this time.
Barrett Jones - Lea@my letters to Emily - morning update, he has been found, pray for restoration

8) Prayers for those fighting depression, loneliness, hopelessness

Please feel free to write out a prayer for any or all of these.  The reason for the season is Christ and if we don't stop and pray for those who need His hand, then we have missed the reason why we bow our knees to him.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Caroling We Will Go - A Blue and Red Music Christmas

A caroling piece for our ever growing village.
Come join me in my home as we prepare to go caroling.  I have brought my new colors of  blue and red into my Christmas decor, along with music...it is so cheerful.  After 30 years of Christmas decor, I have been able to collect some precious items, and yet a face-lift was in order.  Come on in and prepare your voice. We will be heading back outside to light up the neighborhood with singing.

Welcome to my Celebration table...there is always room at this table.  My non-traditional blue was added to my twenty-year-old Christmas china.  I can still remember the year my dear husband bought the china...the first three were very small.  My boys weren't too impressed...and let's just say, all five of them aren't impressed even now and they will laugh about sitting down once again to a fancy table.
Our reindeer stockings are floating from the stairs to the side of our dining room.  This collection (started in 1980) still adds a smile to my face.  I did set the little reindeer's on my painted blue table.
click to enlarge any pictures
The boys helped me decorate the tree with blue and red balls.  My new polka-dot bows add the colors again.  I made cones out of sheet music to tied my music theme to the tree.  My rule on our family tree...leave the ornaments where the children put them!! So we sometimes have a few very full limbs at the child's eye level...now I have been known to ask to change one or two..but only when the child is in their teens and doing it to see if they can get my goat. Remember I have five boys...count them...FIVE!!!
Mantle inspirations.........blog world.  Anything under glass inspiration from Marla@Always Nesting.  The sheet music wreath and music cones I made, inspiration from Miss Mustard Seed.  The sheet music is taken from one copy (of the multiple copies) of singing books my grandmother left me. I dedicate my "Sunday Singing" posts to her. She would have loved the caroling party!
I included the 1/2 bathroom with it's Santa figurines and, of course, you know that Christmas books are in a basket there also...just in case you need to freshen up after your trip here. Our Christmas village has expanded from our table to cover the top of the piano... what were we thinking!  Our village is made up of birthday and Christmas gifts from friends, as well as add-on pieces for each child.  You will have to crowd together...our downsizing has made it a lot more cozy!  Just wander through the house if you need more room.  My talented husband will lead us in a warm-up at the oak grand piano his parents bought him... which I did NOT paint!

Now, "JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD HAS COME! LET THE EARTH RECEIVE HER KING!"  Thanks for taking a blog journey through our Christmas house and singing along at your computer.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Two Sets of Stockings?

Two sets of stockings?  This is has been the question from guests in our home each Christmas season.  Yes, two sets of stockings.  As my daughter-in-law will tell anyone, "yes, she has a story for everything."

As a young married bride, I couldn't wait to pick out our stockings which would grace our mantel in our first home.  On a trip to the local monogram shop, I found our future memory makers.  I didn't even stop at age 19 to think about future stockings...kids, maybe one day, but for now it was "US".  I still had those "only us" dreaming eyes.  Reindeer became my theme.  His and Hers reindeer.  Hallmark helped enlarge my reindeer theme with stuffed reindeer. I should have known that reindeer reproduce and so... within a few years, our first little reindeer arrived near Thanksgiving.  Now what was I going to do?  Start over with stockings?..NO!  I had a new Bernina sewing machine my husband had purchased for me prior to the birth of our baby boy......just make another stocking!
So our reindeer theme continued, as I added a new reindeer to our mantel with each child.
When blessed with a daughter-in-law, I had to decide what to do with our stockings.  Would we continue doing stockings?  Would I add a stocking for her?  What was going to be our tradition with stockings?  I am sure I agonized over something that wasn't that big of deal...but to this Christmas planner it was.  So the solution...all new spouses stockings would have green tops.  When mounted on the stairs, wall, or whatever that year, you would see red, green, red, green...down to the youngest.
We also changed out traditions of only Mom and Dad filling the stockings.  We decided that each person would add something small to each stocking and they would be opened on the day we had Christmas with the married children. This usually isn't Christmas day.  Over the years, there have been numerous "gag" gifts.  One year, coal was given, along with assorted candies, home-made snacks, toys from the dime store...whatever each person wanted to give.
The second set has never been filled.  This set goes on the fireplace for show only.  I went through my formal phase of decorating and hand-made these stockings, too.  Each stocking has charms hanging on it's side representing the child and their interests. Some years I find great charms, some years, nothing.  When I find something that goes with the child, then I attach the charm.  We have baseball hats, basketballs, cars, cell phones, musical instruments, credit cards, graduation caps, and a baby pacifier hanging from different stockings.

Now you know the story behind my two sets of stockings.
What is your stocking tradition?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Old Tradition of Caroling - Touches Hearts

A gift from one of our carolers one year
This week, I am inviting you into our open house prior to our Caroling Party on Friday.  Before I open my doors, I have to go back in time and re-tell our family caroling party stories.  Many, many years ago, while mothering four children under the age of seven, my oldest, social networking son, came to me about a Christmas party.  He didn't understand why all the Christmas parties were for adults and none for children.  All the babysitters were booked months in advance so all the parents could attend the full calendar of events they were invited to celebrate.  I agreed. So this home school mom put one more thing on her plate and the Wright Family Caroling Christmas Party was born.  All ages were welcome!  Strollers, pregnant women, toddlers, elementary, pre-teens,  teenagers, parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts have come through our doors for our Caroling Parties.  Old friends, pre-friends (many we didn't know), neighbors, boyfriends, girlfriends and future spouses would also join us on our neighborhood caroling.

Each year, I would labor in love over the food and drinks we would all share after the caroling.  Each year, I would pray!  My desire was for each person who came to be blessed and for our neighborhood as well.  We would be going out and proclaiming the truth of the gospel into the air around our home.  We would meet new neighbors, we would see needs, we would share our lives and beliefs with those around us.

Each year, God answered my prayers.  The house always got clean, decorated and all the food prepared.  The people God ordained to come would arrive.  The weather would always clear...there has never been a year that it was too cold or wet.  Each year, God would bless us all with stories to tell as we came back to the house for fellowship.

Our first caroling party in our new home in 1998
1) One year, the door opened to a neighbor whose body was ravaged from the effects of cancer.  She lost her battle to cancer the following month.  The husband would tell us over and over again how our caroling made their last Christmas together so special.
2) As on cue, we rang the door bell and the hostess came to the door.  She laughed out loud as she encouraged her Christmas guests to come to the door for our singing...as we left she told us how it made their party and looked like she had had it all arranged.
3)  A retired couple opened their doors to our singing voices one year...they became life-long friends to our children.
4)  One year, a couple came whom we had never met.  They were friends of one of our children.  As the lady walked through the house holding our newest baby, (the one I had just had at age 45), God gave her and her husband confirmation to have another child.  She would explain at her baby's shower how our family was one of the confirmations that they were to have another child...she received it at our caroling party.
5) Each year we have warm memories and have been able to revive the lost tradition of caroling.

We have never had carolers come to our home, nor have I been able to have a caroling party every year since its conception.  Life happened and struggles robbed us of this joy, but this year, after a three year break...our caroling party returns.  I have reluctantly asked for guests to bring a favorite dish to share...and I hope this isn't too burdensome during the busy holidays.  I once again have begun to pray over our party this year... for our new neighborhood and new opportunities for Christ to touch lives through our singing praises to Him!

I wish you were close and could come join us as we sing "Glory in the Highest, Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men!" Blessings to you and yours!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Ultimate Gift

As we enter the season of the true "Ultimate Gift", my mind  rehearses the materialistic view that can captivate me and pull me under, while missing the daily gifts God gives us.  My last seasonal movie review brings me back, once more, into the reality that gifts lay unopened all around us....if we could just have a chance to see them through the eyes of lessons learned in this movie and book. Each of these lessons can be found in His Word.

The lessons from the book were so well illustrated and valuable that I read the book out-loud and will read it again to my sons. One of my friends bought a copy of the book for all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She was so convicted by the teachings that she wanted them all to read this fictional story.

During the holiday season, I love to pull out inspirational movies, curl up with some popcorn, and share time with my family.  So here is one of my favorites... "The Ultimate Gift".

Here is a web site that has discussion questions to be used with this movie.

The book expands further than what can be covered during the movie.
1) The Gift of Work
2)  The Gift of Friends
3)  The Gift of Money
4)  The Gift of a Day
5)  The Gift of Dreams
6)  The Gift of Learning
7)  The Gift of Problems
8)  The Gift of Family
9)  The Gift of Laughter
10) The Gift of Giving
11) The Gift of Gratitude
12)  The Gift of Love
13) The Ultimate Gift

I look forward to viewing this movie again this year and seeing what my fourteen-year-old gleans from it. I think I will curl up with the book again. This movie is at the top of my "Top Ten" list of movies and the upcoming holidays are a great time to enjoy watching it. If I am going to take time to stop and watch something, I want to come away either inspired or laughing...this one leaves me inspired!
Do you have an inspirational movie to share?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Worth "Hog-tying" Them

At what age do we cross from total, non-sleep excitement over Christmas to...do I have to?  Somewhere in those teen years, our childhood excitement starts to wane.  Instead of getting up at four in the morning, we want to sleep in, rise for gifts and crawl back into bed.  Mothers push through these seasons of less-than-total enthusiasm to continue to make Christmas memories.  When these same children have children of their own...THEN the sparkle will come back into their eyes. So when I mentioned wanting my older ones to come with us to the Dallas Christmas parade...early on Saturday...well, let's use the Texas phrase, they had to be "hog-tied".  The weather was going to be in the mid-50's...so no whining about it being to be too cold. (yes we are true Texans who think it is cold at 50 degrees)

As we approached the top of the grassy knoll...yes, the legendary one that went into the history books with the shooting of JFK...we could see the parade participants.  Without our knowledge, we had come to the side where they were all being assembled to start the parade.  I started to laugh, then giggle, while speaking in a higher voice as we approached them.  Running to each line to get pictures of the characters, my older children made fun of me.  Benjamin was being piggy-backed...the brace was slowing us down, so his sister took him right beside "Iron Man".  We were so close to all these fictional characters....how fun!!

Those reluctant "hog-tied" participants were now excited.  Cell phones were pulled out for pictures instead of text or talk.  Grins and giggles started coming from everyone's mouths........we all became kids!!  

The parade was to support Children's Medical Center...I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the work they do and start off our Christmas season.  My "hog-tied" ones also said they enjoyed it and started planning for next year!  Moms can have good ideas! I applaud all of us mothers for continuing forward, even with resistance.  Have you had to "hog-tie" anyone this Christmas season...maybe even a Husband?
Here is my "hog-tied" bunch!!
I will know if they ever read my blog....they will hate this picture. Benjamin loves it, he is with his siblings.

Monday, December 6, 2010

It All Starts with The Story

My greatest joy during the Christmas season is to read out-loud to my children. Cherished books are retrieved from storage with eager anticipation for their display on the coffee table.  My four-year-old begged for me to get the Christmas books out before he arrived home from school...what a delight to my book loving heart.  So, the books came out before the decorations.
The REASON FOR THE SEASON always holds the highest priority.  Our advent calendar is small books recalling the redemptive plan of our Savior's birth.
Decorating with books as my theme, I set up places to display them, so they are enjoyed by all.
Even the bathroom holds Christmas baskets of small Christmas readings.
More seasonal favorites are resting on the coffee table.
I cry and laugh through this whole book....God always speaks to me through this children's book.
Does anyone ever grow out of pop-up books and snowmen?
Our black and white Christmas picture from 2006!
As they grow I added more depth in our readings.  All of these have become favorites.
Although I wish I could say we always get through them all...well life happens and good intentions aren't
always met.  We get through many of our timeless treasures and know that next year
we will try to read even more.
What are some of your favorite books to read during Christmas?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Global Day of Prayer for Sudan

All week pictures and stories have been crossing my path for the Nation of Sudan. Our pastor just returned from Sudan and this morning we were called to intercede for Sudan.  Even the secular press is calling attention to the need for peace in Sudan with a special hosted George Clooney and his campaign to have attention drawn to Sudan.

The Body of Christ has been ministering to this nation through many organizations.  For me it starts on my knees.  At this time God hasn't made a way for me to go, but I can be faithful to pray.

Today I wanted to post a call for all Christians to pray for the Body of Christ in Sudan and for the elections that will determine the future of Northern and Southern Sudan.  In this season of giving my we give them our prayer support as they do the work of His hands and feet.



Friday, December 3, 2010

The Baton is Being Passed

The baton is being passed.  He is the last runner.  There will never be another one come from my womb or hold my hand at this age.  This Christmas I am soaking in every moment. I will never walk this way again.  He is singing the Christmas carols and has his first Christmas program on Tuesday. He is getting his stories a little mixed up, as I was told the other day when he called out, "Mom come look.  Joseph was thrown into the pit by the Wise Men!".  He needs to get the Josephs straightened out..kinda funny since his middle name is Joseph.

So I grabbed my last one and put him in the car to travel to McKinney, Texas for a Charles Dickens's Christmas.  We compromised.  He allowed me to window shop and I allowed him to ride on the carousel.  We counted nutcrackers in each store, as mom visually took in what each store had to offer in split seconds.  So I am bringing you today on our journey...the last one of six to allow their mom to enjoy Christmas through the eyes of a four year old!
A Carousel brings out the kid in all of us...I enjoyed it also!

How much fun to dress up in character....I loved all the hats!!
Another break..."I has seen enough...remember I am a boy!"  So we had to stop for Candy Cane Lane.

Okay...he will now let me go in another shop. I love the buildings even more than what they contain.
Can you tell that my delight got passed down to my oldest, who is now a custom home builder?
These stairs have been so worn the middle is worn down.  These were the stairs in what was the bank.
The stories each of these buildings could tell....oh my... what history!
The wooden floors creaking with character... the beaded board ceiling with bronzed lighting hanging down.
What beautiful craftsmanship that has survived all these years.
Doesn't he belong in a bank? 
Isn't this funny?  Why? I have no idea why they hung them out there...but it did get my attention.
I love this window....and yes, the saying is great also!

I want this door!!!  Okay, builder son... put it on my wish list for my house one day!
REINDEER!!! "Can they fly?"  "No, that is make believe." "Oh, make-believe like Santa Claus?"
"Yes, but it is fun to enjoy make-believe... but Christ is real!" 
My conviction on Christmas was to not tell my children Santa Claus was real.  It has never been
a problem, nor do I feel they missed out.  As easy as the conversation was above, well I had
that conversation five other times...this was my last time!
A train...he loves trains and I have picked up his passion.
We finished by climbing into the sleigh.  He stopped long enough for one picture...
"How many nutcrackers are in McKinney?"  You guess.
Saturday, we are heading downtown to see the Dallas Christmas Parade...I get to watch
it through the eyes of a four-year-old....my last!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It Started with Two

My Christmas mugs setting upon my first Christmas gift from my husband nestled among my wedding bouquet.
They glistened above their competing surroundings.  
The light twinkled through the cuts of glass for my attention.  They beckoned me to come see.
Through all the competition of dishes, ornaments, and Christmas toys...they alone caught my eye.
As I strolled toward them I gave out a sigh, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
The longing of just my husband and I danced around in my Christmas season packed mind.

There was a time before children when it all began with just two.
Our nest was being blessed with little ones now and my mother's heart was captured by Christmas for my children, but the longing of the past called to me through the Christmas mugs.

We had three Christmas's together before our blessings started arriving.
We  celebrated Christmas with family, then our own on Christmas day,
before packing the car for a week long road trip to different states.
We had enjoyed time as a couple.

As the young ones entered our home I had to make a conscience effort to remember us as a couple.
The Christmas mugs were for us. I would find a time to enjoy them together.
They would hold a special symbol of a "Couple's Time at Christmas".
I had to have them...so I reached up for only two mugs, holding them while I continued to dream on 
 my future vision for their purpose, I continued my shopping.
December 1, 2010 marks 31 years since his proposal,  I said "I will", and I remove the Christmas mugs from their boxes.
I prominently display them as a reminder to take time out for "us".

I wish I could say I have been faithful to this commitment since the day the mugs were purchased.
Regretfully, I have not.
More little ones came and then the season of four teenagers.
Basketball tournaments, music recitals, Christmas programs and Christmas children's parties all seemed to 
 fight for the my attention and shamefully many years the mugs returned to their boxes unused.

This year our church is hosting a Marriage Conference by Paul Tripp next week...yes in December.
I think I will make sure the mugs are used during that weekend.
Because it all began with two and one day it will return to two...I must celebrate Christmas with him 
as my priority instead of letting the season run away without the use of my Christmas mugs.
There needs to be some eggnog moments that we recall as we age as a couple.

What do you do with your husband to make the season a "couples" time?

Related Posts with Thumbnails