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2006 December » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

Party like it’s 2006

31st December 2006

Party like it’s 2006

A comment that I just left on another blog “As I sit here only 30 minutes from the new year (one advantage to being in NZ - I get to know the future before most of the rest of the world!) I’ve been contemplating this very question. This has been a year of more consistent and intense Bible study than I’ve ever experienced. The result being that the more I study, the more I realise that I don’t know much about anything (as can be evidenced in my previous post). And I am definitely a flawed being in need of a Saviour. And this year I have also discovered the world of blogs and some of the wonderful ladies that write them. God has used this medium of communication to meet a real need in my life and allow me to use the things I’m learning from these women to minister to other women in real life.

All day long I have thought about writing something intensely spiritual about the end of the year and the new year to come, but I’ve been a bit caught up reading TWO books by Karen Kingsley this afternoon and evening. My daughters got picked up by their grandparents after church this morning and won’t return until after naptime tomorrow and I’ve simply been enjoying doing nothing! J took me out to eat for dinner and I enjoyed some seriously good noodles at Peng’s Place. And then we came home and I read some more.

Tomorrow is 2007. May we live each day knowing that we are God’s children and helping others to know the same.

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30th December 2006

motherhood unplugged

Sometimes I honestly do believe that I am the worst mother ever. And I’m not even sure if this is even appropriate for a blog post. I’m sure my husband will let me know and I might have to come back and delete it. But until then… A few evenings ago I had pretty close to a mental breakdown. There were many tears and sobs and carrying on and I wish I could say that was from the kids. It was all from me. After another episode of putting to bed a very difficult little person, I just felt completely drained and absolutely ineffective as a mother. If I can’t even put a kid to bed without the whole world falling apart, how in the world can I expect to raise them to the age of 18 and be ready to go into the world as contributing citizens? Sometimes I don’t know what God was thinking.

As I read back over that paragraph, it hit me. On my own I am definitely not capable of raising children. Or a goldfish for that matter. But God doesn’t ask me to do it alone. All through scripture He is almost begging to walk beside me, to carry me even, so that I’m not alone. He has given me a Godly husband to partner with in teaching our children more about being God’s people. He has given me a Bible full of wisdom to study to prepare myself for answering the 20 bazillion questions I get every day about “why?” And most importantly I think, He has given me the Holy Spirit to literally indwell me, to be my Counsellor, to help me be the mother that God wants me to be.

As I type I have tears in my eyes, threatening to fall, because I realise that I’m incredibly hopeless without God. I simply cannot do anything on my own and it’s when I’m focussed on all the things I think I’m supposed to be doing instead of on the things that God has set out for me to do that I fail.

To the incredible Creator of the Universe, the One who knows every secret pain and longing in my heart, I give my life - every floor littered with crushed crackers, each unironed shirt that hangs waiting to be ironed, every kitchen counter with untold sticky spots, each child that is a gift from you. Lord, I plead with you teach me how to be the mom and wife that you want me to be.

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29th December 2006

all varieties of flip-flops

This will be an incredibly thought provoking post, I’m sure. The other day I bought a pair of flip-flops, or jandals as they’re called in New Zealand. I remember calling them thongs when I was a kid but considering the advent of new kinds of underwear I’m not sure if this is an appropriate term to use anymore.

Anyway. I bought some pink flip-flops. They were 30% off so for a grand total of six dollars and some change, I got a new pair of shoes. And you know what? I like them. But as I shopped I realised that there are a whole variety of flip-flops in existence that never were when I was a kid. Every colour of the rainbow, as well as baubles and bangles and sparklies to decorate them. I’m not much of a ‘bling’ person so I stuck with the plain ole pink ones. And they’ll do just fine.

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24th December 2006

‘Twas the night before Christmas

The children are all in bed, supposedly sleeping. We’ve brought out the presents from their hiding places and put them under the tree. I’ve stuffed the stockings. The dishes are done (mostly!) and now we’re just sitting on the couch, doing our separate quiet thing, enjoying the silence of the evening.

Before our oldest went to bed, we did the next to last day of the Jesse Tree advent celebration that we’ve been doing and she put the picture onto our tree. And she went off to bed excited about tomorrow being Christmas. One of the things that I love about Christmas this year is that she’s now old enough to understand (sort of) what Christmas is about. She knows that we celebrate Jesus coming as a baby. All month long she has pretended to be Mary and her various dolls and stuffed animals have alternated being Joseph and Baby Jesus. At one point she said Baby Jesus was a girl and we decided to draw a line on that one. We explained that the Bible says very clearly that Jesus was a boy so she could pretend but Jesus had to be a boy.

As we stuffed the stockings tonight, J and I were so excited and can’t wait to sit down with the kids tomorrow and open presents and go to church together and celebrate with our church family as well. As I prepared the house for our visitors and then reached the point of “I’m tired and don’t want to do anymore” I had a look around the house and decided that everything was just fine. I’m not seeking perfection, just a comfortable air of peace in order to be hospitable.

My thoughts are a bit of a jumble, but I’m feeling content. Thank you, Lord, for your provision for us, through your Son Jesus Christ. Thank you for the provision of our home that we can use to serve others and each other.

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22nd December 2006

Importance of journaling

Earlier in the year I was challenged by a post at Preschoolers and Peace regarding taking the time to journal now while I have only two children and they both nap essentially at the same time. Kendra said it’s one of the things that she wished she knew then because she didn’t know that time would become an even scarcer commodity as her children became older and more numerous (she is expecting her 7th in March, near the time I am expecting #3). I really took this to heart and started journaling, sometimes just once a week but more frequently as I’ve gone along to the point I write almost every day now.

I was just enjoying a piece of cheesecake while reading In The Midst of It and read this post by Sarah. It was exactly what I feel in my heart as I journal. I wanted to share it with you.

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22nd December 2006

Moved from Blogger

My wonderful husband, the same one that bought me this domain name for our anniversary (which is today!), has transferred my old blog from Blogger over to this one. But apparently the comments were lost. Seeing as this is read by a whopping two or three people a day, that’s not too bad.

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22nd December 2006

Cheesecake -25%

I thought I’d let you know that the cheesecake has started a slimming down programme. It started last night when the kids went to bed and J and I shared a piece. It continued as I prepared lunch this afternoon and took a few bites. It has seen rapid progress in it’s slimdown efforts in the last 15 minutes as I enjoyed a piece while reading some blogs. I will save the other 75% for dinner at our friends’ house tonight. And I’m sure they’ll never notice! ;)

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21st December 2006

A present like no other

My husband and I met on the internet, nearly 8 years ago. Tomorrow we are celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary. Although we don’t normally buy gifts for one another, he surprised me a couple of days ago with my own domain name :) Can you tell that we’re somewhat computer-oriented at our house? So I am in the process of moving over my old blog (I think I started it two weeks ago) to this one.

Philoxenos, directly translated from Greek, means ‘friend-stranger’. More commonly found in the Bible translated as hospitality. Several days ago I was doing a word study during my early morning time with God on the word ’self control’. I found myself reading some of the New Testament passages that related to requirements for leadership in the Church. And in every single one hospitality was listed. It got me thinking. Obviously hospitality is very important to God if it is a requirement for leadership. But what exactly is hospitality? When J got out of bed I started asking him questions and asked him to get out his handy Bible software that can do word studies and all kinds of fancy things. He’s the one that discovered the Greek for hospitality. I told him that I believe this will be a lifelong study for me. The more I have thought and studied about it the more I realise that I really want to know more. I can guarantee that I’ll be writing more as I discover more about what God means when he exhorts us to hospitality, or philoxenos.

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21st December 2006

Lure of cheesecake

There is a freshly baked cheesecake sitting on the top of my oven, cooling. It is, by far, the most decadent and delicious dessert in my repertoire. It also costs about $12 to make, considering it contains 750 grams of cream cheese (priced at about 2.50 each for 250 grams here in NZ) and nearly 1/2 cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream, along with half a package of Oreo cookies. I’ve never stopped to think about the THOUSANDS of calories that are probably contained in every sliver. But for all these reasons I only make it about once a year.

Why make it now? Because my husband loves it. LOVES IT. Like, eat it for breakfast loves it. And tomorrow is our anniversary. After all, when you care enough to send the very best, send cheesecake (I hope Hallmark doesn’t mind that I’ve stolen their line).

But now, there is a cheesecake calling my name “Michele… Michele!” I can hear it and I desperately want some! But we’re saving it for tomorrow when we share dinner with some friends in celebration of our special day. Do you think they’d notice if there was a slice missing?

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20th December 2006

The wonders of scotch tape

Tape. Tape. Tape. My oldest daughter LOVES scotch tape. She has discovered that we use tape to mend our books when they have a little tear in order to keep them from tearing more. Now she is constantly on the look out for any small tear in a book and we MUST fix it immediately. We have a system - I fix one side and she fixes the other. It works for us.

I feel like being deep and meaningful, so I found a spiritual application for this. Isn’t it best to address our sin when it first starts rather than waiting until it’s become such a habit that our hearts are hardened? The Holy Spirit wants to be our tape. But not only does he mend it, he makes our hearts like new. What a promise.

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