Tag Archives: holidays

He never stops giving

I was resting in bed tonight, head spinning with excitement knowing that our newly decorated tree and Christmas-a-fied house was on the other side of the bedroom door.

Finally I could stand it no more so I returned to the living room, opened all the windows, and now I sit facing the glow of tiny white lights while the rustle of palm leaves outside competes with the symphony of crickets (and a few guest appearances by the odd frog).

Gosh, I love this time of year.

Cliche? I don’t care. I love it. I so, so love it.

Today was a storm of a million emotions. Amidst the merriment of the holidays and the buzz that I get from the decorating kick-off, there’s so much going on in our little world right now that’s vying for headspace. Most of it good, but some uncomfortable.

At one point this afternoon I sat down for a few moments scrolling quickly through emails that I knew I’d not be responding to until later. But curious, I read a few anyway.

The first one I opened had some disappointing news. Understandable, and yet disappointing, deflating.

The second one was from a stranger. A woman who belongs to a people I’ve fallen in love with (PNG) who now lives in a place that I once called my own (USA).

We’ve been writing back and forth this last week and I teared up a few days ago when she told me her family thanked God for me and my family around their Thanksgiving table last week.

I don’t know her. But she knows Him.

And then today her email – the second email I opened – contained news so sweet and so personal and so unexpected I couldn’t control those big, hot tears, from rolling quickly down my cheeks.

You see, He is faithful. He really is so faithful.

And sometimes you think everything’s just fine and then grace comes in a million forms and you realize how much you really did need it after all.

I had grace in many different forms this week – friends arriving at my doorstep to mow our lawn and clean my floors, another bringing us dinner one night, another offering childcare, and now another (who’s face I can only imagine, and voice I do not know) with an offer so simple and lovely it makes me close my eyes and shake my head and whisper, “What did I do to deserve this kindness from a stranger? From anyone?”.

But it’s not a matter of “deserving” anything at all. I receive because they give. And they give because they want to. And they want to because they also know what it is to receive.

Because He never stops giving.

And that’s it – the way I want to start December and the preparation of my heart to celebrate – really celebrate Christ’s birth: I want to see Him around me, recognize Him as he weaves worlds together, hear Him through the noise, and breathe deeply of His of goodness.

I want to receive Him, all over again.

Thank you, dear grace-givers, for helping me to see Jesus. You represent Him so well.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How has someone’s kindness been grace in your life lately? 

 

Love,
A

p.s. Forgot to use the timer tonight. Definitely blew the five minutes… probably doubled it, but who knows, who cares.

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La-la-la-la-la (it’s another profound one, folks)

Oh, hi! It’s you.

I remembered about you. For a few days.

Then I forgot about you again.

Promptly.

I suppose new (renewed?) habits can be hard to find (again).

But now that I’m remembering again, let’s just say la-la-la-la-la, Happy Thanksgiving!

La-la-la-la-la Christmas is coming!

Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

And you know what?

I agree. Wholeheartedly.

So, la-la-la-la-la I’m sorry I forgot about you! La-la-la-la-la, I might try a little harder.

La-la-la-la-la, but I’m making no promises this time!

La-la-la-la-la, I’m kinda excited about December!

La-la-la-la-la, it’s past my bedtime!

And in case  you’re grumpy today, I’ll leave you with another gem from everybody’s favorite elf that they love to hate or hate to love: “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite.” (-Buddy)

The end.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you like singing? Wait, better question, do you like singing Christmas carols? #pleasesayyes 

Love,
A


The “perfect” holiday season

Thanksgiving is in a few days and I’m officially excited for Christmas.

Around here that means higher electricity bills (hello, AC!) and less clothes. It means more sweat and more swimming. It means uglier hair and more beautiful evening walks.

Every year we long for our holidays to be “the best ever” and it’s easy to make ourselves crazy with wanting our homes and tables and gifts and trees to look like something out of Martha Stewart. (And don’t get me wrong, I love prettiness all around.)

But I refuse to pursue “pretty” at the expense of “perfect”.

Because perfect holidays don’t come looking like a magazine spread.

Perfect holidays come when there is enough time and space and energy to enjoy the ones we love.

Sometimes that comes with a gorgeous party spread laid out around a pinterest-worthy centerpiece and other times that comes with a backyard BBQ and impromptu game of cricket while dining on picnic wear.

Either way, perfect is achievable. As long as we have the right idea of perfect. 

 

Q for you: Do you stress about having the “perfect” holidays?

 

Love,
A

 


Celebrate, we will

We spent $8 and one hour decorating a wagon in red, white, and blue for tomorrow’s old fashioned pet parade.

Although the kids are still pretty little we know they’ll love it. And since we have no idea when we’ll get to celebrate another 4th of July we’re doing it, well, biggish.

It feels like an eternity ago that I was a kid riding my bike in the parade. Dressing in silly outfits and having my own children in the parade was a million miles from my mind.

But here I am, so excited about some old fashioned small town parade and festivities.

We’ll hit up the free pancake breakfast, enjoy the parade, and roam around the park filled with three-legged races, hoola hooping, and other “old fashioned” games.

And though the boys are far too young to understand what it is to be American, they will understand that it’s something worth celebrating.

Celebrate, we will.

Happy 4th my friends.

STOP.

 

Q for you: If you are American, what are you doing for the 4th?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Do you have rules for yourself that you sometimes wish you didn’t?

Recently I found a stack of thank you cards that I never finished. Some are from Levi’s birthday (January). THe others are from Christmas.

Can I just say how devastating this is?

I have a personal value that gifts should always be acknowledged by a thank you card. It’s something I try to always do.

For both of these occasions I printed out cute cards that I made myself. (Put a little effort into it already, you know?)

I have my lists of who needs to be thanked.

And then they got buried under the mounds of other stuff in that one cubby hole in my office shelves that I avoid that’s full of things to be filed and paperwork to sort out…

and never saw the light of day again until… later.

Much later.

Now we are looking at three and four months late.

What do I do?

Chalk it up as a thank you fail and move on?

Of write the cards with a “better late than never” mentality? (Almost more embarassing, I think?)

Would people be blessed to receive a thank you this far down the track? Or is that just weird.

I’m seriously considering moving on… but then there’s this thing. This thing I have about doing them.

Ugh.

Does this happen to anyone else? Do you have “rules” for yourself that you sometimes wish you didn’t but that you also don’t want to give up because you think they;re important? (And was that a long, non-sensical sentence, or what?)

Help me.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What’s one of your personal “things” that you just have to do… but sometimes with you didn’t?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Good Friday, indeed (And why I didn’t rub dirt on my face and lament)

In Australia Good Friday is observed as a public holiday.

Now I could just have a hazy memory, but I don’t think Good Friday is included among our “holidays” in America. (If I’m wrong, please forgive me. It’s been 12 years.)

Ryan and I don’t have EAster Monday off  (some do, but not our workplace), but we do have Good Friday off along with the rest of Australia. So as the day approached I thought a lot about how we should spend our time.

Since we’ve been so crazy busy lately it was kind of a given that we needed some down tiem as a family. But we needed to do something “spiritual” too, right?

Maybe watch The Passion (after the kids are in bed)? or go to a church service? or–I don’t know–rub dirt on our faces and tear our clothes?

But instead we went to the beach.

We ate a picnic lunch.

We played in the water.

We lounged under palm trees.

We ate fudgesicles.

We loaded sandy little feet and wind blown hair and rosy-shouldered bodies into the car.

And as we were driving home from the beach I thought to myself, what a perfect GOod Friday.

I do’t want to mourn on Good Friday. I don’t want to lament.

Yes, there’s been pain. There’s been suffering. There’s been incredible injustice.

I understand all of that. (As much as my finite mind can at least.)

But I also understnad htat the reason for all of that is to give us a good day. A very good day.

A day so good that we can’t help but give thanks to the One who has sacrificed and poured out his everything so that we might have incredible, amazing, aweosme days like today.

You know, really, really spiritual days.

If it weren’t for his suffereing, there is no way I’d have ever met my husband or have the two gorgeous boys that I have now.

And so what better way to recall his suffering than to enjoy (part of) the very reason he paid the price?

Thank you Holy God, for a Good Friday, indeed.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you observe Good Friday? How?

Love,
A

p.s. I absolutely think there is a time and a space for meditating on the dark hour of the cross and all that it entails. If that’s how you choose to observe Good Friday, then I think that’s wonderful. Today just wasn’t that day for us. And that’s okay too.

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


For the love of holiday M&Ms

I get homesick at holidays.

I know what you’re thinking – of ocurse you miss your family when you want to celebrate with them most.

Um yeah. That’s true. I miss family…

But actually, I’m talking about another kind of homesick.

M&Ms.

It’s Valentines Day tomorrow.

All I want is some little conversation hearts and some pink and red and white peanut M&Ms.

Is that too much to ask?

At Christmas I want red and green ones.

At Easter I want some nice pastel ones.

I’d even buy green ones for St Patricks Day, just becuase I could.

(Do they sell red, white, and blue ones for 4th of July? Probably.)

I know it probably sounds crazy, but I miss holiday candies.

Yup, I know – it’s all just part of their marketing ploys to empty our pockets.

Yup, I know – it’s all consumerism and a litle ridiculous.

But… I kinda like it. I like conversation hearts and pink M&Ms.

I strolled the isles of Target adn Big W (Australia’s version of Walmart) and Woolies (Safeway) today in search of Valentiens candy.

Guess what I found?

A few heart-shaped chocolates and…

Easter eggs.

Apparently Australia thinks Valentines is an American hoax to make you buy yet aother greeting card. maybe…

But I think Valentines Day is an American way of reminding you to tell the people you love that… you love them.

So happy Valentines Day to my lovies. You’ll just have to take my kisses… since red and pink hersheys ones are nowhere to be found.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you get into Valentines Day? Or do you think it’s ridiculous?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


Oi oi oi

australia day with my boys

 

Today we celebrate Australia – the land of budgee smugglers, beer, kangaroos, koalas, surfers, and crocodile.s

Obviously there’s so much more than that to Australia, but I do love the simplicity of some of the stereotypes. Or icons. (I thnk icon is a better word here actually.)

Some of the things I love about this land’s people:

They tend to be unpretentious.

They are sports fanatics. (Not that I can relate to this one, but I do love the fanfare and camaraderie that comes with it.)

They love to be outside.

They work hard.

The relax well.

They call strangers “mate”.

Tehy take breaks adn have chats adn call them “cuppas”.

They are good at hospitality.

They gravitate to beaches adn parks for every single public holiday.

They use funny words like “smoko” or “servo” or anything shortened with an “o” on the end.

They call children things like “love” and “darling” and “possum” and “sausage”.

They have weird sayings and chants like “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi!”

They make men like my husband. (Score! Big time!)

I’m grateful to be in this nation, celebrating our good life in this great land.

“Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free!”

Happy Australia Day!

STOP.

 

Q for you: If you’ve not yet been to Australia, what comes to mind when you think of the Land Down Under?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.