November 2012 archive

Not Yet Ready for December + Monthly Goals

I know I should be overjoyed that December is tomorrow, but I am not yet. December will be wonderfully, beautifully full… but I feel like I need to prepare more before it comes. I need to get more organized. Come up with a plan.

Isn’t that how we feel approaching God sometimes? That we need to prepare before entering his presence? We need to clean up our lives, finish a to do list before approaching? Sometimes what need most is to just simply enter. Allow him to give us the rest we are looking for, way before we get our act together. That’s the very purpose he entered our lives. So that through the love shown by his life, death and resurrection, we can boldly approach God and receive the rest and daily need he promises.

So, whether I like it or not, the hustle and bustle of the season has already began. Doesn’t it feel like it started after Halloween this year? I may not be ready, but that’s ok. I don’t have to be! God will provide the rest and energy I need on a daily basis, just as he promised.

On a lighter note, here are some of my goals for this month.

  • Wrap all of my presents by December 20
  • Run, run, run! Last month of marathon training.
  • Go to Disney World with J’s family :)
  • Finish reading one book
  • Watch our favorite holiday movies
  • Sit down with J and develop our 2013 budget
  • Finish decorating my guest room
  • Have a holly, jolly Christmas!
I told you it was a beautifully full month! What goals do you have this month? Are you ready for December or feel you need some more time?

PS – In case you’re wondering, I finished 8 out of the 9 November goals I set last month. Still have some more gifts to buy, but almost done!
PPS – Want to see more goals? Here were my December goals in 2011, 2010, and 2009.

DIY Holiday Garland

This holiday season, J and I decided to keep things simple and not get a big Christmas tree. It was a hard decision, because I love a good tree to light up the living room, but we will be out of town for a week in December and our apartment is so small there really isn’t a great place for one to go anyways. So we are using my old Charlie Brown tree that I bought in college when our crammed 600-square foot four-bedroom apartment needed a little holiday cheer:

It will do for us this year. But after setting it up, it was a little depressing how just a corner had twinkle lights and the rest of our home was dark. So I decided to improvise and create a space-saving way to light up on our home with some DIY holiday garland.

It was the easiest project. To make it you’ll need fabric or ribbons, scissors, and a string of lights (12 foot strand is perfect). To assemble it, cut your ribbon or fabric to about 5 to 8 inches, depending on how long you prefer. Tie the ribbon around the string of lights, about five or six ribbons between each bulb. (Note: it helps immensely if you are watching a Christmas moving on TV while you are cutting and tying. I was watching Home Alone.:) Then hang and enjoy!

I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. I wanted a little more modern look, so I chose green, red, pink, silver, blue and gold ribbon. It was such an easy way to bring more holiday cheer to our small home, and perhaps one day when we have a fireplace it can grace the mantle. The whole project cost me $8 — $3 for the string of lights and $5 for the six spools of ribbon.

Are you getting a Christmas tree this year?
Do you decorate your home with garland?
What affordable ideas do you have for decorating your home this season?

Happy Birthday to Our Little Boy Across the World

Friends, meet Jacques, our precious African boy:

Jacques lives in Togo, Africa and we sponsor him through Compassion International, an organization that helps rescue children from poverty.

J and I decided to sponsor a child a few months ago and looked for a child that had been waiting the longest on the website — and that’s when we found Jacques. He lives with his mom and two older siblings in a village, and she cares for the family on a small income selling textiles. Our sponsorship helps Jacques afford education and basic needs for the family, such as food and health care.

We wrote him and sent him pictures, and he sent back a message with a few things that he likes to do. Some of them include:

  • Hobbies & Sports: group games, walking, singing, dolls
  • Family Duties: running errands, carries water, gathers firewood, helps in the kitchen
  • Wants to be when he grows up: a mechanic
  • Favorite sport: football / soccer
  • Favorite food: rice

And today is his birthday! He turns 5 today, so we sent him a small gift to celebrate. I am praying he will feel very loved  and cherished.

Have you ever sponsored a child through Compassion International or another non-profit organization? If you are interested, it costs $38 a month, which provides a child with meals, education, health and hygiene training, medical check-ups, involvement in their local church, and love. J and I decided that we spend $38 and more on eating out at restaurants or quick meaningless trips to Target to pick up stuff we don’t need. It was a small portion of our budget to give up, but went such a long way in the life of Jacques. I greatly encourage you to look into it! If Compassion International isn’t the way to go, there are other sponsorship programs available.

PS – I was not compensated by Compassion International for this post, it is an organization I whole-heartedly support. 

My Thanksgiving via Instagram

This Thanksgiving I spent four days in Greensboro with my family and it was some of the most fun we’ve had together in a long time. Here are some snippits of my weekend via Instagram. (Sorry if this is a repeat for your followers! If you want to follow me, feel free!).

Row 1: Puppy dogs meet for the first time // My mom’s gorgeous and moist turkey // Prepping for the party // What would a holiday be without a classic sister shot?

Row 2: Apple cider by the fire // 28 people gathered for dinner! // Leia and I sad J had to work on Friday // Black Friday shopping at Anthro

Row 3: Pedis with cousins // Snuggles with babies // 16 mile-run with Al // Crocheting by the fire with old friends

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? If you posted on your weekend, please comment with your link! I’d love to read. :)

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