Christmas Time and The Aprons & Pearls Linkup

Christmas is upon us. Alright, it is next week, but less than a week away.
This time of year can be tough for many, please take a minute or two to pray for those who are missing loved ones at this time. Pray also for those who have no place to go.
I shared some Winter Essential Oil Diffuser Blends Saturday.
This week has been a busy one. Good on the whole, but busy. I know that many people are still running errands and preparing (as am I!). It is easy to fall into the pushing, bustle of grumpy shoppers.
I want to challenge you to be different. Do not let the celebration eclipse the reason for the season. Take time to be still.  Put on Love. Put on the Garment of Praise. Get drunk in the Spirit. Be joyful. Let your speech be seasoned with saltBe peculiar!
I read my post on Christmas Memories and Peace the other day and cried. I still miss granddaddy, and this time of year still stings.
My wish for you and your loved ones is that Jesus would truly be your Prince of Peace this busy week, as well as through the coming year.
What is a family tradition that you are keeping going? How are you bringing Jesus into the center of things?

On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

    • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
    • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.

  • While I personally do not see anything wrong with a glass of wine every once in a while, please do not include alcoholic beverage recipes. It is a stumbling block to many, and I am not comfortable including them. They will be deleted.
  • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
  • Leave as many as you like.
  • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
  • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.
The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.
As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
Please note: View expressed in linkedup posts do not necessarily reflect my own, and I reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.
fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409
Now, to the link-up! Just click on the blue button below to add your link, and to check out all of the links left by others! Links are sorted randomly, so no need to worry if you join us late in the game!


48 Winter Essential Oil Diffuser Blends

48 Winter Diffuser Blends @godschicki

Essential Oils-a Great Way to Make Your Home Smell Good Naturally

If you have been on my blog much before, you know that I like to do things naturally. That includes making our home smell good. Diffusing essential oils is a great way to do that!
Today I am sharing 48 diffuser blends for winter, since it is just around the corner. Christmas is just over a week away, so I want my house smelling like it!

Safety

Please remember to check out the essential oil safety page if you have not already done so. Essential oils are natural, but some are not safe in every situation.
Many of these blends are safe for children over 6 (some for children over 2), but the ones with rosemary, eucalyptus, and peppermint should not be used around children under 10. Purity is not the issue. They contain a constituent that can cause problems breathing in children under 10.
48 Winter Diffuser Blends @godschicki

Need an oil diffuser?

[Affiliate link] This is my favorite one that I have used. It’s a bit more than some of the ones that use water in them, but it works so much better and uses less oil.

Gift Ideas for Essential Oil UsersMaking You Home Smell Good NaturallyDiffusing Essential Oils | Essential Oil Safety Page | 29 Mood & Energy Boosting Essential Oil Diffuser Blends | 116 Autumn Essential Oil Diffuser Blends

Aprons & Pearls Link-up

Christmas time is here! We got our tree up last week. The kids have been watching Christmas movies. Last night we went to a walk-through of lights that was pretty awesome. D is learning to touch the tree with just one finger (though the lower half of the tree is pretty bare as far as ornaments go). Shopping is done except for one or two little things.
I am almost done with a few posts that I am very excited about sharing with you. I am just waiting for a couple of resources to come in. It is a topic that I am very passionate about.
Friday I shared some Christ-centered Christmas Activities. There’s still time to join in with any of them. If you are still looking for a gift, why not get one that gives back? But you will want to hurry to be sure to get it in time for Christmas!
Hubby has been reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe aloud to us the past week. That has been very nice. I loved the movie growing up. Once we finish the book we will watch that.
On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

  • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
  • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
  • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
  • Leave as many as you like.
  • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
  • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.
The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.
As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
Please note: View expressed in linkedup posts do not necessarily reflect my own, and I reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.
fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409
Now, to the link-up! Just click on the blue button below to add your link, and to check out all of the links left by others! Links are sorted randomly, so no need to worry if you join us late in the game.


Christ Centered Christmas Activities

Christ Centered Christmas Activities @godschicki
This may contain affiliate links. This means that I earn a small commission if you purchase through my links, but it does not change the price that you pay.

The Christmas season is here. Are you looking for a Christ centered alternative to Elf on the Shelf? Ways to make Christmas more meaningful for your family? I have compiled a (short) list of some of the great alternatives out there, and in this post I am sharing them.
Faith at home is something that is very important to us. Living out Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
Some people start celebrating the day after Thanksgiving, others December 1st. I am more of a year round kind of girl. I can watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music year round.
One thing that we try to do is make the season about Christ, and not Santa or gifts. We are still working on our traditions.
We do not hold being naughty or nice over the children’s heads. God’s gift of grace is completely undeserved, and we should strive to live holy lives not because we might not get a treat if we are naughty, but because we love Jesus. Santa is not the all-seeing, all-knowing being that many make him out to be. Only God is. An Elf sent to spy on the kids does not quite fit with our goals for the Christmas season.
A lot of families do Elf on the Shelf, but I’ve been looking for more Christ centered Christmas/Advent activities. I found one that I really like, I think we will try to start it next year, but here are some ideas for you. Some are very much like Elf, others are printables, or other activities.
Christian Elf on the Shelf Alternatives @godschicki

The Heart of Christmas

Since the kids are little, I think we are going to do The Heart of Christmas Ideas from Premeditated Leftovers. It is simple enough and I can tailor it to fit my kid’s age levels.
I love this idea. Basically you take a baby Jesus (I will be using a Little People Nativity one), and hide Him around the house with special instructions for the day for various acts of kindness and ways to focus on Christ. The idea being that each morning, you seek Jesus and His instructions for the day.

The Giving Manger

The Giving Manger box set includes everything you’ll need to bring the spirit of service into your home. As your Christmas season unfolds your hearts and home will be filled with more joy and love than ever before. This tradition will become a family favorite year after year + it will create some of your most cherished Christmas memories.
We believe in this product and the way it can help shift the focus of Christmas to serving. To us this is more than a business. It’s a way to spread kindness + promote service.  Your support means the world to us!

The Shepherd’s Search

The Shepherd’s Search is very much like the Elf on the Shelf, only he is on the search for baby Jesus.

Truth in the Tinsel

A great way to refocus on Jesus this Christmas season. Each day of advent, Truth in the Tinsel will lead you through a passage of Scripture, a corresponding ornament craft, and talking points for you and your children.

What God Wants for Christmas

What God Wants for Christmas is an interactive learning experience. Seven gift boxes to open will bring your child on a journey to Bethlehem, learning from the Biblical characters the true meaning of Christmas. The only down side to this is that is only a week’s worth of activities, but especially if your kids are little, you can do it for a couple of weeks before Christmas. Children learn best through repetition. 

Star From Afar

Star From Afar is another Elf alternative. You set up your nativity and every night you hide the star. The next day the children seek out the star and move the wise men to its location and read the corresponding Scripture. Repeat each day until Christmas eve when you place it over the stable so that the wise men find Jesus on Christmas morning. I will quibble with the fact that the wise men are the ones finding Jesus on Christmas morning, as Scripture says that Jesus was a toddler, mostly likely between 1 and 2 by the time that they came, but it is a fun activity and you could easily explain that to children.

The Good Deeds Manger

The Good Deeds Manger is a Christian activity for the holidays highlighting the importance of doing a good deed daily and treating others with kindness. This family activity centers on an empty manger during the weeks before Christmas. If you do a good deed, you earn realistic looking pieces of hay to put inside the manger.
Since it’s not likely that the hay will stay put with small children in the house, this is probably better suited for older children.

The Shepherd’s Treasure

This is the one I want to get for next year. The Shepherd’s Treasure is very similar to the Elf, only your shepherd is searching for treasure. Your Shepherd shows up next to the book that he comes with. You read it as a family, name your shepherd, then the search is on. Each day your shepherd has adventures looking for the treasure. On Christmas Day, he finds Jesus, the ultimate Treasure. There website has a bunch of ideas for your shepherd’s search. If you watch their Facebook page closely, they do run some great Black Friday Specials, but they sell out quickly, so check early. Right now, all of the shepherds are of European descent, but they plan to add more next year.

The Twelve Names of Christmas

The Twelve Names of Christmas is a 12 day ornament base advent activity pack. There is an ornament and two page story for each day. You can hang all of the ornaments at once when you decorate the tree and then have kids find them, or hang one each day as you tell the story. The ornaments are pretty and brightly colored. A good alternative for any age.

A Jesse Tree

This is another one that I would love to incorporate in our home. Based on Isaiah 11:1, the Jesse Tree is an advent tradition the uses 25 ornaments to tell Bible stories leading up to the birth of Jesus. There are many, many vendors that sell ornaments (I personally love these), but one of the great things about this tradition is that you can also make your own, either to start with or each year. The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas is a great resource, as are Pinterest and Google.
 

I reached out to some fellow bloggers for their advent and Christ centered Christmas ideas, here is what they shared with me:

Lora over at Crafty Designs shared her beautiful DIY Advent Calendar with Scriptures, as well as her DIY Advent Wreath.
Kristen at Joyfully Thriving share her Reverse Advent Calendar.
Jessica at Cutesy Crafts shared her adorable felt Nativity Advent Calendar.
There is this awesome Random Acts of Christmas Kindness for Kids over at Wonder Mom Wanna Be.
Uncommon Designs has a whole collection of great Advent Ideas.
Angie over at the Country Chic Cottage has her some great Advent Ideas as well.
Randi over at Dukes and Duchesses has a lovely DIY Chalk Board Advent Calendar , a cute Daily Advent Reading for Children, and 24 Acts of Service Advent Calendar.
Sustain My Craft Habit’s Jane and Sonja share their Ribbon and Burlap Advent Calendar.
Katelyn at What’s Up Fagans has some great coloring pages for kids, as well as her take on the three gift tradition, and great nativity set ideas for children.
 

What are some of your special traditions?

Grace & Truth Linkup @godschicki

Gifts That Give Back

Gifts That Support Families @godschicki

Gift Ideas The Support Families

Want a more unique Christmas gift? How about one that helps support a family?
These are some of my favorite products, and they help support families around the country. All of these ladies are in education, some at home, some in public school. Many of these companies are Christian based, which I like as well.

Small Business Saturday vs Black Friday

Small business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the day after Black Friday. It is a day that encourages people to shop small, supporting small businesses and families. I personally love the idea.
These are not affiliate links. I am not getting any sort of commission for them. I just want to help get the word out about these products, and help these ladies support their families.

Thirty-One Totes With Brittany

Thirty-One offers a wide variety of bags and organizational products, as well as a decor and jewelry line. Their site (and Pinterest) are full of amazing ideas for using their products.
I have several Thirty-One items including the Creative Caddy, Littles Carry-All Caddy, Double Duty Caddy, the Tall Organizing Tote and the Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote to name a few.
Brittany is a school teacher who loves helping her students learn.

LillaRose

LillaRose is a line of hair accessories. Headbands, u-pins, flexi clips, bobby pins, badge clips, and the flexi o clips make up their catalogue.
I only have two of the flexi clips, but I love them! They can be a bit more of an investment, but I think that they are well worth is. I love my flexi clips. They hold hair securely, without necessarily holding it tight (so I can make a looser style, and I do not get a face lift when I put the clip in like when I put in a hair claw). Mom confession, I have slept in my flexi clip, and gone out the next day without having redone my hair. There are so many different ways to wear them as well.
Janet is a homeschool mom, and is one of the best example of the Proverbs 31 and the Titus 2 women that I know of. She also blogs over at Homemaking 4 His Glory.

Hello Cozy Handmade Accessories

Hello Cozy is a small business that sell handmade crocheted items.  Wash cloths, scarves, cowls, hats, headbands, boot cuffs, and ear warmers make up the bulk of their shop.
Kim is a homeschool mom of 3 littles.

Mary & Martha Home

Inspired by Mary and Martha in the Bible, this company seeks to help encourage hospitality and serving your community.
I have some beautiful mugs that I love from Mary & Martha. Their items are pretty pricey, but they frequently have great sales.
Johanna is a homeschool mom, she has also co-founded the Christian Online Trade Market.

Stitchin’ Pretties

This one is a little more outside the box, but I love Allison’s reuseable pads.
Beautiful materials and quality sewing make these a great score for any lady.
Allison is a homeschool mom.

Lemongrass Spa

I have shared about my struggle with wanting to wear make-up, and how I do not wear it often. Between wanting to set an example for my girlie, and the junk that is in today’s makeup, it just does not happen much.
When I do wear it, I use Lemongrass Spa. The products are hands down the cleanest that I have found. Many of their products are also organic. I absolutely love their mascara.
Lemongrass Spa is doing a special Feedom Feet Campaigne to send our military members some pampering for their feet.
Anita is a homeschool mom.
I hope that these give you some good ideas for your gift giving needs!
If you missed the big announcement earlier this week, please take a minute to check it out here!
Do you have a small business? Do you do shop small businesses?

The Winner Is…and Link~up

Homeblessing Winner & Aprons & Pearls LinkUp @godschicki

The Winner of the Big Homeblessing Giveaway Is…

Kelly!
Congratulations! I will be emailing you shortly work out details!

Aprons & Pearls Link~up

This is a day late. Yesterday we got back from a bit more than a week in Texas, at 2 am. The kids and I slept in and muddled through our day.
And I completely spaced Aprons and Pearls.
That is okay. Life happens.
There is still unpacking to be done. I need to strip diapers, reseason some cast iron, get dinner started, do dishes, laundry (after I finish putting away groceries to get to the washer! #AuthenticHomemaking) and about a hundred other things.
Not super deep on the homemaking inspiration front today I am afraid, but honest.
I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.

About the Aprons & Pearls Link-up

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave up to three links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

  • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
  • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, Oil Selling or the like).
  • Life happens and we all get behind sometimes, but for each link you leave, please comment on at least two posts (1 link=2 comments, 2 links=4 comments, 3 links=6 comments).
  • Comments should be meaningful (at least 10 words and relevant to the post) and use keywords from the post title.
  • Add the Aprons & Pearls Button below to either your post or your sidebar so others can join in.
  • Use the hashtag #aprons&pearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
 
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<a href=”http://aboutachik.wordpress.com/category/aprons-pearls/”><img src=”http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/godschik/fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Aprons & Pearls Link~Up” /></a>

I have had some issues with the image not showing up, so please let me know if this fixed it or if it is still buggy. Thank you for your patience as I figure this out!
Now, to the link-up!


Big Homeblessing Giveaway

Homeblessing Giveaway @godschicki
 
I am very excited to announce a huge giveaway that I am running to celebrate National Homemaker’s Day. Yes, it is not until November 3rd, but our newest edition is due that week, so I know that life will be crazy then. I was trying to decide When else I could do it, and then I thought about having a Christmas in July giveaway. So, here we are!
I am giving away several items that I have found helpful as a Christ following, natural minded, homemaker.

What’s in the giveaway?


#1 2 Reusable Shopping Bags

#2 2 Reed Diffusers
#3 4oz Glass Spray Bottle
#4 16oz Glass Spray Bottle
#5 8oz Dr Bonner’s Unscented Liquid Castile Soap
#6 Cleaning Gloves
#7 The Organically Clean Home
#8 Decorated Canvasses

#9 Apron
#10 Faux Pearls

#11 Small Free Standing Chalk Board
#12 Be Still And Know Decorative Cross
#13 We Love Because Decorative Cross

#14 Quieting Your Heart 6 Month Bible Study Journal
#15 A Walk in the Garden Adult Coloring Book
#16 The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook
#17 Passionate Housewives Desperate for God
#18 Building Her House
#19 A Christian Woman’s Guide to Hospitality
#20 36 Pack of Colored Pencils (Not pictured)
#21 Magnetic Book Mark Set (Not pictured)

#22 12 Cloth Napkins (Yes, they are black, all the better to hide stains!)
#23 Simple Entertaining

#24 Homemade Hard Lotion Bar
#25 2 Bar of Locally Made Natural Soap (Lavender & Unscented Oatmeal)
#26 Lavender Sachets
#27 Mongo Kiss Lip Balm Honey Vanilla
#28 J.R. Watson’s Liquid Lemon Hand Soap
#29 Nail Buffer/File
#30 Moisture Sock/Gloves (Not pictured)
#31 Pumice Stone (Not pictured)
#32 Lovely Lemon Scrub (Not pictured)

#33 Life Factory Glass Water Bottle
#34 Homemade Beeswax Candle
#35 Chocolate Bar
#36 5 Scripture Magnets (One pictured)
#37 Scripture Mug With Lid/Coaster
#38 Assortment of Organic Teas (Not pictured)

#39 Now Brand Essential Oil Diffuser

#40 Peloha Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace

#41 1 oz Lemon Essential Oil
#42 1 oz Teatree Essential Oil
#43 1 oz Lavender Essential Oil

#44 To-do Lists Pad
#45 My Grace Is Sufficient Journal
#46 List Pads
#47 Assorted Note Cards
#48 Book of US Stamps (US Winner)
#49 2 Weekly Planner Pads
#50 Recipe Cards
#51 Zebra Pen/Pencil Set

 
Are you ready to enter?
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Our Home of Many Blessings
A Little R & R

Photobucket

<span style=”margin:<span class=” mceitemhidden”=”” data-mce-bogus=”1″>5px;padding:5px;border-radius: 5px;border:1px solid lightgrey;display:inline-block;”> <img style=”border:

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Soul Survival

Joy to the World

image

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:10-11

I love the hymn Joy to the World. I had planned to write a nice long post on joy, but life happened, as it is want to do.
I will try to post more on the subject soon.
Have I mentioned that I love Christmas? 
The movies, music and foods. Looking at the Christmas trees in the stores. Decorating.
I have yet to get my tree up this year….but then, ours usually stays up until February.
I find it funny how it’s supposed to be a joyful season, but when you see people in stores there is a decided lack of joy.
Please remember, as you are out and about this Christmas season,  to be Christ’s light to those walking in darkness. Show them the hope and joy we have in Him.
Colossians 4 tells us to be wise in how we act towards outsiders, making the most of every opportunity. 
This Christmas season,  let’s be intentional about living for Him, making the most of each opportunity we are given.
Interesting note, apparently Joy to the World was written not about Christ’s birth,  but about His coming at the end of the age.

<a href="http://www.leahadams.org/the-loft-a-grand-re-opening/“><img class="aligncenter wp-image-9624 " src="http://arabahjoy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/THe_Loft_Link_Up.jpg” alt=”The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers” width=”583″ height=”540″ />
Graphic by <a href="http://plentyplace.com“>Kerry Messer
 

#TheLoft

December Prompts: The Loft will have an abbreviated schedule during the month of December. We will gather here on December 2nd and 9th. Our prompt for those weeks will be Christmas. You may link up any Christmas related posts on those days. Then, The Loft will be closed for the remainder of December. We will re-open in January.  
 
I hope you will plan to join us each week at The Loft Link-Up.
 
Now, it is time to link-up!!

 
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I hate that I do not have more Scripture in here, but I am writing this post on my phone while nursing two Littles. 

Peace & Christmas Memories

 
merry christmas (1)I have not been here as much as I would have liked to be in the past few months.
My granddaddy recently passed away.  He was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer a few short months ago. Finding the source was pointless. Chemo was pointless. He refused radiation. He went downhill much faster than we thought and hoped and prayed that he would. The predicted 6 months was only a bit more than 3.
My biological father died when I was a few days from turning 2. Granddaddy was really the only ‘daddy’ I had known until my mom remarried when I was 8.
We only live a few hours away, so our monthly visits turned into weekly visits at least. Sometimes more. We made it a priority to be down there as much as we could, and then some.
He walked with the Lord here on earth, and I have such a peace knowing he is walking with Him now. I do not mourn as one without hope. I know that we will see him again. That he is no longer suffering and is completely healed. Even before his diagnosis, he was not able to get out and work his garden like he loved to do. He was limited in what he could do, which was driving him crazy.
The hardest part in all of this is, I desperately want my kids to remember him.  Being 2 1/2 and 1 1/8 I know there is hardly a chance of that.
We have pictures and videos, which may just have to do.
My love of Christmas probably comes from Granddaddy. We had gone down Friday for an early Christmas with him on Saturday. He told my mom he wanted to rest up for it and that he was “looking forward to Christmas tomorrow”. He went to be with Jesus around midnight that night. The next day I found a poem he had written about Christmas and the greatest gift in the yard (mixed in with stuff that was going away). I may post that in the future.
Until the last couple of years, when his mobility was challenged, we waited for him to arrive to open our stockings and presents. The last couple of years we did open the stockings before he arrived, but waited for presents.
I remember my Grandma telling the story of their first Christmas without kids in the house. Granddaddy woke her up at 5 asking what it was like to sleep in on Christmas. She told him she did not know yet.
When I was little we used to drive around looking at Christmas lights. I loved the ones that went “Blinka, blinka”. He used to tease me about it every year as we saw Christmas lights begin to go up around the neighborhood.
Decorating the tree was a family event, both at our house and at Grandma and Granddaddy’s.
Christmas will be hard for me this year. This year has been chaotic to say the least, with many ups and downs. Spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. Through it all, it has been God’s peace and knowing He is Sovereign that has gotten me through it.
I wrote most of the rest of this several years ago. Okay, probably more than 10 years ago now that I really think about it. But I think it is perfect reminder for this season of my life, as it has been many times before. I have added just a bit.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders.
And he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
                                                                         Isaiah 9:6

When I was asked to ponder what Jesus means to me, the first thing that came to mind was friend, and he is, but God’s been showing me in the past few weeks that He’s also my Prince of Peace.
  I got the song “I’ve got peace like a river” stuck in my head a couple of times in the past few weeks (and the only part I know is I’ve got peace like a river), and I was thinking about it the other day, rivers are peaceful, but they also go over rocks and hard places too.
  God’s peace isn’t what we normally think peace is. We think of peace as the absence of conflict, but God’s peace goes much deeper. His peace still a troubled mind and brings a calm feeling that no matter what happens, even when life is insanely busy, or you feel as though your world is falling apart, everything will be okay, because God is in control, overseeing everything.
During this hectic season, I pray that He would be your Prince of Peace as well.
Prince of Peace @godschicki
A Loft Link Up Prompt @godschicki