This year, we started our Christmas season by making matching, Jane Austen-like dresses. It was a lot of hard work, but I fully enjoyed spending time with the lovely young ladies at our church! Above Katie and Shay are modeling their progress! : )
Young ladies, hard at work!
We attempted to go carolling down the road, wind blowing at frightful speeds, frigid cold and numbing limbs!
Some of us turned back for warmth and goodies, while others plodded along.
Emily demonstrates the general opinion of us "party poopers."
I gave my usual Christmas recital- my students did wonderfully and I was very blessed by them all (especially one little boy who showed up in a completely white suit, white shoes, Christmas tie and hair swept across his face like a concert pianist)!
Here is Ebony (my grandparents' daschund) going for MY yummy! At the Moody Family Christmas Party, everyone is invited- human or mammal!
My cousin Renee and I- don't you think she makes a great gift??
My grandparents- opening their "special" gifts. Sorry, only family member will understand these two photos!
Aunt Brenda and Uncle Bobby came over from California this Christmas. We love it, because that usually means fun times with them and LOTS of ice cream!
Speaking of that delectable dairy product, a tradition at all Moody gatherings is Uncle Rob's milk shakes- Ethan anxiously awaits them each year and ends up with.....
... a milkshake moustache!!
Evidence of a certain brother-in-law's pre-party tasting. He just wanted to "make sure it was good"! Ha!
My favorite event at Christmas is our church's Christmas Eve service. It just takes us back to the reason we celebrate the season. Each family, if they want, shares something special with the rest of the body. The Bartons, above, sang a lovely song, accompanied by Amanda who had just recently picked up the violin!
The Denny's blessed us with their vocal and instrumental talents and sang "What Child is This." Notice that gorgeous bassist in the background! Hopefully we'll see more of her up there!
In keeping with the unity of our newly constructed dresses, we sang our own arrangement of "One Small Child." It was a lot of fun working on it! The ladies have such sweet voices!
'Siah read a convicting story for us all, reminding us to always have room for the Babe born for us!
The Knights rendered their own version of the Christmas story- adorable!
Jess and Dan sang, "And So this is Christmas"- Jess has a powerful, great voice and Dan just melted one's heart!
And the Wardwells had us clutching our stomaches with laughter at their amazing acting skills! All thanks to Bob Goldfish! ; )
Ethan on Christmas morning with his new gift! It was a nice quiet Christmas.
John-Boy Wardwell made this incredibly cool fort for Ethan out of popsicle sticks- what talent! Ethan LOVES it.
Can you tell they are related? Like father, like son!
I don't particularly care for this photo of me, but Grampa did a pretty good job taking a photo for the first time with a digital camera- our laughing faces are due to his difficulty in figuring it out!
O the joys of bowling! Since Aunt Brenda and Uncle Bobby were here, we decided to take a family trip to the alley- it was great fun! Above Uncle Boo-Boo (i.e. R.D.) is demonstrating perfect form! He and Uncle Rob had a war which was much to our entertainment!
Here, Grampa helps Ethan throw his ball down the lane (it normally went up in the air and dropped down, causing the floor to shake and the ball to roll slowly.. sometimes into the gutter!). He did a pretty good job, though. I love their stances!
Uncle Rob and Josiah, showing us how it's done! : )
Aren't bowling shoes the coolest???
My cousin Kristy- she's such a sweetie!
Renee and "the pink ball." It seemed to be the best one, 'cause even 'Siah used it once and got a strike with it! : )
Here are the "little men" (as Ethan called them) that we sought to flatten!
The Prego- looking at the ball thinking "I wonder if my belly will look like that sometime soon!" ; )
The car decided that it was too cold to start and wanted to be difficult. So, while dad called AAA, Ethan and I decided to have some fun with the camera. The photo above conveys our feelings when the car wouldn't start. Below is how we felt when the tow truck came, wiggled some wires and got it to start! Yay!
Hope you're Christmas was filled with fun and loved-ones!
To all those stay-at-home moms who feel like like is monotonous and unprofitable. To all those who are getting sick of the routine of life: work, eat, sleep and then all over again. To all those who feel like they are not important enough to be noticed, these words are for you:
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.
~ Colossians 3:23
We can do no great thing, only small things with great love.
He who is faithful in a very little thing, is faithful also in much.
~ Luke 16:10
If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare composed poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, "here lived a great street sweeper, who did his job well."
I am so thankful for you and the many gifts the Lord has blessed you with- your love and compassion for people, your serving heart and humility and your fun-loving attitude! I love you my little sister!
The following is an excerpt from a book I've been reading by Andrew Murray called Waiting on God.
Wait on the Lord, and keep His way,
And He shalt exalt thee to inherit the land.
If we desire to find a man whom we long to meet, we inquire where the places and the ways are where he is to be found. When waiting on God, we need to be very careful that we keep His ways; out of these we never can expect to find Him. "Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness; those that remember Thee in Thy ways." We may be sure that God is never and nowhere to be found but in His ways. And that there, by the soul who seeks and patiently waits, He is always most surely to be found. "Wait on the Lord, and keep His ways, and He shall exalt thee."
How close the connection between the two parts of the injunction, "Wait on the Lord,"- that has to do with worship and disposition; "and keep His ways,"- that deals with walk and work. The outer life must be in harmony with the inner; the inner must be the inspiration and the strength for the outer. It is our God who has made known His ways in His Word for our conduct, and invites our confidence for His grace and help in our heart. If we do not keep His ways, our waiting on Him can bring no blessing. The surrender to a full obedience to all His will, is the secret of full access to all the blessings of His fellowship.
Notice how strongly this comes out in the psalm. It speaks of the evildoer who prospereth in his way, and calls on the believer not to fret himself. When we see men around us prosperous and happy while they forsake God's ways, and ourselves left in difficulty or suffering, we are in danger of first fretting at what appears so strange, and then gradually yielding to seek our prosperity in their path. The psalm says, "Fret not thyself; trust in the Lord, and do good. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; cease from anger, and forsake wrath. Depart from evil, and do good; the Lord forsaketh not His saints. The righteous shall inherit the land. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide." And then follows- the word occurs for the third time in the psalm- "wait on the Lord, and keep His ways." Do what God asks you to do; God will do more than you can ask Him to do.
And let no one give way to fear: I cannot keep His ways; it is this robs one of every confidence. It is true you have not the strength yet to keep all His ways. But keep carefully those for which you have received strength already. Surrender yourself willingly and trustingly to keep all God's ways, in the strength which will come in waiting on Him. Give up your whole being to God without reserve and without doubt; He will prove Himself God to you, and work in you that which is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ. Keep Hi ways, as you know them in the Word. Keep His ways, as Providence points them out. Keep His ways, as the Holy Spirit suggests. Do not think of waiting on God while you say you are not willing to work in His path. However weak you feel, only be willing, and He who has worked to will, will work to do by His power.
"Wait on the Lord, and Keep His ways." It may be that the consciousness of shortcoming and sin makes our text look more like a hindrance than a help in waiting on God. Let it not be so. Have we not said more than once, the very starting-point and groundwork of this waiting is utter and absolute impotence? Why then not come with everything evil you feel in yourself, every memory of unwillingness, unwatchfulness, unfaithfulness, and all that causes such unceasing self-condemnation? Put your power in God's omnipotence, and find in waiting on God your deliverance. Your failure has been owing to only one thing: you sought to conquer and obey in your own strength. Come and bow before God until you learn that He is the God who alone is good, and alone can work any good thing. Believe that in you, and all that nature can do, there is no true power. Be content to receive from God each moment the inworking of His mighty grace and life, and waiting on God will become the renewal of your strength to run in His ways and not be weary, to walk in His paths and never faint. "Wait on the Lord and keep His ways" will be command and promise in one.
Photos are from a beautiful sunset outside of the Wardwells' house.
The following pictures do not do justice to our lovely little church on a hill. When the light is shining through the windows of it in the afternoon, the sun painted walls make the sanctuary feel warm and welcoming. If you want to see it in it's real beauty, you simply must come and visit! : )
I'm amazed at the way God used each of the families in our church to restore and readorn it to it's former glory. Someone came up with a few historically accurate colors, a few others chose from those, some families painted, some cleaned, some hung up the new, gorgeous light fixtures, some helped find curtains- every single family contributed to the beautifying of this place of worship by using their unique giftings. God is amazing! And when I look at the church on Sundays I think about how God does that kind of work in our hearts. He scrapes off the old paint of our former selves, patches up the holes where sin has decayed, puts on the new coat of the blood of Christ which makes us pure and continues to add the light of his word and decorates with the beauty of the character of Jesus which he gives to us. God can be seen in it all!