IT’S WEEK 37 OF FINISH THIS … if this is your first time here, welcome! If you’re a repeat customer, thanks for playing along again. Your co-hosts are LISA (COASTLINED), JEN (The Arizona Russums), BECKY (The Java Mama) and NICOLE (Three 31) and the instructions are simple: answer the prompts on your blog and add the post to the link up. Next week, we’ll do it all over again with a new set of prompts (located at the bottom of this post). Let’s get started!
CHALLENGE FOR YOU … visit at least three (3) blogs and comment on their “Finish This” post. Even if you don’t know the person, introduce yourself and leave a genuine comment. If you know a blogger who would like to participate in this link up, invite them to join us. Blogging is about building communities!
1. I am the type of person who
if I decorate for Christmas, I start before Thanksgiving and leave it out until Valentine’s Day (or later). No joke, the last time I really decorated, like Hobby Lobby exploded in my house, was 2008. It was our second Christmas in our home and I found the mother of all deals on a beautiful pre-lit tree and my snowmen and snowflake collection was bursting at the seams. I put the tree up the first weekend of November and I took it down, reluctantly, the week after Saint Patrick’s Day. That’s a solid FIVE months of looking at day-core, as Husband likes to call it. He was afraid there would be snowmen and tinsel on the mantel in August so he threatened to de-decorate himself, which prompted me to light a fire under my big girl pants and do it myself. In my defense, in 2008, I worked in corporate marketing and business development and a SLOW week was 80 hours. I lived and breathed climbing that corporate ladder and collecting overtime pay. My priorities were whacked (to put it nicely) and I was sadly disconnected from the truth and reality that is Christmas: the birth of my Savior. In 2009, I left that job and the stress that went with it. For the first time, in a long time, I could breathe again. As Christmastime approached, I had no desire to decorate. I participated in an Advent study which further validated my decision to focus on Jesus’s birth. It was the first time I really paid attention to the miracle that is Christmas: What if Mary had said no to God’s invitation to bear his Son? What if Joseph had abandoned Mary when she suddenly became pregnant before marriage? What if Mary had been stoned to death for a sin she did not commit? What if Mary and Joseph were unwilling to obey God and trust him with the consequences? These questions, from a Christmas Eve sermon (Rev. L, I was listening!) gave me a brand new perspective to the spirit of Christmas. The tree, the lights, the perfectly wrapped presents, the stockings, garland, and even my beloved snowmen collection did/does not hold a candle to why or how I celebrate Christmas. Jesus’s PRESENCE is the reason for the season, not the PRESENTS under the tree.
Now, I said all of that to admit I’ve been thinking about, planning, and decorating for Christmas for several weeks. I’m combining decorations for Kamden’s first birthday party and Christmas since the majority of what I already have fits the theme I’ve chosen for his birthday. I am not a very crafty person, so the less I have to do to decorate the better. I am, however, looking forward to cooking and playing hostess-with-the-mostess for our family and friends as we celebrate Mini Man Child’s first year. As for the DIY projects, one is complete, another needs ribbon for hanging, one needs Instagram-size photos, and I bought supplies for a fourth project yesterday. I also need to paint, sand, and stencil a piece of lumber for Kamden’s birthday present … stay tuned for this big reveal. Husband has asked me twice – TWICE! – if I’m pregnant because he considers all this preparation “nesting” and that’s what pregnant women do. I kindly reminded him that my tubes were tied in March and not to get his tinsel in a tangle over my sudden desire to be Holly Housekeeper and Cindy Crafter. This year, Christmas will be a memorable one. Even though Kamden was born before Christmas last year, I consider the one coming up to be his first. It’s only fitting since 2014 has been a year of firsts for him. As an only child, it’s really important to me that Kamden’s birthday and Christmas are celebrated independently. My birthday (December 17) has always been separated from family festivities at Christmas and I intend to do the same with Kamden, whose birthday is December 19. His first birthday will be more of a celebration for Husband and I as parents and giving thanks to family and friends for supporting us every step of the way. Believe me, we all deserve a giant piece of cake! Next year, we’ll celebrate Kamden’s birthday at Chick-Fil-A and I’ll buy everybody an ice cream cone.
2. My favorite joke or riddle or funny is
oh gosh, I have to pick just one? No, I started this link up so I can bend the rules. Who’s gonna stop me?
3. All that really matters is
My beautiful friend, amazing author, and cancer survivor Margaret Feinberg shared this mantra in her best-selling book, Wonderstruck. I’ve read every book Margaret has written and this quote is one of my favorites. I get goose bumps every time I read it, even now! Think about it: God IS good; God IS on the throne; just breathe! Whatever I’m going through, these four lines nudge me closer to The One who created me, desires me, seeks me, loves me, protects me, and soothes me. Breathe in the wonder of God and breathe out every thing that is getting in the way. Another favorite line from Wonderstruck:
Invite your blogging friends and come back next Wednesday for another round of Finish This where we’ll answer another set of prompts!
Prompt for WEEK 38 — September 24
My relationships thrive because
My favorite piece of advice
My worst habit