Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Not What I Was

This beautiful artwork was created by the very talented Julie Chen.
Please visit her store and gallery here.

I ought to speak with ever increasing love.
But I am not what I ought to be.

I wish to exude patience.
But I am not what I wish to be.

I hope to be an excellent ambassador of Christ.
But as of yet, I am not even what I hope to be.

But by the cross of Christ,

I see that love means sacrifice, even to death.
I see that patience means waiting long—very, very long.
I see that excellence means perfection in all things.

And I see I have fallen short by all accounts.

There on my knees at the cross,
Wrecked by what I cannot do and have not done,
Christ Jesus offers an exchange.

For my failed “ought-to be,” He crowns me with love.
For my lost “wish-to-be,” He lavishes patience.
For my striving “hope-to-be,” He declares, “I have done it.”

And because I rest in this great exchange…

I am not what I was.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Confessions of a Creative Punctuator


Considering most of our friends and family don’t tweet, I decided against mailing a #hashtag Christmas letter.

And yet I face another challenge: Written communications, electronic or print, pose a great challenge to the highly expressive and animated communicator!

My favorite and most abused
 "faux" punctuation.
I was recently pounding out an email when my husband, Kurt, chided me for my overuse (and abuse) of certain punctuation marks…as well as “faux” punctuation : )

On behalf of all animated communicators, I defended the practice.

He proceeded to make his point by reading my drafted email…out loud.

With all the intended expression of the exclamation point (!) he shouted the words preceding it.

He paused dramatically at every ellipsis as if to say, “wait for it...”

He threw his hands and fingers in the air for an over exaggerated demonstration of the “air quotes.”

And finally, every time I had used a : ) (which is not technically punctuation even though I think it should be), he forced his face into an animated contortion.  His eyebrows arched so high they almost disappeared into his former hair line. Bearing all his pearly whites, he stretched an agonizing smile across his face--resembling a spasm more than a smile.

And when a "man of few words" puts on a show like that...well...suffice it to say, he made his point. : ) 

I can't apologize for my “digital abuse” of certain punctuation! I can only offer my sincere regret that I did not get his "punctuation demonstration" on video.

It may have gone viral...at least among our friends : )


Monday, December 3, 2012

The Christmas Card Conundrum


We received our first Christmas card in the mail last week and it reminded me how much I LOVE receiving Christmas cards!

But sending one can be such a conundrum!

First, there is the highly volatile matter of the photo. I want a family photo to convey the peace of Christmas time and the joy of family. But what I’ll settle for is a photo where everyone is facing forward...and no visible bunny ears.

Last year, it occurred to me around December 18th that we didn't have a presentable family photo. Then suddenly, I had a brilliant, last-minute idea! We’d all wear stocking hats (concealing my bad hair); and I’d print it in sepia (disguising our mismatching outfits); and we’d use our undecorated artificial tree as the backdrop (an outdoorsy feel to complete the deception).

I dug through the stocking hats, and found four. The fifth was actually a ski mask with the eye holes in the back. Mission accomplished.

I cropped the picture nice and tight, but couldn't completely crop the curtains without loosing half of Spencer’s face.

This was the result.

The Christmas Card Deception 2011
This year we’re aiming a little higher in the photo department. But there’s still the matter of the Christmas letter!

I wanted to print the letter on the back of the photo (I Snapfish), but since there’s so little space for a proper update, I’m considering writing the whole thing in hashtags…even though I don’t tweet.

It might look something like this...

#Friendsandfamilyrock

#timeflies
#runningaroundlikeachickenwithmyheadcutofftoalltheboyssactivities
#kidsarehilarious
#kurtisadeerslayer
#substituteteachingprovidesblogfodder
#christisborn

#bringit2013

What would your #hashtag Christmas letter say?