What CHRISTmas means to me…

Over the years I have discovered that Christmas is one of those things that means something a little different to everyone – even people who celebrate for essentially the same reason.

Obviously I cannot list all of those reasons because… well… 7.3 billion + people… But I’m going to list some of the general reasons. I have a point – I promise.

To some, Christmas is a very serious season – meant to be revered, solemn, quiet, still… Some of these people may decorate a tree, where others want nothing to do with trees because they feel so commercial.

To some, Christmas is all about the fun – meant for sleigh riding, snowball fights, ripping into wrapping paper and hanging out with friends. You’ll find that most of these people decorate a tree, bake tons of cookies, shop endlessly and watch every Christmas special they can. I did say most though… there are always exceptions.

To some, Christmas is just about family – baking together, making one of a kind gifts, doing a secret Santa drawing so you can really personalize and pour all your energy into that one perfect gift, and of course… traveling to visit family.

 

But where do I fall? What does Christmas mean to me?

Well, I am – like so many others – one of a kind.

I cherish CHRISTmas because of what the holiday originally stood for – the birth of our Lord and Savior; JESUS CHRIST! And there is reverence in holding this dear.

I value my family during this time – because without JESUS’ sacrifice and Saving Grace, would any of us be here now?

And of course, I focus on having fun with my family – because I believe it is what JESUS would want me to do this time of year… in reality… every time of year. JESUS blessed me with my two children – two little miracles all my own – and I intend to do everything I can to show them how rare and precious they are; not just to me but to their Heavenly Father as well.

We will watch Christmas specials that focus on all these things; A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Nativity Story, Christmas comes to Canaan, etc… because the most important thing about Christmas isn’t the tree… or the presents… or the food… or the movies you watch… or even the people you watch with… it’s remembering WHY all of that is important – because JESUS gave his LIFE to save us and HE deserves ALL THE PRAISE for blessing us this season and every other!

GOD BLESS YOU!

MERRY CHRISTmas!

Christmas 2015 Name

 

©Rachel L Miller 2015

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Being single and adhering to God’s will | From the other side of marriage

I read an article this morning – and it inspired the following post.

So, being single at 28 doesn’t mean I’m desperate, but it does mean that I’m choosing to sacrifice my desires for God’s desires and plan.

TODAYSCHRISTIANWOMAN.COM

I’m Not Desperate, Just Single.
Please stop stigmatizing my singleness

 

. . .

First off, let me say – I LOVE this article. It touched my heart and gave me renewed sense of purpose.

Second, I will tell you that I live on the other side of this discussion – not just because I am in my thirties, but also because I am single, having married and divorced in my twenties.

For years . . . absolutely years, I heard “Just give yourself some time. You’ll decide to move on at some point and meet someone new.”

Well, I tried that. Before I re-dedicated my heart and life to God, I tried NOT being married and having the full-on relationship. I went from one-night stands to serious committed relationships to casual dating and “hooking-up”.

And I have to point out right here that I had a pretty impressive track record for a girl who was told over and over and over in high school that she would never be attractive to men unless she dropped about 50 pounds. Amazingly enough, I did lose about 30 pounds after my divorce. And then I got involved in a relationship that lasted over two years – and when that one ended, I was actually heavier than I was in high school. So I spent my wild years in relationships with men (not all handsome, but not all dogs either) who found my plus-size figure attractive enough. . . No, I’m not condoning my behavior – I’m just pointing out that size doesn’t make as much a difference as everyone would like to think.

OK.

After I decided my crazy, mixed-up, messed-up ways were not the best way to go about things, I decided I needed to get married again.

Clearly, since I reside once again in the world of the single life, that was a mistake.

I did not wait for God’s leading.

I did look for signs from God, but I was seeing them in the wrong places and still going about things all the wrong way. So it’s really no wonder that things ended . . . badly.

And once again, I heard the well-wishers who proclaimed that all I needed was to give my heart time to heal.

 

But here’s the thing (and it’s really the most important thing) . . .

It’s not about what I want.

GOD knows – so much better than I ever could – what is the right way for me, what is the right thing for me.

If I had listened to God . . . if I had waited for God . . . my life would be very different right now.

I might be married . . . I might not . . . But my life would definitely be very different.

THIS TIME, I am determined to wait for God’s plan. I am determined to wait for God’s will! And if that means I spend my life without a husband, then THAT is what I am going to do!

It doesn’t matter that my entire family looks at me like I’m damaged goods.

It doesn’t matter (though it really does hurt) that the families in our home-school organization look at me like I’m being rebellious and strong-willed. I know why I’m doing this and IT. IS. WORTH. IT!

So, from the other side of marriage, I have to agree with Rachel on this aspect, at least – it is more important that we do what WE KNOW GOD wants from us and WE have to make the choice to FOLLOW HIS leading!

 

IN GOD I TRUST!

Pretty Signature RLM

Let’s Get Real – Grateful!

Today is my birthday… and I am ever so much more grateful today than I was yesterday…

Yesterday I was feeling a bit melancholy. I tend to be introspective this time of year and the devil takes advantage of that to hit me hard with some things that I normally don’t even think about.

He loves to drag me down and he loves to lie to me and tell me… probably the same things he tells a lot of people… I’m not special. I’m not loved. I’m not worth anything. I’m not truly saved… the list goes on and on but you get the idea.

Thankfully, I was reminded this morning – by a friend’s recent blog post – that I have SOOOOOOOOOOO many things to be thankful for!

I have an amazing family who loves me, puts up with me, takes care of me, and tells me regularly… that they cannot live without me!

I have wonderful friends, both online and in real life, who tell me how talented and brilliant I am and how they cannot wait to see what God has in store for my gifts!

I have unbelievable talent that God has blessed me with – me… the girl who’s not special. Well, I’m not – but God obviously has some special plans for me!

I have the best, sweetest, most precious blessings of children – who love me despite my faults and shortcomings, who tell me they like me fat, like me even when I get fussy, hug me even when I lose my temper or patience, and cannot stand to be away from me even for the short time it takes to go pick up dinner and bring home.

I have had thirty-six years of blessing and love and patience from my heavenly father; who stood by me even when I turned my back on him, lifted me up even when I chose to lay in the ditch, and carried me through the storms I stumbled my own way into!

I am so very amazingly, unbelievably, incredibly, spectacularly BLESSED!

 

I am Grateful and I am Thankful and I am in AWE! And I hope you’ll join me!

 

GOD BLESS YOU!

~ Rachel

♬ HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! ♬

 

© Rachel L Miller 2015

Christmas for writers… (With a Cute Little Surprise For You!)

You would think that taking the Christmas season off from writing would make for being less busy… you would be wrong. If anything, it’s even more busy.

When you have writing to do, you make time to just sit…and work. But when you don’t have to find that time, there are suddenly a thousand more things that will crowd into your schedule and make you feel as if several days of to-do lists are attacking you at once.

The good news -I have found so many terrific Christmas gift ideas for writers (not that I’m getting any of them – but it’s fun to wish).

And in that vein, I’m writing a little cutesie “12 Days of Christmas” for Writers.

 

On the Twelfth day of Christmas, their family gave the writer – 

Twelve Days of “Vacation”

Eleven Pounds of Coffee

Ten Candy Bars

Nine New Notebooks

Eight Book Signings

Seven Starbucks Gift Cards

Six Packs of Paper

… Five sharpened pencils! …

Four clean erasers

Three Research Books

Two Memberships (to writer’s organizations)

And One Manuscript Critique!

 

 

Have a Very Merry Christmas! (writer or not)

 

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014

Yes… and No.

This post is in response to an article that you can find HERE.

excerpt:

Especially in Silicon Valley, there is actually a trend of tech execs and engineers who shield their kids from technology. They even send their kids to non-tech schools like the Waldorf School in Los Altos, where computers aren’t found anywhere because they only focus on hands-on learning. – See more at: LINK

 

My response:

Yes… and No.

This is very much the same argument we see with everything in this world. I agree wholeheartedly that children need the opportunity to learn in a hands-on way and they need to know how to communicate with a human being before they learn to communicate with a machine.

But…

They also need to learn how to utilize technology without becoming addicted. If we completely shield them from it until they’re 18, they’re not going to know how to deal with the draw of it.

If we teach them early on how to find a balance (especially in the case of a child who has a natural affinity with technology) between tech-time and human-time, they are much more likely to carry that on into their twenties and beyond.

This is another classic example of “throw them in the deep end, they’ll learn”

I don’t want my kids to learn that way.

I was fortunate growing up. My mother was well-versed in computer language and programming before there was a computer in every home so she introduced us to technology at an early age. But she also taught us that a computer is a tool – not a toy. It can be useful but it should never take over your life!

That is the same outlook I am trying to imbue in my own children. They both own tablets and iPods but they read REAL books and play with REAL toys and stuffed animals. The tablets are useful for long car trips and rainy days… or those times when my writing is going very well and they’re tired of “finding things to do” LOL

They ride scooters nearly every day and we play board games and card games as a family often.

It also helps that I home-school. And no, they do not do their schooling on a computer. We did try but my son (the tech-savvy one) likes books better for learning!

© Rachel L. Miller 2014