Musings from a promise-collector

Archive for December, 2010

A Resolution? How About a Declaration?

New Year’s Resolutions don’t all that much appeal to me. When I did attempt it, my intentions were good but I found that I was lucky if I was able to keep that resolution through the month of January. I used to get so frustrated with myself that I couldn’t keep that one little commitment. So I gave up on the whole things years ago. Looking back though, I can see why I was unsuccessful. Usually I had a well-intentioned idea, but I didn’t have a plan of action to help me achieve that goal. I have also come to realize another vital compotent in recent years: I need God’s help to achieve these goals. And I realize the importance of having God-centered goals as opposed to human-centered (dare I say, selfish?) goals. (more…)

I’ll be home for Christmas… if only I could get packing!

I don’t know what it is about packing that makes me think of every other possible thing to do… including blogging. After all the traveling I’ve done, you’d think that packing would be easy for me and I’d be done in 10 minutes. But somehow that is not the case. I find a million other things to do, just to get out of packing: refolding my sweaters, picking up my room, putzing around on Facebook, flossing my teeth, reorganizing my books, laundry, lining up my shoes, flossing the cat’s teeth. Ok, so maybe not the last one, but I seem to go to extreme odds to avoid packing – I even blog about how much I don’t want to do it.

I am leaving in the morning on a 12-ish hour drive to go home for Christmas, which I am very excited about. And packing for home is a lot less stressful that packing to go to somewhere like Israel (and I have picture evidence that everything fit into one suitcase!). Packing for home is so much easier, because I still have things at home, or I can borrow from Mom. Or running across the river to Walgreen’s is just so easy. So why am I still procrastinating?? I do have a few theories on this phenomena (which in and of itself is yet another way to avoid packing). (more…)

Wedding Hangover

On Friday night, I witnessed the beautiful marriage of my friend Dani to the love of her life, Joey. I had the honor and privilege of helping them set up, decorate, and just serving them where needed.

I spent the entire week – Monday through Friday – running around helping the family get things ready. My pedometer on my phone told me that I walked anywhere from 5-8 miles each day. But when it came time for the ceremony on Friday night, the room looked gorgeous. The room was set up with round tables, covered in white table cloths with blue overlays. Then there were dishes, favors, candles and white roses on each table. We had decorated the room with white Christmas lights everywhere. The aisle was lined with white columns, flower garland, tulle, and candles. Both the ceremony and the reception took place in the same room. As people arrived, they were seated at the tables where they both watched the ceremony and enjoyed the reception. The whole evening was filled with touches that reflected their personalities. And Dani was simply stunning in her beautiful white dress. (more…)


Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wand’ring
So fair to be seen.

Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too;
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Have you ever wondered about that song? I often wondered what “wassailing” was. In college, I found out. ‘”Wassail’ comes from the Old Norse ‘ves heill’–to be of good health. This evolved into the tradition of visiting neighbors on Christmas Eve and drinking to their health.” (Cited here.) (more…)

First Snow Cancellation

It isn’t anything terribly exciting and monumental, but tonight was my first snow cancellation here in Tennessee. I was at a singles group’s Tacky Sweater Christmas Party, and it was lightly snowing outside. We were just getting things going with some games, when one of the leaders makes the announcement that we have to pack up quickly because the roads were getting bad. I glanced out the window and saw maybe a half-inch to an inch of snow on the ground. It had been snowing all day, but not really sticking until after sunset, so I couldn’t imagine it was too terrible out there. (more…)

Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Crackles

Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies are awesome cookies that I found in a butter package a few years ago. They are fabulous for Christmas and disappear quickly!

If you have little ones around the house, you can get them involved in the candy cane crushing process. Just put them in zip-lock baggies, give them a spoon or wooden meat tenderizing hammer, and let them pound away! (more…)

The Joy of Obedience

Benjamin Franklin said:

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts!”

I find this rather interesting since history and biographies tell us that Benjamin Franklin did not believe in a God who was active in the world – the God he believed in was far off and distant. I find myself wondering how such a brilliant man could be so misled about God’s activity in the world around us. But how often do I do things my way without even a thought, acting independently, not listening for if God would have me do something another way – I just get so wrapped up in what I’m doing. I know He walks beside me, He’s in me, He’s with me every step of every day. It’s just that it is so easy to get caught up in life, especially around Christmas, that it takes effort to focus on Him even though we’re surrounded by Christmas through music, sermons, decorations, etc. Things get busy and it’s harder to make the time to sit at His feet and just be still, to listen, to be filled. But I find that this time of year, I have to be more intentional about seeking Him so that I stay in communion with Him. So in an effort to be intentional this year, I came up with A Joyful Plan (I blogged that a few posts ago). (more…)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I really enjoy making these muffins! They are perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And they are so yummy that they disappear quickly.

A couple of handy notes:

1. You will need a rather large bowl to mix the batter in, because one batch makes 3-3.5 dozen muffins.

2. You may want to substitute plain applesauce for the oil (it is a 1:1 ratio) if you do not want to use that much oil. It works – I’ve made them both ways. (more…)

Modern-Day Knights In Shining Armor

I think that most girls at some point in their lives dream about someday being rescued from ensuing calamity by a knight in shining armor, riding upon a beautiful white steed. I have just encountered what I would classify as a knight – actually, two of them. They were beacons of hope in a dismal place; feeling locked in a tall prison tower. The tower has been guarded by a ruthless dragon for three weeks now.

The first brave knight arrived Tuesday morning, carried by his white and black steed. He valiantly tried to slay the dragon that had reared its head, creating calamity and chaos in the world around me. Unfortunately, his skills were no match for the beast. He retreated with the promise to send a more skilled knight the next day. So, I awaited the coming of the next knight from my high prison tower, guarded still by the terrible beast. (more…)

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