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.

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

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


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!


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.


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.

// <![CDATA[
// ]]>

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

Jesus vs. Santa | The Isaiah 53:5 Project

With Christmas season officially starting yesterday I thought this was definitely worth sharing…


Santa lives at the North Pole…
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh…
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year…
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies…
JESUS supplies all your needs.

To read the rest please visit: Jesus vs. Santa | The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Something is Missing from this Statement

jesusThe above picture was from a story book that I was reading to my grandsons tonight. The book went through each Holiday that is celebrated. On each page the author listed a description of each holiday and what is celebrated during that holiday. When we came to Christmas I realized that the author had taken Jesus out of the Christmas Holiday.

My grandsons are age 2 and 4 so they can’t read yet so  I read it to them with Jesus inserted where the author omitted Him.

This really bothers me that a children’s book is stating what sounds like a fact to small children, when the real fact is that this statement is missing the most important part ‘JESUS’ If Jesus is not in Christmas then Christmas would make no sense.


What do you think about this?


The Perfect Christmas Gift


Today is Christmas Eve and it’s a sort of milestone for me.  Five years ago, my life was a lot different than it is today. I did not believe in God back then and Christmas was a holiday about baking, shopping, presents, the hassle and the rush to get it all done.  After all the work was done then it was about family and Santa Claus.  We always had great fun but the story of Jesus was like a fairy tale to me.

But not anymore…

As a sit here this morning of Christmas Eve, in front of me is our family’s Christmas tree all lit up with beautiful lights. The space underneath it is still filled with presents but things are much different now.  The Christmas season is still a time of baking, shopping and family but now it is complete, because the true meaning of Christmas is now part of our celebration. What used to be about a man in a red suit and a beard is now about a baby that God sent.  A baby who was sent to earth to save the world.  A baby named Jesus who was the the gift of salvation that God gave to us.  He was the most perfect Christmas gift that was ever given.

A little while ago I was reading in my Bible the story of Jesus and thinking about how it was back then.  Back then, they didn’t have sparkly tinsel, dozens of baked cookies or Christmas trees. They didn’t have shoppers running wildly from place to place trying to get that last minute perfect gift and fighting over sale items.

What they did have was a young woman named Mary and her soon to be husband Joseph, traveling through the streets on a cold night looking for a place to stay. Mary was a virgin and she was about to give birth to a special baby but because of the decree that a census be taken the town was full and they were turned away. So in a stable they would stay, and in a manger her baby was born, Jesus, God’s gift to the world.

As I look at my Christmas tree this morning I see the gifts all wrapped and sitting beautifully under the light of the tree, waiting to be given to those that I love. I think of that baby who was born so many years ago, how he was laying in a manger under the light of the stars a most precious and perfect gift of love. He was the gift of salvation, given to all of us, He was the most perfect Christmas gift ever given.

The gift of Jesus keeps on giving for eternity.

It doesn’t need sparkly ribbons or bows, all it needs is a heart that will receive it.

Like all those years ago all He is looking for is place to stay, nothing fancy is needed at all, just a place that is open…

A heart.

All those years ago God’s gift lay in a manger, but today his gift lies within our hearts.


God’s greatest gift was given to you and to me.

This Christmas when you’re opening your gifts please don’t forget that the most beautiful and perfect gift was born all those years ago and is yours to unwrap today, and every day. Jesus is the reason for the Christmas celebration today, so don’t forget to invite him to the party.


Dear Readers,  

I want to wish each of you all a Merry Christmas full of many blessings of peace, hope and love. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New year,

God bless you, Terri

If you still have some last minute people to buy gifts for why not give a gift to someone who will not get a Christmas gift this year? Here is a link to Compassion international’s gift catalog images1

When you purchase a gift from the catalog you can purchase that gift in someone’s name and print a card to give them letting them know you purchased it.  What a wonderful way to bless someone else by sharing the love of Jesus this Christmas!


A Re-gift


Photo credit to Copyright © 2011 The Zondervan Corporation

The best gift that was ever given to us is a gift we should give away…

That gift is JESUS

He is the light shining in the darkness,

He is hope when all seems hopeless,

He is peace when we are restless,

He is the joy that takes away our sadness,

He is LOVE

He is the gift that was given to us to save us from ourselves.

He is the only gift that we all need.

As you are celebrating today remember today is the day we celebrate the birth of our SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

He is the reason for Christmas Day and the best gift of all.

Today I am thankful Jesus was given to me.

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

May the love of the Savior fill your heart so full today that it spills over to others and you pass his gift along.


Accept His Gift and then pass it along

Merry Christmas!

Live Second Day 32: Love Defined

Before you read my 4th and final post from my Live Second journey I have something to say….. Though the book I have been blogging through is titled ‘Live Second’ I feel like I am not second…  Yes you heard me right I said “I am not second”   The way I see it the order should be this way…. 

#1 Jesus  

#2 Others 

And Then …ME  “I am Third, I am Fourth, I am Fifth…maybe even LAST.

with that being said here is my final post from my Live Second journey…..

Day 32 of my Live Second Journey:  Love Defined

 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal – 1 Corinthians 13:1

‘All of life, every good deed, every noble task, if not colored and painted with love creates only an empty canvas’ – Live Second

As many of you know I am a child sponsor and also child advocate through Compassion International.  It is something I have been a part of for a little over 2 and a half years and one of the many huge blessings of my life.

The first time someone asked me to sponsor a child I gave them the answer of no but after I was asked I could not seem to get those kids out of my head.  I kept going to Compassion’s website and looking at the kids over and over eventually sponsoring a little girl from the Dominican Republic named Walkiris.

I realize now it was God pressing me to sponsor but at the time of my life I was just starting my journey with Jesus and was not really in tune with all the Jesus ‘vibes’ yet.  I think I sponsored her more because I thought it was what I should do more than doing it out of love.

When a child is sponsored through Compassion the sponsor and the child are encouraged to write letters to one another.  In the beginning the letter writing was not one of my strong points.  Even though now I will sit for hours writing a blog post or writing in a journal, writing letters was not something I liked to do and when it came to writing that little girl I could not think of a thing to write.  Thankfully even though it made me very uncomfortable I did still write to her.

About 3 months after I sponsored Walkiris I received my first letter from her.   Because she was only 4 years old a grownup wrote her letters for her and she drew me pictures signing the letter with her little finger print in blue ink. The minute I read that first letter was the moment I first saw the love.  I could see all the hard work she had put into making those pictures special for me and there was just something about that blue fingerprint that moved me.   After I received that special letter I began pouring love into the letters I wrote to her and somewhere along the line I began to love that little girl like she was my own child.

The author of Live Second wrote ‘All of life every good deed, every noble task if not colored and painted with love creates only an empty canvas’.

Something I realize now is though sponsoring her was a good deed, God did not call me to sponsor her to just send her money and do a good deed, He called me to love her.  He called me to give of myself to her. He wanted me to take the time and write her letters.  Had I just sent her a check and not took the time to write her I am pretty sure I would have missed a very huge blessing.

Something I have been discovering through these past few days of blogging is that love is not just some mushy feeling you get inside.  Love is everything that makes anything worth while.

Love is what happens when your heart cares for others so much that you want do nice things for them.

Love is when you feel someone else’s pain and want to take if from them or when you find yourself loving or even crying for someone you have never met.

Love is also when you find yourself praying for a person who just treated you badly and you find yourself humbly washing their feet.

When you selflessly give of yourself and don’t think of receiving something in return, then you have found true love.

Today I saw a picture someone posted on facebook.  It said, ‘I hate it when someone treats you like dirt and you still care about them even though you shouldn’t.’  I had to stop and think about that for a minute because truth is… we should still care about them not matter how they treated us.   We don’t have to like them but we should love them. We should love like Jesus loved us.  He hung on the cross praying for those who hung him there dying not only for my sins but those who hung him there too. We love because he loved first.  I ask myself today, can I love like that?

‘Love has little to do with feelings and everything o do with selfless, humble thoughtful care for another person.’ – Live Second

Can you imagine our world if we did not have love?  What would be our purpose of living?

Today is Christmas Eve and as you are going about your Christmas celebrations today and tomorrow please remember what Christmas is all about.  Christmas is about the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He is the greatest gift of all and He is love and once we accept the gift of his salvation we are redeemed and forever saved!  If you put him first in your life and I promise you you will never regret it, your life will never be the same and you will have peace, love and joy forever and ever, that is love defined!

Thank you for reading Merry Christmas and may God bless you with his love, peace and joy this coming new year!

Do you want to know God? click the picture for more information


Do some last minute Christmas shopping and give a child the gift of your sponsorship this Christmas


Give an unsponsored child a gift this Christmas