SDG – Authentic Community

You go to church on Sunday. Hurting. Struggling with the trials you face. They may be raising special needs children. They may be health issues. They may be loss of a job or loss of a family member. You carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. An acquaintance comes up to you to say hi and asks how you are doing? You answer: “Fine” with an awkward smile. LIAR! You are not fine. You are not doing ok.
From your view the acquaintance looks great. Doesn’t seem to have a hair out of place. She replies, “Great, I’m doing fine as well.” LIAR. You don’t know what lies beneath that facade. Broken marriage. Financial struggles. Depression.
Neither of you is being authentic with the other. Neither of you is willing to lay aside your pride and your insecurities to be honest with each other. You are not willing to admit humility and ask for help.
Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. (James 5:16 Msg)
It should be our common practice to be open and honest with each other. How can we be whole? How can we be healed if we aren’t honest and authentic?  Why do we allow ourselves to lie to each other when we are called to be people of the truth?  I think it is because we are spending too much time on our facades. The view that we want people to see. The view that we want people to think we are. The view we wish we were.
I am not just finding this at church, but also in the blogosphere or anywhere else I meet Christians. We all wear this facade. We don’t allow ourselves to be authentic because we don’t want to be judged. But then we become what we didn’t want to become – judgers. We start to judge ourselves on a perception and not on a truth. We start to judge others on the same perceptions. We allow ourselves to be valued not on authenticity but on illusion. That person seems to have it all; why don’t I? That person has no idea what I face on a daily basis. That person must have a housekeeper, her house can’t be that clean by itself.  On and on goes the judging and the lies, until we end up like the Pharisees. Self righteous people trying to be holy and failing miserably.
It is my belief that we as Christians are not willing to embrace our own messes or others messes. It is too messy. It is too scary. Too real. What will people think?  What will people expect from us when we start being honest. I was once told by a friend that another acquaintance thought my house was immaculate. That I did not have any dirt anywhere. She told me this while we were cleaning for my move. I quickly pulled out one of the beds and revealed the dust and dirt that had been under there for 4 years. See we all have that dirt. It is just hiding.
I struggle with being authentic. I have troubles with asking for help.  I do not want to burden people with my mess.   I rarely ask for prayer.  I rarely allow people to see the real messy me. The weak me.  Most people see me as a strong individual. Someone to have fun with. Someone who can be brutally honest. But how honest am I when I don’t share with those who are close to me. When I don’t allow them into my messes.  Am I selling myself and others short when I don’t share?  How can I expect others to share with me their brokenness and pain, as well as their triumphs, when I am reluctant to do the same.  
I just started reading “So Long, Insecurity” by Beth Moore. It is already speaking to me. Beth suggests that some of the reasons for our insecurities come from trust issues with God. I think this is also the reason we struggle with authenticity. We don’t truly trust God and we don’t truly trust each other. How many friendships have we lost because of a perceived betrayal?  How many times have we been let down by people who don’t meet our expectations?  How many times have we let people down?  But you see God never lets us down.   He is always with us.  He loves us just for who we are and not for what we are.   He loves us because of our messes. He wants our messes. He embraces our messes.
If we want true relationship with Jesus and each other we need to admit our weaknesses.  We need to embrace them and be authentic with each other and ourselves about them.  We need to show people that we are not doing “fine.” We need to allow Jesus to break down the facades we have built up and allow people into our messes. They may not know how to handle it. That’s ok.  God does. Our friends and acquaintances may not know what to do or to say. Admit it. We don’t have all the answers. God does. If we don’t have the words, pray. You don’t have to pray right there but let them know that you will pray for them and actually do it. Ask others to pray with you. Nothing will be solved unless we start handing God our messes and allow others to do the same.
We are meant to be in community with each other. But unless we can truly be authentic with each other, what kind of community are we building? 
I am linking up with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood this week at Finding Heaven.  

Messy Monday – The First Messy

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…….”
Ok, maybe not at the beginning but at Chapter 3. That’s Genesis Chapter 3 to be concise. To start our journey on the messy, we need to see the start of the mess. I know we all know the story and I’m probably not adding anything to it. But before you start to strip the layers of mess around us and in us, we need to see where it started.
God had told Adam that he could eat from any tree in the garden of Eden, except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:16-17). I’m sure it was pretty easy to do. I mean there were probably hundreds of fruit trees and berry bushes and other edible plants. But isn’t it always true that the one thing you long for is the one thing you can’t have. If you face addictions with drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, etc….. you long for it. You crave it. It seems to call you. I know when I start a diet, the sweets seem to call me.  
This time though it wasn’t the fruit that called to Adam and Eve it was a serpent. He knew what they wanted. He knew what they craved and he knew just how to tempt them. He quickly deceived Eve. He said “Did God really say “You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” See how he twisted the truth. He was a good dealer.  “Just one hit won`t hurt you.”   Just one drink and you can stop.”   Isn`t that what happens when we are addicted to something we can`t have?  We allow the craving to control us and become easily deceived.  Both Adam and Eve were deceived.  I know Eve always gets the full rap for the deception.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining, she too some and ate it. (Genesis 3:6 NIV84)

This one sentence has sentenced Eve to take the full burden of original sin for millenia. But wait where was Adam?  Where was our hero when all this was taking place?  Was he at another part of the garden?

She also gave some to her husband, who was with her and he ate it. (Genesis 3:7 NIV84)

He was right beside her, probably listening to everything the serpent was saying. He just didn`t say anything. He allowed everything to happen. He could have stopped Eve. He could have stopped the serpent. But alas our hero was flawed just as we all are. We all are witness to things that shouldn`t be. We all know people struggling, but instead of standing between them and what they struggle against, we enable and allow. We are silent, just as Adam was silent.
We all know the consequences of the disobedience to God. Adam and Eve were evicted from Eden. The serpent was cursed. Adam was told instead of a life of luxury and leisure, that he would now have to work for a living. Eve was told that childbirth would be painful and that her desire would be for her husband and that he would be the ruler over her. Oh the consequences…… We still suffer from those consequences. Nothing in life is easy. We face trials and heartaches. We struggle and fight to survive. We witness horrors that we should never be witness to. Children die. Friends fight for their lives from the ravages of cancer. We watch as lives are taken through addictions. Families break up. Money keeps people in servitude. People suffer from depression and can`t find hope anywhere. But there is hope.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV84)

God loved Adam and Eve and He was sad that He had to discipline them. As parents, we know that when we discipline our children and have them face consequences, we take no joy from it (ok, maybe once in a while). It hurts our hearts to tell our children that they can`t do what they want because of their actions. It hurts to take away something they love because they didn`t heed our warnings or advice. But in all things there is grace.
God started working things out right there in the beginning because of sin. God knew he would have to make a sacrifice for his children to save them from their sins. In fact, He sacrificed some of his creation to make skins for Adam and Eve so that they would be clothed (Gen 21). However, the promise of the greatest sacrifice He would make is in the curse of the serpent.

And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. (Gen 3:15 NIV84)

This is the first telling of Jesus. You see, God doesn’t let bad things happen. He didn`t cause cancer. He doesn`t plan for children to be killed. He doesn`t allow terrorists to kill innocents. But He is there in the bad things. He guides and supports. He gives strength and peace and healing. It may not look the way we want it, but He does bring it. When we are focused on Him; when we lean on Him; when we seek Him; He is with us. He will bring good from the bad. We are not alone when we are in Him.
It is too easy in our society to be deceived as Eve was. To close our eyes as Adam did. When we cease to focus on the Father and obey Him we will walk down the path that He did not chose for us. However, if we obey Him and focus on Him, He will give us the strength to fight temptation and lies.

Caffeinated Randomness – New Years Organization

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Happy New Year!!!  I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve celebration.  I spent the evening at my in laws with 24 other people (including kids) eating and visiting.  It was hot and oily, partially because we ate Oliebollen.  I know what you are thinking:  What is Olliebollen?  It’s a Dutch dish that is like an apple fritter.  They are extremely yummy.  The day after we all went out to the local Chinese Food Buffet and again visited and ate.  Luckily it’s the new year and we have goals to work on those extra calories.
I know I posted my goals last week.  I have been following the Lean pretty closely.  I’m already behind on my Bible reading (surprise, surprise) and haven’t started on the house yet.  I’m still cleaning from the holiday.  I have been busy though.
It being the New Year, I know many people are focusing on organizing their lives.  I too have been working on some personal organization and family organization.  I was privileged in obtaining Kayse Pratt‘s ebook, “Getting It Together”, this week for free.  It is a step by step book on creating your family’s organization binder.  She has included free printables at the end of the book for the reader’s use.  I love how she has set up the book.  It’s easy to follow and a quick read.  Her printables are cute and clear.  My favourite is her Monthly Meal Plan.  She has it set up just as I set up my draft one.  I always post a calendar style one on the fridge for everyone to see, but love having one available for shopping lists.  
In reading this book, I have been inspired to create my own family organization binder.  I had one previously when I followed Fly Lady.  But gave it up as it just seemed a nuisance.  I want to simplify my binder this time.  I want to keep track of my menu plans, calendars, inspiration, passwords, etc in one easy place.  However, I will not have a section for my cleaning as I have a cleaning list laminated on my wall by laptop.  

I am inspired by so many things from Pinterest.  I love pinning the crafts and recipes (most of which I will never do).  I, for some reason, have only used the cleaning and organization tips, which could explain why my new love is my steam mop.  My cleaning sheet I have is based on this pin from Simply {Kierste} .

I however also incorporated the Time Warped Wife’s list, as well, in the weekly column.

I switched around the days that work for me and so far between the merging of the two have kept my house pretty clean and organized.  I think I can safely say that out of a 10, my house is regularly a 7 or 8.  Having a day to focus on a room or areas has kept my sanity and it takes only about an hour to do the job on the room.  
I am going to continue to work on my family organization binder.  If I create any of my own sheets I will gladly share them with you or if I find any other exceptional sheets on Pinterest I will be sure to guide you to them.  

What kind of organization have you been up to lately?  Do you have an organizational binder?  How do you keep your sanity?  Come link up this week with the other Java Junkies and share your randomness.

3 in 30 – January Goals

Ok, I took December off.  I am glad too as it was a crazy month.  I am looking forward to January.  It’s a new year.  Last year I know I wrote that I wasn’t going to write out any resolutions and I am going to do the same this year.  However, I do have some goals I need to work on.  A lot of them…..and then some that may pop up.  This year I’m going to participate regularly in the 3 in 30 Sisterhood.  It’s great to have accountability and support of other ladies that are going through similar things or working on things that they need support and accountability for.
In 2013 I’m going to reflect these goals in 3 areas – Spiritually, Emotionally and Physical.  Physical may not just be about my body.  It may be about my house or yard.  Emotionally may be working on relaxation, taking time for myself or it could be working on issues.  Spiritually while that is a life long learning process between me and God and where He will be leading me.
For this month my goals will be:

Spiritually

This year I will get through the whole Bible.  I know I say this every year, but this year I will persevere.  I recently found a free book via Inspired Reads called Designed for Devotion: A 365 Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation by Dianne Neal Matthews.  I will be using this for daily scripture readings.  I will also spend some time making a list of 52 messy people of the Bible so that I can blog about them.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Emotionally

I know this may not sound like a relaxation job, but clutter is stressing me out.  I need to start decluttering my home.  As a result I am going to continue on my home reorganization project.  This month I am going to work on my my Craft area, Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom, my Den and Family Room and the Dining Room in that order.  I will be purging unused craft supplies, clothes, books, and nick knacks.  I always feel refreshed when everything is in it’s home and when there seems to be some order.  I may also work on creating a Family Organization Binder.  I used to have one and gave up, but I have some ideas from ones I have seen on Pinterest and will use some of the free printables out there.

Physically

I’m going to join the pack and start with my health.  I recently had a conversation with a friend who suffers from Anorexia and we both agree about diets.  I don’t want to focus on losing weight the same way she doesn’t want to focus on gaining wait.  We both want to focus on getting healthy.  I’m going to do this slowly.  This month I will be following the Lean program.  I may modify it a bit but this time I will finish it.  I need to start looking at food differently and looking at it as health not comfort.
I can’t wait to get started with these goals and to let you know next week how I’m doing.  I also can’t wait to read everyone else’s goals.  Come join the 3 in 30 Ladies at Welcome to Our Good Life and join in.

Caffeinated Randomness – New Year, New Word

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It is that time again.  Time to forget the past year.  Time to focus on the future.  An old year is almost gone and a new year is upon us.  Time for new goals and a new word to focus on.  
This last year has been one of struggle.   It has been full of trials.  We have struggled with depression.  We continue to live with autism.  We have been under attack and have struggled to see the light.  The dark has been overwhelming.  I have been running around with a lack of purpose or direction.  I am in constant survivor mode.  
Last year my focus word was Contentment.  It was a good word for the year.  I read books on joy, blessings and hell.  I did the Good Morning Girls studies of Ephesians, Colossians, and Proverbs 31.  All of these helped me to focus on true Contentment.  They helped me to realize my addiction to things and having things.   My wanting for something more.  I have learned what true joy is.  I have learned the difference between living in the light and living in the darkness.  I have come to terms with some aspects of my life and have learned to accept what has been placed before me.  It doesn’t mean I have to like it though.  It doesn’t mean everything is becoming perfect and rosy   In fact, the one thing that I have learned this year is that I’m messy.  
No, I am not talking about “messy” in the sense that my house is a mess and my kids are a mess.  I am talking about being a “Hot Mess.”  I am not in control.  I am not perfect.  Things are hard.  Messy is defined as marked by confusion; disorder; lacking precision  extremely unpleasant or trying.  This pretty much sums up my life.  I think it pretty much sums up everybody’s life I know.  We are all messy.  None of us is perfect.  I have friends who suffer from depression, anorexia, children who suffer from numerous health issues, marriage struggles, family crisis, child molestation, …  I could go on, but I think you get my point.  
I struggle when I see people with supposed perfect lives try to preach their lives to others.  I want authenticity.  I want honesty.  I want people to know about the mess and know that it will not defeat me.  I want people to know who is fighting my battles with me and for me.  I want people to see that none of us is perfect.  We don’t have to respond that we are “fine” when we aren’t.  It’s ok to say “I’m alive.”  It should be enough.  
We all come from a long line of messies too.  The Bible is full of them.  I ran across the following picture last year on Pinterest.
This list represents just some of the messy people in the Bible.  God used them all.  God loved them all just where they were and just for what they were – themselves.  I heard the best explanation of this philosophy on the Survivor Finale by Lisa Whelchel.  She talked about the internal struggle that we are both good and bad and God loves us anyway.  God loves us just where we are.  We need to accept that and stop trying to be perfect or to be perceived as perfect.   That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want our best, but each of our best is different.  We need to be about acceptance not judgement.  We need to focus Up and not Out.  
If you are still wondering what my word is, it is Messy.  I’m going to focus on the messy people of the Bible and how God used them.  I’m going to focus on authenticity and honesty.  I’m going to embrace my beautiful mess and see how it makes me me.  I can’t wait.  I hope you join me on the journey, mess and all.  
Have you picked a word to focus on in the new year?  What are you thoughts of messiness?  Come link up with the Java Junkies this week and share your randomness.

Messy Monday-Light from the Darkness

This December has been one of many struggles for my family – depression, slipped disk, GSI, loss of assistance, etc…  It’s getting to the point where even my friends are asking how much more can we take.   
It doesn’t only feel like we are going through this either.  You only have to watch to news to see that things aren’t right.  That people are struggling.  That hurt is abound.  That evil is attacking us.   After the shootings at Sandy Hook School, a friend questioned if this wasn’t God’s plan.  I don’t believe it was.  God has a plan for each and every one of us.  Plans to prosper not to harm.  Plans with a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)  All of this isn’t in God’s plan.  God doesn’t want us to hurt or be in pain.  All this is about darkness.
Christmas is about light.  We light a candle each week to represent – hope, love, joy, and peace.   These little flames represent the light that Christ brought to our world with His birth.  It’s not about defeat or darkness.  But that’s what the enemy wants us to believe.  He wants us to focus on despair and pain.  He wants us to focus on stress and crowds.  He wants us to focus on consumption and overindulgence.  He wants us to focus on Elf on the Shelf and not the missing baby in the Nativity Scene.  The enemy wants us to think that he’s won.  
In the world we live in it’s easy to fall into his trap.  Children killed.  Old hostilities ignited.  Politics over shadowing reconciliation.  Debt looming.  Countries close to bankruptcy.  People losing jobs.  I could go on.  It’s to the point where I don’t want to watch the news anymore.  There doesn’t appear to be anything good in the world, if you believe the news makers.
But Love is alive in a breath.  A teacher sacrificing herself for her students.  Hope is alive in a simple random act of kindness of sharing a free coffee with the car behind you.  Peace is reflected in people gathering to help those who need help by providing food and necessities no matter their background or faith.  Joy is reflected in the eyes and giggle of child in the arms of a family member as they celebrate Jesus’ birth.  The enemy hasn’t won.  Christ’s gift is still here.  
Earlier this year I read Ann Voskamp’s A Thousand Gifts.   This book made me think of the little things instead of the big.  We all want to look for God in the larger things, but He is just as strong in the small.  Remember the mustard seed.  If we want to move the mountain we need to see him in the speck of dust around us.  We are looking for Him in a large light, but He’s there in the lowly flame of a small candle.  We need to trust that He is there.  Because He is.
We are all facing the darkness instead of focusing on the light.  We have wandered and are now lost.  We need only to turn around and see the child lying in the manger to know who won and continues to fight on our behalf.  We need to focus on the light of the world who came out of darkness.
“Light of the World

You stepped down into darkness

Opened my eyes

Let me see”
(Here I am the Worship by Chris Tomlin)

Caffeinated Christmas – My Grown Up Christmas List

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I know this season is about giving, hope, love, compassion, joy, and peace.  It’s about the gift that God gave us.  It’s about change of attitude.  It’s less about us and more about others.  I wish that I could agree with Natalie Cole about what my Christmas list is this year…….
However, I’m feeling a bit selfish today.  I have been struggling lately.  I also have a slipped disk and am in a bit of pain.  Since according to some ancient race that didn’t predict their own demise that today is the end of the world, I’m going to share my true grown up Christmas list.  
I admit that I covet this.  I really want a Kindle.  I know I’ll hear people say that they really prefer paper books and so do I.  I, however, have over 200 free books on my lap top.  Reading them on my lap top is annoying.  I’m not even asking for the top of the line one, a simple one would be good.  
I have always wanted my own waffle iron.  One of my favourite memories as a child was my grandmother making waffles for dinner.  I loved eating them with Rogers Golden Syrup.  I remember trying to get dessert out of her after we ate them.  Did I tell you we poured the syrup all over them until each waffle was squished from the sugary goodness.  
I either want a new blender or a food processor.  I have been using a recipe for a blender Hollandaise sauce which is extremely yummy and easy to make.    However, there is a great recipe for a spinach peanut butter shake that is actually extremely yummy and healthy.  The possibilities are endless.
This is not what my view is from my back yard.  Nor is my deck anywhere as large as this one.  I would love a nice set of patio furniture so I can sit and relax on my deck with my new Kindle.  (Too much of a hint).   I can picture myself with my cup of coffee relaxing.
I’m a geek at heart.  I have the movies on VHS.  I need to have all of them on DVD.  Especially now that the kids are enjoying the movies as much as I do.  I can picture us all sitting on the couch and running a Star Wars marathon.  Which leads us to….
How can we have a marathon without popcorn?  My popcorn maker is almost gone.  A few more pops and I think it will officially be out of commission.  I love the retro look of this air popper.  I know some people we have purchased a large one, but where would I put it.  This one would fit in my cupboards.  
I’m sure I could go on and on about my “real” grown up Christmas list.  Hope you all have a great Christmas.  I hope you all survive the supposed end of the world.   Come join up with the other java junkies and share your randomness with us this week.

Caffeinated Christmas – We all need Him

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Earlier this week, I felt like I was out of control.  OK, not just felt like it, I was out of control.  I felt like I had so much to do.  I hadn’t started Christmas baking yet.  I hadn’t started Christmas shopping yet.  I was dealing with some family issues.  I just didn’t know when I was going to get time to do everything.  I just was so tense and frustrated.  I wanted to curl up and hide and just sleep through this season.  
But, Christmas is coming…..
Tuesday morning, I sat and did my Good Morning Girl study for the day (of which I haven’t posted yet).  It was based on Nehemiah 8:10.  

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is sacred to our Lord.  do not grieve for the JOY of the Lord is your strength.”  (NIV84)

I felt defeated and beaten.  Of course I was tired.  That’s what happens in battle.  You get tired.  You get weary.  But His JOY will give us the strength to go on and hold on.  When we are in the trials it is hard to recognize this.  We are too focused to see the light.  Everything seems overwhelming and dark.  We need to focus on the light.  We need to find it even when it seems like embers in a dying fire.  It’s still light and has the possibility of turning into a raging forest fire.  
This season is about the light.   God brought his Joy into the world.  Jesus is the light and Joy that gives us strength when we don’t know how we will get through.  He brightens our way and leads us through the darkness.  He enables us to go on, when we don’t think we are able to.  
I’ve been leaning on the lyrics of the Plumb song “Need You Now.”   We all need Him now.  We all need to search for Him, whether in the light of a manager or the shadow of the cross.  He is there.  He is calling us.  He wants to bring us Joy.  We just need to ask for it and embrace it.  

“Need You Now (How Many Times)”


Well, everybody’s got a story to tell
And everybody’s got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there’s beauty here
So, I guess you’re tired of holding on
I can’t let go, I can’t move on
I want to believe there’s meaning here

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Standing on a road I didn’t plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I’m trying to hear that still small voice
I’m trying to hear above the noise

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Though I walk,
Though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take

How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

I need you now
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
I need you now
I need you now
Are you searching for the light?  Are you calling out?  Come link up with the other Java Junkies this week with your randomness.

Caffeinated Christmas – Canadian Christmas Funny

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What a week.  Since writing about trying to focus on the real reason for Christmas, I have been stressed and busy.  My little one came down with Tonsillitis (PS note to self and warning to others do not Google images for tonsillitis).  Trying giving medicine to a little guy who has refused medicine since the day of his birth, not fun.  My husband came down a quick stomach bug.  My parents came for a visit with their two foster sons.  We decorated our tree.  I’ve had meetings and have had to postpone appointments due to lack of computer cords.  It’s one of those weeks.  

But still Christmas is coming (no matter how much I try to avoid it).  I purchased a Veggie Tales Christmas DVD set for the kids and it came with a cd of 25 Veggie Tale Christmas songs.  I love the Carol of the Bell’s by Archibald.  I’ve added it to my Christmas Playlist.  It’s a great playlist.  One minute you hear Veggie Tales.  The next one, you’ll hear a Dutch Christmas song.  Elvis is thrown in there and then there are some great musical pieces.  I need to find my Rosemary Clooney cd and my Christmas jazz cd so that I can them in there too.  It’s beginning to sound like Christmas.  
Speaking of music.  I’ve decided to share a Canadian Christmas tradition.  No it’s not sitting around the fire with our toques, drinking hot chocolate and trying not to freeze from the cold weather.  Nor is it building igloos with the kids; although it did snow a few times this week.  Nope, it’s Bob and Doug McKenzie.  Who?  If you are Canadian, you know what I’m talking about.  Doug and Bob McKenzie or otherwise known as Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas (not of Wendy’s fame).  They are two comedians from Canada who made it big on SCTV.  If you don’t know what SCTV was, check out the link.  I grew up with them.  I probably wasn’t supposed to watch, but they were pretty harmless humour.  
Doug and Bob McKenzie put out an album in the early 80s, which included a Christmas song, the 12 Days of (Canadian) Christmas.  This version changed my thoughts and many of peers thoughts of this song.  I thought I would share it with you.  

Even after all these years.  I won’t tell you how many, I still giggle when I hear it.
What Christmas funnies do you remember?  Come link up with the other Java Junkies this week and share your Christmas randomness.

Caffeinated Christmas – Simple and Pure

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I’ve spent the day trying to think about what to write about.  The last few years I have had challenges for everyone for the Christmas Season.  Best Decorations.  Best Christmas Story.  Holiday Traditions.  You get my point.   This year I have …….Nothing.  
I have tried to avoid Christmas this year.  I didn’t want to think about it.  I called the neighbour down the road crazy for putting up her Christmas decorations the day after Halloween (you have to give me that one.)  Every time there is a Christmas countdown mentioned, I just want to scream.  It’s not that I have not thought about it or prepared.  I have a pretty good idea of what I am getting everyone.  I even took part in Black Friday to purchase a new Keurig for my mother in law.  Waiting in front of Walmart at 7 am in -10C was exhilarating to say the least.   There were 10 of us who braved it and nobody got hurt.  I digress….
It’s not that I dislike Christmas.  I love Christmas.  I love the smells.  I love the lights.  I love the traditions.  I just don’t like the stress; the expectations; and the family strife that occurs during the season.  I love surprising my kids with their gifts.  I love sitting by the tree, mesmerized by the light.  I love watching the Christmas shows (The Drummer Boy is still my favourite).  I dislike the mess.  I dislike phony sentiments.  I dislike the commercialism that it has become.
Christmas as a kid and Christmas as an adult are different.  I now know why my grandmother breathed a sigh of relief, along with a glass of wine, after Christmas dinner.  I know the stress of getting that perfect gift so that you can see the light in their eyes Christmas morning.  I know how tired my feet feel after spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day standing in preparation of a meal that is done in 1 hour.  I too know how good that glass of wine is when all is said and done.  
However, I also know the true reason for the season.  I love watching my kids every day of advent create the nativity scene.  I love when they finally get to put out baby Jesus on Christmas Eve.  I love reading them their Christmas books about joy, compassion, hope, and love.  I know why Christmas occurs and the sacrifice made for us to experience it.  I know that Jesus came with little fanfare and little glory.  The hype that Christmas has become almost cheapens this.  I enjoy the simple.  I enjoy the less.  
This week I finally let the Christmas decorations out early so that I could start to light our Advent candles.  Yes, I’m early but I have been doing the Good Morning Girls Advent Study and this week was on the light.  I wanted to see the light.  The simple candle burning for all to see.  The light representing the hope that was brought into the world.  The simple flame.  The flame that grew to burn around the world.  The flame that continues to burn.  The flame that guides us.  The flame that shines upon each of us.  This is really Christmas.  
This season of advent.  I’m going to look for the simple amongst all the paraphernalia.  I’m going to focus on the flame burning and what that flame represents.  I’m going to focus on the positive in the negative.  I’m going to not become burned out.  I’m going to try to not become Scrooge and allow my heart to be open and not shut.  Won’t you join me? 
Have you been avoiding Christmas too?  What are you looking for this season?  Come join the other Java Junkies this week and share in the Christmas Randomness.

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