Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas and blessings from friends

We are officially done with having our first Christmas without Christian at our side. It honestly was not especially difficult... emotionally, it was just like any other day in that we just miss him. David and I thought about Christmas last year and how Christian would've really loved the tree and gifts and special time with grandma and grandpa this year.

But I know that he isn't really missing out on anything down here! Can you imagine the amazing celebration in Heaven?! Yup, our little artificial tree, white Christmas lights and made-in-China nativity scene couldn't possibly compete with the tree of life, light from God himself and hanging around the real Jesus!!! He is such a lucky-ducky!

Nevertheless, Christmas would've definitely been more fun with an energetic bundle of 3 year old boy running around. So I'll just have to choose... choose to be joyful and thankful for the Christmases past and look forward to celebrating in the future with Christian in Heaven. :-) And I am VERY thankful to have the gift of these two joys to wake up to every day!


Speaking of gifts, Tank up there did get a really cool remote controlled car... that goes UP THE WALLS! Wanna see?

video



I would also like to thank my wonderfully dear friends from Five in a Row (FIAR) for the beautiful Dozer quilt they made for me. When Gwen dropped it off at my house two days before Christmas, I was surprised at how very personal the quilt was!


(and here's the back)


Each square is precious and close to my heart-- from fwogs to Christian's Good-Night Song to the hand-stitched rainbow... When I opened it up, it immediately brought me to tears. I spread it out on my bed, fell on it and wept... I'm not sure how long I cried but it was deep and heavy... and cleansing. I had been so emotional all month long and felt like I was teetering on the edge of a cliff... on the verge of tears every single moment. I'm telling you, God's timing was PERFECT in this gift! After that good cry I felt so much better. I know that was instrumental in keeping me from being a basketcase on Christmas Eve and Day. THANK YOU, my dear FIAR friends for your timely and very blessed gift!

I also want to thank all of you dear friends and family for your prayers, gifts, comforting cards, phone calls, instant messages :-) , and encouragement. You have truly ministered to our hearts.

Love,
Marshie

PS When writing this post, I was blessed by finding an account of Christian's first prayer tucked neatly away in my blog archives. God is so good!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jesus and I

I'm not sure who wrote this beautiful poem (I don't even know the title) but I think it's one that I will keep in my Bible.

I cannot do it alone;
The waves run fast and high,
And the fogs close all around,
The light goes out in the sky;
But I know that we two
Shall win in the end,
Jesus and I.

Coward and wayward and weak,
I change with the changing sky;
Today so eager and bright,
Tomorrow too weak to try;
But He never gives in,
So we two shall win,
Jesus and I.

I could not guide it myself,
My boat on life's wild sea;
There's One who sits by my side,
Who pulls and steers with me.
And I know that we two
Shall safe enter port,
Jesus and I.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Almost Christmas

It's almost Christmas... the boys are in bed (maybe sleeping, maybe not)... the house is quiet... too quiet. Any day and every day, let alone Christmas day, is less exuberant (and full and busy and noisy and fun and exciting and sweet) without my littlest man Christian around. This Christmas is so very different from the one we celebrated last year.

Last year, we were all together-- not only my amazing husband and three fabulous boys, but my parents and siblings and in-law's and niece and nephew to boot! This year, David's parents are with us (and what a blessing they are!) and it is my husband and two boys-- all still amazing and fabulous, just one number short than what we wish it to be. It's hard to believe that almost 4 months have gone by without my little blue-eyed boy to kiss and hug and hold and tickle.

But God has been faithful! He has been consistent, ever-present, ever-loving... He has shown us in big and little ways just how much He loves us. However, we still struggle and tend to forget these little gifts from Him as we go about our day or when we are sobbing and missing Christian and basically feeling sorry for ourselves. It has not been easy, but we are still here, still together and have a strong marriage. We still have happiness in our home-- definitely different than before, but happiness nonetheless.

We have much to be thankful for... because you know what? It's not all about me or my family. CHRISTmas is about Jesus Christ!!! Because if all were taken away from me-- my home, my health, my whole family-- I would still have Him, I would still have Jesus!!! And therein lies my joy, my peace, my future-- Jesus can never be taken away from me! Eternity with Jesus, eternity with Christian, and I pray eternity with each of you if you will only believe and receive Him! (Please go HERE to read more about how you can be absolutely positive about where you will spend eternity.)

This is why we celebrate. This is who we celebrate! Today, we celebrate your lowly and magnificent birth... Happy Birthday, dear Jesus!



I read this a couple weeks ago (yes, I read ahead!) from page 376 (December 25) of Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman. I encourage you to read all the way to the end-- it's worth it and will give you the proper perspective of thanksgiving today.



A few years ago a striking Christmas card was published, with the title, "If Christ had not come." It was founded upon our Savior's words, "If I had not come." The card represented a clergyman falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.

In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out on the public street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Savior had disappeared.

A ring at the doorbell, and a messenger asked him to visit a poor dying mother. He hastened with the weeping child and as he reached the home, he sat down and said, "I have something here that will comfort you." He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended at Malachi, and there was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.

Two days afterward he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service, but there was no message of consolation, no word of a glorious resurrection, no open heaven, but only "dust to dust, ashes to ashes," and one long eternal farewell. he realized at length that "He had not come" and burst into tears and bitter weeping in his sorrowful dream.

Suddenly he awoke with a start, and a great shout of joy and praise burst from his lips as he heard his choir singing in his church close by:


O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;

Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels,

O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.


Let us be glad and rejoice today, because "He has come." And let us remember the anunciation of the angel, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wot is a word!

I can't believe it! I found out today-- ahem, while playing too many rounds of WordTwist on Facebook-- that wot is a word!!!

It is the 3rd person archaic form of the word wit or wat (depending on the source), meaning to know or be aware of.

Hmmm... go figure. Sounds deep and thought provoking, huh?



video

So Christian singing "everybody wants to WOT" kinda sorta made sense.

I find that to be quite hilarious this morning and just had to share! :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Where I find my Christmas joy

This week's Heart of the Matter Online Meme is on the topic of: Where I Find My Christmas Joy.

"Eggnog, Christmas music, decorating cookies, going to church… each of these things bring me joy for one reason–they all include my family. Each moment is imprinted as a permanent part of our family Christmas legacy. Where do you find your Christmas joy?"

During the Christmas season, I find much delight in having a good excuse to give gifts to those closest to me-- be it a toy, game, baked goodies, making things together (like crafts or cookies, especially with kids)... The best part is that they (hopefully) will not give me anything in return other than the joy and satisfaction I gained in the giving. It really is more blessed to give than to receive!

Besides gift giving, I am also quite fond of eggnog (not a la southern comfort or whatever some people put in it to make it icky!), singing Christmas hymns, beautiful lights on the trees and houses, and gathering with friends and family... especially family. It takes exceptional people to know me so well and yet still choose to be around me! Right, Coco? ;-)


Christmas 2007 at our house.


JOY, however... wow, that's in a category that is leaps and bounds over "enjoy" or "delighting in".

Like the old acronym goes, you can have JOY by putting Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last. It's a mighty fine recipe!

Jesus- Can you imagine life if Jesus had never been born? It literally makes me shudder. It is through His sinless life and sacrifice on the cross that I have hope in this life and assurance of eternal life! Without Jesus, funerals would be very different, wouldn't they? It would be ashes to ashes, dust to dust... no hope, no rejoicing, no peace... No assurance of seeing Christian again-- what a miserable existence that would be!

Others- God has been gracious to give me many wonderful friends-- true, trustworthy, fun, caring, devoted friends... not only in my family(!!!), at church and around town, but in other parts of the country as well as in the cyber world. :-)

Yourself- I am my most miserable (read: joyless) when I think too much about myself:

    • I* am tired.
    • That's not how *I* wanted things to turn out.
    • *I* want the house to be spotless.
    • *I* want things done right this second.
    • *I* would never throw dirty clothes right next to
      the laundry basket (instead of in it!).


Me, me, me! Waaaaah! Poor pitiful me. The *I*'s usually become more prominent during times of stress or busyness (ahem, like Christmas and any other major holiday or time that I overscheduled or don't learn to say "no" enough). What a big baby I can be sometimes! I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I have learned over the years that I most definitely cannot change other people. Or control everything around me. But I can choose to change my attitude, my outlook, my response!

Will you choose JOY in your house, in your mind, in your heart?

As a mom, you will set the tone and mood for your entire family. The choice is not always easy, but with God's help, you can do it!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

I should have known that Christmas and dread would never go together

I had been dreading putting up the Christmas tree and going through all the ornaments (as well as Christmas stockings) for quite some time. Each year, the boys will either make a special ornament or I'll let them pick one out at Hallmark. The plan is that when they go off on their own one day, they'll be able to take their ornaments with them-- as well as all the years of memories associated with each one. It's always a special time of reminiscing with my boys as the ornaments are hung on the tree.

As in all the other difficult things we've had to face since Christian left us, God's grace has been more than sufficient! Tonight really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We didn't even cry as Dash and Tank took turns hanging Christian's ornaments on the tree. Instead, it was a fun and precious time together as a family-- just like it should be. God is SO good!

The tree is filled with tons of airplanes (I try to get David one every year), homemade ornaments, and three very special "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments that have the boys' pictures on them. These special baby ones are only allowed to be put on the tree by mommy (hooray for me!). :-)

Right up there in the special ornament category is this one that we got in 2006 for our little Linus:




Don't you just love it? I thought it totally had the Awwwww! factor the moment I set my eyes on it. This year, Dash hung it on the tree. The boys and I smiled when we thought about how Christian loved to suck his thumb and carry his blue blankie around. I'll admit that I did get that choked up feeling inside, how could I not? But I'll say it again, I wouldn't trade my 3.5 years with Christian and all the wonderful memories, special moments, laughs, hugs, kisses and even tears for anything in the whole wide world! I'm one very blessed momma!

Love,
Marshie

PS Psalm 100 is a good passage to read each day. It's a reminder to praise God no matter if your day is easy or difficult. It encourages me to set my mind not selfishly on myself, but on God. It's amazing how my heart is blessed and my countenance changed if I will just listen and obey...


Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

~Psalm 100

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This is my favorite pound cake recipe-- dense and delicious! It calls for being baked in a 10 inch tube pan, but I like to make mini loaves with it instead. You can also add in blueberries to the batter to make it extra yummola or slice it and eat with strawberries and whipped cream. (Christian preferred it plain with whipped cream). :-)



CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour (or use a spray like Pam for baking or Baker's Joy) your pan(s).

    2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.

    3. Add eggs two at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour all at once and mix. Add vanilla.

    4. Pour into 10-inch tube pan (or mini loaf pans) and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes (less time if you are using the mini pans). Check for doneness after 1 hour with the toothpick test.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's SNOWING! In Houston!

Will wonders never cease?! When we landed in Houston, we looked out the window to see big, giant, beautiful snowflakes! Dash and Tank were SO excited. We could hardly believe our eyes!

This just never happens here in Houston... although people say it snowed here 4 years ago, it never did at our house... so that time didn't count. :-)







Edited to add: I just had to add that the boys did not own heavy jackets or gloves or hats until last week. I hit a few thrift stores and Target to purchase the too-warm-for-Houston items in preparation for our visit to Spokane this week (where it did not snow!). Lest ye think that the weather has gone topsy turvy, the forecast for Houston tomorrow is 71! C-R-A-Z-Y!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Marriage, baby and a ham

Geeze, I feel like I have been gone FOREVER! I'm sure it hasn't been as long as it feels like (or has it)? Things have been quite busy here in the Drews household. There is so much that I have on my heart right now and would like to share, I just need a little more time to discern exactly what I should share. In the meantime, let me get you up to speed with other exciting happenings:

+ My baby sister Bobo is now engaged! I am a bit bummed that I won't get to meet her fiancee until the week of ze wedding, but he seems like a great guy-- has to be for my sister to be smiling nonstop with that goofy I'm in love sound to her voice! Plus my parents like him. Let me say that again.... my. parents. like. him. A. LOT. My mom will pretty much love you or hate you in about 15 seconds... she's just funny like that. So Aubs, welcome to the familia! I hope you know what you're getting yourself into.

Don't they make a lovely couple?


+ Thanksgiving was spent at my parents house. In addition to the feasting (ham, no turkey-- because it's easier, y'all) and staying up too late so we can talk and play board games, we also looked at a wedding chapel, nailed down a menu for the reception, and helped finalize the fun wedding dress decision. Hmmm... it's kind of sad interesting how your tastes can change over the course of a decade(+)! I don't think I would pick the same dress if I had to do it over again. Would YOU? What was your dress like back in the day? And for crying out loud, if you have a picture, PLEASE SHARE! :-) I don't have a wedding pic handy at the moment but scanning one in is on my list of things-to-do.

+ And if that weren't enough fabulous news for a holiday weekend, this past Saturday was also my parents anniversary, my little brother's 30th birthday, AND the birthdate of said little brother's first child!!!

HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY STEPHEN! AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my newest nephew CADEN MARK! My sister-in-law Terri couldn't have planned it any better. Y'all sure do make beeeeautiful babies!

We are actually heading up to Spokane to see little Caden (and his mommy and daddy too, of course!). Then we'll swing over to Portland to visit my sister Coco for a few days. So it's busy busy busy around here- and that's not even including anything that's remotely related to Christmas! Oi. I think it's going to be a quadruple shot latte kind of month. I can't wait! :-)