Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In a nutshell!

So the rush is over and Christmas was awesome! I am so happy that I got to see all the ones I love and I am so thankful for each gift received. I did not want it to end. You can just feel the spirit during Christmas. Everyone is cheerful and merry! It makes me feel so peaceful.

Now that Christmas is over, I guess my immune system shut down. I have a stupid head cold and it is no fun at all! There are so many other things that I would rather be doing instead of sitting on the couch with tissues, water, vapor rub, and the remote control. I am really starting to get some major cabin fever.

So I figured to help occupy my time I would post some pics of Christmas for your viewing pleasure. Christmas this year in the Clark household was held Christmas Eve-Eve. My husband had to work Christmas Eve and we had plans to be at my moms Christmas morning, so we celebrated sharing our gifts with one another earlier(which is not unusual for us-we are too much like kids)

So with a tight budget we were forced to become more creative. Let me just say that my husband out-did me by a thousand. I have wanted a pot rack for years now and I got one for Christmas. I have looked over the past three years for one to suit my needs and my taste...each rack fell short (especially for the price). However, when my husband walked in with my long awaited Pot Rack, I literally SOBBED...not cried, not shed a few tears...but, sobbed!!! I was so overwhelmed with joy and awed at the beauty of this thing he was presenting to me. He took time from his busy life and MADE me a pot rack...and it is more beautiful than any I have ever seen.

Here it is "wrapped"

Now here it is hanging

And now up close

He did a GREAT job, huh?

And!!!!! That is not all he made. He also made a checkers board game for my step dad and the family. See:

He is so talented! I love it~

This is Christmas Day at mom's house. I made all my nieces and nephews a video of a trip we took earlier this year to the beach. They loved it. My oldest nephew said "You need to be a producer" Don't you just adore was far from perfect...but they loved it. "Looks like a youtube video" they This is us watching it. Notice in the bottom right corner the kid passed out on the floor. Christmas is tiring, I tell you!

And here I am opening up a gift. Notice the expression, I must have loved it, huh?
And finally, one of my hubby and I...he looks thrilled to have his picture taken!!!

So in a nutshell, this was my Christmas. Of course, there are tons of other family members involved.....However, my husband nor my nieces and nephews can win at fights with me of having their pictures publicly posted. My mom and sis would kill me...that is why they aren't on here. But oh how cute they were in their pajamas and messy bed hair!!!

Looking forward to a new year, now!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh! Yeah!

So I woke this morning before six o’clock and sleepy-eyed, let the dog out to potty. I walked to the coffee pot and attempted to make a pot of coffee without spilling any water or coffee grounds. As I tried to make my way to the coffee pot, I noticed the sink was overflowing with dishes that had food stuck to it. It looked as if the plates were trying to grow produce.
(Who let them sit there for two days? Ewwww)
So I emptied and loaded the dishwasher as the coffee was brewing.
Scratch, Scratch, Scratch…woof woof (translation: mama, it’s cold outside…let me in!!!!)
After letting the dog in I proceeded with fixing that much needed cup of coffee with extra sugar and half-n-half. Two sips and my eyes were opened. (looove making coffee strong) My blurry vision became clearer and I instantly wished I was still groggy. With clear eyes, I noticed my home was a WRECK!!!!
I ran about making the bed, vacuuming, dusting, putting away clothes, straightening the mess, cleaning the bathrooms, and spraying some Apple-Cider air-freshener throughout….Deeeeeeeep Breath…..ahhhh!!!
I sat down and proceeded to make the following:
Christmas to-do List:
1. Finish buying gifts
2. Wrap all gifts
3. Bake goodies to deliver
4. Try to stay sane
5. Mail Christmas cards (less than a week left before Christmas…gotta hurry)
6. Clean a few more houses next week
7. Remember to breathe
8. Determine what food to take to parties
9. Spend some time with friends
10. Try to stay sane
11. Finish watching my Christmas movies
12. Remember to Breathe
13. Deliver appetizers to the Fire Department Christmas Eve

Yep, that sounds like all.
But something was missing. I forgot one thing??? The edginess I felt couldn't disprove that I had forgotten something…. Let’s see…hmmm…okay
Woke up? – Check
Let the dog out to potty? – check
Coffee? – check
Clean home?- check


I reached over, grabbed the handy “one click turn-er on-er” my hubby got for our tree and clicked “on”

Suddenly my home was filled with bright Christmas lights and shiny, sparkly ornaments emanated delight. But something else was still wrong….

I felt a (figurative) tap on my shoulder.

God- “Good morning, Rachel! Busy this morning, huh?”
(Thought) Great! Got caught again!!!! – see November 24th entry
Rachel- “Yes, Lord…trying to wake up and get my day started.”
God- “I see that. I see that you are antsy, too”
Rachel- “yes, Lord…I am…I was feeling like something was missing and so glad you popped in to remind me.” (spoken with a fake niceness…see, I don’t like the Lord reminding me that I forgot Him, makes me feel bad)
God- “OK, well, I just wanted to let you know that I am still here and if you want to feel calmer, you know what to do.”
Rachel- “Yes, Lord…thank you”

Immediately I prayed, thoughts filling my mind. Thanking God for answering the prayers I asked last night and praying for the day ahead. Once I was done, I felt whole again and everything was in place.

This morning reminded me of what happens so often during this season. Of course, there are people who celebrate the “holiday” only- you know, those who don’t celebrate the Christ-child. Joyful with their lives filled with all the shopping, baking, presents, parties, etc… then becoming frazzled and stressed and anxious and all… and not really knowing why.

It came to my mind that I too, was beginning to get to that point and I needed a break. To stop and remember why the house was messy and why my tree was in the corner and to remember why the nativity scene on my table was there. It’s Christmas!!!
The most wonderful time of the year, for me.
I am so glad the Lord reminded me that putting Him before all this business is important. Without Him, all of this running about makes no sense and this getting frazzled is really silly. It is useless and unnecessary.
So #1 thing now on my to-do list is: make time with God first and foremost at the start of each day. I know by doing this, I will remember what this season means. I am thankful the Lord is in my life and for the reminders He gives me. Without Him, Christmas just would not be Christmas.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas

The night’s sky shone one bright star.
Unseen angels surrounding;
Weary travelers-
Filled with hope; holding on to a promise.
Two millennium ago…

A journey foretold by God.
Scared, frightened and alone;
Mary and Joseph-
wondering, searching and praying
God’s mercy; He would show…

In search of safety;
Seeking security-
a place to lie.
A voyage to deliver
A babe…
A lowly stable
presenting a prophecy;
A little child with one great aspiration
God’s people to save…
Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Spirit Gift

One of the most memorable Christmases I remember was a Christmas full of giving. Each year I would gather my girlfriends together at my home for a get together. We usually would bring a gift and play Stingy Santa. (If you never played, you bring a gift, write the amount of numbers as there are people, draw a number and pick presents in the order of the number you have. If you got a higher number than the person before you, you could choose if you wanted to pull a gift from the pile or steal a person’s gift who went before you if you liked their gift a lot)
Anyway, one year I asked the women to bring $10 a piece instead of a gift. We had appetizers and chatted for a while. Then we all loaded up and went shopping for coats until the money ran out and delivered them to a local school. I think we received more of a blessing than the children who received the free coats for the winter. We each were moved by the gift of giving.
There are so many people in need each and every day. Right now I know people who are in jeopardy of losing their home and people who are in great pain and can’t afford a doctor’s visit. I know people who need groceries, warm clothes, or those who can’t afford to provide a Christmas for their children. Each year there are people who go in debt shopping above their means for Christmas. They start the day after Thanksgiving and they don’t stop until the day before Christmas. I say this because before that has been me. But, that Christmas of giving, I learned something important; giving to those less fortunate is more of a gift than anyone could ever imagine. It changed my attitude and the way I gave for Christmases to come.
This year, I wish above ALL that along with sharing God’s love with others, that I could provide for a child or family again. I would love to be able to help some of these people I know, but financially, I am not in a place to do that. And it has made me reevaluate the way I spent money in the past. God has taught me a valuable lesson.
Now that I am in a different situation financially than in the past due to my husband’s long and unexpected lay off, I am thirsting more now than ever; to give. I know this season in our life will pass and I am grateful for this struggle. I thank God for it; because, it has opened my eyes to the changes I will make in my life when God guides us back to financial blessings.
What I can offer of myself this year is my time, God’s love and the message of Christmas. I am thankful for this opportunity God has given me to reevaluate my past habits and change them for the better. I challenge you; if you are able financially to help someone this year, please do. Whether it is a small gift or a large one, I know that if someone needs it….it doesn’t matter how much you can do….it will bless their lives!!! And, I promise the blessing in your spirit that you will receive will be greater than you could ever imagine.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

What I am thankful for this time of year:

Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows
Warm PJ's
Electric Blanket
Christmas tree
My lighted Nativity Scene
Christmas Music
My ornaments from Callaway Gardens
Heated car seats
Christmas movies
Watching "Little Women" each year when cold weather hits

But above all of this, I am most thankful for my Lord and Savior. Each year our tradition is to put the Christmas Tree up the day after Thanksgiving (although due to my hubby's work schedule this year we had to put it up the day before) Anyway, we trim the tree, move furniture around, place the lights and ornaments, play Christmas music, fix hot chocolate and decorate the house in and out with all the Christmas decorations. But my most favorite part of decorating my tree is the King's Crown Tree Topper I place on the tree. A lady I used to work with made them by hand and gave me one. I have placed this on my tree now for nine years.

Now, most people would think...aren't we supposed to be celebrating Christ's birth? Yes.
So, why are you placing a symbol of His death and suffering on your tree? Because just as the poem that goes along with the tree topper says "to place this crown for all to see, the kind of King that He would be"
Placing this topper on my tree reminds me of WHY we celebrate Christ's birth this day. It is because of what He did for us to provide a hope and peace.

Luke 2: 11 "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you..."
Savior means: One who helps a person achieve Salvation. Christ's birth led to His teaching, His healing, His love and compassion. His birth led to the selfless sacrifice of His life, which gives us eternal salvation.

While during this season, the feel and beauty of the Christ Child's birth is Holy and Reverent, I still remember the eternal gift His life left for me.
Remember during the rush of shopping and going, going, pause and reflect on the reason we celebrate December 25th. Christ the Savior was born. He then chose to die for our sins, and He was resurrected for our chance at an eternal life with Him in Heaven. "O Holy Night!"