Thursday, October 30, 2014

$10 OR LESS

Fall decorations, Halloween candy, plastic pumpkins and Christmas decorations - all within a few feet of each other! 


Christmas decorations have been in the stores for a month now but I've been mentally shopping for the holidays much longer than that. I'm one of 'those people' that shop all year long. Some years that's easier to do than others but if I find something that catches my eye, I buy it whether it's February or August. Otherwise I get completely overwhelmed when I wait until the last minute to shop (I've done that before  and I'd rather not do it again).

I know you can each relate when I say that we are inundated by gifts gifts and more gifts during the holidays. In all honesty there are only a few things I can remember receiving once the Christmas rush has passed. We spend a ridiculous amount of money on all this 'stuff' and no one can recall what they've gotten by the next day!

So this year I'm trying something different. This year I am spending $10 or less on each person. (Yes, it is possible.) It forced me to put some real thought into what I'm giving each person.
(**This rule does not apply to my grandkids. But I am cutting back on the amount of gifts I'm buying them**)

I'm not doing this to be a scrooge or to be a tight wad. I'm doing it because each year I look back and figure up the amount of money spent and I see this pile of 'stuff' and many times it ends up in the closet for months before I use it or I see it on my kid's garage sale and it's just crazy that I buy things simply because I feel like I need more presents under the tree. 

I'd love to share what gifts I'm getting for everyone but those same people will be reading this blog, so that will have to wait until after the presents are opened. I'll be sure to share them with you though.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BOOK SHARE

Left to Tell; Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, is the story of Immaculee Ilibagiza, who lived through 1994 Rwandan genocide while hiding silently in a bathroom of a local pastor for 91 days while people hunted for her.

In a bathroom ... 3 foot by 4 foot...hiding silently....for 91 days....with seven other women...listening to the screams of those being massacred.

Each day she focused on prayer as a way to survive. She prayed to drown out the anger and outrage she felt about the inhumane things happening to her people and to her country.
 
When she emerged from the bathroom she weighed 65 pounds. 

It is impossible to imagine the things the Rwandan people went through and yet the accounts of the atrocities exist in details of the survivors. 

This is one of the most powerful stories I've ever read and it would be futile for me to attempt to imagine a human being experiencing what she endured.

The author and survivor of Left to Tell, Immaculee Ilibagiza, will be speaking in our town in a few weeks. I'm incredibly humbled to be able to listen to her speak of God, faith, and the forgiveness she found toward the people who murdered her family.


**

Listening to smooth jazz music while finishing up Christmas shopping on Amazon.


A great way to spend time this afternoon.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

GRATEFUL



As we head further into fall, the leaves are taking leave of the trees and I’m grateful for the chilly mornings and the burst of crimson from the burning bushes along our home.  I love the crispness in the air of the mornings, the warmth of the afternoons and the return of the chill when the sun begins is descent in the evening. 

I observe how plants and trees change, sometimes harshly, sometimes so gently that you don’t notice the changes until one day you look up and see the streaks of orange in the verdant leaves. 

The transition in the life cycle is taken for granted yet exceptional when given thought. Considering this helps me appreciate each person I encounter and realize we are each exceptional in God’s plan.