Tag Archives: celebrate

A Great Light Has Come

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

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Jesus . . . said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

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The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

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In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.

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I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

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For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

Giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

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Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

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Truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Merry Christmas, sweet friends. May your holiday season–and your life–be filled with Light that shatters darkness. 

See you after the holidays,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

 

The above quotes about light are taken from the Bible . . .

God’s Real Life Fairy Tale (Part V)

wedding, Darlene's disk (160)Maybe I’m just not ready to let go.

To write the last wedding post is to move on from the big day and into the reality that my daughter is a married woman. That she and David are now their own family.

My excuse is that I’ve been busy transitioning, painting Sarah’s old room lime green and black so her youngest brother could have his own room for the first time in his life. Honestly, I could have found time to write this post.

But to write it is to place “the end” on one of the most beautiful days of my life.

It really was a joyful time, a true celebration of all the beauty, hope, passion, and wonder of the new life that began with the ceremony I wrote about last time.

After the final prayer and their first kiss and man and wife, Sarah and David skipped (literally) down the sidewalk. It was time to party.

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The guest enjoyed chips and salsa and the “fun table” activities Sarah had prepared while the family took pictures.wedding, Darlene's disk (130)

wedding, Darlene's disk (129)

Although I’m becoming as bad as a new grandma at subjecting people to wedding pictures, I’ll just show you one of both sides of the family all piled in together and spare you all the other family pictures I itch to post.

family both sides

Then it was time to enjoy a wonderful meal of Italian food. A fun surprise is that the caterer’s sister is a dear woman in Sarah’s life, but was unable to attend. She sent a special little love message to Sarah in the form of Sarah’s favorite Miss Maggie dish, macaroni and cheese! What’s funny is that dish went first, before all the fancier dishes offered! The tables looked beautiful, all Sarah had planned and worked to create. Minus the napkin ring holders we couldn’t find at set-up time. My friend Deb, my sister-in-law, Anne, and I probably had 15 or 20 collective hours in the making of those napkin rings, but hey, if that is the biggest confusion of the wedding, who cares! Maybe Sarah can make some money on Esty!

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Sarah’s handmade centerpieces, full of duct tape flowers and individually designed candle holders gleamed on each table. They were worth the months she spent creating them. (I think I mentioned earlier there was over 600 duct tape flowers at this wedding. She also designed the candle holders using rubber bands and paint! Each one has its own unique pattern, just like each of us was designed one of a kind!)

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Of course one of the especially fun parts of the dinner hour was that while Sarah and David wandered around greeting their guests, they had to pause often to kiss because the guests kept clinking their goblets. I love that old tradition, which I’d never experience until a couple of weeks after my own wedding. Jerry and I attended a huge family reunion full of people I didn’t know but who knew me because their cousin/nephew/great-nephew (you get the picture) had FINALLY been snagged. Since we were the newest married couple we kissed a LOT that night. As did Sarah and David on their special day.

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As we enjoyed our meal, the sun sank in the sky. It hovered on the horizon during the toast. Bryan, Ashley, and Jennie did an amazing job of honoring the couple. Ashley and Bryan made us first laugh, then fight the inevitable lump in our throats, then Jennie gave David the highest of compliments, declaring him even better than Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice. She went on to say said Sarah was the only person she knew who could capture the beauty of their childhood fairy tales and take them into this real-life world. Jennie ended by toasting her “real-life hero and heroine.” I guess she and I had the same idea with the whole real-life fairy tale motif.

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The blue above them deepened as the twinkle lights shimmered, and Sarah and her daddy danced.

Dad and Sarah father daughter dance

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Then as the sky slipped to navy David and his mom, Ronda, made us all smile and emit a collective “ahhhhh.”

Ronda and David dance Ronda and David dance 2

It was time for Sarah and David’s first dance as man and wife. The sky had drawn its night curtain and tiny diamonds began to sparkle on black velvet. The stars showed up to witness the couple’s celebration and beam upon them, giving Sarah her dream to dance beneath their light.

dancing in the dark - David

dancing in dark - Sarah

Sarah and David had practiced the dance for weeks, which always left my daughter giggling and excited to learn she could move without two left feet. The delight of their first dance is forever etched in my mind. I’m grinning with a grin the size of Texas as I type this.

hugging in the dark and lights

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Soon the dance floor was full of young and old, graceful and not-so-much, and everyone had a great time.

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Magic joined the night dance.

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From the farmhouse where she went to warm up, Jerry’s mom, now 88 years old, gazed out the window at the dancing and celebration. She turned to her son with a smile. “It is evident HIS Spirit is here.”

Her simple statement said it all. HE celebrated with us, infusing the night with joy unspeakable. He pulled the couple together, surrounded them with a community of love, gave them this gift of lifetime partnership. And we all basked in His glory, shared with us that night.

All too soon it was time to cut the cake.

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Standing sentinel across its top was a reminder of all God was teaching us in this celebration. The words gracing it were hand-picked by the bride and groom, then hand-written by a friend. Another little touch of love, another reminder that provision was everywhere, community was irreplaceable, and His love, their love, and our love paramount.

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The big day was winding down, but not before the couple had a little fun.

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There was the search for the garter (which David’s sister, Kristina said made her blush), the bouquet toss, and one last dance. Soon the couple dashed through sparklers held by cheering guests and flew into the car, which had been appropriately adorned by the groomsman. The couple drove into the night, the obligatory tin cans rattling behind them.

And now I must type, “the end.” It makes me cry. I don’t want to let the wonder go.

Someone asked how I could let me girl go. “How can I not?” I replied, “You have to let them go when they are this happy.”

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Grundy. We stand with you cheering on your union, confident in your new beginning and the One who gave it to you.

wedding, Darlene's disk (111)

(Special thanks to Kim at the Creative Pixel Photography and to my sister-in-law Darlene for the photos used in this post. BTW, I added a few more from Darlene into the ceremony post so click here if you want to see what you missed the first time around.)

Weight Loss Journey Day 48

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Photo courtesy of httpfree-extras.comimagesconfetti-1311.htm

Let the celebration begin! I can’t believe it! I stayed in calorie count though I went to a party and ate high calorie food. (I found I didn’t want very many sweets. I hear that as BeNew reshapes your nutrition this is part of the positive change, less sugar cravings! Yay!)

So much of being able to eat reasonable calorie counts and still lose weigh is about MOVEMENT. Exercise, baby! And it doesn’t have to be sweaty, pounding exercise. Just a walk. Or a swim. Or SOMETHING.

MANY people at the party commented on how much I’d lost. It’s fun to see the sparkle in Jerry’s eyes. He’s so proud of me. I felt better than I had in a long time and had a blast at the party.

This whole exercise/calories burn thing is confusing. At first I thought I burned more calories simply if I walked further, but that wasn’t always coming up true on my exercise app (I use Map My Run, but I’ve heard there’s also a Map My Walk).

Then I thought maybe it had to do with not only how far I walked, but how fast. But that wasn’t panning out either. I finally figured out that terrain also comes into play, for example, I burn more calories when I walk the route that takes me up and down smaller hills than I do when I climb up the very long hill (which is over a mile, I think) and then walk back down it. But I do burn more if I walk faster, too.            ~ December 10, 2012

Real Time Update:

I’ve done Pilates twice this week! It’s the first time in over a year. I couldn’t handle such exercise after my car accidents. I feel it in my neck and a little in my upper back, but I’m trying to give it a chance by modifying how I hold my head so as to put less strain on my neck. Just pulling out that DVD felt like a HUGE step forward in fully regaining my life.

Another huge step forward is that I actually wrote fiction this week–three whole chapters! Another first since that second accident last June.

The third huge step is returning to full responsibilities with my job as coordinator for ACFW Colorado, another ball I had to lay down after that last accident.

Now comes a new struggle with weight loss. Continuing BALANCE now that I am able to return to a full schedule with all the responsibilities I had set aside as I fought for healing and health after the car wrecks.

My head still acts up with extended time at the computer, so that helps me take breaks, but last week I still pushed too hard and didn’t keep to the goal of my (almost) daily walk. I’m determined to do better this week. I need the sunshine, the movement, the alone time with God and nature.

What About You?

Do you have a favorite exercise DVD or app? How do you find balance?