Monday, December 7, 2009


I'm so glad we got back into it on day 25 --- cause how much do I love talking about joy!? :)

There are so many cool verses about joy, but I think one of the specific ones that sticks out in my mind is how Christ's joy comes with the morning -- each morning.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his
favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the
night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5

Several of you have done a Beth Moore study on joy, but to paraphrase, Beth Moore challenges us to remember the phrase "Joy Cometh". This is based on the above verse, that even if we can't feel joy in our current moment, shouldn't it give us even just a little comfort to know that it's coming?? :) I can't even type that without putting the little smiley face after it. It makes me think of people that maybe aren't having the best Christmas season this year-- people who have lost loved ones, people who have lost jobs, people who are alone. It makes me think of the song with the line "tidings of comfort and joy..." Christ's coming to earth at Christmas is where our joy started. His coming is what makes that difference.

I've been really trying to listen to Christmas songs with a mind of worship this year --- the Christmas music is sometimes an admitted form of frustration for me. At my job we have a 'soundtrack' of sorts that is like a 2 hour CD that loops for my entire work day. The Christmas version of this is especially painful. Jessica Simpson singing Baby it's Cold Outside, that's all I'm going to say. ANYWAY.... :) .... I would love for us to find the really cool phrases in our Christmas songs that include joy. I also want us to be thinking about what it is at the holidays that we let steal our joy. If you want to share that's great, or if you want to just think about it that's fine too. What can we do about it??! I'm hoping if we can share with each other we can encourage each other as well.

Hope you all are doing great!! Praying for you!! Beth
PS --- Click here for one of the BEST renditions of Joy to the World...Steph this is for you :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 25!!!! (on Saturday) :) :)

Ok team ---- according to my calculations, we should be on day 25. So if we start there, and take Sundays off from reading, we will finish on Christmas Day. Excited to get back into it! Talk to you all soon! Beth

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Officially Christmas Season!

Hello Ladies!

So now that Thanksgiving is passed we are now in the official Christmas Season. We had a slow start on the book, but I think we should get back into it!? What is we read every other chapter? Or started somewhere in the middle to finish the book on the 25th? Or two a day?? What are your thoughts? I'm sure everyone is in a different place, so we just need to figure out what we want to do it and get going again :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Merry Christmas! - beth

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Welcome to Day Three

Good Wednesday Morning to you all! And happy Day Three in the Hope for the Holidays blog! I feel like this week has been an experiment on just how difficult time management can be all year round, especially around the holidays. My mom is here and we are putting a memory book together for my grandparents. We are having a ball. But here I am posting three days late, eating breakfast while Dekker bounces away in the Jumparoo!
So I don't have a lot to say this morning, but I want to open up the blog to your comments about the first week. What is God pointing out to you? What stuck out? What stuck out to me, that I'm ready to put into words, is that God was the very nature of love. Love wasn't something that he did-- it was who he was. I want to be the type of person who is loving, not who occasionally does loving acts.
I'm anxious to hear from each of you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 2 Already!?!?

Hello friends!!

Did you start yesterday??? Did it occur to you that we would be talking about Christmas already??? I know that sounds funny--- but I didn't realize we would actually start talking about Christmas in early November. But I'm ready now! The shock is over and I'm ready to start working towards Christmas and the celebration of Jesus' birth.

Since today is officially day 2, let's jump in there ---

You know where they're talking about the Nativity scene??? And they say the wise men didn't come til 2 years later, so they're probably on like a distant coffee table?? This was the set-up in my house growing up!!! My mom had the wise men on a different piece of furniture because it would "take them longer to get there" Too funny!

What is the first mental image that comes into your head when you start thinking about Christmas? I want this to be the first part of the comments that you all leave to this post. Is it a memory, is it an idea, is it a picture??? What is it for you???

I love how at the end of this day's chapter they talk about how Jesus birth is the start of the celebration! Let's make this the start of our celebration of Him too. I loved how we shared scriptures that we could be praying for each other. I feel so close to you guys, especially you ladies that are far away, when I know how I can be praying for your hearts --- thanks for sharing! Anyway --- :) --- let's look for another scripture that describes Jesus in a way that feels close your heart right now. Since we are celebrating His birth, I'd love for us to share different verses that describe him and are special to us in this season of our lives.

So to recap --- Christmas mental image and Jesus scripture. Excited to hear from you all!!!

I made up a schedule of our reading, in Excel, because I am a little bit of a nerd. However I could not cut and paste it into our blog as easily as I thought, and quickly became discouraged. But the general idea is that we will read 6 days a week, and take Sundays off. This will put us finishing right at Christmas.

Hope you all are doing well! Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I am absolutely thrilled that Beth invited me to co-author her blog. Beth, I love you, and I am already inspired by your posts. I want to be a hope-filled person in all areas of my life all the time, especially during the holiday season. I will comment soon with my prayer requests because heaven knows I need some prayer in my life right now!
Well, I wanted to kick off my first post with a little un-related story that happened to me yesterday at the grocery store. I guess I think that one thing that makes blogging and just living in community in general fun is being who we really are.
So I'll get on with it.... one of the greatest stressors in my week (that's assuming I go every week, which I do not) is grocery shopping. I absolutely hate it. I hate the process of taking things from the shelf to the cart to the belt to the bag to the cart to the car to my counter to my pantry. In this day and age there has GOT to be an easier way. I also hate the money, choices, smell, time commitment. But when I really think about it (and I am a counselor who has also been in counseling where this issue may or may not have come up :) I think it is about body image, weight gain, etc. So my biggest fear at the store is that people might be looking in my cart. I am super paranoid that people can know what I am buying. I shudder at the thought of the cashier commenting on my purchases. "Just scan the items young man!" So yesterday I'm looking over the pitiful fish section at Bag and Save and low and behold a man looks in my cart and says "I like bacon." I smile back (I had just put bacon in my cart) and TRY to be kind. "Me too." Then he CLEARLY looks directly at the four things in my cart and says "Maybe you should have a Velvetta and bacon sandwich." About to jump right out of my skin I say "Or potato soup" and start walking away. He shouts out "What do you use for your stock?" UG! I all but yell over my shoulder "milk and chicken broth" and jog into the produce section to buy super healthy things like leafy greens and yogurt (okay, I skipped the leavy greens, who am I kidding!). On second thought, I hope milk and chicken broth are considered "stock."
I got a good laugh out of this LATER, but through it I remembered that God is in the small stuff. That he cares about the big things in my life right now (like raising a son and starting a new job) and that he cares about the little things like annoying men helping me realize my fears at the grocery. I think that is why I am looking forward to this book study and blog. I NEED a God that is BIG enough to send his Son on Christmas Day and yet still wants to get into the crevices of my life and cares about the small things. I Praise Him this morning.
If you are just checking this blog out for the first time I hope that you will consider buying the book and reading it with us. We are working on making it a little easier for people to post, but at minimum you just need a google account and I am sure you can do that in 30 seconds.
We need one another this holiday season, because God is in the small stuff of your life, too!

While We're Waiting to Get Started.....

This past sunday at church we started a series on Colossians. I started reading around the book in my little Message purse Bible in church and I found this very cool verse at the very beginning in chapter 1, verses 3-5:

"Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can't quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you! We keep getting reports on your steady faith in Christ, our Jesus, and the love you continuously extend to all Christians. The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope."
I love that part at the end! The hope is what sticks out to me :) In my mind I picture what the lines of purpose in our lives would look like if they were not kept taut --- words that come to mind are loose, uninterested, bored, uninvolved --- how discouraging does that all sound? You take the hope out and it's a different story. I read another definition one time that hope can be phrased as alert expectancy. Our hope is in Jesus and our hope is Jesus, and that relationship and that love are what keeps us alert and expectant of our purpose and our future in heaven. Isn't that fantastic??! :)

While we are waiting to get started I would love for us to start praying for each other. You guys are already on my mind a lot and I would like to know how to pray for you. I would really like each of us to post in a comment one verse that we can be praying over you for the next two months. I love praying scripture for people --- i wonder if it's because I'm never sure quite how to pray, but I figure you absolutely cannot go wrong praying a specific verse for someone??? :) Put some thought into it, and get ready for God to start working on you in that area. The women on this blog are powerful prayer warriors which makes me think we should approach this with an alert expectancy for God to work and change. Hold on!

Is everyone finding the book ok? Hope you all are having a great week!