Archive for December, 2012

At the start of this year (2012), I shared with you my aims for this year (in Welcome to 2012). These were not my new year resolutions, but what I hoped to achieve this year as far as some lifestyle changes were concerned and some changes in my spiritual relationship with God.

At the end of each month since then I’ve given you an update on how I’m getting on with my aims. So now we’re on the last day of 2012, here’s my last update for this year, which will give you my honest opinions on whether I achieved, or failed, to reach my goals for this year…

  • Eat healthier
    • Over all, I would definitely say I have succeeded with this aim as I have definitely been eating much healthier when I’ve been at work, and have done ok when at home.
    • Yes there’s still room for improvement, as I have given in to my desire for chocolate on a few occasions.
    • Done ok with this ones I’m managing to continue to eat reasonably healthily while I’ve been at work, and not too bad when at home.
  • Lose some weight
    • Well I had my last weigh-in earlier today, and the news is that over the course of this year I’ve managed to lose 10 lbs.
    • I’m delighted with that as I have definitely not been on a diet, but have just been trying to eat a bit healthier and get a bit more active.
    • Hopefully if I continue doing the same things next year I’ll manage to lose a few more pounds.
  • Spend more time reading my bible
    • Some months this year I managed to spend a lot more time reading my bible than I had previously, however there were still a number of occasions when I didn’t even open my bible.
    • Overall though I’d say I’ve managed to spend more time reading my bible this year than last, though there’s definitely still plenty of room for improvement.
  • Don’t let pain rule my life
    • As many of you will know, I’ve had some health issues for a few years now, which I had hoped would have been resolved by 2 major operations. Unfortunately, despite the doctors being happy with the success of these operations, I have still been experiencing severe pain of the same nature I was getting prior to the initial diagnosis.
    • Therefore it has been an on-going struggle again this year to cope with my pain levels. Having said that though, due to all the other situations I’ve had to deal with this year, I’ve often just had to get on with things no matter how severe my pain has been.
    • On the whole I don’t think I’ve actually given in to my pain completely any more than maybe a 3 or 4 times this year, which looking back now, I find quite incredible.
  • Get back to playing tennis as stopped playing in 2003 when I first wasn’t well
    • I have failed miserably at this one!
    • There were a few times during the year when I was all set to go to the tennis club at the weekend when my friends would be there, but typically the Scottish weather put an end to those plans, and on following weeks other things would happen or we had other plans, so it just never happened.
  • Put aside a minimum of 5 minutes each day to spend some quiet-time with God
    • As with my aim to spend more time reading my bible, over the year, this has been a bit up and down – Some months I spent more than 5 minutes each day with God, others none at all.
    • Also depending on what’s been going on in my life at the time, and how I’ve been coping, some of these times with God have not exactly been quiet ones, as I’ve spent much of the time crying! They may not have been “quiet” times with God, but they were at least “times” with God where even although I couldn’t vocalise my prayers, I know God still knew what was in my heart.
  • Get back to playing the piano regularly as it’s been a while
    • I’ve failed at this one!
    • However I did get a brand new keyboard for my Christmas, therefore I will definitely make progress with in the coming weeks.
  • Go on holiday – we’ve not been away anywhere since 2002
    • Due to on-going health issues/concerns with various family members, this has not been possible.
  • Keep on top of the housework (especially the ironing mountain!)
    • I’ve said it before during some of my monthly updates, but I really do hate doing housework, and ironing is definitely my least favourite chore.
    • It’s should therefore be no surprise that I have failed miserably with this.
  • More patience and understanding of others
    • To me, I have managed to be a little bit more patient with other…though you may disagree!
    • I do find this incredibly difficult, particularly with certain people (who shall remain anonymous)
    • I continue to pray for patience daily.
  • Stop procrastinating
    • I’d say I’ve been successful with this aim, as I feel that, on the whole, I’ve managed to just get on with things.

So that’s my honest answers to how I got on this year with the aims/goals I set myself at the start of the 2012. Looking back now, I think my aims/goals have probably been too ambitious and too vague, as if I’m honest, there was probably no way I was ever going to achieve all these goals in one year. I also think my judgement on how successful I’ve been has been very subjective, so I should probably have made my goals more measurable. i.e. by measuring actual status at the start of the year and comparing with actual measurements at the end of the year.

In conclusion, I’m reasonably happy with what I’ve achieved this year. While I may not have been able to say I fully achieved very many of my goals I have made progress with a number of them which I’m definitely happy about.

How about you, how did you get on with your aims for 2012?

Whatever your aims were for this year, and regardless of whether you achieve any or all of them, I pray you managed to make progress, and that you have at least achieved all God had planned for you this year!

So we’re almost at the end of 2012. I don’t know about you, but this year seems to be over nearly as soon as it began! I know some will tell me that’s a sign of getting old, but I refuse to believe that, as I think it’s simply been because there’s been so much going on in my life this year…again.

emergency-signIt’s been another tough year for me:

  • Supporting my hubby as his health has deteriorated
  • Supporting my Mum for the first half of the year while she struggled to continue to look after and care for my Dad at home as his dementia worsened
  • Supporting Mum in the second half of the year as Dad first of all was in hospital for over 10 weeks and then moved into a local nursing home
  • Visiting my aunt who has been living in a care home for over 2 years and who reached the grand age of 90 in October
  • Various trips to A&E with my hubby , my Dad and my aunt – and of course they were all long waits, and sometimes during the night
  • Hubby’s retirement – which looking back on things was the best thing he could have done given how his health has deteriorated since he finished working
  • Several family bereavements
  • On-going health issues of my own

In amongst all that I’ve managed to keep working full-time, and unbelievably haven’t been off sick all year! Not quite sure how I managed that as there were some days when my pain levels were so severe I really don’t know how I managed to get through the day at work, but obviously I managed it somehow!

Anyway, enough about my year. I hope that whatever this year has brought you, good or bad, you will have made the most of your time with your friends and family as we never know what tomorrow will bring. I pray that you may have felt God‘s blessings on you during this year, and as we look ahead to 2013 you may go forward with confidence that whatever situations you have to deal with, God is by your side not just during this Christmas season, but all year-long.

All Year Long by Michael W Smith

This Christmas season I wish you joy
The wonder in every girl and boy
I  wish you gladness, the warmth and cheer
Of good friends and family gathered near

May children’s laughter in falling snow
Rekindle those  sweet scenes from long ago
May every carol, each candle bright
Remind  you why angels sang that night

If trouble finds you, this is my  prayer
May peace come into your hearts and make you strong
 And I wish you luck, the kind to last all year-long

When I was very growing up, the whole family, including my gran, aunts, uncles and cousins, used to come to our house for dinner nearly every Christmas Day – There were a couple of years when we all went out to a local hotel or restaurant for dinner, but that was the exception rather than the rule.

christmas-family-dinner_tableOver the years the numbers gathering at Mum and Dad’s have dwindled significantly, as my cousins grew up and had their own families, and older members of the family passed away. For a number of years there was still four then five of us for Christmas dinner, as there was always Mum, Dad, Aunt Mae and me and then after I got married, Sandy joined us too. Although when Sandy’s Mum was still alive we usually had Christmas lunch with her and then joined with my Mum, Dad and Aunt Mae early evening. After Sandy’s Mum died, we, along with my Aunt Mae, we went to Mum and Dad’s for Christmas dinner.

Probably 3 or 4 years ago was when we first when back down to it being just 4 of us for dinner, as my Aunt Mae refused to come out her house to join us for Christmas dinner. As she’s now living in a local care home she’s obviously not able to have the option to join us.

Earlier this year, my Dad moved into a local nursing home as Mum was no longer able to care for him at home any more. That of course means we’ve been another person down this Christmas…so this year there was only three of us!

I know Mum has found this year particularly difficult as it’s the first year in over 55 years of marriage that Dad’s not been at home for Christmas. It’s sad how life moves on and people who are a huge part of our lives are no longer part of it. However it wouldn’t be life if the people we know and the circumstances we find ourselves in remained unchanged for long.

So however many of you there was for Christmas Day this year, I pray that while there may have been empty spaces at your table where once loved ones sat, you are happy in the knowledge that they are in heaven with God now, whole and pain-free.

Never forget those who are no longer alive, but have had an impact on your life, whether it was just for a brief moment or for many years, because they will still be watching over you, and will know they are on your mind.

I don’t know about you, but over the last couple of weeks, particularly the week leading up to Christmas, the shops were mobbed but everyone seemed happy to speak to the person next to them in the queues, even although they’d never seen that person before, and probably likely to never see them again.

Funny that, because every other week of the year you go shopping, no-one is interested in speaking to you unless it’s to give abuse or complain about something. Isn’t it funny how the spirit of Christmas seems to make everyone nicer to each other.

Wouldn’t it be good if that Christmas spirit of friendliness towards others could remain all year round, not just for the few days of Christmas.

Presents

Posted: December 27, 2012 in birthday, Christmas, family, friendship, holiday, life, love, music, pray, religion
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Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.Did you get lots of lovely presents for Christmas? Did u get exactly what you wanted?

I hope that whatever you got from Santa and your family and friends, it was just what you wanted, and that any unexpected surprises where great ones.

I certainly got lots of lovely presents, including some unexpected items, but all were things I’ll be able to make good use of, so thank you to all of you who sent me gifts – I hope you liked your gifts as much as I liked mine!

Christmas has been hugely commercialized over the years, and for me, if anything it has gone too far now. How can it be ok to call this “holiday time” rather than “Christmas time” when if there had never been a Christ there would be no holiday?

So this Christmas time, I pray that not only have you received lots of lovely Christmas presents, you have also received the presence of God in your life and in your home too. I pray that Christ may not just be part of your Christmas this year, but also every day of your life.

Yesterday all over the world, we celebrated Christmas – I hope you had a fantastic time with your friends and family and got lots of lovely presents.

I hope you weren’t too busy yesterday to take just a few minutes to thank God for sending Perfect Love to earth in the form of Jesus.

Those of you who have children or who have friends who have children, will understand how the birth of a child can be described as the visual representation of perfect love and innocence. Mary gave birth to perfect love when she had Jesus and what a difference He made in this world!

Making a difference in this world is not just something Jesus can do, it’s something every one of can achieve if we let God help us. After all we were all a new-born baby at one time, and all were the image of perfect love. Let’s share the perfect love of Jesus throughout the world today and every day.

 

 

What better way to start my Christmas blog post of than by saying…Hallelujah, the Light Has Come!

Hallelujah We’ve been found
A Child is born to save us now, Jesus! Hallelujah Light has come!
A Savior who will set us free
A Promise for those who believe

I hope you enjoyed that wonderful reminder from Barlowgirl of what Christmas is really all about.

 

Yes, I hope you have had, and are continuing to have, an excellent Christmas Day. I hope you have received some wonderful presents and gifts and enjoyed spending time with your family and friends. But I also hope you have taken some time to remember that today we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the light of the world.

I hope and pray that in the coming days and months we might each be able to spread God‘s message that the light of the world is amongst us.

Merry-Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve, so what does that mean tonight while we sleep?

It means we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the Saviour of our wold!

So whatever you are doing this Christmas Eve, don’t just get excited because Santa coming, but, more importantly, remember to give thanks to God for sending Jesus into our world.

While You Were Sleeping by Casting Crowns:

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you’re lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night
The Father gave His only Son
The Way, the Truth, the Life had come
But there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we’re lying in the dark
There’s a shout heard ‘cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night

Christmas is synonymous with giving and receiving Christmas presents, but should we be giving God a gift this Christmas as a huge thank you for everything Christmas means to us…not just on Christmas Day but all year round?

Yes we should!

So what’s the best gift we can give God this Christmas?

For those who have not already given their life to God, the answer to this question is…your life, your all!

For those who are Christians, I’d urge you to give God a very personal gift that only you and Him need to know about, and let it be a sacrifice. David said in 2 Samuel 24 that he would not offer a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing. Maybe your gift to God will be to forgive someone you’ve needed to forgive for a long time, maybe it’s to accept God’s calling for you…whatever the gift you give God this Christmas, He will receive it with open arms, just as He receives and accepts each one of us with open arms.

Make your gift for Him special this year!

Paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

reason for the seasonIf I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of LOVE will endure.

Author Unknown