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It's Wednesday- The Peak Of The Week! Here are some things piquing my interest today! 12-12-18

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Happy Peak Of The Week! I haven't wrapped one gift! I know I'll get to it, but wrapping presents is my least favorite thing about the holidays! A huge Thank You to whoever invented gift bags!!

Dr. T and I had such a cozy, small-town Christmas last weekend. We attended a community-wide Creche show and saw nativity scenes from around the world. We also attended our town's Light Parade Saturday night! I have been visiting my daughter on this particular weekend the last two years so being here this year was really special, and we didn't want to miss these things. I'm sharing pictures of the weekend as I share the things piquing my interest today!!

From China
I shared a blog post this week about a lesson I learned years ago about priorities- Especially this time of year. Here is the link if you missed it-
How To Host A Perfect Cookie Exchange.

This blog post titled Lost- Jesus reminded me of my lesson learned!!

Kenya
I'm ever mindful that this can be a tough time of year for people. I still have my moments. I love this article written by Katie Couric on the loss of her husband.


A friend recently shared this article on this famous Texas bookstore- Book People. It is worth a trip if you are ever in Austin. I have great memories of going there with my daughter to browse the stacks and take her to book signings!!


We loved seeing the American Flag in lights!!



I always like to have a link to an article about books. This article shares Tom Hank's favorite books. I think these would make great gifts- especially for any men on your list to buy for!!
9 Life-Changing books That Inspired Tom Hanks to Live His Most Purposeful Life.

I hope these links enhance your Wednesday in some way!! Happy Peak Of The Week!! It's all downhill from here!!

Please share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram!




How To Host A Perfect Cookie Exchange

Monday, December 10, 2018

There are videos in this post so if you receive my posts in email, you may need to click here to see the videos. If you like what you read, please share on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.


I hope the title of this post isn't too deceiving! I think those who have been reading my blog know that I don't profess to anything in perfection. I try to keep this space as organic, raw, and real as possible!! So just humor me with this, and hopefully, I can appropriately articulate a lesson I learned many years ago!!

I hosted a Cookie Exchange Party for women in my church and their friends last night. It was a great time!! As you all know, hosting anything at your house can be somewhat stressful. But, I can honestly say that at almost 55 years of age, experience has taught a lesson about getting too stressed over having people over.

Many years ago, I hosted an evening for women in my church at my home in Texas. I know my family grew sick and tired of me as the week wore on, and I became a very unpleasant person to live with! My high school aged kids quickly became exhausted by my focus on keeping the house clean- every dirty sock had to be picked up immediately, no crumb could be left on the countertop to be dealt with later, the house became almost unlivable!! And, then the water pipe busted!! Not a pipe in the house. Thank goodness. A waterline pipe burst which made my late husband have to cut off the waterline to the entire house. I was not happy!! He was out until midnight one night fixing that pipe!! The party for church was still on much to the unhappiness of my family! The day of the party arrived. I got home from my job at school that afternoon and went about the last minute preparations for the evening. As I anxiously awaited hearing the doorbell of the first guests' arrival, I walked through the living room to discover that our dog, Scout, had pooped in the middle of the living room floor. What in the world? He hadn't needed out. He never pooped in the house, but he decided to at that very moment.

I quickly cleaned up his mess and went to my bathroom to wash my hands. Crying in my frustration, I glanced up at myself in the mirror, and a moment of clarity swept over me. "This evening isn't about you. This evening isn't about your house." Wow!! I know that if God can use a donkey to get through to Balaam in Old Testament times, he can surely use my little Scout to speak truth to me!!

Story of Balaam 

Scripture: Numbers 22: 21-39

Growing older does have its perks because I went into the preparations for my Cookie Exchange party with a very healthy and positive mindset. This party wasn't about me. It was about bringing together women. It was about allowing women the opportunity to get to know each other better. It was about celebrating Christmas in a fun and casual way.

My experience also reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha!



Scripture: Luke 10:38-42

My Martha has become a Mary over the years. You see, my house really wasn't ready to have people over. We are a bit under construction at the moment. We are adding bookshelves in our office. Everything that had been on temporary bookcases is now in lining our hallway. My stairs are in the middle of a renovation- risers are unfinished awaiting a special project "refresh."

Hallway lined with boxes of books from the office.

Spare bedroom had office spillover as well. 


I can honestly say that I didn't stress over my house at all this week leading up to the party. I just kept my priorities straight, and kept my thoughts on the most important guest!!!

For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.
                                                                                              Matthew 18:20 



So I guess in a sense, I did have a "perfect" Cookie Exchange party. New friendships were formed. We celebrated Christmas in a unique way. And, it was really fun!!

Here are some ideas if you do want to host a Cookie Exchange:

Have an empty space for the platters of cookies that everyone brings to be exchanged. Ask each guest to bring at least 2 dozen cookies. If you have more than 24 women coming, you'll want to increase the number of cookies each person brings accordingly.

Have a variety of drinks ready. I served water, tea, lemonade, and sparkling grape juice. I also asked those coming to bring a snack to share as we visited before grabbing our cookies.

























I added three small door prizes that we drew for. If women attending don't all know each other, I suggest name tags too.

After eating and visiting has gone on for a while, hand out the containers for the cookies. Each person walks around the table and gets one cookie each. After everyone has had a chance at one, guests can go back and clean off the platters.
A finished cookie container!
Other scenes from the Cookie Exchange:







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