My ‘Two-Worded’ One Word for 2017

Recently it was brought to my attention that I like things to be symmetrical.

I may have known this info all of my life but I guess I never really thought much about it.

The first time that it really hit me that I seem to have an over obsessive issue with things lining up perfectly was the first time I stood up after I had knee replacement surgery last September.

The minute I stood up I noticed that the leg with new knee was now longer than the other one. Also, the leg with the new knee was perfectly straight and the other one was bowed back. The thought never occurred to me that after surgery my legs would be different lengths and man oh man did that drive me nuts!

Actually, this bothered me so much that over the course of the next ten weeks I spent a whole lot of time trying to rig my shoes in the hopes of somehow making my legs more even.

I bought several different styles of lifts from the store but all were either too high or too low. After the store failed me I decided to get crafty and began cutting different widths of cardboard and gluing them together to stick inside of my shoes. This helped a little but nothing I tried made them match perfectly.

My physical therapist even measured my legs and gave me a lift that she said was perfect but I still could feel a difference.

My other knee was scheduled to be replaced in November and soon I began worrying that maybe the doctor wouldn’t get my legs even and I would be lopsided for the rest of my life!

I know this sounds like it’s not such a big deal and I did know that I needed to just let it go, but oddly no matter how much I tried to ignore my uneven legs I couldn’t.  The lopsidedness was driving me crazy!

After Surgery Getting Ready for Christmas

Because I had my second knee surgery scheduled for the Monday after Thanksgiving I figured I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the things I usually do to get ready for Christmas.

I also knew from the last surgery that I should consider my day to be very productive if I was just able to take a shower and finish all of my physical therapy exercises.

Here is a list of some of the things I usually do in preparation for Christmas:

The Christmas tree – I am usually the one who gets the tree ready to decorate by putting on all of the beads and bows. Once those are done my husband and I put the ornaments on together.

Christmas cookies – I usually bake a whole lot of different Christmas cookies.

Christmas Shopping – I usually spend many hours going from store to store to find just the right present for everyone. I then spend several full days wrapping them.

Christmas Dinner – I usually make a full course meal for our family dinner on Christmas day.

I really had no idea how these things were ever going to get done because everyone knows that I am the only one who knows how to do those things correctly…or so I thought….

About two weeks before Christmas my husband decided that he was going to put up the tree and decorate it. He put on Christmas music and I hung out in my chair with my foot propped up watching. I did hang a couple of ornaments but I soon learned that my husband has quite a talent for Christmas tree decorating. I also found out that putting the Christmas tree up was a whole lot of fun this year.

A few days later I found myself Christmas shopping online and without ever stepping a foot out of my house I was able to buy most of our Christmas gifts!

And they all arrived on time!

A few days after the presents arrived I put a roll of wrapping paper, tape, and a pair of scissors in the middle of my dining room table and just left them there.  Part of my knee rehab requires that I take a three-minute walk around my living room several times a day.  Each time I would get up for my 3-minute walk I would wrap a present. Eventually, all the presents were wrapped. It was actually kinda fun wrapping a few presents each day and also allowing wrapping paper, tape, and scissors to live on the dining room table for two weeks was somehow very freeing for me.

The weekend before Christmas my husband decided he was going to bake M & M cookies.

I helped by finding the recipe and explaining a few small details but for the most part I backed off and let him have at it. I soon realized another talent I never knew he had… Baking!

My husband’s cookies came out much fluffier than mine and I will also have to admit that they were the best tasting M & M cookies we have ever had in our house!

For Christmas dinner, this year it was decided that everyone coming would bring a dish of finger foods. This ended up being way yummier than the traditional dinner I would have normally made and also it allowed me to spend more time with my family.

Lesson learned…our family never needed a fancy dinner all we really need is to be together.

Also not spending all my time on Christmas day cooking and cleaning allowed me to snuggle with this little guy while he napped.

I think maybe I might have napped for a bit too.

Even though I was laid up with this knee I think this may have been one of the most peaceful and fun Christmases I have had in a long time. I am not sure exactly when it was that I put myself in charge of everything to do with Christmas but now I can see that I have spent a whole lot of time trying to make a perfect Christmas but all I had really accomplished was making myself dread the holiday season and I had missed all the important stuff like enjoying my family and preparing for the true meaning of the season… which is about celebrating the birth of Jesus which really has nothing at all to do with trees, food or shopping.

Over the past few months, I have realized that I just may be more of a perfectionist and a control freak than I thought I was.

I also have learned that there are a lot of things that I’m holding onto that I need to let go of and let other people do.

The past two years in a row God has given me a sort of theme word for the year. In 2015 my word was Trust and the year 2016 was my year to Believe.

With all that has transpired in the past few weeks, I can tell that I have already been given my one word for 2017 which is “Let Go”….Yep I know that technically that’s two words instead of one…but since I’m working on letting go I think I will just go ahead and go with the two-word one word this year 😀

A couple of things I have noticed by letting go are not only that I can relax when I let go but also that when I don’t hog everything there is to do, it gives others a chance to shine their own talents… hence my husband the awesome baker and decorator.

Also just another Fyi – It’s been 5 weeks now since I received my second knee and am very happy to report that my legs are a perfect match now and I can’t even begin to tell you how much better that makes me feel!

I’m not sure I can ever let go of the symmetrical thing fully but I can truthfully say that I can for sure let go of a whole lot of other things.

Oh, and one more thing…  we ended up having two Christmas trees this year! My husband found a great bargain on the display trees at K-Mart so he bought one and we put it up also! Yay!!!

2016 was overall a pretty good year and I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store as I learn what else God has to show me about letting go.

What is the one word God is telling you to focus on this year?

Will you please share your word in the comments below and if you have written a blog about it post the link so I can read it.

Happy 2017!

Terri Siebert

12 Days of Giving Christmas Away – Feed a mother and Baby

Last night my husband and I had a frozen pizza for dinner.  Normally frozen pizza would not be my number one choice for dinner but my husband was the chef for the evening and that is what he cooked. The way I see it is if I don’t have to cook the meal then don’t I have a thing to complain about.

When I really think about it, the fact that I have any kind of food at all gives me even more reason to have nothing to complain about.

Did you know that there are families in which a meal was not available at all last night because they don’t have enough money to buy food?

If you didn’t know that then I am telling you now and I am also letting you know that there is a way you can help put a stop to that

Today’s 12 days of Giving Christmas away gift is food for a mother and baby.

Did you know that for just $15 you can feed a mother and her baby for a whole month!

$15 is less than the cost of just one dinner out!

The picture of the mother and baby below is a picture I took in El Salvador at on of Compassion International’s Child Survival programs. As you can tell from the picture this is one very healthy mother and son!

Your gift could help other babies to be healthy just like the little guy in the picture.

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Your gift can help stop the malnutrition that robs a mother and her baby of the strength and energy that they need to survive.

If you would like to help just click the picture of the mom and baby above and it will take you to Compassion International’s website. From there you can just follow the instructions and soon your gift will be on its way!

What  better way to celebrate the birth or our savior than by sharing his love as you help feed mothers and babies?

Thank you so much for coming by today and have a great week!

Terri Siebert

 

 

Other Posts in this series, ‘Twelve Days of Giving Christmas Away’:

A Very Special Music Monday –  Kickoff to Twelve Days of Giving Christmas Away

Water of Life – 12 Days of Giving Christmas Away

Water of Life – 12 Days of Giving Christmas Away

Did you know that every day hundreds of children get sick from drinking water?

And did you know that every 15 minutes a child dies from water related diseases?

The video below shows Fiona, a little girl in Rwanda collecting water for her family.  The water her family drinks looks like nothing I have ever had to drink and I could never imagine what it would be like to have to give dirty water to my children to drink.

You know we can do something to help families like Fiona’s to have clean water.

For today’s 12 days of Giving Christmas Away gift I would like to share with you the opportunity to help children like Fiona. For just $79 you can give the gift of a safe water filtration system, which will give a family clean drinking water for a whole lifetime!

Just click this picture for more information

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Have a great day!

Terri Siebert

 

A Very Special Music Monday – Kickoff to Twelve Days of Giving Christmas Away

12 days of giving christmas away

Today I had to go to Walmart.

Walmart isn’t exactly my favorite place to shop and I usually avoid Walmart if at all possible. Today I had no other options but to go to Walmart because I really needed white Kit Kat bars for a candy bar house that I am going to make for my grand kids for Christmas. This past week I visited just about every store in my town in search of the white Kit Kats but nobody had them and as you probably already know…Walmart has just about everything.

Before I go any farther let me assure you this is not a Walmart bashing blog post.  I have nothing against Walmart other than it is a huge store and if I go in for only one thing I still seem to somehow get sucked in for longer than expected and I usually come out with a whole lot more than I went in for.  Also in my town Walmart is always really crowded so I also always feel very stressed out after I leave there.

This morning I made the decision that if I was going to make the candy bar house for the grand kids and have it come out looking like it was supposed to look, then I had no other option except to face the fact that I was going to have to go to Walmart and today was the day!

As I drove to the store I came up with a plan of action for a quick enter and exit.

The plan was… I would go into the store and only travel the front isle of the store as I checked all of the pay lanes for the candy bars, hopefully find them, and then get out quickly!

I’m sure you already know…. my plan did not go as planned.

Upon entering the store I noticed right away that they had put a bunch of isles full of Christmas stuff right by the door.  I am not really sure how it happened but the next thing I knew it was like a vacuum had sucked me in and a full hour and a half had gone by before I finally exited the store with a whole cart full of stuff!

Yes I was a little stressed from the crowd, but I did get my Christmas shopping closer to being finished, and YES I did get my white Kit Kat bars!

Hallelujah!!! 

Did you know there are only 12 more shopping days left until it is Christmas?

Since I am talking about Christmas shopping today, I also want to talk about why we have Christmas in the first place.

Christmas is the day we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ. He was God’s gift sent to save us. His gift is free to anyone who wants to accept it.

Personally I am forever grateful for His amazing gift and my life will be forever changed because of it.

Something I notice though is that in all of the rush of things we do in preparation of the Christmas holiday, Jesus sometimes seems to get pushed to the back when he was actually the whole reason for the holiday in the first place.

Why if Jesus is the reason for the season is everyone so stressed out and cranky?? Why are we spending all our time trying to find someone the perfect gift when God already gave us the perfect gift???

This brings me to today’s Music Monday song “Give this Christmas Away” by Matthew West and Amy Grant.

As you all know children are near and dear to my heart, and especially those who live in extreme poverty. The words to this song along with seeing the children in the video receiving shoeboxes full of gifts just warms my heart. These shoeboxes are packed through a ministry called Operation Christmas Child by people all around the world and given out by the hands of the local churches. Along with each shoebox full of gifts every single child also receives the ‘The Greatest Journey’ which is a Bible study program that teaches them about what it means to faithfully follow Jesus Christ.  The children who receive these boxes are given the hope that only Jesus can give.


In celebration of Jesus’ birthday for the next 12 days I am going to post a link that will give you opportunity to shop for some very special gifts for some very special people.

Today’s link will take you to build your own shoebox gift through Operation Christmas Child‘s online shoebox builder. All you have to do is click the link, then build your shoebox, and Samaritan’s Purse will deliver it for you.

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Like the words to the song say:

What if I told you?
You have the power
To give someone hope far beyond their wildest dreams
What if I told you it’s right there in your hands?
In your hands
It’s hard to imagine
How something so small
Can make all the difference
Tear down the tallest wall
What if December looked different this year?
What if we all just give this Christmas away? Words by Matthew West

Have a great day!

Terri Siebert

 

 

Blog hop!
If you would like to join me in giving Christmas away for the next 12 days just write your own post about giving Christmas away and then add your link to the link up below. Also be sure to post the link up on your blog.

Taking Baby Jesus Out of the Manger | April Rodgers

What a fabulous blog post and Christmas challenge from one of my El Salvador trip friends, April Rogers over at Reflecting Light.

Taking Baby Jesus Out of the Manger by April Rodgers

Christmastime is here! One by one the boxes come out of the attic and treasures from years past are rediscovered.  A handmade ornament here.  A special candy dish there.  A picture of your child screaming while sitting on Santa-from-the-Mall’s lap. Oh, the memories.One thing that our family likes to collect is nativities.  We have several from around the world: Peru, Israel, and I even brought back one from El Salvador this year.  We have full sets from Willow Tree and Fontanini.  We have big ones and small ones.  Like I said, it’s our thing.

As I carefully unwrapped one manger scene to display, I was thinking of the sweet baby Jesus asleep on the hay and what an amazing gift it is that heaven came down to create this scene.  Everything is so serene, so tender and mild.

But I wonder, how content are we to let Jesus stay in the manger?  

You can read the rest of April’s post and Christmas challenge here -> Taking Baby Jesus Out of the Manger | April Rodgers

I am also planning to join April in her in her Christmas challenge to take baby Jesus out of the manger this Christmas and make Him Lord of my life.  I hope you will join in too. What a great way to celebrate the gift of our savior this Christmas season!

Thanks for reading!

Terri Siebert