Steven and I went out on a date tonight. Elijah has spent the past few days with my parents in Greenville and we have been living it up. We miss him but boy have we enjoyed a quiet, clean house for a few days. Today I took down my Christmas decorations and it was so nice not to have a toddler undoing all of my work.
Anyway, after a great meal at Carrabas (thanks to the church member who gave us that gift card for Christmas) we decided to go look around at the local Christian bookstore, New Creation. After perusing the 50% off Christmas stuff I wandered back to my favorite section, the biographies. As I stood there I was like a kid in a candy store. I felt so many emotions.
I looked at books I had read in the past like A Chance to Die, a bio about Amy Carmichael, and Bruchko, a bio about a missionary to South America. I saw The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom, and the Intercessor, about Reece Howell. These were all books that have had a profound impact on my life.
I am so inspired by other people who have "fought the good fight and finished the race." 2 Timothy 4:7-8. People who suffered, sacrificed, and made a difference in this world. I felt convicted for how little I read these days. I rarely pick up a book much less finish it. I felt hungry to read. I found four books and sat down to browse.
I did buy a book about a missionary couple who run an orphanage in China. I have already read the first 3 chapters. I will let you know about it when I finish it (don’t hold me to that since finishing books doesn’t seem to be my strong suit these days).
If you have never read a biography I have to recommend you try one. They are so inspiring. Bruchko, by Bruce Olson or The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom are page turners I am sure you can find on Amazon. Happy reading!
What a great day! We broke 1000 at church today. God is amazing. We have been praying for 1000 people by the end of the year. My faith was small when I thought 971 three weeks ago for our baptism service was good enough. Today we had 1063. Funny to think this time last year our church was only meeting on Sunday nights with about 40 people. Only God could cause a church to grow that fast.
I am also amazed at how different my son is from this time last year. Last Christmas I had a fussy baby with an ear infection who didn’t know that he had toys under the Christmas tree.
I am so excited about tomorrow. I can’t wait for Elijah to come downstairs in his Moman (snowman) pajamas and see all his presents. I can’t wait for Elijah to play with his child size keyboard and microphone that Steven picked out and all the great things his grandparents on both sides got him. I just sent my sister an email and I told her that I think being a parent at Christmas is as much fun as being a kid.
I also can’t wait to have my family and Steven’s family and Chunks and Amy over for lunch tomorrow. I will miss seeing my sister and her family though. I feel so blessed this Christmas.
I hope you take a minute to reflect on the great things God has done for you this year, big and small. Merry Christmas.
PS I will try and post pictures but who knows if they will go up. I guess I will be thankful that I have a camera.
I don’t know why I put this off until today but I did. I, along with half of the people in Charlotte, decided to go to Walmart today. I had to pick up a photo gift order and a few groceries that I missed when I placed my order this week.
You know the feeling when you drive onto a parking lot that you should just turn around and go home? I felt that way when I had to park at the very back of the parking lot.
The store was packed and the shelves were bare. It looked like someone had looted the toy section. And the grocery section looked like a hurricane was coming and everyone was stocking up on cheese and cake mix (I guess lots of people are going to make macaroni and cheese this weekend).
I can’t tell you how many people I physically bumped into. It was a mess. Praise God however, my child was an angel. He sat in the cart the whole time! I did not even have to use the sling (future post about the sling). He ate his snack and pointed out every person wearing a Santa hat.
So the confrontation came when I got in line. Lets just say it was a good thing I didn’t have an Elevation license plate on my cart. I was patiently waiting in line 17 and 18 (you know how one is in front of the other) when this guy zoomed around me and got in 18. I did not say anything. I just politely moved my cart in the middle of the lane so that no one else could do that to me. Not long after that a lady asked me, "ma’am, which line are you in?" to which I replied without making eye contact, "both, I am waiting to see which line moves faster." Call it whatever you want, I call it surviving Walmart.
Praise God for babies who behave! I hope none of you have to venture out for at least a few days. Merry Christmas. If you are reading for the first time today, read the next entry, it will catch you up on our family.
PS I tried to upload our family Christmas pictures but I am having technical difficulties. Check back for that later.
I am posting my Christmas letter on my blog this year instead of mailing it in our Christmas card. I thought that would be more fun (at least for me because I don’t have to fold and stuff it in the envelopes). Since I sent out my cards today (I know I’m pushing it a little) I thought I better get on this post. So here goes…
What a year, that is all I can say. I will start with Steven. When he was 16 years old, God called him to one day start a church. Well that day came this year. In February Elevation Church finally started meeting on Sunday mornings. Our first service had somewhere around 100 people. Last week we had almost 900 people attend our service. It has truly been awesome to watch God bring people to our church and change their lives. For me it has also been amazing to watch God use my husband to lead this church. I look forward to hearing him preach each Sunday. Steven is still traveling and preaching some. He is also still writing music and he continues to lead a song or two on Sundays. In February we are going to do our third live recording.
Elijah has had quite a year also. Last November Elijah had his first ear infection. He continued to have one at the end of every month for the next 6 months. As you can imagine, he was not the happiest baby on the block (even if his mother did read the book). In April he had tubes put in his ears and from then on he was a different baby. He is 18 months old this Christmas and into everything. He is obsessed with Sesame Street, namely Elmo, Eddie (Ernie), Bi Bir (Big Bird) and Oga (Oscar). However since the Christmas season began he has developed a fixation with Shanta (Santa) and Moman (Snowman). My mother says he has great problem solving skills (see blog entry "I thought I was watching"). Let’s just say I can’t turn my back on him for too long.
There is not much left to say. You can probably imagine that my life is very busy keeping up with Elijah and Steven. I did not go back to teaching this year and have really enjoyed staying home. I organize a play group for moms in our church, which has been a great way to get to know many of the women in our church. I also enjoy leading our praise team each Sunday.
Well thats my update. We would love to hear from you. Please send us and email and let us know how you are doing. If you are ever in the Charlotte area, please come visit our church, we would love to see you. May God bless you this Christmas!
Much like a lot of bloggers write about their favorite books or movies or their Hero of the Day (I won’t mention any names, Steven). I decided to have a recipe of the week column. So here is something I doctored up from November’s Southern Living magazine. They called it Chicken Soppa, I call it Mexican Chicken and Dumplings.
2 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1/2 of a rotisserie chicken (meat pulled apart)
1 packet of taco chicken seasoning
1 clove garlic (pressed)
8-10 fajita size tortillas
1 8oz block of sharp cheddar cheese shredded
Combine first 6 ingredients on stove top. Heat on high until for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Tear tortillas into dumpling size pieces and add to mixture. Stirring every few tortillas. Add cheese. Pour mixture into baking dish, top with extra cheese if desired. Cook at 350 until bubbly. This was delicious! (You can also add a can of tomatoes with diced chilies for extra flavor.) Enjoy!
I have made a goal to read part of the Christmas story once a day this season. Well I have not been very successful in doing it every day (I have actually only done it a few times) but every time I read, the Lord really speaks to me.
In Matthew 2, I read the story of the wise men coming to see Jesus. We know from history that this was not actually the night Jesus was born, the bible says that the wise men came to the house where the Child was (a relief to me that they didn’t live in the stable too long). After they left, the Bible says that an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him to get up and flee to Egypt. And Joseph did it. In the middle of the night. He moved his family to Egypt.
What an act of obedience and quite a display of faith too. It made me wonder if I would be willing to do the same. Obey God when He told me to do something. I know God is not going to ask me to move in the middle of the night. Forget about the big things. There are lots of small things God has asked me to be obedient to, things I don’t always do. Its funny, I expect my son to obey me, I wonder if God is often as frustrated with me as I am with Elijah.
When I have told my son for the millionth time to stop touching the buttons on the TV, I must say sometimes I get frustrated. It makes me wonder what areas in my life is God frustrated with me about? Like being kind to my husband and son, talking bad about others, or even just living my life so consumed with myself that I forget there are hurting people around me every day that might just need some patience from me when I am in their check out line.
I guess the point is before God can trust me to do big things for Him, He has to see that I can do the small things too.
I have decided that as much as possible I want to have small town perks while living in a big city. Let me explain…
Elijah had to go to the Dr. today and get his flu shot. When we walk into the doctor’s office, they all know Elijah. I don’t know if they know my name but I don’t care. The receptionists and the nurses all ooh and ahh over Elijah. They even let him go back behind the counter. Why do we receive this treatment, well the main reason is because we were there 2-3 times a month last winter because of Elijah’s ears. But we also always see the same doctor. He is not the most popular doctor in the practice and I am glad because anytime Elijah is sick he can see us with a few hours. The doctor knows my son and his issues therefore I feel we get better care. So even though we go to a large practice, if I see the same doctor every time, I get small town treatment. I do this at my own doctors too.
I try to go to the same places of service every time as long as I like their service. I don’t hop around to different dry cleaners, drug stores, banks or even grocery stores. I like for people to know my face but even more than that, I like to see familiar faces in the places I go. I missed Mamie this week when she didn’t bring my groceries out to the car.
I love living in Charlotte. I love all of the restaurants, the shopping malls, and all of the amenities that come with a big city. I hate the traffic but I know it could be worse (I could work a 9-5 job and have to drive in at the worst time every day). And I refuse to let living in a big city make me feel like a number in a mass rather than a person.
This weekend Elijah and I hitched a ride with my mom and sister up to Virgina. Both of my grandmothers live there. It was great to visit.
Can I just say though that it is absolutely exhuasting to take a toddler to a house that is not toddler friendly. I was so tired of following Elijah around and taking things from him. Why is it that grandmothers have so much glass stuff? They have glass knick-nacks, glass doors on their cabinets, glass table top covers (is that what you call those things?), things I never even noticed the thousands of times I have been in these houses.
So for all of you who have toddlers, my heart goes out to this Christmas season as you travel to visit loved ones. Some advice, bring lots of DVDs!
And for all of you who do not have toddlers but will have one visit you this season… Please put all of your stuff away. Realize that if there are no toys at your house, the children will play with all of your calculators, TV remotes, phones, keys, and anything else that you don’t want them to. Also realize that a little drool never hurt anything.
And one more thing I would like to say for all of the moms out there. If your guests with children are staying a few days, there is nothing better than for you to offer to let the mom go do something on her own for a while. Even if she doesn’t take you up on it, she still loves the offer! (A special thanks to Mom, Melanie and Joy)
I thought I was watching my son this morning. I was in my bathroom blowdrying my hair (of course I was). He was in the my bedroom watching Elmo (of course he was). I peeked around the corner to check on him and this is what I saw…
The other day I found him sitting in my bathroom sink (picture in photo album). What am I going to do with this child? My mom says Elijah has great problem solving skills. Other people say he is determined or he is persistent. All these things are great traits when you are an adult but I am learning that for a baby these traits can be down right dangerous. I pray that I can keep him from killing himself before he gets to use these traits in a positive way.
Elijah and I are going to Virginia today to visit my grandmothers for Christmas. Don’t you wish you could watch Sesame Street in the car for 3 hours? Have a great weekend! More pictures of Elijah from this morning in his folder.
Until I started blogging I would always get on to my husband for his novella size entries. So I am going to keep this one short and dedicate it to my husband.
My big sister has followed in my footsteps and created a blog of her own. It is pretty funny. She has 3 children under age 3 that alone sounds like some good entries. To add to that she recently moved to Bismarck, North Dakota where it can be dangerous to have your skin exposed to the open air for too long this time of year.
Read her blog, Macaroni n Cheese its funny.
Baby, am I the hero of the day for having a short entry ;)?