Christmas

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Pondering ‘Peace On Earth’

Often at Christmas time I view ‘Peace On Earth’, that little phrase in the olde Christmas carol with some cynicism.  How can we sing about ‘Peace On Earth’ when there really is hate on a broader level, when there is broken feelings with people I love? This year there has been a fresh perspective, a new understanding, that ‘though the wrongs won’t be righted today or tomorrow’ I can in a small way bring ‘Peace On Earth’ in my domain, to my sphere of influence.

It comes with me praying before the Lord and asking Him what He wants me to take on, who He wants me to reach out to?  It comes with a soul awareness that as I align my heart to His I can bring ‘Peace On Earth’ to my children, to the people I rub shoulders with.

Often in the chaos, the externals are not peaceful but my soul can be at a place of deep peace because the ‘Prince of Peace’ Isaiah 9:6 is with me. And I am learning on those days and in those moments when I am in turmoil that it is an invitation to me from HIM to bring the anxiousness, the questions, and the longings to him.

One day when I was in an anxious funk, I told my kids I needed 30 minutes of quiet and this is what my Kate prepared for my quiet.  It was such a moment of servitude from her even though they are solid wood. 🙂  It brought a beautiful peace to my soul!

When I sat down at the computer to find pictures to put in this post, I  found this picture, taken by one of my sons. I think it fits so perfectly on this topic!  If your world feels a little like this picture…..it’s an invitation from HIM to you…….to quiet your uneasy heart before HIM!

My baby, Will, 2 years old set up the nativity this week with all our stuffed animals.   Joseph was the goat, Mary was the sheepy, and gorilla was the baby.  He had flying cows as stars.  And he was happiest, eyes twinkling when he started with his treasured blankie as the platform.

The moment was so scared and all I could was weep as he narrated the story for me.  At one point when he was placing the wise men, a dolphin and penguin he shouted, “NO ROOM”.  And isn’t that just like us, that the more we let ‘other voices’ crowd things in our heart our peaces vanishes. God touched me in a deep place in my soul this week as he narrated the story for me.

I am so grateful for many things, the ‘Prince of Peace’ constantly with me in this day.  And when I have ‘NO ROOM’ he proposes an invitation to my heart and I can always come to him the ‘God of Peace’. I Thessalonians 5:23

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

DAWN

P.S. One final picture.  We celebrated big this past weekend in DC.  My husband turns 50 this week.  He is such a gift to me!

Christmas Jello Salad

IMG_7628I hope your Saturday was profitable and that your OK with the things that didn’t get done.  I don’t know how it happens but my kitchen seems to always end up being messier then I want way to late on a Saturday night.  I had to fight hard at not having the ‘grouchies’ tonight as I was cleaning up from too much soup, creamed eggs, rice krispy treats, spinach artichoke dip and jello salad.

If your planning a menu for Chirstmas and want a festive addition here is this recipe.  It is so simple to make and so pretty HOWEVER it does require some time, I only plan to make it on days where I am in the kitchen all day.

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Christmas Jello Salad

2 – 3 oz (small) boxes of raspberry gelatin

(When I did this recipe with 6 goblets, for the first layer of red I only used half of the small box of raspberry gelatin, which is 3 Tbsp to 3/4 cup of water.  And then I topped the layers with the remainder of that box, you will notice the bowl did not have a top layer of color).

2 – 3 oz (small) boxes of lime gelatin

2 – 3 oz (small) boxes of lemon gelatin (I only used 1 box when I did the jello salad in the goblets)

1 cup whipping cream, UNWHIPPED

4 oz cream cheese, soft

4 tbsp sugar

boiling water – You need 1 & 1/2 cups for each small box of jello.  A quick way to get it to cool down quickly is use 1 cup of boiling water and add ice cubes or cold water for the remaining 1/2 cup of water.  That way you don’t run the risk of the jello being too hot when you pour it over your chilled layer.  I have made this before where the layer that was chilling was not chilled long enough and then when I poured the hot gelatin over top of it, it did weird things.

I used 6 goblets or you could you an approx dish size of 9X9.

Dissolve your first small gelatin box (your color choice) with 1 1/2 cups hot water.  Pour into your dish.  Let chill for 30 minutes.  Dissolve second box in same about of water.  Chill for 30 minutes.  Dissolve box of lemon gelatin in 1 cup boiling water (you don’t use the full amount of water).  Beat 2 oz of cream cheese with 2 Tbsp sugar.  Add lemon jello mixture; beat.  Pour in 1/2 cup of whipping cream, un-whipped.  Stir together and pour over layer.  (When I used the 6 goblets for this recipe I halved the small box of lemon gelatin -3 TBSP is half the box of jello to 1/2 cup boiling water but kept all the other ingredients the same).

Repeat until you have the desired layers you would like.  You could keep going 🙂

 IMG_7621This jello salad will keep for days in your refrigerator.

Cheers to a restful Sunday!

Dawn

THOUGHTS

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I was listening to Max Lucado today and just struck with his profound wisdom.  I share these words in hope you will be able to process the  truth in these spoken words this Christmas season!

“We ALL need a King,

We ALL need a Saviour,

We need a King who runs our world,

We need a Saviour who washes away our sin,

If you don’t have a King it’s all up to you.  Consequently YOUR world spirals out of control cause you

think you have to control it all and you end up never doing that and that creates anxiety and fear.

If you don’t have a Saviour then you live with guilt.  You either become a legalist or you become defeated.

You were never intended to compensate for your sin.”

I do need a King who runs my world and I do need a Saviour who washes away my sin.  So thankful for the gift of Jesus!

IMG_0324Cheers to a great Friday!

Dawn

‘Happy Birthday Jesus’ Party

We hosted a party last week.  It was so much fun. I am not sure if  it was my kids or I who was most excited?  As a mom, I struggle in knowing how to wrap my arms around the fact that Christmas is about Jesus coming in flesh as a baby but we all get the gifts?  How do I impart the mystery of Christmas to my little ones?  And let me tell you I love gifts.  I love Christmas, I love all the cozy, warm feelings that go along with every thing around this glorious event.  But yet I wrestle, I want my kids to get it.  That Christmas is so much more then the gifts we get or that it’s not about Santa Claus  or being ‘naughty or nice’ contrary to what my neighbors are discussing with my boys?

So my husband and I have talked for several years about doing a party for Jesus.  Some year we hope to do it with dad’s joining us but this year it was a day party with mom’s and lots of little kids.

We invited about 16+ kids and told them to bring $$ for an animal project that we would pick out from a Gospel for Asia or World Vision Christmas catalog.  They had fun looking thru the catalogs!

IMG_0328These precious children blew me away.  They came up with $82.  We will probably  purchase chickens, seed packets and bibles with the money. 

My boys were so into this party.  I don’t think they nearly understood everything but then again maybe they got more then I think.  Cj was racing around taping little Snoopy pictures to the front door and Camden was blowing up every balloon he could put his little mouth on.  We were partying!  And it’s in that Spirit that Christ breathes wind into our souls, if we let HIM!IMG_0343We had a simple line up.  When they arrived we were going to go to the card making station and they were supposed to make a birthday card for Jesus and tell him what they want to give HIM or do for HIM this Christmas.  The cards were varied and touching!  Such sweet creativity!  For the wee ones we had a little baby Jesus paper that they could paste real straw on the manager.

IMG_0361IMG_0367And then this sweet girl, Elysa sang us “Happy Birthday Jesus” complete with the sign motions.  It was so sweet!!  And kids are so spontaneous.  It’s just so precious to see life thru their eyes!!

IMG_0325IMG_0357I hope that this Christmas you will have some time to sit and ponder the mystery of Christmas and how the message plays out in a practical way in your personal decisions!  Merry Christmas!

Dawn