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Day 20: Kind Words Towards the Ones We Love

All I have to say is that this Christmas season has not gone the way I was expecting. It’s hasn’t been bad, just not as “planned”.

I started prepping and planning early this year in hopes to relish-in and embrace every moment. I had “GOODchristmas” experiences planned out and was determined to blog or at least post everyday. I envisioned expected everyday to be infussed with this joy that carried me through this season like I was floating on clouds {sigh}. But then…

 LIFE happened.

 

As much as I prepared and made a conscious decision to not be caught-up in the hustle and the bustle; I did! I was busy with work (not my “mommy” and “wife” stuff, my “nurse” stuff {wink}). I fell behind on some projects and prep, which left me being more like my normal procrastinating-rushing-last-minute self.

Then sickness set in for the whole family. And that really annoying  kind too (not like there’s any other kind). Just sick enough to make the day difficult, but not enough to need to see a doctor because there just isn’t anything that can be done except to rest and hydrate. BUT… now it’s less then a week before Christmas, I have 2 night shifts to put in at work and a LIST of “fun” things to do with the family as well as finishing up a few gifts I’m making this year. “REST” and “hydrate” was not on any of those lists.

Anyways, today’s GOODchristmas experience was what I needed. I was loosing it yesterday…being frustrated and angry with my kids and husband. It wasn’t pretty. (confession – I thought this “experience” was going to be easy by this point; remember so much joy…“floating on clouds!!!!). God knew I was going to need this experience for myself when he placed it on my heart back in October/November.  So here it is::

Day 20::  Kind words towards the ones we love

Christmas is getting closer and we maybe starting to feel the pressure of “time running out”. Resist the urg to be rushed, upset, or easily angered with your spouse, kids, family or friends. Try to go out of your way to be extra kind to someone close to you, without using a bought gift or with expecting anything in return.
I’m glad my heart can be changed TODAY!
How about you?
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Day 19: Mercy

Today is Day 19… wow this month is going by so fast! I wanted to reference back to Day 1 when I talked about purchasing “birds of hope” as our Christmas ornaments this year. I finally got around to picking them up on Friday and wanted to share some pic of them.

 

 

So cute right! Each one is handmade and one-of-a-kind.

 

Back to the GOODchristmas experience for today. Today’s focus in on Mercy. Me and my husband have done this over the last couple of year and it makes us think deeply about the mercy God has shown us.

 

This maybe a very difficult challenge for today, but I encourage you to try. You probable won’t feel better about yourself afterward – this will most likely come from a place of obedience to God to extend love and grace – no matter ones history. Today send a Christmas card with a gift card to a local restaurant or food/beverage place to a sex offender in your area. We never know what God can or will use to change another persons live. Give it way, just as God has given to you.

It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.” – Billy Graham

Day 18:: International Migrant Workers Day

Today I’m wearing my shirt inside-out in support of International Migrant Workers Day. Thanks Micheal Lew and Faces Behind The Label for all you do year ’round to bring awareness and light to those marginalized.

Day 10::

Last Saturday marked the first weekend of the Christmas season. It was a little busy, but is was so much fun. In the morning we had a family pictures taken by Sam Song of Christmas Mash Up/ Love Mash. CHRISTMAS MASH UP was an alternative to crazy parking lots, long lines and cliche holiday photos. They had 2 beautiful portrait stations, fun props, kids craft table, food, drinks and entertaining holiday movies playing. The best part was that all proceeds from the event went towards funding HELP PORTRAIT | LAUNDRY LOVE: SANTA ANA, they will be giving free portraits for families and individuals in need. It was such a fun morning, and the pics turned out great! Take a look:

Love Mash 2011

After, we went over to our friends house for a cookie making and decorating party!!!! JC loved rolling the cookie dough into candy cane shapes.

 

It was the best way to start out the month – remembering that the season is about spending time with family and friends as well as loving others in need and sharing hope and joy.

 

Today is the 3rd annual Progressive Posada in Santa Ana.

Posada is a Mexican tradition, a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s cold and difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter; in Spanish, the word means “lodging.”

Traditionally, a party is held each night in a neighborhood home. At dusk, guests gather outside the house with children dressed as shepherds, angels and sometimes, Mary and Joseph. An angel leads the procession, followed by Mary and Joseph or by guests carrying their images. The adults follow, carrying lighted candles.

The “pilgrims” verses of Las Posada asking for shelter, and the hosts sing a reply, finally opening the doors to the guests and offering hot ponche, fried rosette cookies known as buñuelos, steaming hot tamales and other festive foods.

The party ends with a piñata in the shape of the Christmas star.

It’s a great way to love on the community and their culture. We love meeting our neighbors and being about to build relationships with them that continue on through the year.  I can’t wait to hear the stories that come from this years Posada. Last year the neighbors that joined us said that thing they loved the most was how they we made to feel like “family” even though most of us had just met for the first time. BEAUTIFUL!

 

So if you are in the OC think about joining us tonight at our Posada  – Party starts @ 5pm. Hope to see you there.

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Day 5: Bless a Stranger

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~Dalai Lama

Today while you’re out to lunch or shopping, meet some one new. Be the warm and welcoming smile they might not have expected. Pray for them throughout the rest of the day. You never know how it might touch that person today.

Have you ever experienced an unexpected, unwarranted smile from a stranger? How did it effect you?

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Day 4: In Word & Deed

Black and white photograph of a Neumann U87 mi...

“Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived.” – Shane Claiborne

It’s crazy and crowed wherever you go this time of year. Put to practice loving a stranger today by letting others go infront of you – at the store, driving in your car, when at your local coffee shop; maybe even while waiting for a table at a busy restaurant.


“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1

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Day 3: World View

Today {Day 3: World View} we remember our beautiful girl Rakhelda we spounsor through World Vision. Three years ago we made in ornament with her picture on it and we hang it up on the tree and say a special prayer of bless on her and her family. It is also her birthday next month and today helps remind us to put her gift in the mail. We’ve been sponsoring Rakhelda since she was 5 or 6 (I was in college @ the time) and now she is turning 15 years old!!! She is a beautiful young lady now with dreams of becoming a teacher. She works so hard @ school and has a shinning smile that will light up your day.

 

We try to talk with the boys about her as much as we can. We have a flag with a push-pin to mark where Rakhelda lives on the map in the boys room. I hope to learn and teach the boy more about her and her culture over this next year.

Dear Rakhelda-

you are a beautiful addition to our family! We love to look at your picture and see how much you have grown and changed over the years. We are so very proud of you. We pray that God will pour down blessings on you and your family over this next year. We pray that you will hear and know the voice of God in your life and you will follow after it with all you heart soul and mind. We love you so much!

Love: Scott, Shannon, JC & Micah

Do you have a sponsored child? Do you have any special traditions you do with your kids to help them connect more with him/her? 

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Day 2:: second chances

“A Christian being stingy with grace is like a firefighter being stingy with water.” – Mike Foster

Christmas = the birth of the ultimate second chance for you, for me, and for ALL people.

Think of someone that wronged you or hurt you deeply – Ask God to forgive your anger or bitter heart, then pray that God pours out blessings over them this Christmas season and this coming New Year.


What better gift could you receive this Christmas then a heart freed from chains of anger/bitterness.

“Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.” Luke 17:4

Have you ever been overwhelmed by another’s forgiveness of you?


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Day 1:: ethical consumerism

Day one is one of my favorite days in GOODchristmas. Over the past few my husband and I have tried to buy as many gifts from socially conscious groups as possible. We’ve found more and more places that we just love, not only for how they are social minded and have a good cause, but also because I LOVE the creative, fun and beautiful products that they sell. The last 2 years I have been intentional not only buying these items for those I love, but also putting these items on my own “wish lists” that go out to family members.

 

For obvious reasons I can’t post the gifts I am buying for people this year…I can’t spoil the surprise!!! But here are some of the things I’ve done in the past – 2009 and 2010.

 

One thing I want to do this year is buy our traditional yearly Christmas ornament for each of us from groups such as Heavenly Treasures and Trade as One. Ornament’s are simple and carry special sentimental value for so many people. It’s a great idea as a gift for friends, extended family, teachers, co-workers, gift-exchange party, etc.  Many are only $3-$5 a piece and are handcrafted with a beautiful story of hope. Some of my favorite ornaments are these handcrafted “Birds of Hope” from a social enterprise group in Santa Ana called Morning Garden.

 

Well, day one is almost over and day 2 is almost here. Tomorrow’s GOODchristmas experience is “Second Chances“.

GOODchristmas 2011

I’m so excited to be on year #3 of GOOODchristmas!!! Last year I talked about the what and why of GOODchristmas and it was fun to hear your comments and your stories of participating in GOODchristmas experiences. Simply put, it stemmed from my love of the advent calendar growing up and inspiration from The Kingdom Experiment. But watch the video, because there is much more to it then that. It’s about starting traditions for my kids that are rooted in love, compassion, forgiveness, and generosity. It’s about overflowing with kindness and love not bills from over spending. It’s about giving “gifts” that touch the soul, not just look good wrapped under the tree. It’s about loving people the way that Christ loved us and the reason we can celebrate this season.

 

I look forward to seeing those of you that joined me last year again this year as well as some new faces. Maybe this is not a new way of living out the spirit of Christmas for you, but I’d love for you to share with me and others what you have done and/or are doing. Hearing your stories is always such a blessing and inspiration.

 

I’ve been on an EXTREME crafting kick lately (just ask the husband) and this year I finally made my GOODchristmas Advent Calender. My inspiration came from where else but Pintrest.

 

The gourgeous vase with willow branches was created by my good friend Maribel Toan, of Bohemian Rose. She created it to display hand-crafted jewelry for an event I’ve helped head-up called, Kuvina. She gave it to me after as a gift and i LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!.

The numbered pieces idea came from Holly L blog. She has a tutorial on it. My rounded-edged squares I found @ Joanns fabrics in the wood craft section. they came in a set of 6 and they were labeled as coasters.

 

Each day the kids will have a number “ornament” to hang on the tree and on the back is the “GOODchristmas experiences” of the day.

 

I will post each Sunday what the up-coming weeks “GOODchristmas experiences” are and will blog about my and my families experiences doing them. Won’t you join me in this adventure of experiencing this Christmas season in a new and heart-changing way.