Blessed

Hi family!

Yes, you all are family, not just friends and followers. It really does take a tribe, and I couldn’t travel this road without each and every one of you. You lift me up, make my days brighter, and are there for me to “talk” to, even on my hard days. Thank you!

So, Christmas is over. I hope it was a good one for you! For us, it was the first one without my “Nanni” (grandma). It was bitter sweet. It’s so hard to fathom her strong presence not being physically present amongst her earthly family. She was, however, so ready to be done with her broken shell-of-a-body, which was miserably tethering her to her frail life here. To know that she is no longer bound to her sickly, broken body is a blessing! I know she is hanging out at some heavenly beach, soaking up the rays and being happy. That makes my heart smile, even through my tears.

This is also the first year we have, quite literally, been unable to afford even one gift for our children. Somehow, they still had a wonderful day, full of smiles and giggles of glee. We had “Secret Santas” come out of the woodwork, come to our aide, and make this year a special one for the kids. It was even more special for us as parents, because we are well aware it’s only by the grace of God (and friends/family) that we were allowed a “Christmas” at all. Hopefully this next year will find us in a much better place, and we can Pay It Forward in a big way.

What comes next? Gatlinburg. We were blessed with a trip to go visit my brother’s family in Gatlinburg, TN. No, they aren’t FROM TN, they are going there for New Year’s Day. We are soooo looking forward to seeing them again! It is always a good time, and good for the soul, hanging out with them!

After that? I am trying to find an RN job I can do from the house. It is VERY apparent, especially after this last week, that trying to be normal and, you know, walk around, is too taxing on my body. I think, God willing, I can do something from home, though. I need to feel like I am providing for my family and contributing somehow. I’ll get there. I will.

Yes, I am doing the pearl thing, which is fun. I have had the opportunity to meet so many great people! It has afforded me the ability to help pay some of the bills, which is nice. It would be über cool if I could make that a career. Then, I could fizz and shuck part time, yet also work on writing. That would be a dream. #goals – I don’t understand how some people touch a company, and it immediately turns to gold. I touch it, and it barely turns yellow after months of hard work. LOL!

Anyway … I’m off to play with the kids. Andrew has some Legos calling to us. Natalie can’t get her nose out of her DS. LOL! Bye until next time!

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It came without boxes …

To quote my favorite Christmas movie: 

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” — Dr Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

We have been blessed beyond measure. We have been blessed far beyond what we deserve. This Christmas season …. this ENTIRE season of our life …. we have just seen miracle after miracle.

I voice a major concern to my husband (or even to myself!!), and it’s like God says, “I got this. I’ll show you.” Then out of NOWHERE … BAM … our need is met. It’s like God is listening directly to mine and my husband’s distraught conversations, and then whispering to those that have the precise means to help where we are falling short.

MIRACLES do happen.

I don’t want to call anyone out for helping, because I know they may want to remain anonymous. Just know, you are angels doing God’s work. I have never felt so much love and support … and to be honest, I tend to think the worst, and believe that I am a bother; that nobody really likes me. I have never felt such love, compasssion, and genuine human kindness. 

Thank you does not seem adequate. It is because of some of you, that my kids are having a Christmas at all. It is because of some of you that we have food to eat. It is because of some of you we get to have special moments and traditions. It is because of ALL of you that we feel so loved. 

This has also been the perfect opportunity to speak with my children about why we help people that have needs, Jesus’ love for us, and God’s protection over our lives. It has, hopefully, made them more aware and grateful for all that has been done for us.

My wish and hope is to pay everything forward one day. I would LOVE to be the one helping, providing, and loving on those in need. I want to radiate God’s love to those in need, like it has touched us.

It is very hard (VERY HARD) to admit that we need help right now. I haven’t even needed to ask … the needs have just been met.

Thank You, and Merry Christmas! I have so much happiness right now, I just want to hug you all (and I’m NOT a hugger!).

I hope you feel loved, appreciated, valued, and worthy this holiday season, and always.

Remember why we celebrate. It’s not about the gifts bought at the stores. It’s Jesus, who has made such love and compasssion possible. He has made Christmas more for all of us! 💜💜Even if you don’t believe, He is here for you too. 😊

Borrowed. So accurate.


Nat and Drew, just being kids.

Advent??

I’m embarrassed to say that I’m 41, and have no idea what “Advent” is. I hear about it every year at Christmas. We always have an “Advent Calendar,” which, to me, has always just been a fun way to count down the days until Christmas. 

Advent Calendar available through Amazon at link above.

This year, I decided to join an Instagram Advent group (I think it will be #bethelight … But I’ll update on that). Really, it’s a Random Act of Kindness group (organized by @bushelandbobbin), but it coincides with the Advent story. I was all excited about the Random Acts of Kimdness, but then I thought … “Shoot! I should probably find out what this Advent thing is that I’m agreeing to.”

According to crivoice.org, Advent “begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve proper beginning at sundown.”

Yay Christmas!

That’s fine and dandy, but what the heck is Advent? I could start reading about Epiphony and everything it coincides with, but my head starts to hurt a little, and I don’t want it to explode.

From what I can gather, and I suppose you could nicely correct me if I’m wrong, but Advent is the time that leads up to the coming of Christ. Back in biblical times, it coincided with the coming of the baby Jesus. In modern times it seems to represent the Church waiting for the “Second Coming.”

I don’t want to get into some religious philosophical debate. I want to keep it simple … For people like me.

For my purposes, and the purposes of this fun Instagram group (anyone can actually follow it), it is going to focus on the Christmas Story. The Real one, not the Santa Clause one. 

The Nativity via storify.com

It will start on Sunday, Novemeber 27 and go through Christmas Eve. Each day, someone will post a verse (I’m not 100% certain, buthoping it is the story of The Birth), and do a Random Act of Kindess that is assigned for that day. So there will be 28 days of verses flooding Instagram, and 28 days of somebody doing nice for somebody! Isn’t that cool?!

But ….

I want to take it further! I want to do something each day. And I want YOU to play along if you so desire! How great would it be if these Random Acts were happening everyday, all over! The world would be so full of love.

Now, I’m very limited right now on what I can do. I’m stuck at home mostly, and have physical limitations. This won’t stop me, though! If you want to participate, just do it!! You can tell us, or you can keep it to yourself. Telling will help motivate people, however. Let’s FLOOD the Internet with random acts of kindness this season!

Be looking for future posts with ideas for each day. You can post on my Facebook: MommaPossum, or my Instagram: amandamoring with what you did. Heck, post on both! Hashtag it #bethelight

I am so excited about this. It makes my heart happy. 

Don’t know where I got this, but it’s so true!!

Be a blessing today. Spread the love. It only takes a second to make someone’s day!

*** UPDATE: there’s a website on Facebook to follow along!!! https://www.facebook.com/bethelightadvent/ ***