Sunday, December 15, 2013

Peace in Our Heart

That has long been a favorite prayer my mother has prayed for me for years and years.
I pray it for myself, for my children, my friends and loved ones and even for people I  have never met in person. This past week I have felt the presence of God and a deeper sense of peace and contentment.
Perhaps it was the spiritual dream I had last Wednesday night. Perhaps it was the Holy Spirit seeming to whisper in my ear the words I needed to share with my mother recently. Words that hopefully helped her find a peace to the unrest in her soul she has been struggling with. I am also praying this evening for a special peace and comfort for the family and friends of young Zander who went into the arms of Jesus this morning.
I stand amazed at the peace of God that passes all understanding. A peace that is possible no matter our joy OR our sorrow.

Cats are good at picking up on your moods - or at least Maggie is.
I believe our critters are even a blessing from God. 
I have noticed myself relaxing when I sit with Maggie on my lap and hear her purring.

I finally bought some REAL greenery at Trader Joe's on Friday.
I hung this in the hall and it DOES indeed smell like Christmas!

I was still doing a little more decorating yesterday.
I can't seem to help myself but I believe I have now used every last bit of decorations!

I spent some time getting things ready for my Christmas Tea Party by prepping the table and washing the serving dishes.

We went through the whole week of freezing rain and ice with no problems!
Then Saturday morning - after I had made coffee - I was letting Lucy out and noticed a pipe had broken on the faucet by the back pond! Thankfully Louis Dean is a handy man and after a trip to Home Depot and an hour or two - the water was back on and I was back in business!! 

I hope the greenery will stay fresh and fragrant for awhile.

A cold wind blew in Saturday morning and it stayed cold all day!
The temps were above freezing but we still had patches of ice in the back yard.

After the water was back on I made up a batch of Fruitcake Cookie dough. I use a really good vanilla and instead of the milk I use rum if I have it. And I DID have it today!
Cookie dough done and it was time to shower and get dressed for a party!!

Amber and Mike hosted their first Christmas Party in their new home!
We arrived early enough to spend some time with the quads!

I can't believe they just get cuter and cuter!!!
But they DO!

That Kailey is a wild child!

I went outside and took some pictures looking in through the window.
This is the quad table now serving as a buffet.

Just an hour before the babies were in here eating THEIR dinner!
Even though she was throwing a party the babies had a home cooked meal of diced chicken and sweet potato fries with cheese and fruit.

The dessert was cookies from Trader Joe's - similar to Oreo's but with peppermint in the filling.

Cookies and Milk!!

It took less than 45 minutes to get the babies upstairs with the nanny, clear out the play room, set up the tables and put out the food. Many hands make light work!
Or as Amber put it - it takes a village!

Their house is so big there was plenty of room!

Here's Louis Dean posing like a big shot with the bartender for the evening!

Amber even printed out a drink menu.

We arrived around 5:00. The party started at 7:00 and we left at 1:30 in the MORNING!
We were there over 8 HOURS!!

And enjoyed every single minute of it, too!!
First of all playing with the babies and then helping with the set up. Then for the next six and a half HOURS we SAT and relaxed visiting with friends and family. No working. No buzzing around.
We engaged in conversations with friends we don't get to see all that often.
We caught up with what's going on in life.

It was a great party!! 
When we left at 1:30 there was still a group of people around the dining room table playing 42 - that's a Domino game. One that I don't know how to play! Mike was in that group.
We also left a few people in the living room visiting in front of the 'virtual fireplace' that is a traditional part of the annual Christmas Party! Amber was in that group.
I also love it that both sets of parents were invited! The guests were age integrated and made for great conversations!

Summer and Sabrina gifted them with this cool Texas Christmas Welcome Mat.
It was a wonderful party and everyone had a great time.

Today we were still basking in the glow!
This morning we watched Ed Young Sr preach on TV while we had coffee. Then we dressed and attended church services where I was moved to tears. The choir sang "Peace, Peace."
This just resonated in my soul all that I have been experiencing this past week.
 In times of turmoil, times of sorrow, times of grief, as well as in the deep calm and contentment in our soul. 

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.


jamarson1 said...

You have been busy! Such a great family you have. Happy Holidays!

Cheapchick said...

Such a tough time of year for so many, sorry to hear about Zander. Animals are very soothing, have gotten me through some tough times. What beautiful shots of you and your hubby and your family! Merry Christmas!

MadSnapper said...

thank you r the prayer. and I pray that for you and your wonderful family. I saw on TV so it must be so... LOL that THEY did a study and proved that pets do indeed sooth our souls...

Changes in the wind said...

Very special for you all...

Estelle's said...

Linda this was a fun post! Thank you so much for sharing your family, a festive Christmas gathering and the love you all share for one another!

Jan said...

Enjoyed this post so much! Praying for peace and comfort for Zander's family-so sad. The party sounds wonderful. I know about 42-I had to learn how to play in self-defense! My husband's family are big 42 players. There's a game or two going every time we get together and we have a 42 tournament a the family reunion!

Susie said...

Linda, I truly enjoy seeing all your photos. You are blessed with so much love and fun in your family. My heart felt sad about Zander, But he is with our Lord, for his 1st Christmas in heaven. xoxo, Susie

Deb said...

sounds like a fun relaxing have a beautiful family

Judy said...

You should be basking in the glow! It sounds like a wonderful evening. Wishing you much peace and joy and love this Christmas!

Carla said...

I don't know how y'all do it. I know it's a team effort but y'all sometimes make it look so easy.