Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve (okay, technically it's Christmas, but since I've yet to go to bed, we're gonna call it Christmas Eve) & I just finished wrapping up the last of the presents. My fingers have a slight tinge of news print color to them, as I've taken on my daddy's tradition of wrapping packages in newspaper. However, I like to add satin ribbons. I think it's great.

I've been banished from the living room for the time being, so I thought I would write a new blog post to wish you all MERRY CHRISTMAS! I love the holidays; they mean lots of baking and tasty treats, lots of family and friends, lots of laughter and reminiscing. Christmastime especially makes me miss those that aren't with me but also makes me appreciate the loved ones that surround me.

My eyes are starting to get sleepy and sugar plums are starting to crowd my vision (not that I've ever actually seen a sugar plum...) so I think I best be finished for this evening, rather than give in to my tendency to late-night ramblings. So:

Merry Christmas to all & to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Through His Name

Tomorrow is my last day in my New Testament class here at Brigham Young University. Whoa. Little bit of time vertigo. Can it really be time for finals already? Life blows by SO fast. Here are a few of my final thoughts as we wrap up this semester.

One of my favorite things that Dr. Holtzapfel highlighted this semester was in the 20th chapter of John, 31st verse, which reads, "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

I suppose I've noticed this verse before, but I've never really taken the time to think about what it means, especially that last line - that believing ye might have life through his name. That really hit me in class Tuesday. These scriptures weren't written JUST so we can believe - that's definitely important, but it's not the main point.

So what's the main point? The main point is in how we live our lives. And we are to live our lives "through his name." This phrase has always interested me, partially because I don't fully understand it. But to me, it means living in a way that Jesus would support, in a way that He would be willing to claim you as His. You take a share in His name, you honor His name, and you show the way you feel about the Gospel through the way you live. Your everyday actions testify of Christ and His Gospel. You don't need to preach at anyone; rather, you live in a way that shows your testimony every day.

That being said, I have some goals. I figure if I post them here on the World Wide Web, I'll feel at least a little accountable and therefore, actually do them.
1-Stop Griping- Sometimes I get on these complaining rants, when really, I have nothing to complain about. I have an awesome life. I'm like, seriously, so blessed. (kidding, kidding...)
2-Oft Speak Kind Words- I can, on occasion, be a bit cruel in the comments I make. I need to stop that.
3-Care More About My Friends - I have really awesome friends & I'm not nearly as good to them as I should be.
4- Be a Better Listener - I don't always really focus on what someone else is saying to me, yet I get really annoyed when people don't pay attention or talk over me. That makes me a bit of a hypocrite, but I shall (try to) change.

Thanks to Dr. Holtzapfel for a great semester!

ALSO - I know the new color scheme & Christmas music is TOTALLY cheesy. But I don't care. I like Christmas & I felt like making a new header to show off my mad photoshop skills. So, feel free to think I'm ridiculous, but know I'm quite enjoying relishing in the Christmas Season & I don't care if you think I'm silly.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Reason For The Season

If you can't tell by the new color scheme & playlist, I'm a big fan of Christmas. It makes me happy all over. I've been think about WHY it makes me so happy a lot lately.

Christmas makes me feel like a little girl again. I don't like new Christmas music; I'm quite content to listen to the same CDs over & over again, especially the Vienna Boys Choir & the one my parents got from Taco Bell. And I love Christmas music from the days of Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, and Dean Martin. There are so many great memories, so many home videos of Christmas Time, so many family stories that get told every year at the our traditional Lights On Party. Christmas is like going back & living all those happy memories all over again.

I feel like Christmas is one of those holidays that is timeless, but was probably even better in a simpler time, a time before iPods and X-box, before texting (yuck) and, before Marie Callender's Pies & gift cards. I'm not saying those things are bad...sometimes I just think it would be nice to go back to the time when all of my favorite vintage ornaments were new.

Christmas makes me appreciate the ones I love more than any other time of year. All I want to do is surround myself with all of my favorite people, drink hot chocolate, & talk about the best of times & the great times to come. Christmas is a time for family & friends. You get in touch with the people that you don't hear from often, but still love. You get Christmas cards from all over & never fail to be shocked at how all the kids grow up.

Mostly, I love Christmas because of the spirit it brings. It's a time of year when we all think about ourselves a little less & care about others a little more. What could be more fitting for a holiday that's truly about the One who gave His all for each of us? We're studying the Atonement & the Crucifixion right now in my New Testament class, which has been really interesting. Not the usually Christmas story found in Luke 2, but just as important to the Christmas season. We eat candy canes that symbolize Christ's sacrifice. We put up evergreen trees that symbolize the gift of eternal life He has given to all of us. Christmas is about more than just the Birth of Christ - it's about his entire life.

Christmas is full of so many things - family, friends, ginger snaps, memories, music, good food, Christmas trees, snow (hopefully!), yummy smells, lights, tacky home-made ornaments, our Savior, laughter, life, & love.

Merry Christmas!