Welcome to December
Dear blogger friends,
Welcome to December — for us here in Australia it is the first day of summer, for those elsewhere it is the first day of winter. I love summer, being able to wear summer dresses, walk around in bare feet, sit outdoors in the evening, enjoy a barbecue or go for walks at dusk when it starts to cool. Summer is salads, watermelon, ice-cream and strawberries. There is so much to enjoy at this time of the year.
Sadly though, it is also the season of heatwaves, droughts, storms and fires. In November alone we have had some devastating bushfires that have destroyed huge swags of land, destroyed families homes, businesses, crops and 1000s of livestock (on one farm alone they lost 51,000 chickens and another almost a 1000 pigs) and six people have lost their lives. This is such a bad start to summer and my heart breaks for all those farming families who have lost so much (including the income they would have made from their crops and animals). This will make their Christmas very sad. Fires are not uncommon in Australia — and no matter how many we have, each one is heartbreaking to hear about. My prayers go out to these families at this very difficult time—I know their suffering because my own family went through a very nasty fire number of year ago and I know the consequences of fire. And I pray that the next three months of summer are not as harsh as what we have already witnessed.
On a much lighter note, this is the season for giving and I have started my Christmas shopping. Finally. I have a box full of gifts to give to family and friends — I have tried to buy local as much as possible to help those small business that rely on our spending at this time of year. Unfortunately there are somethings I have had to order overseas online — but that does help the economies of others nations!!
Whilst I was out and about shopping on Friday I visited a gorgeous shop full of beautiful things for the home and found these measuring cups — aren't they just so pretty and feminine. Ok, I was meant to be fully focused on buying gifts for others people — but I couldn't help myself and I bought these.
I am not sure if I will use them as measuring cups as they are quite delicate and I would hate to chip them, but they would look nice with nibbles in on a wooden board — perhaps at Christmas time. I have to admit I am a sucker for these sorts of things for my kitchen!!!
I wasn't quite sure where I would put the cups, so I rearrange what I had on my kitchen benches to make sure I had a home for them!! They now sit in the corner with some of my other items that are used quite often. We love bowls in our house and have many different sorts and sizes to choose from!
I have just been reading The Time-Warp Wife blog and she lists 5 ways of slowing down this Christmas season so you can reduce your stress levels and finding some peace. I thought I would share her list with you. It is ridicules that December has become such a hectic, stressful and expensive season when it doesn't need to be. By the end of the year we are all feeling a little weary and instead of slowing down — everyone is going wild! As Darlene points out in her blog — "it is ok to cut back, its ok to pare down, its okey to spend less" — wise words. We don't need to get on the commercial bandwagon and be pulled along with everyone else.
- Spend time in prayer. If you don’t have a prayer journal I’d suggest starting one. It’s a good and relaxing habit to get into. I journal my prayers every night. It helps me to bring stress to the surface, and leave it in God’s hands.
- Downsize. Is the holiday season more stressful than you’d like it to be? Try down-sizing. Ask yourself what you should keep and what you should cut.
- Simplify. Don’t stretch your budget thin. Simplify. There are countless ways to bless without financial stress.
- Think Small. Focus on one little corner of your home. Put in the effort to make it pretty, comfy, inviting and warm.
- Buddy Up. Tackle some of your to-do list with a friend. Whether you’re baking, filling out cards, or wrapping gifts, you could enjoy these moments together.
- Choose Joy. Consider one thing (or two) that stresses you out during the holiday season. Decide in advance that you’re choosing joy this year, then tackle that task with a smile.
That is about all from me today — welcome to winter or summer — whatever season it is — ENJOY and make the most of it. Whilst there are negative with all seasons and I am sure we can always find something to love about each day.
In God's wonderful grace