Scandalous Grace

I name my years.

In preparation for every new year I spend time alone, praying, seeking. I haven’t always done that and those years are obvious.

I took a bit of time away from this blog over the Christmas holidays–spent wonderful time with family, enjoyed crackling fires and squeals of delight while looking at Christmas lights with my kids and consumed buckets of hot cocoa. I played endless games of Uno and Trivial Pursuit. There was resting, eating, laughing, and breathing. 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2015)

And it was so good.

I have needed the break in preparation for all that is to come this year. I’m finishing my second book, Mad Cow: Where PTSD & Pink Champagne Collide. It’s a hard write as it talks about the last two years. There has been much joy sprinkled throughout, but there have been a lot of real, raw, ugly moments, too.

There will be more therapies for the eight year old and for Mr. Wonderful. This year will also hold some speaking engagements I’m starting to really get excited about if when they come to fruition.

I have no idea what the year will hold for me and mine. I pray that we’re coming into a season of joy after many difficult seasons. But I’m grateful for those seasons because I have learned. And grown. And those are painful but wonderful places. 

 (photo cred loveecstaticsoul)

In my quiet time recently I suddenly knew my words for this year: scandalous grace. 

 (photo cred woodrose4.tumblr.com)

I am going to be looking for opportunities over the next 366 days (don’t forget it’s Leap Year!) to both give and receive scandalous grace. I know this means life will not go as I plan or hope sometimes, but it will be in the detours that I find a certain richness.

I’m looking forward to all that 2016 holds for my family, dear friends, and I can’t wait to see what it holds for you as well! 

 (Photo cred Hub Pages)

Have a blessed and Happy New Year!

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

 

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Radical Generosity

  (Photo cred Sseko Designs)
To the stranger who bought my lunch and the lunch of four other tables next to mine–thank you!!! Your radical generosity means so much, Merry Christmas and God bless you!

#radicalgenerosity #thankyou #Christmas #giving #blessed #payitforward

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Caffeinating

The struggle is real….  (Photo cred Sweatpants & Coffee)
  (Photo cred popsugar.com)
You’re welcome­čśŐ Hope your day is as caffeinated as mine, blessings friends!

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Slow Down

It’s crunch time–for gifts, Christmas parties, work events, relatives stopping in, cooking, cleaning, end-of-year reports. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can overcome and overwhelm if we’re not careful.

Take a minute today:

For yourself.

For a loved one.

For a spouse or friend or child. 

Remember what’s important right now–not whether your house is magazine spread ready or all the lights on the tree work or if the Elf forgot to move again or of all of your shopping is done. 

Breathe. Relax. Enjoy. Celebrate.

Does anything else really matter? Blessings friends, I pray you find rest, peace and hope along your way today! 

 (photo cred Money Saving Mom)

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Welcome December!

 (Photo credit pennielily.tumblr.com) 

We did it! We got our Christmas tree up before the week before. And it was kind of a miracle–we found two tree parts but neither was complete. We were going to have to have a mixed tree but then the eight year old checked in the “basement” (he meant the attic–we don’t have a basement) and voila. One complete tree.

There were a few meltdowns (on my part), two seriously shattered ornaments, some Christmas music and kids putting things everywhere they shouldn’t but we somehow managed. And I’m sure the baby–I mean now two year old–will have his way with the ornaments left too low. I guess it’s about time I stop calling him the baby. In my defense I just don’t want to.

The top part of the tree is pretty good, the bottom is sparse and it looks like a kindergarten art class threw up all over it. I can’t help it–I’m sentimental. I have saved every macaroni ornament and handprint reindeer my kids have ever made. With four kids that’s a lot of macaroni. 

 (Photo credit Meredith Shafer)

And I think it’s the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen.

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

TGIF

I cannot express my gratitude for Friday after this week! It’s like a long lost friend who has finally arrived for the weekend. You know those friends–the ones who make you laugh til you cry and give your heart the warm fuzzies. 

Oh Friday, thank God you’re here!

Since my Bigs (the older two boys) go to their dad’s house every other weekend, we have declared their Fridays here to be designated as Fort Fridays. This really means my living room will be trashed by the copious amounts of blankets, toys and food strewn about, but it’s something they look forward to.

With Christmas getting closer something dawned on me recently that has shaken me to my core. This Christmas my Bigs are with me. I love it when all my babies are in the nest. But since I get them every other year and my oldest is twelve, I have three more Christmases where I can count on them all being here.

Oh no! Where did my time go?

I’m not ready to think about when they have families and in laws and make holiday plans of their own. I’m not ready to have to share my little humans with anyone yet, although I’m getting some unwanted practice at this already.

Time passes so quickly when you have children as your measurement of it. I rail against this on a near-daily (sometimes hourly) basis because as hard as things are at times for our family, I love this life God’s blessed me with and I can’t imagine it being different.

I’m learning to live fully in this present moment. To let it ripen and be everything it was meant to be. That takes some patience in the trials of things. Being present. Appreciating this exact moment.

Even if it’s not Friday.

Or Christmas.

Or whatever you could put here that represents your ecstatic moments. Right here is good. 

Right here is exactly right.

(Photo credit Hub Pages) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

TGIF

I cannot express my gratitude for Friday after this week! It’s like a long lost friend who has finally arrived for the weekend. You know those friends–the ones who make you laugh til you cry and give your heart the warm fuzzies. 

Oh Friday, thank God you’re here!

Since my Bigs (the older two boys) go to their dad’s house every other weekend, we have declared their Fridays here to be designated as Fort Fridays. This really means my living room will be trashed by the copious amounts of blankets, toys and food strewn about, but it’s something they look forward to.

With Christmas getting closer something dawned on me recently that has shaken me to my core. This Christmas my Bigs are with me. I love it when all my babies are in the nest. But since I get them every other year and my oldest is twelve, I have three more Christmases where I can count on them all being here.

Oh no! Where did my time go?

I’m not ready to think about when they have families and in laws and make holiday plans of their own. I’m not ready to have to share my little humans with anyone yet, although I’m getting some unwanted practice at this already.

Time passes so quickly when you have children as your measurement of it. I rail against this on a near-daily (sometimes hourly) basis because as hard as things are at times for our family, I love this life God’s blessed me with and I can’t imagine it being different.

I’m learning to live fully in this present moment. To let it ripen and be everything it was meant to be. That takes some patience in the trials of things. Being present. Appreciating this exact moment.

Even if it’s not Friday.

Or Christmas.

Or whatever you could put here that represents your ecstatic moments. Right here is good. 

Right here is exactly right.