Friday, November 21, 2008

Eccentric Ways to Celebrate the Season

If you're having a hard time relating to the Christmas story this year...
  1. Rent a donkey for three days to experience travel "Mary & Joseph-style."
  2. Try walking around your neighborhood about fifty times- chances are you're not even close to the Bethlehem journey- approximately 100 miles one way.
  3. Strap a 20 lb. weight to your belly and walk around the mall- imagine being Mary in her 3rd trimester traveling so far away from home.
  4. Eat only bread and water for a few days- it's unlikely Mary and Joseph's food staples on the journey were as satisfying.
  5. Sleep outside underneath the stars one night- you could set up a lean-to shelter if needed ( no sleeping bags allowed).
  6. Recreate your own manger scene- share your bedroom with a few sheep and maybe a cow.
  7. Hang a spotlight over your bed for special effects- the Bethlehem star was big and bright, right?

Beautiful Simplicity- Counterculture Experiment

"The weight of this world is heavy enough. It is better to live without self-imposed weights around your neck. If I am poor, let it be because the Lord ordained it and not because I was lazy or foolish. Bitterness, envy, strife, anger, lust— they all compete with our affections to our Savior, and the love of money or things is just another thing in that list."- Amy Scott

It's almost Christmas time, and I absolutely LOVE this time of the year. This season, however, will be much different for us in our household with the imminent arrival of our little one and the fact that we are now living off of one salary instead of two. Thus, though we both enjoy buying and giving lots of gifts to family and friends during Christmas time, this year's gift giving will be very creative and calculated. Neither Bryan nor I believe in going into debt to give... doesn't really make sense in the long run (yes, we did learn this the hard way our first Christmas).
Every year we have said we wanted to have a less commercialized, less materialistic Christmas, and it looks like this year, our financial situation will guide us towards this goal. Please don't misunderstand me... I am not bashing on anyone's love of giving and receiving gifts. I enjoy and appreciate this Christmas tradition. Just in the Cirlot household this year, some usual distractions for us have been divinely removed so that we can focus on the birth of Jesus, our Christ... maybe, we can celebrate the season a little more genuinely and wholeheartedly in a new and beautiful simplicity with less business. Maybe, as we embrace and love our own child, we will taste and see how good the Father was to send His own into our world one starry night.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In Memory of Austin

A nurse I worked with at the children's hospital in Jackson called me last night to tell me that a patient I had worked closely with for a long time had been murdered by his family. The sad thing is that as a nurse I had done everything within my power to try to convince state officials that Austin, a 3yr old at the time, was being abused by his family and did not need to be sent back home with them. As usual in the abuse cases I cared for, the family still took the patient home. I really cared about little Austin and tried to show him Jesus the best I could while he was under my care. Honestly, I became very attached to him for the months he was on my floor, and I will miss him. At least now he is finally safe in our Father's arms. How the world needs Jesus... we starve and neglect our children and think nothing of it. God save America.

Copy & Paste the Link Below for the Full News Story., aunt charged in starvation death of child

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One Year Anniversary

"Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;

when I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be a light to me."
Micah 7:8

I realized this morning that it has almost been a complete year since we lost our first baby in a miscarriage. It's amazing how different things are only a year later. A year ago, I was a nurse on a busy pediatric floor and now I am staying at home learning how to truly be the helpmate God has called me to be. A year ago, we were heartbroken and trying desperately to understand why God would take our first child from us before we had barely had a chance to process the news that we were expecting. This year, Abby could come any day, and we are so excited about her imminent arrival. God has grown my faith so much in the past year as I have had to trust Him deeply in multiple situations of loss even when I did not understand or truly like His ways. I praise God that through my brokenness, He has cleansed me and led me closer to Him each day. I worship My Savior for His healing touch that can bind any wound and make even the most bitter moments beautiful with memories of His presence. I exalt God for His Holy Spirit that has comforted and guided me so diligently through gloomy days and darker nights until we could see the sun rise again. I praise God for His Word that remains steadfast and true and applicable for every year and every season of life.

"But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness
shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall."
Malachi 4:2

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Update on Our Pregnancy

I had a doctor's visit today, and everything looks great. He says that he estimates that I still have about a week and a half or so to go if everything continues the way it is now. He said from this point on they won't stop labor and that she will be fine arriving a little earlier than expected. Also, I'm off of bedrest again and allowed to continue normal activities until Abby comes. Yeah for good news! Maybe, Abby will wait to come until after my last shower this coming Sunday. Thanks for the prayers!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Benched during the last inning

Yesterday afternoon, Abby decided she was tired of waiting and tried to come early. We went to the L&D floor at the hospital, and they hooked me up to monitors and measured my dilation. Since my contractions were frequent and measuring fairly strong, they held me for a while and ended up giving me Brethine to stop the contractions. My doctor is out of town this weekend and the on-call doctor did not want to deliver a 35 wk baby. I'm back at home again and on bedrest until my doctor can see me again this next week. Other than being restless, I'm doing fine, and Abby looked great on the monitors. Keep us in your prayers. Either way, it looks like she is coming soon!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hope of the Nations

The last few days have certainly been eventful for our nation. My coping method for election night has always been the same as the way I treat hurricanes... I sleep through them then get up in the morning to find out the results of the storm. However, this year, Bryan wanted to stay up and watch the election polls and the announcement of our new president. He reasoned that this was to be a historical and important event no matter the outcome and we should be awake to experience it. He was right... it definitely left an impression on me.

I think what was most striking was not necessarily who won the election but how people responded to the winner. As we watched the cameras pan around the crowds, I watched thousands of people my age of all races rejoice as their favorite candidate gave his speech. What really disturbed and broke me was the hope I saw in each of their tear-brimming eyes. The hope that no man can fulfill, not even Senator McCain. The hope for a new life that only Jesus Christ can provide.

Please don't misunderstand me... I do not think Obama is the antichrist... I think that is a ridiculous statement. I was just reminded how lost America is as a people, especially my generation. We all want a Savior... just some have a misplaced hope that this will be a polished political leader with a smooth tongue and a campaign for change. May we not be caught in the same mindset of deceit that any man can fulfill our deepest desires and longing. May we place all of our hope in Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded,
set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at
the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:13

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