Our Christmas Card

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family for blog

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

This family photo isn’t the best- but it’s not the photographer’s fault! The fall day we scheduled to shoot, our crazy Ohio weather forecast was 56 and sunny. The only problem was that the forecast was totally wrong and the temperature was 32 instead. So we had a little adventure and encountered some wind. Hey, I’ll be the first to tell you that my hair is not exactly in place all the time anyways. So what’s a few windblown hairs! ;)

Back- Matt (my loving hubby), myself, Tessa (the baby), Tiff (the oldest) and Zach (her husband)

Front- Tristina- (our sweet rose born between the boys), Tarah- (God’s gift after miscarriage), Taylor- (our special needs girl who REALLY hates cold weather and especially wind) Samuel- (barely tolerating the need to hold still), and Michael- (growing up way too fast)

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

Thank you for reading and supporting our family through the blog and our ministries. We are so grateful for each and every one of you!

Many new and exciting things are slated to come in 2014! We ask for your prayers as we  continue to travel the road God has for us.

I’d love to pray for you and yours this week. Just leave a comment with your request.

Much love,

Rachel

 

Christmas Ideas

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It’s Christmas Eve! Wow- time surely flies.

Today I just wanted to give you a few reminders of the Christmas posts for this month. In case you need to print out some gift tags real quick, or take a deep breath and pray, or you know that grace is always needed and you’re dying to read the book Epic Grace…so you take two seconds to enter the giveaway.

You’ll find the Christmas Bible verse gift tags HERE.

If you are looking for the poem, Twas the Plight Before Christmas, you’ll find it HERE. (especially good for  procrastinators. ;) )

The beautiful Prayer for Christmas Day is HERE.

If you need to remember what Christmas is really about and have an easy conversation starter, check out THIS POST to share the gospel using the Wordless Book and ornaments on the tree as your guide.

HERE is where you can find the 8 Bible Verses on the Joy of Giving.

And don’t forget the AWESOME giveaway of Kurt Bubna’s Epic Grace- which is on sale for only $2.99 for the ebook!!

In the midst of all the excitement of the glorious holiday, I wanted to be sure to pause and reflect on what I’m giving to Jesus.

He who gave it all for me.

wisementoday

 

The Worst Christmas Present Ever Given

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Have you ever received a gift that turned out to be nothing like it looked on the outside?

This question is the one that Pastor asked today and immediately my husband and I looked at each other, knowing exactly what the other was thinking. Perhaps I should begin at the beginning.

worst present ever2

Wrapping presents can seem to be an overwhelming chore at the Woj house. The number of bodies present in our household lends itself naturally to using A LOT of wrapping paper. Creativity often comes in to play with the older kids because I don’t want them to figure out what the gift is before unwrapping it, right? I know you’ve been there- it’s supposed to be a surprise!

So last year, we sat by the Christmas tree, taking turns to open gifts, and my oldest son’s turn came around. Michael is 11 years old and this smallish bag with his name on it is ready to be opened. I shook the bag, not remembering AT ALL what could be in it for him. You know it’s bad when the mom can’t remember what she wrapped. In my defense, something didn’t seem right, but I was trusting the gift tag on the bag, clearly marked with his name.

Unfortunately, Michael’s face showed that the bag did NOT belong to him as he peered down into it before revealing its contents. Mom and Dad had given him:

a bra!

Oh.my.word. I was never so embarrassed for one of my children in their lives. I couldn’t believe I had done this! How does a mother wrap a new bra for the older sister and give it to her son instead?? To this day, the only thing I can calculate is that the label was on the floor somewhere, with his name.  In the process of moving gifts from the upstairs bedroom where they were carefully wrapped and labeled to under the Christmas tree, this label was mistakenly placed on the bag, conveniently over the true owner’s gift tag.

I felt horrible for Michael and I think he just might have received the worst Christmas present ever given- at least for an 11 year old boy. And I felt like a total idiot. How could I have done this to him? I was pretty sure the poor boy had been scarred for life.

But Michael laughs about this crazy little incident. Ummm. Now he laughs. (It wasn’t so well-received at the time.) And in return for receiving the worst Christmas present ever given, Michael gave me one of the best presents ever- grace.

grace is for giving
Last week, I wrote a list of the books I’ve read this year. Only I left one out- and it’s one of my favorites. I couldn’t close out the year without telling you about it- because this book- it’s about what Michael gave to me-it’s about grace.

What kind of grace? Not the prayer we say before dinner. Not even the kind of grace Michael gave to me. This book is about

Epic Grace.

epic giveaway

In fact, that’s the name of the book. And if that alone doesn’t intrigue you, the subtitle certainly is catchy…

Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot.

My older brother used to say “It takes one to know one.” Ahem.

So I can thoroughly relate to this book. And truthfully, I believe all humankind can relate to this book. How many times in life do we simply need…

a do-over?

a second chance?

one more shot?

Kurt Bubna‘s Epic Grace is full of encouraging direction for those of us who need a second chance. I laughed and cried my way through the book and enjoyed every moment of reading it. From someone who needs God’s grace every moment of every day, I highly recommend this book.

Kurt is so gracious that he’s giving me the privilege of giving away a copy of his awesome book! WOOHOO! Just follow the Rafflecopter for a chance to win. We’ll keep the giveaway open through Christmas Day!

Through 12/28, you can purchase the ebook, Epic Grace, for only $2.99 right here.

See you tomorrow!

Rachel

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Book provided by publisher. Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.