Happy New Year!

"Count no day lost in which you waited your turn, took only your share and sought advantage over no one." ~Robert Brault

I'm not a great resolution-maker, but I think I'm going to take the above quote and use it as my mantra for the new year. No one could have put it better: to wait my turn, to take only my share and seek advantage over no one describes perfectly the kind of person I want to be.

So, we are excited for 2012! This past year wasn't our best year, I don't think: {some hard things, some expensive things, some unexplainable things etc. etc.} although there were definitely some happy things, some fun things and much love and joy as well. I am excited to see what 2012 brings. And if I turn Robert Brault's criteria for a productive day into my own goals for the year, it will be a good one for me growth-wise.

Welcome, 2012!


It's Christmas!

"You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father's face and tell him you have received His Christmas gift." ~John R. Rice

Here it is almost Christmas eve {already!} and I wanted to take a minute to reflect and be grateful, once again, for the most precious Christmas gift ever given. And it was given to each of us: to all of us!

Jesus was not only the baby born under miraculous circumstances, nor was He only a master teacher. He was an exemplar, a friend, a guide, and probably most important, He is the one who willingly carried the burden of our sins, our pains, our fears, our frustrations: He is the one who understands our every fear, our heartbreak, and every feeling that we have had or will have. And because He carried those burdens for us, our yokes are easy and our burdens are light.

I am so grateful for His miraculous birth that we celebrate at Christmas but more, I am grateful for His life, His death, and His atoning sacrifice which is His all-encompassing gift to each of us: the prospect of eternal life.

Let earth receive her king! Let each of us receive our king!

Merry Christmas!

beautiful picture by Liz Lemon Swindle


Happy Anniversary!

"Sometimes two people stay together for the sake of the kids -- two kids who sat under a full moon and pledged to be forever true." ~Robert Brault

I am a real fan of Robert Brault. He has a gift of words that I wish I had. Since I don't, I enjoy his gift and the above quote has been on my mind ever since I read it. I suspect it's because we (Mark and I) are nearly ready (on Dec. 21) to celebrate our (gulp!) 37th anniversary.

I was just telling our Natalie that back when we were dating (when we were those kids!), I wasn't particularly careful, cautious or prayerful about who I chose. I just got lucky and fell in love with the right man. And I was equally lucky that he fell in love with me, too.

We have had a huge variety of experiences together as we have zig-zagged back and forth across the country. Life has been full of learning together -- through all kinds of experiences, some wonderful and some not so great. I am so grateful for him in my life. He has been and continues to be the constant that I lean on in every circumstance. There are things we have been through together that I could not have handled without him.

Mark is smart, funny, spiritually in tune, a hard worker, devoted to his family, a great dad and a super wonderful Grandpa. (Who else would not only go along with regular phone calls to his office line during working hours so that a precious 3 year old can hear him say "Hi, Simey!" but be thrilled with the opportunity?!) He works so hard for us and would do anything for anyone who needed his help.

I am grateful that when we met, I was behaving well enough that he wanted to be with me as much as I wanted to be with him. And that now, knowing what he knows about me (37 years worth, and it's not all good!), I feel blessed that he's willing to go on - -as far as we can go -- together.

And I get to keep him. I am blessed, for sure.