Things happen in life over which we have no control. It’s the way we respond to those things that determines where we will go next. The song Just Breathe, by Jonny Diaz says, “Breathe, just breathe. Come and rest at my feet and be, just be. Chaos calls but all you really need is to just breathe.” It reminds us who is in control and that the only response we should have to whatever is happening in in our lives is to just be with Him. There are times that we just need to take a deep breath, breathe in who God is and breathe out all of the negativity in our lives. Just breathe. My middle daughter has a tattoo on her wrist with the single word “breathe” to remind her of just this simple act that we can easily take for granted. Breathing is a part of who we are, it is something that we do without thinking, but if we stop and concentrate on it, let it soothe us, it can be as easy as taking a long deep breath to calm our selves and remove ourselves from the chaos that surrounds us. He is waiting. Just breathe.
Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is breathe.
Control is something that I have spent a lot of time trying to gain. From a young age I think I felt that life was out of my control and I was determined to correct that. I was a perfectionist in a lot of areas. I wanted to do my best, but never felt that my best was good enough to please others. I would make bargains and try my best, but yet again I would come up short of the goal that I set for myself and had assured others I could reach. These bargains were attempts to find acceptance. They were ways of proving my value. They were ways of changing the way others felt about me so that maybe I would be loved. Of course those things never made me feel accepted, valuable or loved. After years of trying to find those things in people, I now know that they only come from God. He has shown me very vividly in recent months that I am His and that not only is He enough, but I am enough. It’s an amazing feeling to give up the control I have fought so hard for years to maintain, and let God be the ruler of my life. There is a peace in knowing that the God of the Universe, the King of Kings, is my Father and that He is in control of not only my life, but the lives of my family, the lives of others who might seek to pull me down or destroy me, and the lives of those who strive to build me up. He is in control. I can let go.
Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is control.
Knowing that you are enough and that God is enough means thanking Him even when you’re in the middle of the journey. It means knowing that you are on the right path even when you cannot see the light at the end of the way. It is being alright with who you are and who He is creating you to be. It does not mean that it is always going to be a comfortable place; growing pains are not comfortable. They are, however, necessary to get you to where you are ultimately destined to be. You have every tool you need to succeed. God has made you for a purpose, and becoming that purpose should be your ultimate goal in life. I am capable of doing and being everything for which I was created. I am enough for the pitfalls as well as the victories I will face along the way. Sharing my story, even in the middle of that journey, is my job. It is the expectation of God that I share with others who may be walking along a similar path, in order to lift their faith and build their courage in who they are and who they will become. We are always growing. We are always climbing. We are always in the middle of something, even when we are not sure where it will lead or if it will ever have an end. God is in control, even in the middle. So, thank Him where you are, for what you have overcome, for what you have learned, and for what you have yet to see before you.
Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is Middle.
There are some who feel like the Elf of the Shelf is not an appropriate holiday tradition for various reasons. Some feel that children should be disciplined enough to behave well everyday without the incentive that Santa and his elves are watching them. Others feel it takes away from the true meaning of Christmas. In our house, we have two elves, Peppermint Snow for my granddaughter, and Jingle for the boys. They arrive on the youngest boys birthday the week of Thanksgiving in November bearing a birthday gift with a cupcake and candle. When the kids are especially good, they may bring a special treat. They stay throughout December, including celebrating the oldest boys birthday with a gift and cupcake for him, and leave on Christmas eve when Santa arrives with gifts and takes them back to the North Pole. It’s fun for the whole family and it is a little bit of incentive for the children, but not so much that they are only good when then elves are visiting. I believe it gives them something tangible to associate with making good choices. It’s a jumping off point to remind them the rest of the year that Jesus is always with us and that we should be kind and good to each other, just as Jesus is to us. So, for us, we will continue to tradition of the elves visiting until the youngest out grows it, and even then, I’m sure they’ll still be hanging around to decorate the tree or something.
Decorating cookies at my house consists of purchasing a gingerbread kit with all the icing, candy and cookies ready to go. (Only a few times in my life have I made gingerbread cookies from scratch!) The parts and pieces are divided between my middle daughter, Chailey, who has much more patience for this than I will ever have, and how ever many children are at the house that day, typically at least 3, but often more. Some years there have been additional adult children or their friends who have joined in the fun. Forever a kid at heart, right?
The best part of decorating Christmas cookies is watching the kids put on the icing. They spread a little, then lick the knife, spread a little more, then lick again. Putting on the candy with their now sticky little fingers follows a similar protocol: a piece for the cookie, a piece in their mouth. By the time they complete their masterpiece, no one has any interest in eating it other than the creator.
Thankfully Chailey’s cookies are edible and available for bystanders, but they are typically too beautiful to consider eating. So, they stay under glass on the cake stand, acting as holiday decor for at least a few days before they are gone.
They are all so proud of their work, they cannot wait for someone to take a picture of it, and no one dare take a picture before they have completed it. Even if I tried, the picture would have their hand, arm or whole body plastered across it. They are quite serious about their cookies.
The final tradition in cookie decorating at our house is having their picture taken eating the cookie. This is a must! They even check the picture after it is taken to be sure their vision is appropriately captured. Christmas at our house would not be complete without cookies, but more importantly, without the smiles on these sticky, icing covered faces!