Category Archives: Empty Nest

And so that was Christmas <3

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I contemplated taking this week off from posting, but realized that it was not a good idea for two reasons. One is my concern for you and one is my concern for me. 

Throughout this past month-plus as we seemed to embrace the holidays in a new and powerful way, I have wondered if the renewed gratitude for the joy of the season due to the past year of isolation and pain would also mean an enhanced post holiday let-down for many. 

We have done 2020 in an odd kind of camaraderie with each other on social media or via text messages and zoom calls. Every country around the globe has been affected and it has been quite a ride of upheaval and angst and sorrow and yet sharing laughter and ways we see God at work. 

So as we move from the lights and anticipation of what Christmas 2020 looked like, I want to share my own place of temptation. It is not sorrow that would be my fall back emotion after I take the trim down and resume trying to figure out this pandemic/politically devisive/economically shaky world we still have as we usher in 2021. 

No, the telltale sign of a dangerous spiral for me is a numbness.

A spiritual and emotional numbness.

I have felt too much in 2020. And while I have enjoyed feeling hope and joy and anticipation of Christ’s return to the full extent of Advent….while I have enjoyed the happiness of actually seeing all three of our children in various settings with masking and social distancing where needed and not all together at once but at least once each…piled on top of my realization of how many are hurting and how much this year has taken from so many, I am sensing a shutting down. 

All the feelings of this past year have crowded together in a culmination of too much of everything and for someone who has experienced a couple of bouts of depression, the concern is not grief that it is over but a kind of flat line of the soul. 

I am speaking to just a few, I know. There are many who are busily taking down the trim and moving on to the typical purging and reset of a new year with purpose and efficiency. 

Good on you. 

You keep the world moving and those of us who struggle to keep their footing in change are grateful for you.

No, today I speak to those who are feeling like you could cry and yet no tears fall. The reservoir of deep feeling has been hit hard. And it might seem a relief to not be feeling, but I urge you to take this as an alert that you need to develop some healthy habits right now so your soul can heal and your heart can feel appropriately as we enter into the new year. 

Rest. 

Eat well. 

Nourish your mind with God’s Word. 

Don’t escape to entertainment or scrolling to fill the void. Our books and viewing should be icing on a cake, not our main diet. 

When the dark thoughts start, truly force your mind to think of all the things you are grateful for. 

Get outside even for a few minutes. Bundle up and get some fresh air and fill your vision with God’s beautiful creation. 

Reach out to others, prayerfully ask God who you can serve with a phone call or a card.

Practice breath prayers – simple sentence prayers that can refocus your mind. 

I am using one I picked up in our church sermon a few week’s ago from our associate pastor, Brian Talty.

“Change our minds, so Jesus can change our hearts, so we can, with Your help, change our direction.” 

Brian Talty, sermon “Overflow”, November 8, 2020 https://www.firstdecatur.org/messages/overflow/

It is a short prayer and one I can remember when my mind is starting to spiral away from healthy thoughts. 

Continue to do the disciplines that you know promote health in your mind, body and spirit. 

May God bless you today, my friend. 

The world needs your whole self doing what God placed you here to do.

Whether this spoke to you or not, I hope you will return for the remainder of the week. I want to share some positives from 2020 to brighten your day and remind you of the good God has done for us <3

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And that would be a wrap on November <3

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The end of the Thanksgiving-palooza.

The end of November.

The end of my computer as we knew it…and the hope that the marvelous Geek Squad at Best Buy can keep the old girl running long enough to transfer all my words and photos onto the new one.

The end of the hope that I was going to get a November newsletter pulled together and sent out to you email subscribers over the weekend.

And new beginnings of December ! Yes!! Let’s get this Journey to Christmas started tomorrow with a new countdown. Hoping you will join me on a very special 25 days of Christmas look at a very non traditional holiday walk through 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

We start tomorrow so I really hope you will join me for a sweet little get away during this month and find encouragement with me in the teachings of these two short books <3

But before we leave November behind, here is a recap of our festivities:

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A friend posted a super cute fruit kabob turkey on her Facebook page and we took on the challenge.

I knew ours would take on a whole new level of freestyle art. They had fun, we ate fruit til it ran out our ears and no one got hurt so….a good time was had by all.

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I made these Pumpkin Crock Pot Cinnamon rolls for the second time and they were delicious and easy.

So here is the recipe. There is a typo of 12 tsp of Baking Soda which would be so awful so I tried to correct with some fancy editing…enjoy

I THINK this is a link to same recipe…https://www.bhg.com/recipe/slow-cooker-pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls/

Our little family of six joined us for brunch on Thanksgiving day and we actually got a picture with all four kiddos and us facing the camera and smiling.

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So much fun and then they headed off to Zach’s family celebration and we rested before having our Covid Buddy friends for dinner.

No pictures, but it was so good…we opted for beef tenderloin this year and let me tell you…I didn’t miss the turkey carcass clean up one bit.

We did, however, manage to overeat … because some traditions are necessary to mark the holiday.

On Saturday we took a good hike at one of the local parks with some friends and it was so beautiful and sunny…again no pictures…take my word for it.

Being outdoors in the last mild days of this season were good for the soul so we talked this party of six into another hike on Sunday…

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They were still long enough for me to snap a picture but this was more how it went down…

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and as we were saying our goodbyes, Little Miss Thing said we needed a picture of the “girls”…

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Best. Day. Ever.

See you tomorrow for the Countdown 2020 style!!!

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Technology woes, Shingles prevention and some randoms of the grands…must be Thursday <3

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Good morning!

I am over here trying to still master some computer glitches and I don’t want to bore you with the details but I do want to thank you for your patience.

Technology is wonderful when it works and sooooo frustrating when it doesn’t.

We have had a busy week with our kiddos and for fun in the middle of this pandemic, Russ and I went to get our Shingles Vaccine yesterday. Both of us have sore arms and I ended up with shivers last night and all of that is so fun when you know that the symptoms of a reaction are twinsies with Covid symptoms.

Sigh.

So to brighten your day and to get something out there before I move on with my good friends at Apple Care to figure out what is going on with my computer…here are some randoms for you of some of our favorite people.

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This photo is a lovely artsy one I took when Graham was a little fellow helping Papi rake leaves. He was here last week and decided to rake while Russ was working in his office.

I told him about this cute picture I had of him throwing leaves up in the air when he was about four years old.

He decided to do a 9 year old reenactment.

Please … look at his face. I about died laughing.

It’s hard to have them growing up and then they do things that are so witty and I realize the fun is just taking on new levels as they grow and mature and come into who they will be <3

Like when I went for my 20 minute run and he scootered next to me chatting away and at one point asking me if I was in my beast mode yet. It’s hard to run when you are laughing so hard.

Then we had this one for an overnight.

He had his morning devotions while I had mine.

I may have loved this so much.

He also wanted to make fire starters from our supplies of lint and toilet paper rolls.

He is industrious to say the least.

This one is lobbying for an overnight next:

And talked me into bringing some of our leftover Baghetti while he waits patiently for his turn.

He is missing the fun of preschool this year and his parents are doing spinning plates as they educate the two older ones whilst keeping the two little ones on track.

I discovered they kind of like arts and crafts…

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Sure love this little turkey.

And then there is our girl child.

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Who is all about pink and unicorns and bows and bling…but when you have three older brothers….

Your purse sometimes has a little edge to it.

Okay

That’s all I have.

I am feeling better as the day wears on so miles to go before I sleep.

Hope you are doing well…

You are loved <3

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