Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A bit of a throw back blog!

I have a couple of very favorite pictures of my kids in front of the Christmas Tree and this is one of them!  Really, isn't this just the sweetest picture ever?  I know, it's a mom thing!  But look at those happy smiling faces.  And don't you love those "matching" outfits?  I'm not sure that Gwen and Doug would agree, but I love looking at this picture.  First of all, notice the paper chain on the tree!  This was one of the first "Advent" chains that we ever did.  Gwen and I were just talking about this.  I think that she made it in school and every day we took off one loop of paper.  Then, notice the cabinet on the left in the picture.  It used to be a TV!  Yes, a very large (very near to the floor) TV that had not been working for a long time.  Ken had taken the "guts" out of the cabinet and it had these amazing sliding doors that made this a perfect toy box.  We used that toy box for many, many years.  I also love that if I look closely I can see some of my favorite ornaments on that tree - and they are still on my tree this year.

I was actually thinking about this odd toy box today, while I was watching Violet and Abbott - the sweet twins that I nanny.  They seem to have this amazing ability to find very different uses for all of their toys!  Just like our very odd toy box out of an old TV set!
They have a really fun "ball bouncer" thing that will spit out the balls after they are tossed around a couple of times.  But for some reason these two will put anything BUT the balls into the bouncer!  In this picture there is a telephone, a dog, a farmer, a sheep, some eggs, and I don't know what else.  They often try to put the very large blocks into the very small basket, and they are always finding new places to put their pacifiers..... not in their mouth!  As a matter of fact, I saw Violet trying to put her pacifier into Abbott's ear!  Of course that was only after Abbott had ripped it out of her mouth! 

But here's the thing, I just loved that old toy box out of a TV set!  It hid away all of the toys when the kids were done playing.  And we have a very small house that did not need another big furniture piece, like a toy box.  This cabinet was already acting as our "TV stand" with another TV sitting on top (at a much better height to watch TV!).  So using it as a toy box was a wonderful solution for us.  Sometimes you just have to think "outside of the box" - or in this case INSIDE of the box!  
I've been challenged to do a lot more thinking "outside of the box" lately.  Even just the idea that I am acting as a nanny for twins....... yes, that is thinking outside of the box for this old lady.  But it has been such a blessing for me.  I am so thankful that I didn't pass up the chance to do this.  The path I have been on in thinking about Kenya again.... yes that is outside of the box.  And on Sunday night I had a really out of the box experience.  I was at the Sunday night worship that I often attend, and in a very unusual set of circumstances, I ended up stepping out of my comfort zone by praying for a young women sitting behind me. I ended up sharing a bit of my testimony and even had a chance to encourage and bless her.   It was an out of the box experience for sure!  

I think that we all need to watch for the chance to have these out of the box experiences.  If we just stop and look around us there are most likely many wonderful things that we can encounter if we just let them happen.  Yes, I love that I have been taking that extra time to consider Advent (see my last blog).  It was during that time that this blog was born.  I was thinking about all of the very good times I had with my children during the Advent season.  I am so grateful for the memories and the time to let the Holy Spirit bring them to mind.  It is good to have these few minutes each day to just focus on the whole message of Christmas.  It makes me so grateful for Jesus.  It makes me so thankful for the many blessings in my life.  It makes me so aware of all that is ahead.  If you don't take this time each day, I strongly encourage you to do so.  Just set in the quiet and remember the Christmas story.  And then wait and see what the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.  You will be blessed!

Jesus, thanks so much for all of the many blessings in my life.  Holy Spirit, thank you for helping me understand the benefit of thinking outside of the box.  Thank you for babies and the way that they help us to think differently.  Thank you for photos that preserve the past and help us remember.  Jesus thank you for the Bible and your amazing story.  Amen

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