Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Gift To Christ

Have you ever had a day where you felt you may have over done it? Not like over excert yourself, but you were being a little "extra", "on ten" or "doing the most"? Well I wish I could say I've never had one of those days but then there'd be no point of this post. I have had more of these days than I'd like to admit. When I got some alone time, I knew I would have to have a talk with the God and confess my sins to Him and ask for forgiveness. Like wow, I ran my mouth a little too much today and didn't show many people who I was a child of. Maybe I was too aggressive, or opinionated, had too much attitude, or heaven forbid said a naughty word. Either way it left me feeling a little dirty. 

It always remind me of one of the best complements I have ever received. One that had nothing to do with the way I looked. I was told by a patient when I worked as a patient care tech that I didn't need to wear a cross around my neck for him to know that I was a Christian. He could see Christ in me because of the way I treated him and the way I carried myself. I couldn't wait to tell my parents about it, hoping they would feel like they had done their job as Christian parents. I often wonder some days if I have shown someone enough Christ that they could pay me such a complement. Yeah sure I'm not afraid to talk about Christ, but without me saying His name, could they see who I belonged to?

My pastor preached this week about giving a gift to Christ for Christmas. A gift that Christ would cherish, like a humble heart. As it is described in the bible, an attitude of lowliness. Ben described it as an attitude of bankruptcy, that without God I am nothing. I've never given any thought about what gifts I could give to my great King. Of course there is nothing I could give that would compare to the love and mercy He shows me but still, never, how awful that I have never considered what Jesus would want from me. More time spent with Him, a deeper relationship, a humble heart. These are the things He desires of me and all they take is time and effort.

Micah 6:8
"He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice,
and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

I have really been struggling with a HUGE blessing God has recently given me. And how odd, you think once you've received said blessing that it would be all good but let me tell you when God decides to bless and favor you it doesn't always come without responsibility. I have been approached about this blessing and kind of been asked to explain myself. How did this happen? Why you? I have struggled with the answer to give. Making sure to not hurt anyone's feelings in the process, almost stepping on egg shells when talking about it. But the truth is very simple. I prayed long and hard!!

This was only the result of God's favor on my life. Saying that out loud didn't seem like it would be hard at first but I've been side stepping the truth. Making it a little more about me, what I have done, how much experience I have. Wow, that wasn't what I said I would do! I said I'd give Him all the credit, make sure everyone knew He was the reason. When people heard my explanation and looked at me like "that's it", I began elaborating but what resulted was a lie. I am not the most deserving, I am not the most qualified, I am not the best choice. When I received the news of this blessing I cried in my managers office, she seemed shocked and little uncomfortable as she handed me tissue, saying she didn't expect that reaction out of me. The woman who seemed so determined to get what she wanted, now breaking down in her office like a little child. I just told her that she had no idea how many people had been praying for me and how much of a blessing I considered this. My attitude needs to always reflect that moment, that moment that I felt so humbled that God would answer a prayer that seemed impossible. 

They say the first step to recovery is recognition. I am very aware that I fall short but it is a process in which I am realizing that I need to die a little everyday so Christ can grow in me. Being humble is a choice, Ben says it is a job of ours and not God's. If you do not humble yourself, God will. The last thing I want is to have a Steve Harvey moment so Lord, PLEASE let me do it!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Noelle Meets The Claus

This weekend we were off to meet the man in red! This was Noelle's first time encountering Santa. We haven't made him a big deal because well, this season isn't about him. Our belief in Santa as children was filled with great memories and we'll make sure she has them too but Jesus is who we want her to know. The adventure included a ride to the north pole while singing Christmas carols, a meeting with the fat guy and cookies and hot chocolate before the ride back down the mountain. It was hilarious and darling and I am so happy we did it. Now if it seems like I am smirking in these pictures, I am not being cynical, I went for a filling a couple hours before the ride and my smile was jacked. The dentist told me it would wear off after an hour and a half, LIES!!! So I asked Santa for my smile back, I am still currently missing a dimple.

 Caught Santa slippin'!

Meeting Santa went a little something like this. 
"When I smiled at him, that didn't mean I wanted to be held by him."
"Seriously, can you get me down?"
"Boy, this is awkward!"
"Did someone say Mickey Mouse?"
"Oh were giving hugs?'
"If I smile can I get down?"

"I wish for you to put me down!" Ok I'm done.

Now everyone smile big for this awkward family photo!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Ornament Party

This time last year, Noelle and I had our first ornament making party surrounded by our dearest friends and all the members of the NC3L baby crew. I wasn't expecting anything of the sorts this year being in Denver without our family. Then something happened, we were invited to an ornament party with our new friends!! It was our first time painting together and after she figured out it wasn't meant for eating, the fun was under way!

Our host Kristen had muffins and fruit for the kiddies and THE BEST hot chocolate I have ever had warming in a crockpot! I am totally using this recipe for when our family comes into town this week. Kristen is a very talented painter (site here) and took no issue with our kids painting in her living room.

 She broke the snowflake but it still made it's way to the tree!

God is good and I'm happy that instead of me being sad about not being with friends back home God has opened doors for me to build new relationships here. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Who would've thought it? Wyoming! I can honestly say I never thought I'd see this state, EVER! Being in Colorado has helped open our eyes to a different part of the country that we would have never cared to see previously, no offense to you Wyomingites. After our Christmas shoot we made a break for it. It was a short but oh so sweet look into the home where the cowboys roam.

We headed to the Terry Bison Ranch to do what I thought was a train ride through some wild life. Little did I know!

I'm sorry Alice but I've got nothing for you. Call me what you want but I was not putting my digits anywhere near her mouth, so I dared Tj to.  Guest are no longer allowed to ride the camel because they would buck off their riders by dislocating their front legs. 

"Ask me what day it is one more time".

"Wait, we're feeding the what?"

You would have thought Noelle was feeding puppies, she was so relaxed and wanted to feed every one of them.

Please note these bison are domesticated, do not try this in the wild!

We had such a great time making these memories with Noelle. We made it back to town just in time for the Denver Parade of Lights, what a great day!