all the world's my stage

I've always been a true fan of the stage.

As a child I loved attending the historic Coleman theater in Miami, Oklahoma.  Often I'd watch my uncle, aunt, and cousins act and direct the great titles popular to "little theater" companies across the United States.  I dreamed that one day I'd walk on that stage (or any stage for that matter) and move audiences to tears--to joy, to life--as I performed the iconic roles of Laurie in Oklahoma!, Glinda in Wicked, or Dot in Saturday's with George.  I would have settled for Lucy in Jekyll and Hyde if it hadn't been for that one scene.

I could have done that and still may if the opportunity came to me.

When it comes to theater there's one thing that you must remember.  It gets inside you.  As Gene Kelly told Judy Garland in Summer Stock while speaking a grease paint and the theater, "That's one of the reasons I love the theater and everything it stands for.  The heartaches.  Excitement.  The lights.  The hockem'...everything."

It's almost mystical, even magical, how acting and music can make a story came to life.  The melodies take root in our minds and the emotions, the depth of joy and the pain of sorrow, find a place in our hearts.  We leave that experience changed.

Maybe you were bored to tears, but I'd say that if your open your heart to any story it will change you.

So why do I share all of this with you today.  Mostly because I wanted to share two pictures from the most "magical" moment in my Christmas production.  (See.  There is a method to this madness.)

Looking at these pictures guides me to remember this moment...this second...when I shared Christmas with a congregation of 350 people.  It was visible on their faces--the excitement, the joy, the togetherness that surrounded us.

Ah, that moment.  A glimpse into the depth of the power of an emotion...an emotion that led to an experience that can lead to a life change.

Takes my breath away.

For now, I'm singing for Jesus and if He chooses to use me to do something else then I'll do that, but this moment was...the best.

Is there any play, musical, opera, or ballet that has riveted you?

Photobucket
12

It's time for Saturday's Songs




for


***

Saturday's Song is a Blog Hop where bloggers who love Christian music share the music that God uses to speak to them! So, turn on your radio, Pandora, Jango, or pop in your favorite CD, and get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

This goal of this Blog Hop
is to broaden your view of
Christian music using a different
theme/challenge each week.

If you are a blogger who loves Christian music, join us in connecting with other bloggers and sharing our love of Christian music with the blogosphere! Enjoy!!

This week's theme/challenge:
NEW BEGINNINGS

I will admit that this challenge was a little rough for me, but I think I've found one.  Please ignore the video because I don't really like the video.  It's the song that's powerful.  Hope you enjoy "Been Through the Water"...




Next week's theme/challenge:
T.V./Movie Soundtrack
Get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

Is there a song that describes how you are beginning this new year? Tell me all about it!





Let's get this Link Up Party started!
We would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about
a song describing how you are beginning 2013.


Saturday's Song Blog Hop Rules:

1. Write a post that follows the weekly theme/challenge.
2. Follow the host and hostesses via GFC.
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs.
5. Be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!





10

December Kindness Month Week #4 Link Up


This is our last week of the December Kindness Month link up.  Jenn and I want to thank those of you who participated even if you didn't link up.

I have to believe that one act of kindness can brighten a day.

I have to believe that one act of kindness can spark a change.

I have to believe that one act of kindness can make a difference...maybe even change the world.

I challenge you.  Don't let your deliberate acts of kindness end just because the season is over.  Make it your goal to spread kindness everywhere you go everyday you live.

This past week I tried to do things that would help make the season a little easier for people.  I helped my mom wrap presents. And I helped with the dishes at..all the Christmas celebrations.  (That is a lot of dishes.)  Besides that I brought breakfast for the staff at my job.

You see, it doesn't take much.  Just do what you can do.  Inspire change and give kindness.

Thanks for linking up!



0

December Sponsor Spotlight + Giveaway



I got the opportunity to hang out with these lovely ladies over the last month.  I value each of them and I'm so appreciative of their support of All My Love for All My Days.




a Rafflecopter giveaway
9

Introducing Paper Doll Printing

I was recently introduced to Laurie because she sponsors All My Love for All My Days, but it's her Etsy shop that keeps me coming back for more!  In the past month I've made three purchases from her and I love everything I've ordered.

I've purchased return address labels and notecards.  They are too cute.  See.


21

what goes in must come out

Most people wouldn't expect this from me but I have a tendency to be a sci-fi junkie.  No, I don't know the how the language of Clingon (or however that's supposed to be spelled) or go to StarTrek conventions, but I do watch countless hours of mindless, brainless episodes of Fringe and the X-Files.

You won't find me making an apology of that.  I enjoy futuristic-conspiracy-ridden-seemingly-impossible television.

It makes life so much more interesting.

If I'm going to watch tv might as well make it worth my time.

But there's this principle of growing that keeps coming back to haunt me.  What I put in the ground will grow.  How I care for the ground will effect the result of the crop.  What I harvest is how people will know who I am.

So...the more I plant futuristic-conspiracy-ridden-seemingly-impossible television into the soil of my mind the more the doubt will grow.  The darker the soil will become, but not with rich nutriate filled earth, but with diseased, dry sandy soil.  Those are not good factures for the harvest at all.

Here's the truth...
9

It's Time for Saturday's Songs!

Welcome to Saturday's Songs.  This is a link up and we'd love to have you join.  Find some new music that will uplift your heart and let's have fun meeting new people.


Join


for


***

Saturday's Song is a Blog Hop where bloggers who love Christian music share the music that God uses to speak to them! So, turn on your radio, Pandora, Jango, or pop in your favorite CD, and get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

This goal of this Blog Hop
is to broaden your view of
Christian music using a different
theme/challenge each week.

If you are a blogger who loves Christian music, join us in connecting with other bloggers and sharing our love of Christian music with the blogosphere! Enjoy!!

This week's theme/challenge:
YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG (any genre)
I have a very difficult time deciding on one Christmas song (or any song) that is my favorite.  I just have so many it's really hard for me to narrow it down.

I have a few friends who hate strongly dislike Christmas music.  That's something else I don't understand.  Hating...excuse me...strongly disliking Christmas music?!  That's just not something I can wrap my brain around.  How can you hate music that celebrates the birth of our Savior, Lord, and best friend?  Anyway, I wanted to share with you a song that I really like and one that speaks so profoundly to my heart.





Next week's theme/challenge:
New Beginnings...
Get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!


What is your favorite Christmas song? Tell me all about it!



Let's get this Link Up Party started!
We would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about
your favorite Christmas song.


Saturday's Song Blog Hop Rules:

1. Write a post that follows the weekly theme/challenge.
2. Follow the host and hostesses via GFC.
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs.
5. Be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!




7

No Time Left Gift Shopping

Admittedly, I am very behind on my Christmas shopping and if I'm behind I'm sure some of you are too.  Maybe this quick gift guide will help you find just the right gift in just the right time.

All of these items are available in the store.

{1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6} {7} {8}

Here's another link that might help you... {for Mother's}


8

December Kindness Month Challenge Link Up Week #3



Wow this month is flying by.  I hate that about the busy schedule.  I rarely get to slow down and just enjoy the holidays...

This month Jenn and I have been hosting a weekly link up on Fridays.  We want you to take a challenge with us.  We want to spread Christmas cheer and KINDNESS every where we go.  We hope that you will take this challenge with us especially this next week and then link up here or on Jenn's blog next Friday.

This past week I've been working hard to purposely change my behaviors to be kinder.  For example, I helped my mom with her family Christmas letter.  I hate strongly dislike clerical work, but I had a few days off of work and my mom needed help so that's what I did.

I also got the opportunity to help some of my friends wrap presents for a fundraiser they were doing.  They are going to Ukraine next summer to run a summer camp for an orphanage   I wish I could go, but I can't.  I did the next best thing.  I helped them wrap presents.  We had a lot of fun doing it too.

It's kinda fun secretly running around trying to find ways to surprise people with little blessings.

We only have a few more days left in this Christmas season.  While you're out finishing up your shopping work extra hard to show kindess.  This season can be one of the most desperate, lonely times for people.  Everyone wants to belong somewhere so when you don't belong anywhere it makes that desire seem so unreachable.

Can I add one key thing to our challenge for this month?  Let's try to go out of our way to reach out to the "unlovely" and "unloveable."  You might find that these people are really just like you.



4

naked


Three different things happened today that led me to this post. (here, here, & here.)  This is not something I want to write about.  In fact, writing about it puts me in an extremely vulnerable place.  I've chosen to live my life always keeping one thing in mind.  "Never let them see you sweat."

Tonight I'm going to.  I'm taking the veil down of the proud, strong, feministic lady (hopefully you think of me as that) and be open and insanely real.

I've always felt that the real test of friendship is when you can be completely naked with someone--not physically, but emotionally.  As a culture, clothing has become, in some ways, optional.  But those private places...the places that have to be revealed by choice...the internal dimensions of our mind, soul, and spirit are locked away behind the closed door of our own will.

In my life, I think I've only been completely transparent with maybe one person.  Even then, I'm certain there were thoughts that were left unrevealed.  Maybe because of wrong motives that just seemed too ugly.  Maybe just because...

But all that aside.  Here's goes nothing.

I love my life and I love being me, but I hate being judge for being fat.
I love my life and I love being me, but I hate being single.
I love my life and I love being me, but I hate the internal clicker inside my head.
I love my life and I love being me, but I hate being underestimated and overlooked because of my gender, weight, facial beauty and hair color especially in my profession.
I love my life and I love being me, but I hate feeling small, insignificant, unimportant.
I love my life and I love being me, but I hate all the financial debt I incurred in college and even after.

My parents taught me that there were no limitations and that God's plan for my life is bigger than I can imagine or think.  I believe they are right.  God's plan for me is bigger than I can imagine or think, but the limitations...they had that wrong.

When I look at that list of insecurities above, all I see are limitations.  All of them are keeping me from being completely who God wants me to be.
19

Making Christmas Bright: Playlist Part 2

A week on so ago I shared this playlist with for your Christmas parties.  But who has just one Christmas party?  No one.  That leaves us with a need for...an additional playlist.

Without further ado I leave you with Part 2.


White Christmas ~ Point of Grace
The Christmas Song ~ Michael Bublé
In the Bleak Midwinter ~ The Brilliance
Little Saint Nick ~ The Beach Boys
Kay Thompson's Jingle Bells ~ Michael W. Smith
Merry Christmas, Darling ~ The Carpenters
Mele Kalikimika ~ Jimmy Buffet
Lully, Lullay with What Child is This ~ David Phelps
Snow ~ Sleeping at Last
links provided to some videos.

Well, that's it for the Christmas songs.  Make sure to stay tuned the rest of the week.  I hope to be sharing a few pictures and maybe a clip or two from Christmas at Cathedral: Home for the Holidays.  I think you'll enjoy it.
5

Making Christmas Bright: DIY Clay Gift Tags


When I saw these ceramic tags on the Anthropologie website I really liked them, but I'm not going to pay $3 per package to add one to each gift.  If you're giving away 20 present and you put one of each that'd be $60 plus tax and shipping.

I decided to try to find something that would look similar and would meet my wrapping needs.  I think I came up with one that will do both.


Before we can get to the creating, we have to make the clay.  Now, you could buy clay at the art store, but seeing that the main reason for making these gift tags is to save money, that option didn't seem like a good idea.

This is the recipe I came up with.

65

Saturdays Songs Link Up


Join


for


***

Saturday's Song is a Blog Hop where bloggers who love Christian music share the music that God uses to speak to them!  So, turn on your radio, Pandora, Jango, or pop in your favorite CD, and get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

This goal of this Blog Hop 
is to broaden your view of
Christian music using a different
theme/challenge each week.

If you are a blogger who loves Christian music, join us in connecting with other bloggers and sharing our love of Christian music with the blogosphere!  Enjoy!!

This week's theme/challenge:  
ENCOURAGEMENT

I can remember times this last summer when I was just down, but God used this song to help me. Today I share it with you.  
Mandisa's Stronger


 

 
Next week's theme/challenge:
Your Favorite Christmas Song (any genre)
Get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

What song has encouraged you this week?  Tell me all about it!





Let's get this Link Up Party started!
We would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about 
what song has encouraged you this week.


Saturday's Song Blog Hop Rules:

1. Write a post that follows the weekly theme/challenge.
2. Follow the host and hostesses via GFC.
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs.
5. Be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!



13

December Kindness Challenge Link Up #2

I came across this quote today and thought it really describes what Jenn and I are trying to do this month.


This past week I've tried to keep track of the times I've been kind to people, but honestly, this week I've struggled with being out right kind.  For me, at least this week, I was kind by NOT replying with a trite comment.  This week I was kind by working extra hard to be flexible.  This week I was kind by simply smiling because this week that's all I could do.

And you know what?  That's fine.

I did what I could do and I have to trust that what I did was enough.

I hope that you will take this challenge with Jenn and me.  We would really love it if you would.  This link up is happening every Friday of this month.

Oh, and make sure to catch Jenn's new design.  It looks marvelous.




7

Guest Post from Joanna of ModaMama

Today I get the privilege of introducing you to a lady of impeccable taste.  Joanna is a fashion blogger, an actress, a photographer and so much more.  I have no doubt that you will enjoy reading and looking at the style pictures on her Joanna's blog.  And you'll be inspired to spice up your wardrobe.  Make sure to stop by and read her blog.

Click to see full outfit post.
Guest posting is awkward.  It's feels odd to talk about myself, like I'm applying for a dating video: Actor, Tv host, photographer, sci-fi nerd, and boardgame geek, who can kill you with her bare hands from 12 years of Kung Fu training. Loves ruffled dresses and pretty, pretty shoes, and is recently obsessed with her Vintage-esque bike.  Contact me at ModaMama.

Click to see full outfit post.
Lately, I've been taking part in something called Dressember, where you wear a dress every single day in December.  Some do it for fun, some do it for the challenge or styling, and some do it for charity.  I'm doing it for a bit of all three.





Click here to see full outfit post.
I'd love to share with you a few ideas on styling dresses. First off, belts!  I can't get by without a few good belts, and I really suggest Forever 21 for really cheap and trendy belts to help you constantly change up your look.

Click here to see full outfit post.
Sweaters/shirts over/under dresses. I love doing this because it also lets me wear summer dresses all year round. This gives you a ton of versatility and you can literally create hundreds of looks by just changing that up.  Plus, when it gets cold, you really need to stay warm by practicing the art of layering.

Did I also mention tights?  Wool tights are my absolute must here in Toronto, Canada.  It gets really cold and there's just no way I could set my dresses aside.  So tights with wool in them are as essential as a warm jacket.

Click to see full outfit post.
Plus, you can do all of it at once - shirt under a dress, sweater over it, tights to stay warm, and a belt to finish it all off!

Click to see full outfit.
Finally, go with what you love.  My recent love, or obsession, is faux fur.  Specifically faux fur vests.  I absolutely adore it, and love the fact that I seem to be able to just throw this one over anything!

That's it!  Thanks for reading and I'd love it if you stopped by, followed me, or even just watched a Coffee Talk vid or two.  Take care!


7

Dressing the New Year

I think we all have one...that one designer who can't fashion anything poorly.  For me, that one designer is Michael Kors.  Even as a plus size woman his designs fit me perfectly.  It's as if he completely understands my body shape.  Believe me.  That's no easy task.

In the December issue on InStyle (page 192), I came across an article with five style lessons from Kors.
28

The December Must List




If you're looking for more Must List click here and here.



5

Busy, busy + a look at Thankgiving

Life is crazy right now.  Like super crazy.

I've got a whole sloe of posts planned, but not written, wouldn't you know.  In the meantime, here's a few pictures of my family from Thanksgiving.  My sister, Dalayna, blogs at Pointing Up and these are her creations.

Hope you enjoy.


15

Saturday's Songs Week #4


Join


for


***

Saturday's Song is a Blog Hop where bloggers who love Christian music share the music that God uses to speak to them!  So, turn on your radio, Pandora, Jango, or pop in your favorite CD, and get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

This goal of this Blog Hop 
is to broaden your view of
Christian music using a different
theme/challenge each week.

If you are a blogger who loves Christian music, join us in connecting with other bloggers and sharing our love of Christian music with the blogosphere!  Enjoy!!

This week's theme/challenge:  
A "newer" version of an "old" hymn

I can remember singing this hymn as a child in church...
Enjoy 'I Surrender All' by Jadon Lavik!
 

Next week's theme/challenge:
Godly Encouragement...go...
Get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

Ever hear a new version of a hymn you remember as a child?  Tell me all about it!





Let's get this Link Up Party started!
We would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about what hymn is as wonderful now remade as it was as a child.


Saturday's Song Blog Hop Rules:

1. Write a post that follows the weekly theme/challenge.
2. Follow the host and hostesses via GFC.
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs.
5. Be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!




5

Saturday's Song--Great Is Thy Faithfulness


This week for Saturday's Song we're linking up an old hymn that's been remade.  I have to say, I love this one and I think you will too.  It's pretty popular so chances are you've heard it on the radio or at church, but I think it will encourage you.


10

December Kindness Month Link Up Week #1



If you're linking up here today it's because you've chosen to take the challenge.  You've chosen to strive everyday to do at least one extraordinary kind action for someone else.

Now, this can be a simple act but the point is that you do something.  Sometimes the simplest of kind acts can change someone's life. I know that some of you may be reading this post and thinking to yourself, "What a naïve thought.  To believe that one fleeting person could leave such a mark...ridiculous."

But it's not friends...not by a long shot.

Let me tell you a story and please understand that this is a difficult task for me.  I don't like writing about what I do for other people.  I tend to think that it's a little arrogant, but this is to prove a point.

This past week I was at the Dollar Tree purchasing some LED candles to make this craft (click the words to see the instructions) from A Night Owl, when the lady in front of me was having difficulty paying for her items.  I don't know if the card reader was having problems or if there just wasn't money in her checking account.  It really doesn't matter.

After quite sometime and many tries, I thought to myself, "Why not just pay for this?  It can't be that much."

So I did and guess what.  I think the total was under $3.00, but you would have thought that it was $100.  The cashier kept talking about it.  The person behind me kept talking about it.  They all just keep talking about it.  And it was uncomfortable.

But what was the girl's response, "Are you serious?  You want to pay for mine?"

She was shocked.  And I was shocked that she was shocked.

I truly hope that she looks back on that moment and feels joy and feels comfort and feels friendship.  Hopefully, she'll realize that she's not alone.

There's just something about those little acts of kindness that inspire us and make us want to be a better person.  Like when someone paid for my Starbucks.  I was shocked and so happy.  It made me want to brighten someone else's day in the same way.

That's what December Kindness Month is all about.  This is the brain child (or maybe Heart Child) of Jenn from My {not so} Glamorous Life.  Jenn has been inspiring me all week to be better.  We want you to join us and it's not too late.  If you missed the first week, no big deal.  Get in on the challenge now.  Start today.  Change a life today.

So here's the rules:
1) Aspire to do at least one out of the ordinary kind thing everyday.
2) On Fridays during the month of December link up your post about how you were kind.
3) Don't feel guilty for "bragging."
      -My voice teacher says it takes 21 days of consistant action to make a new habit.  Aspire to let kindness by your new habit.
      -Your story could help inspire others.  Let's start a revolution.

That's it.  That's all the rules.  It would be rather cool though if you'd join Jenn and me in tweeting using the challenge's hashtag.  It's #DKM.  It'd also be cool if you'd tweet, Facebook, and google share about this challenge.  The more people who participate the more lives changed!

Ok, so get to it!  Link up and spread love, joy, peace, happiness, and KINDNESS everywhere you go.

Until next time...



7

Christmas Playlist Part 1...Making Christmas Bright

Every party needs a good playlist, wait, no, a great playlist and I think I have one for you.  My tastes in music are about as eclectic as any come so you can be sure there's something for you and everyone on this list.

Click on the song to go to a youtube.com video version. 

We Three Kings (feat. Mary Blinge) by Rob Stewart
Christmas Cookies by G. Love

This is only part one.  I'll have one other list in a week or two.  For now, my life is crazy.  Our production of Christmas at Cathedral is in one week.  It's crunch time, folks!

29

Light in the Darkness


It was a dark, cold, hopeless Judean night.

There had been nights like this one before and there would surely be more to follow for such are the nights of servants--slaves--of an unjust king.  Caesar had ordered another count of his kingdom for the purpose of taxing his servants even further.

From all over the country side, men, women, boys, girls, entire families packed their belongings and headed on a journey to the town of their births.

I'm sure you sense it too...the tired in their voices...the sleep in their eyes...the hope in their heart that this census would be the last.  The longing for more than a life of servitude to an cruel man.  After all you can't build a kingdom on broken backs.

They knew, all too well, that this "exile" was of their own doing.  They had turned away from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to follow false gods.  They knew that all of this was a result of their sin, but they also knew that their Father God said He would send the Messiah--a Savior--to be their ruler.  So, with expectation, they waited in darkness for the Light of the world to deliver them from Caesar's rule.

As Mary and he new husband, Joseph, road into town there was no doubt in Mary's mind that this would be the night...the night that the strange life she carried would come.  You see, this life, inside of her still, was a miracle for she was a virgin.  Completely chaste.

The complications surrounding her mysterious pregnancy where trying, to be sure.  No one believed that she was a virgin.  How could a virgin be carry a life?  It was impossible.  Absolutely impossible, except that the life she carried was God made flesh.  The very incarnation of God Himself she carried and protected and loved before He was born.

So when on that dark, cold, hopeless Judean night, she heard Joseph say, "There's no room here" yet again, her body ached as her muscles contracted pushing God's Light from her.  Undoubtedly, her heart ached for her mother to hold her and guide her into motherhood.  Unfortunately, Joseph and animals in a stable were the only nurse she was allowed.

But it was in this miserable place--of loneliness, of pain, of doubt, of fear, of darkness, of sheer agony--that Light was born.

The Messiah had come.

He came for Mary...and Joseph...and the Jews in that Bethlehem town, but He also came for you and for me.



Just as Jesus came 2,000 years ago, He still comes today.  In so many ways I feel like Mary, Joseph and the people of Isearl.  I feel, sometimes, that I'm serving an unjust king whose only goal is to make me "pay" more.  Sometimes I'm lonely.  Sometimes I live in a fear and self-doubt.  Sometimes, I live in darkness.

But the Messiah has come and brought me out of darkness and into His marvelous light.

I'm certain that I'm not the only person who sometimes feels lost without hope of finding the light switch.  But I leave you with this today.  Find Christ and let Him light your life.


Photobucket
18

Saturday's Songs Link Up


Join




for


***

Saturday's Song is a Blog Hop where bloggers who love Christian music share the music that God uses to speak to them!  So, turn on your radio, Pandora, Jango, or pop in your favorite CD, and get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

This goal of this Blog Hop 
is to broaden your view of
Christian music using a different
theme/challenge each week.

If you are a blogger who loves Christian music, join us in connecting with other bloggers and sharing our love of Christian music with the blogosphere!  Enjoy!!

This week's theme/challenge:  
A Christmas song by a Christian artist
 
Enjoy Point of Grace singing Labor of Love

Tell me all about a Christmas song that you LOVE by a Christian artist!

 
Next week's theme/challenge:
A "newer" version of an "old" hymn.
Get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

Let's get this Link Up Party started!
We would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about a Christmas song that you LOVE by a Christian artist.

Saturday's Song Blog Hop Rules:

1. Write a post that follows the weekly theme/challenge.
2. Follow the host and hostesses via GFC.
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs.
5. Be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!




9

December Kindness Month

Today I wanted to share with you a post that Jenn from My {Not So} Glamorous Life is sharing today on her blog.  

I am so excited for this campaign.  December Kindness Month will be a month of spreading kindness everywhere we go.  Kindness is letting the person go ahead of you in the long line at the grocery store.  Kindness is refusing to say that sarcastic comment even when you are completely justified.  Kindness is letting the that ridiculous driver who speed up to cut across you in traffic to go a head and get in.  Kindness is buying the Starbucks of the person behind us.  Kindness is taking your neighbors paper to their front door.

Kindness is many things, and when we do it our action can brighten the world around us.  Read Jenn's post below and get ready to spread kindness.  Tweet about it. (Tag it with #dkc.)  Post about it on Facebook.  Let's do something to start a chain reaction that will change the world around us.





"There would be less suffering in this world if humanity would learn this one truth: 
It is not what we receive but what we give, that heals us."
~Richard Paul Evans (The Carousel)

Kindness is something this world can never have enough of. It is something that I strive to teach my children, not only with words, but with examples. When my boys are bickering, the first thing I usually say to them is "Be Kind". When someone does something that isn't nice, I will say "that wasn't very kind."

Kindness is a virtue that will never become outdated, and one that all of us could improve upon.



Now, I know that in this busy time of year, it's easy to become caught up in all that we have to do, where we have to be, what we must purchase or wrap or decorate. Many times during the month of November we see our friends and family taking time to post on Facebook, Twitter, or on blogs what they are thankful for. I love that. But why let this wonderful season stop because thanksgiving is over? Let's extend that thankfulness by giving someone else something
to be thankful for!

Recently, I felt led to do a series on Kindness. I invited Danette from All My Love for All My Days to co-host this series with me, and she graciously agreed. (If you're not already following her, you should be. She's such a fabulous lady!)

This series is going to run throughout the month of December. Danette and I are challenging ourselves, our families, our friends, and our fellow bloggers and readers to perform an act of kindness EACH DAY, no matter how big or how small.

During this busy time of year, this challenge would be a great way for people to conscientiously pause, and consider others more deliberately instead of just going through the motions of the season. By participating, we could all have our best Christmas seasons yet!

Each Friday in December, post what you did for each of the days the week prior. Danette and I will have the link ups on our blogs where you can share your blog post about it. If you're not a blogger, simply tweet it, share it on Facebook, and/or share what you did in the comments.

Please consider participating and remember, no act of kindness is too small.


"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."

~Ephesians 4:32



For great resources on kindness, check out The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

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make Christmas bright...a Christmas Free Printable


Today I'd like to share with you a printable to brighten up your day.  Just follow the link below and save.



Hope you enjoy.

Merry Christmas!

Photobucket

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making Christmas bright...the reason I want to Sparkle



Alone.
Cold.
Misunderstood.
Doubting.
Aching to be more, but with no means to be.
Hurting in a sea of total blankness.

These are all emotions that I've felt in my life.  Emotions that made me dull and boring and took away my spark for life.

As a child I was quite weird unique.  I was a child who wanted to live in an adult world and who fought to be an adult.

Yes, that was me.  The girl who wore only dresses because she really wanted to.  The girl who, at the age of 12, was mistaken for a manager at Wal-Mart (true story).  The girl who used the playground to advance my political agenda.  I was that girl.

And sometimes I still am.  I still care too much.  I still believe to passionately.  I'll still tell the cashiers how to run their machines (and for the record, I'm usually correct).  And I still sometimes feel like a person surrounded with humanity--with people who love me--but with no one who understands me.

And sometimes that's a lonely place.

But it's in this place of social silence, of secret solitude, that I'm reminded of one certain truth.  During my darkest times, this truth has become the rockbed of my foundation...the one truth to grab ahold of and refuse to let go.  It's in the Season, the season of celebration for Christ's de-scension from Heaven, that I'm reminded most.

God became flesh and came to dwell among us.  To live among us.  To die among us.  To rise among.  To be Immanuel, God with us. (John 1:14)

When I remember this truth, my self-doubt leaves.
My loneliness goes.
I feel warmth again.
I discover that emotions--hurt and joy--are gifts from God and a reflection of His personality.
My self-worth finds a home in God's opinion only.

It's for this reason that I can Sparkle.


I strongly sense that maybe this is all we really want...connection to something.  To know that we aren't alone...to know that somebody understands us.  And so we reach out into this community of  the social media world looking, hoping, wanting to not be alone.  But when you close the computer or shut off the phone or turn off the television or leave the restaurant that dreaded loneliness returns with a vengeance taking hold of our emotions.

But here is the truth of the Season: Jesus, God, Lord, Savior, lover...is Immanuel, God with you.

I challenge you in the busyness of the holidays, find Jesus.  Find God with you.  No longer alone, but surrounded with His manifest presence.  Be a reflection of His love and His light.

Sparkle.


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