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

Time Wisely Spent

20160420_135113

Why is it that whenever God gives me a job to do I always allow myself to get all worked up into a frenzy?


My biggest fear in the world is speaking in public.

Tomorrow is Compassion Sunday at my church and in order to present the kids waiting for sponsors I am going to have to speak in public.

Last week I was feeling excited for the opportunity to share these children with my church and was not feeling nervous at all.

But then Wednesday afternoon the child packets arrived…

Suddenly things felt different.

Suddenly I felt a huge responsibility to those children.

Within a matter of an hour of receiving the packets I began feeling nervous. By that evening, I began rethinking what I had planned to say in church on Sunday. I soon began writing down a plan and I began practicing what I was going to say over and over. Before I realized what was happening I had myself so worked up that each time I practiced, instead of getting better at what I was going to say I began to get worse.

Yesterday I thought about it some more, changed my presentation again, settled on what I thought was my finished product a few more times, and then finally ended up going to bed very late last night feeling sick to my stomach and panicky at the thought of speaking in front of the church on Sunday.

HELLO social anxiety!  

Did you forgot that you don’t live here anymore??!


After a restless night, I woke up this morning with God’s voice in my head saying, “stop worrying about what YOU can’t do and instead, remember what I CAN do!”

Suddenly I realized that I just needed to chill out and I needed to give this worry to God!  Nothing here has changed except I seemed to have forgotten God is the one who is in charge of all this.

I have already been in this place way too many times in the past so ya think I would have known the drill by now.

So like I have done every time I set out to talk in public, I took out a piece of paper and wrote on it the words, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.‘ I threw all my extra notes in the trash and put it all back into his hands.

Tomorrow instead of a bunch of notes in my hand I will hold his words as a reminder.

From this day forward when it comes to the God stuff, I have to remember not to spend my time thinking about what I should be spending my time praying about!


Update… Somehow I forgot to push publish on this post last night so figure I may as well finish the story with what happened today.

So I went to bed last night in peace and then woke up this morning with this crazy notion in my head that because we already have so many child sponsors in our church most likely we would not have many kids sponsored today.  Yep, you guessed it I was already thinking way too much again! Thankfully I caught myself and went for a drive before church and prayed.

God set me straight and I arrived at church excited and knowing in my heart that God was going to make something big happen today. Sure enough, I soon found myself with a front row seat watching as another one of his amazing stories began being played out before me!

From our worship pastor starting us off speaking his own sponsorship story to our pastor’s Compassion tailored sermon everything went great.  It wasn’t about any of us presenting the story today as much as it was about God uniting his children with one another.

27 children received new sponsors today but also at the same time 27 sponsors also received new children.

Many blessings are in the making for all those involved I’m sure.

There was never any need to be nervous or worry.

No need to second guess.

Just show up is all that was required … because just like He always does, God also showed up in a mighty big way in our church today!


If you would like more information about sponsoring a child or Compassion Sunday visit www.compassionsunday.com or contact me through the contact link at the top of this page.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Terri Siebert

Music Monday ~ Mary did you Know? ~ Day 8 of 12 Days of Giving Christmas Away

terrisiebert.comnativity

Hi there and Happy Music Monday!

Not only is today Music Monday on the blog, but it’s also Christmas week and we are also on Day 8 of 12 Days of Giving Christmas away.  As you know, for the past 7 days I have wrote a whole lot about gift giving and have posted several gifts that are great ways to help someone to know the love of Jesus during the Christmas season and also all year-long. (If you missed any posts you can read them all –> here)

As we move closer to Christmas, more and more Christmas songs are being played on the radio and one of my favorite Christmas songs right now is ‘Mary Did You Know?’ and my favorite version is this one sung by Danny Gokey

Enjoy….

Wasn’t that great?!

The words to this song make me think of my own children when I carried them inside of my body. I used to sit sometimes with my hands on my belly feeling life moving inside of me as I would wonder what the baby would be like.  I also knew that I was already in love with the tiny little person inside of me  even though I hadn’t met him yet.

A few weeks ago my daughter, who is now pregnant was visiting and she announced, “my baby is kicking.” Suddenly everyone in the room was around her and we all began taking turns putting our hands on her belly to feel the baby as he moved. Just as it had been with my own children I wondered what he will be like, and I also know that I am already in love with my grandson even though I haven’t met him yet.

I often wonder what sort of things did Mary think about as she waited for the birth of her baby. Did she wonder what her child would be like, as love filled her heart for her child she hadn’t met yet? And how would she have felt had she known that her baby was actually a gift of love that God was not only givng to her but he was also giving to the whole world?

Luke 1:26-38  26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israelforever; his Kingdom will never end!”

34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For the word of God will never fail.”

38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

What I find most interesting about this passage is that when the angel told Mary that she was going to conceive a baby she didn’t argue or say something like, “let me pray on this and get back to you.”  She just took the angels word about everything and she answered, “I am the Lord’s servant.”

If she had known the full story in detail what would have her answer have been?

What if she had known that one day when her son became a man, people would follow him and worship him?

What if she had know that one day some of those same people would turn on her son and then ridicule and torture Him until he died a horrible death?

I have a feeling her answer still would have been the same.

I wonder how she would have felt had she have known that one day her son would rise from the dead and be savior to all?

I wonder how would she have felt had she known that for hundreds of years to come people would celebrate her son’s Birthday?

The whole reason we even have Christmas in the first place is to celebrate Jesus.

JESUS – God’s gift to the world.   He is the gift that when we accept, he changes everything, from the way we see things to the reason we live. Without Him life has no meaning and believe me when I say that I do know how that feels, because there once was a time that I did not have Jesus in my life.

Nobody should not have Jesus in their life.  That is why for today’s 12 Days of Giving Christmas Away gift I would like to give you the opportunity to help make the difference in the life of a child by sponsoring a child through Compassion International.

When you sponsor a child you will be able to write letters back and forth with your sponsored child. In those letters you can share the love of Jesus and bring hope to a child in that will last a lifetime.

I also want to tell you that I have children I sponsor and I have met 2 of them. I have also visited several of Compassion’s projects and have seen them in action. I can promise you that the small amount of money you give to sponsor a child is a very small investment that has a very HUGE return in that child’s life.

Because it is Christmastime and because we are celebrating Jesus’ Birthday this week, I thought maybe you may like to choose a child who has the same Birthday as you, or maybe the birthday of someone else you know. All you have to do is put your birth date into the link below, hit ‘search now’ and a page will pop up with pictures of all the children who are waiting for sponsors.

Every child deserves to know Jesus Christ, will you be the one to help to give a child that blessing?

Go ahead put your birthday in…. or maybe… you could try putting Jesus’ Birthday in  🙂

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Terri Siebert

P.S.   It’s another blog hop! Write a Music Monday post or a Christmas post of any kind, add your link up to the inlinkz link up below.  Then past the code into your blog to share the link up with your readers and other bloggers who may want to join up.

get the InLinkz code

Other Posts in the ‘Twelve Days of Giving Christmas Away’ 

Day 1. A Very Special Music Monday –  Kickoff to Twelve Days of Giving Christmas Away

Day 2. Water of Life – 12 Days of Giving Christmas Away

Day 3. Giving Christmas Away ~ Feed  a Mother and Baby

Day 4. Twelve Days of Giving Christmas Away – Good Tidings of Great Joy and the Gift of the Bible

Day 5. Pigs Chickens and Goats

Day 6. No Time to Write Because I Want to Read a Book and Go to Sleep

Day 7. Baking Classes to Help Ericka Become a Chef

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.

Mattjew 2535

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

Everyone Deserves a Fair Chance

Squeals of delight echoed off the walls of our tiny concrete playground as we took our stance, lined up arm and arm, ready to guard the make believe goal behind us.Everyone deserves a fair chance

Our three year old opponent was in position eyeing us up, a look of determination on her face. With her tiny foot posed behind the lopsided pink ball, she counted, “Uno dos tres!” Suddenly the ball was sailing toward us and more squeals of delight erupted as the ball made its way through our legs and into goal. We all cheered as three year old Genesis jumped up and down, clapping her hands in sheer delight. “Score!!! Mine! Mine! Mine!” she said.

 

Her joy was contagious and we couldn’t help but join her in the celebration. There was so much to celebrate today because not only was Genesis winning in this game of soccer but she was also winning in life!

This was my second day El Salvador and that morning our group had visited a Compassion child survival program called “Little Friends of the King” and now this afternoon we were visiting three year old Genesis and her mother Vanessa who are part of that program.

In the area where Genesis was born the infant mortality rate is very high. Many babies never make it to birth and many who are born never make it to their first birthday. If Genesis’ mother ‘Vanessa’ had not been a part of the child survival program Genesis may have been very different from the child we were playing soccer with today.

Being in Compassion’s Child Survival Program helped Genesis’ mother to learn how to take care of herself and her baby during her pregnancy and after by giving her pregnancy coaching, medical care, and emotional, nutritional and spiritual guidance. Vanessa also learned how to care for Genesis after she was born and Genesis also receives medical checkups and her childhood immunizations.

The Child Survival Program also has vocational training such as cosmetology, jewelry making and sewing classes.

Everyone deserves a fair chanceVanessa showed us a sewing machine that was given to her by Compassion and she told us that at the CSP she was able to learn how to sew and she showed us clothing that she makes and sells in the market. Learning this valuable job skill has helped Vanessa to be able to support herself and her daughter financially.

It was very obvious how much being a part of this program has made a world difference in Vanessa and Genesis’ lives and has helped Genesis to develop into the healthy, bubbly little girl we were playing soccer with today.

Our game of soccer continued most of the afternoon with Genesis making the rules. We didn’t mind at all to be playing by the rules of a 3 year old because Genesis’ rules were fair (and also a lot of fun!).  We all took turns playing each position.  There were only two positions, you were either a Kicker or you were a Goalie and you clapped and cheered when anyone scored.

Everyone deserves a fair chance

As each of us took our turn to kick the ball Genesis would place the ball on the spot where we would kick it from. When it was my turn to kick the ball, just as I was getting ready to kick, Genesis suddenly moved out of her goalie position, picked up the ball and moved it closer to the goal. We all laughed and then I took my turn kicking the ball from my new spot which was closer and gave me a better advantage of getting it in the goal.

I didn’t think too much about Genesis moving the ball closer to the goal at that time but now I have had a little more time to think about why Genesis may have decided to move the ball closer when it was my turn.

I have a knee problem which causes me not be able to walk or jump very well and though I never said anything about it to anyone, I think Genesis still may have noticed and I think maybe she didn’t want me to be at a disadvantage when it was my turn to kick the ball.

Something I noticed about Genesis’ game of soccer is that no matter which team we were on we were still all winners and we were all cheering each other on.

Because of the small space we were playing in, the goal was only about four feet away, but I am guessing that in the eyes of a three year old, four feet must look pretty far and when it was my turn to kick the ball Genesis made sure I would have a fair chance at getting the ball into the goal just as everyone else did.

Being in Compassion’s Child Survival program has given Genesis the advantage that she needs too.

Because of the assistance and the hope her mother receives Genesis was given a fair chance at life and now she is a healthy, joyful and thriving little girl today!Everyone deserves a fair chance

Everyone deserves a fair chance

Isn’t she just the cutest?!! You can see the joy just radiating out from her and believe me when I say, her joy  IS contagious! 🙂

If you would like more information about how you can help mothers and babies like Vanessa and Genesis receive a fair chance, you can visit Compassion’s website by clicking on any of the pictures in this post.Genesis3

Thanks for reading and have a blessed evening!

Terri Siebert