Friday, December 28, 2012

Distractions

2:50 PM 2
Zman and my Laela

As I plopped on my couch tonight after an evening of running through the house with the lights out playing laser tag with my four peanuts and the Zman (aka- my hubby) I couldn’t help but think that this would be one of those nights they (my kiddos) will remember.   Around the holidays I often catch myself thinking of years gone by and memories from long ago.  I also quite frequently get lost in thoughts of the memories and traditions that my children are now experiencing and wonder what they will remember as years go by.  As I was lost in thought recounting times of great joy in my life I realized that there was a common theme in each and every distinct memory that stood out in my mind.  Each one of them revolved around a relationship.  The moment was special because of who it was shared with.  I do not remember many of the gifts I received on Christmas Day, but I remember everything about the people that I shared them with.  Bare with me as I take you through this journey onto a revelation that has become my passion.
The clan
I will never forget the Christmas Eve talks shared between my sisters and I as we lay all squished in bed together in the “blue room” at Nannies house.  Jennifer would always fall asleep first and Juliana and I would lay there crunching ice for hours and contemplating with every sound if that was Santa or not.  I will also never forget that every Christmas morning Dad would be fooling with the camera trying to get it ready before we were allowed to come in the room.  It seemed like hours spent waiting for him to get that video camera focused.  I’ll just say cameras have come a long way!!  I also will never forget my Nanny, who always worked the night shift at the hospital, and would come in just about the time we were checking out all our presents in her stark white nurse uniform with a big smile on her face.  Nurse apparel has also changed.  The laughs we shared standing over my Nannies floor furnace as the airflow made our nightgowns puff out were countless and that joke never seemed to tire. 
Of coarse these memories all revolve around Christmas time, but this same theme follows me throughout my entire life.  Moments I will never forget:  Car rides in my Dad’s yellow beat up beetle bug to and from ball practice.  Singing in the bathroom with my Mom and whoever else happened to be over and getting ready at the Galloway house.  Yard work with my Dad or the endless amount of laughs shared between my cousins and I as we sat on the pews of East Gadsden Church of Christ.
One of my favorite presents!
So after taking a trip down memory lane this is the conclusion I have come too.  I want to create for my four children a stockpile of memories that will help to shape and guide them throughout their life.  No amount of material possessions no matter how cool or socially “in” they may be will provide this.  No, instead it is going to come directly from the efforts of me and their father and our willingness to put the time into creating them.   When my children think back to their childhood I want them to remember bedtime talks where we are all piled up in the bed discussing the “important stuff.”  I want them to remember the countless hide-n-seek games played inside a dark house where I, not to brag, usually always win.  I want them to remember our family prayers and the people and places we have prayed for time and time again.  I want them to remember that sometimes being a good parent, correction, a lot of times being a good parent does not mean being their best friend.  I want them to remember that we made them work, yes, work, because good work helps to build strong character.  I want them to learn the value of prolonged gratification, something I fear our culture has so quickly ripped from our children’s hands.  Teaching my children to wait for the best instead of settling for the NOW is a gift that will carry them through the rest of their life.  I want my children to be able to find joy in relationships, not merchandise. 
making memories!
We are surrounded by a culture that wants to strip every relationship from our hands by the simple touch of a button and to replace it with a counterfeit.  My New Year’s Resolution is to battle like never before for the minds and hearts of my children.  To refuse to become consumed by consumption, to refuse to believe that happiness comes from THINGS, to deny myself and to deny my children of the things that I know in my heart will only corrupt their minds and steal their joy.  I want to teach them the true value of a relationship.  I pray that those lessons will be the ones that they draw from when they begin to form their own relationship with God.  Satan has an agenda and it is very simple and can be defined in one word, DISTRACTION!  He wants to distract Mom’s, Dad’s, kids, and every relationship within.  So in the year of 2013 I commit to battle against the distractions that Satan intends to throw at my family and to protect my children from a culture that wants to consume them or rather for them to consume.  I vow to cherish every moment, every conversation, every sloppy wet kiss, and to truly value every relationship in my life especially the one with my Creator.  So I leave you with a challenge.  Whatever is distracting you or whatever is distracting your children from true meaningful relationships with each other and more importantly the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth discard it from your life, no matter the cost.  That’s a sure fire way to make for some great memories in 2013!

Love and hugs and Happy New Year,
Jil       


           





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Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Prayer

12:48 PM 0


Almighty Father, creator of life and all things good, hold these families in your mighty hand right at this moment.  Whisper words of peace into their hearts and remind them that though the pain may be unbearable that You are near.  Please comfort them with the words you have spoke, "The Lord is near the broken-hearted." Ps 34:18  Father, I pray that even though they may feel that you are miles and miles away that they will feel your arms carrying them as you carry their burdens.  Father I pray in the name of Jesus that satan will have no more power over this dark tragedy.  I know that he wants so desperately to cause each and every one of these aching souls to question your very existence and turn their hearts so far from you, but I pray that his power is stripped from their hearts.  That they will see this horrific tragedy for what it truly is.  The result of someone who completely turned their back on You and was under the control of the evil one.  Finally Father, I pray for all the innocent children, teachers, librarians, custodians, and anyone else that may have had to witness such dreadful acts that their souls will be comforted and that you will protect their minds from having to relive this moment over and over.  Father, the Mom's and Dad's are agonizing over their children that were for a brief moment healthy, happy, and alive, and now they are gone.  I pray that you might reveal to them the comfort that their child is now in.  The joy that they are experiencing and the complete and utter peace that now and forever they will bask in.  This will not take away their desire to hold them one last time I know, but perhaps they can be comforted as only you can comfort.
In the mighty name of Jesus,
Amen  
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

THE STINKING CHRISTMAS CARD PICTURE!!

11:57 AM 1
Who in the world would use a sharpie to make their skirt longer??  Yep, ME!  So much for the professional look!!
      Every year around this time the Dasher family faces a major crisis.  The "CHRISTMAS CARD PICTURE!"  To put it mildly I am married to a man that breaks into a hot sweat at the mere mention of "family portraits."  It's so bad that I cannot think of the last time we have had our picture's taken by a professional photographer simply because it is not worth the risk of having my husband pitch a fat fit right there in the middle of it all, sorry baby, truth hurts sometime:-)  So luckily I can usually coax my sister-in-law, who happens to be AWESOME, to "help a sister out" and be our personal photographer.  I secretly contemplated videoing our "CHRISTMAS CARD" session this year just to have it as a keepsake to pop in the dvd player every time I need a good laugh or possibly if I might need to remind my husband why "patience is a virtue."  If someone happened to sneak up on our photo session they would be in for the laugh of their life.   I'm talking there is all kinds of yelling, pushing, gritting teeth, sweating, and crazy monkey noises  to get the babies attention.  It is nothing short of a zoo!  Yet, when you receive the Dasher card in the mail you are likely to see visions of sugar plums, all smiles and loves, ha!  Looks can be deceiving!  Even though this moment is one of the most dreaded of the season for SOME members of our family, it is still one that I look forward to in a weird sort of way.  It is so representative of who we are as a family; a crew of imperfect people, with all sorts of flaws, rough around the edges at times, and always in need of an extra dose of patience, but through it all there are those moments when God's glory shines perfectly through at just the right time.  I am so thankful for my sometimes dysfunctional family and all the joy that comes from being sons and daughters of the Almighty King!
Merry Christmas, Love the Dashers!!

This doesn't look staged at all does it???
Sister trying to take charge!
The BEAR, age 4
Max's expression says it all!  Mine oh, just on the verge going CRAZY!
Laela Beth age 9
Apparently Zach didn't like the funny face idea!  Shocker!
Don't we look HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!

My little Fred man
Future spot of the Dasher home.  For now, we're kicking it in the trailer!  
My FAVORITE!


















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