Special Times


MotherDayIn an attempt to slow down, decompress and stress less this past few weeks I realized that I had these coloring books (thanks to Harper) and a pack of colored pencils.

Just on the cusp of a lot of news casts and articles about coloring as a benefit to you. Yes, you, adults – a simple way to decompress and regain focus and concentration – coloring. With all the “to do” lists and never ending projects it can seem overwhelming and daunting. Regaining appreciation for something as simple as coloring can re-balance, refocus and re-frame your thinking and outlook.

Eleri Fowler, artist from Wales, has created beautiful coloring books – her two spring themed books Joyous Blooms to Color and My Mother, My Heart. A Beautiful mix of poetry and beautiful, truly a hidden treasure and example about simple joy in such a crazy hectic life.
LittleWay

Not to mention – I love books. A bookstore, book nook or book swap can suck me in. With all the “to dos” coming up and the stressful thoughts plaguing my peace and joy – challenging myself to dive in and just be is hard. So finding a unique book at the local library book sale was just what I needed to make my day. It wasn’t a coincidence; I had been wanting to pick up a book about St. Thérèse of Lisieux and the Little Way – I was pleased to find just the book – Let Us Be What We Are: The Joys and Challenges of Living the Little Way. Wondering if I had just made another dust collecting purchase, I came across a quote in the doctor’s office:

BE

Take time to breathe, take time to color, take time to enjoy the simple joys and sacrifices in life – in the spirit of One Thousand Gifts, be simple, be ordinary, be grateful, just Be…

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY:

Leave a comment below and tell me what special thing you love about your family. It’s as simple as that. You’ll be entered to win one of the coloring books Joyous Blooms to Color & My Mother, My HeartThis is perfect for a birthday, Mother’s Day or Teacher Appreciation or end of the year gifts. Please spread the word and retweet this link:

Enter Shari’s Sentiments Spring Coloring GIVEAWAY http://wp.me/pOGoC-tF

The Winner will be notified via email so make sure you add that to your comment form (it will not be shared). Only those who comment will be entered to win.

The Giveaway will end Saturday, May 14th 11:59 EST.

Remember to BE…blessed, loved and joyful,
Shariprpl

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So we all know that the best parts about Christmastime is family, food, gifts and FUN! Yes fun – nostalgic things like cookies, cocoa, movies and pie are some of the fun that makes the season enjoyable. This year one  of the fun gifts that came my way was —not a Ginger bread but a Ningabread cookie decorating kit — hysterical right. Yes.

Almost like the famed Gingy from Shrek.

Almost like the famed Gingy from Shrek.

 

Getting creative.

Getting creative.

 

Finished Ninjabread cookie.

Finished Ninjabread cookie.

Our Ninjabread ended up looking like Colonel Sanders with spiked gumdrop hair :-). So that was the hysterical part and then a curious and yet strangely disturbing twist— you be the judge….

Do you want to eat a snowman?

Do you want to eat a snowman?

Merry Fun Christmas!
Shariorng

Happy, Happy, Blessed Valentine’s Day,

Shariorng

noses So early this morning,  after a long holiday vacation,  this is the sight I see….

The hilarity of it only continued…

…as said child asked….

“Why does “this” keep coming out?”

Unsure of how to respond, I said, “You’re boogies?”  Yeah, she said.

So yes, I had  a small (but meaningful) discussion about mucus and its purposes for keeping your y healthy.

“It’s gross.”,  she said.  I know, there’s a lot of it in your body and it’s supposed to stay inside your body. But when you’re sick it comes out and it helps to keep boo boos out of your nose. “Well, its yucky.”

So what else can I say…its mucus

GreatGiftI may be a year late but it was worth it never the less. This would not be the first Christmas where gifts were not the focus. There have been several seasons over the last decade when the Christmas focus was more about presence than presents. This year proved the importance of the presence of Jesus – THE Greatest Gift.

This December I had the opportunity to lead a small group for the four weeks of advent – using Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift ~ Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmascomplete with resources for Jesse Tree Ornaments. I have to admit I was fed more than I led. And that is a great gift of the presence of Christ in this Christmas season. Going into this advent season , I knew it would be hard – our family had lost my father this past July and Yuletide Greetings, merry making and festivities were the furthest things from my mind. So in an effort to drown out the noise of the hustle and bustle, I was longing for some comfort and joy. And I made it to the other side of Christmas – broken and hurting, worn out and tired. I felt a sense of certitude yet still questioning – What is the Greatest Gift? Was is Jesus? Love? Hope? Peace? Joy? As a leader of this group – I felt I had missed it – the greatest gift. I feared that in the midst of Christmas rush that I had missed the point. I was sure that Jesus was the gift we were talking about – the arrival of the long awaited Messiah is what Advent is all about.

Still, I felt left out of the message – though I was not. By Christmas Eve I was emotional and hollow for the presence of my father and family – and as quickly as I had sunken into my hurt the words came – ‘Rejected at the inn, holy God comes in small to where you feel rejected and small. God is with you now. Wherever you are – in a soundless cry or hidden brokenness or in your ache – God always wants to be with you. You are not ever left alone in this. We are never left alone in this; GOD is with us.’ The Greatest Gift, pg 246.
JesseTree
I believe that is exactly what Jesus came for – this is why we celebrate, this is why remember, this is the greatest gift – Jesus the greatest gift. Love the greatest gift – He did it for love. The presence of Christ; the God-man  – there are no Christmas presents that compare to this. Immanuel, God with us. We are never alone and we are loved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
Christina RossettiChristmastide (1885)

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. ~1 John 4:16

Merry, Merry Christmas.
Sharired

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