tis the season

So I just noticed that it has been A LONG TIME since I last posted - a fact for which I apologize; however, this time of the year gets so incredibly busy for us.  It seems that the two weeks we get off for Christmas (working for a school system has its perks!) is busier than the school year.  Perhaps that is because Candace and I put off things such as errands or lunch dates with friends until we are out of school and end up needing a vacation for the vacation!  Okay so off the soap box for now... sorry sometimes I get a little caught up.

I am particularly excited about my family receiving the gifts we bought for them this year - I love to give presents.  This year we tapped into our crafty kathy sides as well as our love for all things vintage for inspiration for our gifts.  I will post more after Christmas as some of my family might actually read this, but I want to tell you about the gift we got for Poppy(what Madi calls our Dad!) as he doesn't have facebook.  We found this piece that we bought just because it looked interesting, and after some research found out that it is a valet stand similar to the one below but with a lighter wood finish.

He has this love for all things vintage as well, and I think/hope he will love it.  Isn't it fabulous?  I adore it.  It wasn't terribly expensive, but its something he will appreciate and use.  We try to give really meaningful and thoughtful gifts - something that makes us think of the person who is to receive the gift.  

Speaking of giving, our church is doing a series now called "Radical Generosity," and it has seriously challenged me to be more giving.  I know my first instinct and yours as well is to think of money, but its also other things - time, love, yourself.  I have personally been challenged to my very core and have made a commitment to begin this journey towards being more giving in every aspect of my life.  Every journey begins with simple steps, and mine has begun like this -
1.  Money - to be faithful with my tithes and a better steward of the monetary gifts entrusted to me because sometimes money is a vessel of grace of God for people.  Hold on before you think I am crazy - money is grace when you are out of work and need diapers and groceries, money is grace when people are starving half a world a way, and money is grace when you have no electricity and no money to pay the light bill, and on and on.  The grace of God often has very practical hands and feet.
2.  Love - to be more loving in general but specifically with my children at work.  It breaks my heart to think that I may be the only one who shows them love during the day. 
3. My Story - you can read all about the struggles and successes of my story in this blog, but I want to use my story to show people Christ - I am not sure exactly what that looks like in the day to day, other than this blog.
4.  Life - This story I have been given is not over, and I really want it to be a great story so I want each day to be with purpose and meaningful.  I am a firm believer that everything that happens to you is a tool  that you can use in your personal ministry/story.  The struggles I have been through were not pleasant at the moment, but I have been so incredibly blessed to be able share the lessons I have learned through them.  I want my life to be a blessing to others.

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
(Genesis 12:1-2 ESV)

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