Soul Food

I read the most wonderful sentiment this afternoon for ushering in the new year of 2010. It said, "May you find the perfect diet for your soul." I had never exactly thought of it quite like that, but realized immediately that that is what I am seeking for this next set of 365 days.

Out of all the things we could be/should be endeavoring to take on, change, or be for 2010, perhaps finding the perfect diet for our soul should be first on our list. Granted, some of us are already being force-fed parts of this diet that we didn't realize were included with the original meal plan. Health, finances, and losses beyond our control factor into our lives and can sometimes unbalance the perfection we long to have.

But yet there is a peace, a joy which we can have when we know to Whom our soul belongs, and when we acknowledge from whence our perfect, prescribed diet originates. God put the soul in each one of us - He made you you. He already has the perfect diet for your soul on His majestic menu, and He's just waiting for you to order it up. Why not ask Him tonight to lay out His spread before you in this up and coming year, and see if it isn't a different year than you had imagined.


Today found me decorating the house for Christmas- a job that starts out just fine, but ends up making a big mess before it gets better. Although it does get me to cleaning very thoroughly. Underneath all of the greenery and decor are very clean windowsills, room corners and baseboards.

My wonderful husband had the tree up and lit before I even got out of bed this morning. The rest of the day found me hauling out heavy strands of ornament-laden garland to hang in the windows, adorning my dining room table with every kind of snowman known to the season before I divided them up into their new living spaces, and tucking little springs of white berries wherever I could fit them in.

It was a fun day.

Winner Takes a Prize

Remember this picture on my blog in November?

Well as of today, I have another one to proudly display!
Not only was I a "winner" because everyone was who thought up thirty new picture book ideas during the month of November, I also won a signed book by Karma Wilson through a random drawing. Very exciting! She is one of my favorite children's book authors.
You can read about it here -
Fun, fun fun. Don't you just love when the unexpected happens and it's GOOD for a change???

The Holidays

Oy vey the holidays....even though it's only December 7th, I find myself scurrying in my brain with a huge list of things to do in preparation for the up and coming December 25th Christmas event. And why, I wonder?? Shopping is easier this year, we're going artificial with the tree, and we've not bothered to consume raw ingredients from Christmas cookie dough for the longest time.

So why the stress? It's tradition, I suppose. I remind myself, "it's still early, it's still early, it's still early" like a mantra so as not to send myself into a tailspin panic. My word, the Thanksgiving leftovers are barely cold but as soon as the month with the capital D hits we are immediately thrown into merry maniac mode.

I admit I'm getting sucked into the maelstrom that seems to derail me every year from enjoying the true reason for the season (excuse the overused rhyming cliche, but it works). As I go through my day making my list and checking things off at least twice, I do manage to feel more organized and on top of things if I get a few things done daily towards my ultimate goal that lands me at the manger on Christmas Day, presents unwrapped and turkey in the oven. Like starting for the umpteenth time on a diet, I vow, again this year, to not let all the hustle and bustle of the season get to me, but to slow down and enjoy the goings-on about me, seeing each day like another little paper door on an Advent calendar opening to show what surprise is waiting for me inside.

God created Christmas, but I'm not sure He bargained on the whole holiday rush thing we've got going on. See what you can do this year to make it less stressful and more Jesus-full. Drop a comment here and let us know what you're doing to slow down a bit so we can all learn from one another!

My 48th

65 and sunny is the weather forecast for today - I don't get many birthdays on December 3rd that have a weather prediction quite as nice as that one. Feeling the warm morning air, I couldn't resist - I grabbed my camera and spent some time this morning doing what I love to do - taking photos in the early morning light and reflecting on the day, the past year, and the year ahead.

Birthdays are to a life what Mondays are to a diet- a fresh finish, a new start, a time to regroup and forge ahead. It's good once a year to take stock of where we've come from and where we are going (hopefully).

I am feeling better about myself in the late 40's than maybe I have all my life. I can stand tall,

knowing that I am content with me, who I am, and who I'm (still) becoming. Enough with first impressions and worrying about the small stuff- it feels good to be surer of myself now than when I was in my 20's or even 30's at times.
I live surrounded by a lot of love....

....and am so thankful for the family and friends that indwell my life and my heart.

I will strive in this next year to live simply, love completely, and learn continually. That truly is the best kind of life.

And, as always, my dad's words echo in my ears every time I have a birthday. He never let us forget that although on that particular day you were a certain age (48), you were now entering the next numerical year of your life ("You're now in your 49th year").

In a way to honor that and launch something new, today I'm starting another blog called, aptly, "The 49th year". It will be a daily photo that I've taken to represent that day with a caption somedays, and perhaps no writing at all other days. I'd love to have you come along on a photographic journal of my 49th year if you wish to do so - you can find it here .
Let's enjoy the journey together.