Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bah Humbug: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Come on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

Let's talk holiday decorating. On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall? (1=Scrooge and 10= Clark Griswold). What's your favorite corner-room-table-space to decorate? Is it done?
This is going to take a hot minute, so you might want to get a cup of coffee before you start reading.
When I have my own place, I will be somewhere between Clark Griswold and Martha Stewart, so around 9.75.  It wouldn't be too gaudy and I may not put lights on the house, but I would make sure the inside was welcoming and festive.  The sky would be the limit.
As for this year, it started out as a Scrooge kind of year.  I love Christmas and everything it means, but I knew that most likely (for reasons withheld to protect the guilty) I'd have another bad Christmas (I've had several the past few years). My own sanity and emotional stability dictated that I simply not do Christmas this year--no decorations, no parties, no nothing.  The prospect was just too painful.  Some aspects still will be, but God has sent a Christmas blessing my way so that I can celebrate...and decorate.  More on that in the days to come. 
Is there a nativity scene in your decorating somewhere? Post a picture or, if it's special to you in some way, tell us why. Or do both-it's Christmas!
I wish.  I love Nativity scenes.
Do you live in a social neighborhood? If so are you glad? If not do you wish you did?
No, not really.  I wish I did.  We have several neighbors who are Alabama football fans (Roll Tide), but we all stay in our own homes and have our own tailgate get togethers.  It would be nice if we could all get together and enjoy the camaraderie.
As the saying goes, 'there's no time like the present'. How does that ring true in your life right now?
As I'm setting goals for the new year, I'm already working on some of the habits I want to cement as a part of my daily routine.  Why wait until January 1st?  As I read in Jon Acuff's blog: "Where does it say you have to wait until January 1 to turn some part of your life around?  If you start today, you still have two weeks to get a head start."
Sounds good to me. 
Do you dread Mondays? Why or why not?
Rarely.  I enjoy having a job to get out of bed for.  The only time I dread Monday is if I don't get enough rest over the weekend.  Then, it's only the tiredness I dread, not the day itself.
Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis-which on the list is your favorite holiday plant? Are any of these on display in your home right now?
Wait, I thought Amaryllis was a spring bulb.  I had bulbs at my old apartment.  The first year they bloomed in late spring.  The next year, the landlord's yard crew cut them down (along with a lot of my good perennials--yes, I'm still mad about it).   They are gorgeous, but as I said, I didn't think they bloomed in winter.  I also enjoyed my Christmas Cactus until it died.  Poinsettias are my favorite holiday plant.  I will not have one at home this year, but I plan on helping by one or two to decorate the sanctuary of the church.
Share a favorite quote from a Christmas movie.
In the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Present gets all up in Scrooge's Kool-Aid for his callous attitude about his fellow man while seeming to show concern for Tiny Tim's plight:
Ghost:  "If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, the child will die."
Scrooge:  "No, no, say he will be spared..."
Ghost:  "If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, none other of my species will find him here. But if he is to die, then let him die...and decrease the surplus population."
Scrooge:  "You use my own words against me."
Ghost:  "Oh yes.  So perhaps in the future you will hold your tongue until you have discovered what the 'surplus population' is, and where it is.  It may well be that in the sight of heaven you are more worthless and less fit to live than MILLIONS like this poor man's child!"    
Insert your own random thought here.
"If God said it, I want to believe it. If God gives it, I want to receive it. If God shows it, I want to perceive it. If Satan stole it, I want to retrieve it." - Beth Moore, Believing God.
My sister-in-blog, Annie, and I are reading this book.  It's a barn burner.  That quote from Chapter three is the cry of my heart.  Along with reading the book (among others), I'm also listening to Saddleback Church's series on believing God for breakthrough.  What I am learning has been amazing.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Vowel Check: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, December 4, 2016

Outside my window  Alabama is being blessed with much needed rain.  We've been in a draught and these soaking rains are definitely helping end it.

I am thinking...  About the upcoming year and what goals I want to set and actually accomplish.

I am thankful...  For my mentor.
From the Workshop...

For more information on this painting, please see my sister blog post here.
I am reading...  I've gotten a lot of reading done since my last Daybook.  I completed my goal of reading through the NLT Bible more than a month ahead of schedule.  For an updated list of completed book reviews, please read here.

I am learning...

One of the best practices I learned from reading Brene' Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection was the "vowel check."

Image available as a free printout here.
A= Have I been Abstinent today? (However you define that -- I find it a little more challenging when it comes to things like food, work and the computer.)
E = Have I Exercised today?
I = What have I done for myself today?
O = What have I done for Others today?
U = Am I holding on to Unexpressed emotions today?
Y = Yeah!  What is something good that's happened today?"

I use this prompt when I journal.  It's been the biggest help when it comes to me getting a grip on my eating habits.  See, I know food journals are beneficial to identify triggers and curtail overeating.  However, any attempts I've made at keeping a food diary were replete with guilt and shame over any bad food that I ate (which drove me to binge), or with so much fear of eating the wrong thing that a bird would look at my plate and say, "Dang, girl.  I eat more than that."  The A and the U help me deal with any emotional eating I'm dealing with without getting caught up in fear or berating myself.  I'm getting to the root of whatever the problem is that day. 
Favorite quote(s) of the week

"If serving is below you, leadership is beyond you." - Dave Adamson

"Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with out open heart.  When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.  We all need help." - Brene' Brown

From Charles Spurgeon's Evening by Evening devotional for December 1st:

"O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men." - Psalm 107:8

If we complained less, and praised more, we should be happier, and God would be more glorified. Let us daily praise God for common mercies--common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless, that when deprived of them we are ready to perish. Let us bless God for the eyes with which we behold the sun, for the health and strength to walk abroad, for the bread we eat, for the raiment we wear. Let us praise him that we are not cast out among the hopeless, or confined amongst the guilty; let us thank him for liberty, for friends, for family associations and comforts; let us praise him, in fact, for everything which we receive from his bounteous hand, for we deserve little, and yet are most plenteously endowed. But, beloved, the sweetest and the loudest note in our songs of praise should be of redeeming love. God's redeeming acts towards his chosen are forever the favourite themes of their praise. If we know what redemption means, let us not withhold our sonnets of thanksgiving. We have been redeemed from the power of our corruptions, uplifted from the depth of sin in which we were naturally plunged. We have been led to the cross of Christ--our shackles of guilt have been broken off; we are no longer slaves, but children of the living God, and can antedate the period when we shall be presented before the throne without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Even now by faith we wave the palm-branch and wrap ourselves about with the fair linen which is to be our everlasting array, and shall we not unceasingly give thanks to the Lord our Redeemer? Child of God, canst thou be silent? Awake, awake, ye inheritors of glory, and lead your captivity captive, as ye cry with David, "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." Let the new month begin with new songs.

"Life doesn't reward quitting.  You are the only one who does that." - Dr. Phillip McGraW
I am looking forward to... 
  • The new year.  It's time for a do over.

And now for something totally different...
From Twitter:  @GerryHouse1 tweeted:  "If life hands you lemons, throw them away and get some bacon."

From YouTube:  The Southern Women Channel Shared:

From Facebook:  C. Harper shared:

From Facebook:  G. Maddox shared:

From Facebook:


Friday, December 2, 2016

Five Minute Friday: "Crave"

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.

Crave - to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly:

What do I crave?
  • Intimacy with God.
  • Knowledge.
  • Having my own home; a sanctuary from the storms of the outside world and a place from which to bless others.
  • I crave to cry with joy rather than sadness.
  • Love, not mere tolerance (the way you put up with a nuisance).
  • I crave all the care and support as a single that all those who are mothers seem to get at the drop of a hat.
  • Face-to-face connection with people rather than staring at an electronic device hoping for an ounce of connection with someone.
I used to think that the things I craved weren't so bad, but now I'm just not sure.  Maybe wanting anything beyond what I already have is too much.  Maybe only certain people can expect these things and I don't have those type of permissions. 

I don't know.  Until someone can definitively prove that to me, I'm going to continue to crave the good, the better, and the best.