More Attitude with that Action!

I try to actually do things, not just talk about doing things but I probably talk more than I actually do. We talk about people needing help but do we actually find a way to meet their needs? You know the saying, “A little less talk and a lot more action”, ok.. it is a song and it is probably not about helping people; but you get the point.

I have done much better in my journey lately to look for ways to bless people, however, if I am not careful, this generosity pursuit can become just another thing I check off of my list. It is about so much more than just doing something for someone. It seems that whatever Jesus challenges us to do, there is always some type of balance. You can’t have grace without faith, you can’t have true freedom without boundaries, you can’t have excellence without failure and you can’t have action without love.

You have to love people with your attitude, not just your actions. Our attitude speaks so much louder than our words. Yes, love needs action, but it also needs attitude. Who’d of thought I would be telling you to have more attitude?

Last week I had been shopping to help a local organization with a family in need and was headed to drop it off at the church. I had a list of things to get done and was in my mode of “get it done.” I imagine myself to be like Mary Poppins when I am in this mode, but I am fearful it comes across more like the boss lady in “The Devil Wears Prada”.  Anyway, I called my husband and asked him if he wanted to do lunch because I was going to be dropping by the office.

When I got there I was thinking about having to unload all of the gifts and how much time it was going to take. My husband pops out of his office and greets me with a hug and an enthusiastic, “ I am so glad you stopped by for lunch, this was unexpected and made my day.”

Now, this response made me stop in my tracks because there have been times when I showed up at his office for lunch and his attitude was somewhat less than enthusiastic. Now, I know it wasn’t personal, but in the moment that he greeted me with this enthusiastic attitude, I realized it made all of the difference in the world! Instead of feeling like a possible inconvenience, I felt like the queen of his world!

It made me begin to think; how often do I do a loving action for him without an attitude of love to back it up? When my action is paired with a loving attitude, it creates a true moment of love. I can’t be lazy with my love and just have a great attitude; there has to be action. On the other hand, I can’t be just be a doer without having an attuned attitude of love.

I don’t want to be generous begrudgingly. I don’t want to cook all of this amazing food for Christmas, then shove it at people because I did all of this work and want to be more appreciated. I want the light of Christ’s love to shine through in my actions and attitude. We all need an attitude adjustment from time to time. Watching Christians do something for someone, pretending to be generous while really manipulating or just doing it to make themselves look better, makes me want to hurl hymnals at people! However, there is a hope beyond the Pastor’s wife going to jail for assault by hymnal. We will find that hope when we start looking to Jesus instead of ourselves. He Himself came to serve and He did it with an attitude of love.

Lord, I pray that as I try to serve You by serving others, You help me to do it with an attitude of love.

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Is Re-gifting Ok?

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Let me first confess, just a few years ago I would of given you a hard core “NO, re-gifting is not ok.” However, after many bath products, kitchen items, and other things that I didn’t like or already had one of just sat around till it was deemed enough time had passed to throw them out, I decided re-gifting is better than wasting.

I think it is ok to regift when you don’t like a gift you received and you know you will never use it or you already have one of a gift you received. In our current culture, let’s face it – we have a surplus of stuff anyway!!

A few things it is not ok to regift!

  • It is not ok to regift things that are sentimental gifts (like that collector’s item that has been in your family for 10 generations or Grandma’s coo-coo clock).
  • Anything that is personalized. Be sure there are no monograms or any other type of personalization.
  • Don’t give away something from meaningful people. Re-gifitng something you got from your elderly grandfather is just not nice. He may not be around many more Christmases.
  • Don’t re-gfit handmade gifts.

 

Now, here are a few re-gifting rules:

  1. Re-Wrap it and be sure you take the original name tag off.
  2. Don’t re-gift it in the same circle of friends. Awkward!
  3. Be sure to give it to someone who will really appreciate it.
  4. Don’t give it back to the person who originally got it for you. (It happens)
  5. Re-gifting should not be your main way to give Christmas presents. That is just tacky. Remember it is only if you know someone will LOVE what you are giving them.
  6. Don’t re-gift things of no value. No one wants your soap on a rope.
  7. If you get busted, just be honest.

 

I have been in some circles where everyone gets each other something just to say they did. No thought goes into the gift and it all can mostly be classified as “junk” or “unwanted” items. If you find yourself in this situation, maybe you should consider getting that squad together and changing things up.Try something like drawing names and everyone gets 1 person something, play Dirty Santa, or don’t give gifts and get together to donate to a charity. It is not like we all don’t have enough stuff. Let’s make it meaningful one way or another.

Conviction

Conviction; a word we hear a lot in the church world. However, it is not just some religious word. Conviction actually means a fixed or firm belief.

It is not just a belief, but a fixed or firm belief. It is something we strongly believe that can not easily be swayed or changed. To live with conviction means that we live in accordance with our strong beliefs.

Convictions can be good or evil. Some of the people that started the biggest movements in the world were not necessarily the smartest, wealthiest, highest educated or even most popular. They just had very strong convictions. Think about Lincoln, Martin Luther, Ghandi, Mother Theresa and even… Hitler. Whoa, that is scary! Think about believing in something so strongly that you cause mass destruction. Conviction is powerful.

I believe the old saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” However, I don’t believe we need to stand for everything all of the time.

Have you ever caught yourself trying to convince someone of something? Boy, I have! I can remember being in a conversation once that I had strong convictions about. I was stating my case, presenting the facts, passionate, excited, and I had the experience to back up my stance. At some point towards the end of the conversation I kind of cracked myself up. I mean, the best cookware brand is kind of a weak issue to be so intense about. It is no secret that I am a bit of a cookware snob. Even though I own several different kinds, nothing holds a candle to my red Le’Crueset. However, the world will not be changed by converting everyone over to using Le’Crueset.

It is ok to have strong convictions about weak issues like cookware, hairstyles, football teams, wall colors and so on. The problem is that we tend to have weak convictions about strong issues.

What is our stance on the truth of God’s Word, church, right verses wrong, and other things that could be deemed politically incorrect?

We will fight and argue over the silliest things but we become silent when it is time to stand up for what is right. To live by convictions would be to stand up for our firm beliefs, not just the weak issues but the strong ones as well. Maybe we should also think about toning down our strong convictions about weak issues so we can be taken more seriously when it really matters. (Just a thought!) Everyone has the right to their opinion, but everyone else has the right not to listen. 😉

In a world where someone changes what they believe all of the time because of the way they feel, I hope that I always have enough faith and strength to hold tight to what God says; no matter how I feel. I want to be a woman that God can trust with His treasures because He knows I am not going to be swayed by my feelings or the opinions of man. I still struggle with being a people pleaser but I want to only be a God pleaser! I want the convictions I live by to be a part of God’s plan; not the enemy’s or even my own selfish plans.

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DIY – Christmas Night Light

I LOVE these things!!! I gave them to a few kids and they loved them as much as I did!! They are super easy to make!

Here are the things you will need:

  • Button Magnets
  • Mason Jar
  • hot glue gun
  • LED tea lights
  • fake snow
  • Christmas ornaments ( I found mine 1/2 off at Michael’s!)

 

  1. Glue button magnet to the bottom of the tea light candle.
  2. Place fake snow, and ornaments in the bottom of the mason jar. (You could glue the ornaments down, but I didn’t.)
  3. After the glue has dried; turn on the tea light and  stick the tea light candle underneath the metal lid,  put the lid back on the mason jar. Keep a few extra tea lights with the magnets already glued on around in case it goes out.
  4. Remind the kid you are giving it to that it is a nightlight and NOT a snow globe. 😉 image1.JPG

 

A Very “Mary” Christmas

I have always been intrigued by Mary, the Mother of Jesus. I mean, what was it about this young girl that God picked her to deliver to the earth the most important child ever born? I have always liked to think it was because she was such a “good” girl. I was inclined to picture her as gentle, mild and meek. I have come to realize that there was much more to Mary than just those things.

Yes, we know she was a virgin, because the Bible tells us so. So, I know she was committed to her faith. This is one of the reasons God picked her. She was pure, but that is not the only reason. God knew she would be committed no matter what. As soon as Mary accepted Gabriel’s assignment, she was putting her life in danger. She was signing up for gossip, slander, criticism and even potentially being stoned. She said yes to God anyway. She consecrated herself to be the Lord’s servant no matter what. Without knowing all of the details, she was all in!  That is commitment!

Mary was also undaunted!! She was very brave. She didn’t let the fear of Herod slow her down, she didn’t mind getting on to her Savior child in the temple, she had no problem asking Jesus to fix the wine shortage problem and she followed Him all the way to the cross. Mary was much fierce than I ever realized. God knew she could handle all of the turmoil she would face being the Savior’s mother.  She was a woman of high convictions and stood up for what she believed in.

Just look at how Mary responded right after the angel left her..

46 Mary responded,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.” (Luke 1:46-55)

She was excited about God ushering in justice. This woman was talking about overthrowing governments and dealing with corruption. She was not concerned about being politically correct. She was undaunted and committed.

I think we should learn from her. After all, God trusted her with the most valuable thing that He had, His Son. I want Him to trust me with His plans and purposes as well.

I am challenging myself to have a “Mary” Christmas by truly giving myself to the Lord as His servant; no matter what. Even when I don’t know all of the details, I want to say “YES LORD,”.  I  also want to be undaunted in living out His purpose for my life. I don’t want to be afraid of the criticism, gossip or rejection that comes when trusting and believing the truth of God’s word. I hope you will take the challenge with me!

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On the Menu: Cannoli Cake

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This is one of my go to desserts! I made it recently for our staff Christmas Party and everyone loved it!! (Especially the guys!) It really is delicious!!

  • 1 Box White Cake Mix, plus ingredients on the cake mix box
  • 1 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 Can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups marscarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Bake white cake according to instructions on the box for a 9×13 pan. I use my red one so you can’t see inside the dish like you can with a clear one. The cake will stay in this pan, so it will be the one you are serving from.

Remove the cake from oven and poke holes in it with a straw. (Feel free to eat the cake that gets poked up into the straw.)

Open the can of sweetened condensed milk and save 1/2 a cup of it for later. Pour the rest over the cake, filling in the holes as best you can.

Place the cake in the fridge for 1 hour.

After cake has cooled for an hour in the fridge, in a mixer bowl mix together Vanilla Extract, Marscarpone Cheese and Ricotta cheese.

Add Cinnamon and powdered sugar, mix together well.

Add the 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk to the mixture and mix well.

 

Spread the cannoli icing over the cake. (The consistency is much more like cannoli filling than traditional icing, if you would like it a little thicker, add more powdered sugar.)

Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. ENJOY!!!

5 Fav Small Gift Ideas

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I love giving gifts!!! Sometimes it is the small gifts that are the hardest to pick out for someone else. Here are a few of my favorite small gifts to give because I love them so much!! Click on any of them to be taken to them!

Vaseline Pink Bubbly Lip Therapy. I totally love this stuff!!!

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L’Occitane Roses Hand Cream – A must have in the winter! They have several smells, this one is just my favorite.

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Le’Creuset Mugs : It is true that I am slightly obsessed with all things Red Le’Creuset, but these mugs do make coffee better. 😉

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Kate Spade Small Notebooks – I always keep little notebooks in my bag. I jot down thoughts, words I like and may use in a future blog, dinner ideas, etc. These are super cute!

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Monogram Tassel Keychain : Every southern girl needs a monogrammed keychain. I love this one with the tassel on it!

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Hope this helps your Christmas shopping!!! I would love to hear some of your small gift ideas! Comment below and let me know some of your favorite gifts!