Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Favorite Holiday Memories

Before the holidays are totally gone I want to capture some favorite holiday memories from these past few weeks:
Photo from
  • I've adored the morning times I've had with God.  Searching the Word and meditating on the themes of the advent season.  It's helped me keep the real meaning of what it is all about uppermost in my mind.
  •  Rachel.  Rachel is my oldest son Devon's girlfriend who came for a visit.  This was my first time to meet her.  She is truly lovely in every way.  She has a huge smile that lights up the room.  She's got clear, beautiful, blue eyes and I've never seen her wear make up.  She's smart and is working for a financial advisory company while she's getting her MA in accounting and working to become a CPA.  She dresses cute and feminine and modest.  Your first thought when you see her is pretty and positive.  She loves God and wants to serve Him with her life.  She's most obviously crazy about Devon and it's just as apparent that he's a huge fan of hers. She's the answer to my prayers.  Devon has only had 2 prior girlfriends in his entire 25 years of life.  The last one broke his heart three years ago.  It was terrible.  I spend countless hours in prayer for this son.  About a year ago I felt an urge to pray for God to bless him with a woman to be his wife.  It just seemed that he needed a special person in his life.  Devon's a different kind of a person.  He's definitely a man who is willing to step up and take leadership.  He's intense and can seem to be kind of smart and crabby.  He's the most politically well informed and conservative person I know.  He's super patriotic and works as an executive officer for the United States Army and has been stationed at Fort Brag North Carolina for the past few years.  He spent 9 months in Afghanistan but has spoken exceedingly little about that time.  In contrast, he has a soul that adores all types of music, theater, and art.  He's a voracious reader. He's a different kind of a person and finding a person with whom he can relate is not so easy in our current culture.  But Rachael is just his type.  I'm so grateful for Rachael!

  • The administrative holiday party at my work. We were in a separate room at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  The feeling was one of dim lights, old beautiful furniture, and Christmas time gold n glitter. All of the administrative staff were seated in a horseshoe type arrangement. There were 24 of us and it was intimate and party crowd at the same time.  My counterpart, Kimberly, mentioned that during this past year she'd made it a goal to at the end of each day to think on two good things that happened that day, no matter how small, and choose to be grateful.  She asked if, as a group we'd like to comment on two things for which we were grateful during this past year at work.  She said she'd start.  One of her two things was me - she said how she was grateful that I'd come back to work with them and that she was grateful to work with me.  When it came to my boss Carl's turn he ended up  saying a few words about everyone in the room.  His words to me touched my innermost heart.  He started with words about how grateful he was to have someone with my background and experience working with them.  But it was what he said next that brought me a sense of deep humility and joy.  He commented on the fact that he knows I am of faith and he can see the difference that it makes in how I do my job.  He said that it is felt and appreciated by everyone.  God is so good!  I want my faith to make a difference and it was gratifying to hear that boss at work thinks it does.
  • Learning to play the card game Rummie on Christmas day night.  My mom and sister had gone home.  My husband John was just chilling on the computer in our great room.  Devon, Rachael, my youngest son Daniel, and I were at the dining table in that same room.  Devon was teaching us all how to play Rummie.  We enjoyed so much laughter, silliness, and fun. To make the whole experience even more funny we played with a unique deck of cards.  It was the only deck of cards we could find at our house and I've no idea where we obtained these cards.  The back side of the cards was the old time camouflage pattern.  The front side featured  middle eastern enemies of the United States with their names and a brief description on each card. We may have spent as much time talking and sharing funny stories as we did playing cards. It was one of those wonderful times.
  •  Devon, Rachael and I's road trip.  We drove to visit my second son Dylan and his girlfriend Kelsie and their baby Lillian Eden.  The drive was just a bit over 6 hours.  Devon played the sound track from Les Miserables
    Devon, Rachel, & Lilly
    and they sang along during the first part of the drive - definitely a unique experience. We left the day after Christmas and arrived at Dylan's place in time to bring them dinner and share it together. We enjoyed the evening together which pretty much centered around being entertained by watching 10 month old Lilly. The next morning Kelsie had to go to work.  Dylan works evenings and watches Lilly during the day.  Rachel and Devon made us an incredible breakfast and we just sat around talking and playing a game.  We had to leave around 1PM that day.  I was so grateful for this time.  Devon's never met Lilly yet and I could see that she captured his heart.  Rachel captured Lilly's heart; every time Lilly saw her she laughed.  We drove the 6 hours home and just before we got home I took Rachael and Devon out to the soup plantation.  Since my sons are all young adults with busy lives and the older two do not live close by, I especially treasure the moments with them.
  • The text message I received from Daniel yesterday: "Happy New Year.  May we grow in our relationships with God in great ways this year.  I love you".  What a blessing to have a 19-year old son who sends these kinds of messages!
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