My family

My family
Child of God, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, and friend

Monday, December 31, 2007

Spiritual Refreshment

We've all heard the saying "New Year's Resolutions," but instead of making some meaningless "promise" to myself this year, I decided to make some pretty important promises to my maker, my saviour, my God. I call them not resolutions, but refreshments for my spiritual soul.

Ali's Refreshments

#1: I will honor God with my body....the only earth suit if you will, that I will ever have. I vow to nurture it and take pride in it.

#2: I will honor my husband and submit to him as I know I should, but rarely do. I will make this home a haven for him, and myself a refuge to him.

#3: I will give my Lord the time and attention HE deserves and craves from me. NO MORE EXCUSES! So what if I have to get up a little earlier everyday? HE is so worth it!!!

#4: I will love others with the kind of unconditional love that Christ has for us. WITHOUT LIMITS, WITHOUT FAIL, WITHOUT END.

Lord, help me to be obedient to you, and you alone. Help ease my daily worries and fears. I know you desire a more meaningful relationship with me, and I want to give that to you. Help me stay focused on your word, your truth and your light....


Saturday, December 29, 2007

One special day, two special girls

Well, Christmas is over, and the best gift that I got this year was a new little niece! Ruby Jane Cook made her debut on December 26th at 8:08 A.M., weighing in at 7 lbs 14 ozs. She was a little delayed (us girls always have to be "fashionably late" huh?) but she is just the sweetest thing ever! My girls aside of course, she is the most beautiful little girl. When she came out, she had such amazing color. One might even say she was "ruby" red! I know how amazing her color was because I had the EXTREME honor of being in the room when she came into this world. What an experience that was! I've never been witness to a birth that wasn't mine, and it was one that I won't likely forget anytime soon. Seeing my sister in that light, and seeing the intense bond between her husband John and her during the labor was such a beautiful thing. Still wondering about my title? Well, December 26th was already a very special day, as it is my daughter Anna's birthday. How cool is that!? Two little cousins sharing the same birthday! Lauren and I foresee many joint birthday parties in the future. So, I woke up that day, went to the hospital to see beautiful Ruby be born, and then went home and celebrated miss Anna's first birthday. And, hello, my "baby" turned 1!!!!! I can hardly believe it's been a year already. Her sweet personality is blooming right before my eyes. I am certainly blessed!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A wise little boy

This boy is wise beyond his years. This phone call truly shows the amazing insight that children can have about life and faith.

'Twas the night before Christmas

I don't normally "steal" from other people's blogs, but my dear friend Victoria, who has such a gift for creative writing, posted this in her own blog today, and it was just TOO GOOD not to get out there for all to see. I hope she doesn't mind.=) It's a spin on an all too familiar Chrismas poem. Personally, I like this one better.....

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
None of God's creatures were stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In truth, it's Christ's birth that had put them there.

His children were nestled all snug in their beds,
unlike the baby Jesus, with no place to lay his sweet head;
Mother Mary and Joseph, and some shepherds perhaps
Watched over our Savior as he peacefully napped.

When up in the sky there arose such a clatter,
That three wise men grabbed the best gifts they could gather.
Away to the Messiah they flew like a flash,
To see our redeemer in the flesh at long last.

The star in the sky gave off such a glow
Shining with the luster of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But the stillness of the star showing they must be near,

It's unclear how long they traveled, but it was quite a bit,
Still they knew by the star's pause that this must be it.
Three gifts they brought to little Jesus when they came,
And they rejoiced as the angels had as they praised His name;

"Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!
To the top of the mountains! To the bottom of the sea!
Our Savior is born to save both you and me!"

As God's children sleep, safe in their beds,
Both Father and Son watch over their heads,
Loving them enough to number each countless hair,
We've no way to earn their love, but every way to share.

Giving gifts as the wise men did is a fun tradition,
As long as the point of Christmas never goes missing.
Deck the halls and trim the tree,
Hang the stockings and dance with glee.

Share the joy of Christmas which no wrapped gift could match,
Tell of the babe wrapped in cloth who brought us freedom at last;
A bundle of joy lying in the manger,
Sent to save us from unspeakable danger.

His life for ours, what an amazing gift!
He was born so that man might no longer perish!
His life was as pure as the day He was born,
As He taught us the greatest lessons we'll learn;

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love,
Don't try to be pleasing to man, but to God above;
Build on the Rock and not the sand,
Keep an open heart and an outstretched hand.

So many people are in need this Christmas,
Let God use you to fulfill their wishes;
Give as you've been given to,
You provide for others and He'll provide for you;

So speak of His word, and get straight to His work,
Always giving Him the glory since it all came from Him first.
Remember, it's God's children in this world that are the light,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

The Perfect Christmas Tree

This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.—2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Each year in the mall near our home, a Christmas tree looms high above the department stores as a decoration and focal point for holiday celebrations. It is breathtaking. Of course, this tree gets a lot of help. In fact, to make sure the tree looks perfect and even from all sides, existing branches are cut off, extra ones are collected, and each branch is cut and trimmed. Then, holes are drilled in the tree trunk and extra branches are placed in just the right spots. The tree is made to look flawless.

When I think about the holiday season and the message of Christ, this mall has it all wrong. I think God looks at us more like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. You know the one I mean. A tree that is far from perfect: skimpy, left behind and unwanted. A tree that has lots of gaps in the branches and need extra help getting decorated.

God demonstrated his power in mighty ways through the Apostle Paul. The passage from 2 Corinthians records Paul’s requests to God to remove the afflictions he was facing, but God chose not to do so. God demonstrated His incredible power through Paul by working through Him even in the midst of His weaknesses. It is also these weaknesses that reminded Paul to rely on the Lord, for he knew he could not succeed without the power of God in his life.

It is tempting to rely on our own strength or think we can do everything on our own based on the talents, energy and effort we give to something. However, God wants us to realize instead that we need to rely on Him to be our strength. When we rely on Him, we will not only find ourselves stronger, but we will also continue to grow and move to deeper Christian character when we allow God’s strength to work in us. So when you face situations that are difficult and challenging, be encouraged. God will make His power perfect in you…just as you are, with flaws and all.

Friday, December 14, 2007

First steps

I can hardly believe this day came for me already. It feels like only a few months ago that I was coming home from the birthing center with my precious new baby Anna, and already she is taking her first steps. Yesterday I was on the phone with Lauren, and Anna was cruising up and down the couch as always, when all of the sudden she let go and started WALKING towards one of her toys. Naturally I started screaming like a frantic person, and I'm sure Lauren's ears were a ringing. I just couldn't believe my eyes. She took about 3 steps before plopping on her bottom, and then after getting off the phone, she did it a little more. I think I threw her for a bit of a curve because she was feeding off my excitement and then she could no longer concentrate enough to do it anymore. Needless to say, I had a "happy headache" for the rest of the night from all the screaming I did, but it was certainly worth it! I am so proud of her!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I was reminded of how wonderful simplicity is the other day. I got to spend the ENTIRE day with my husband and girls. If you know anything about our schedule over the last 8 months or so, you'll know that we've only had a handful of full days together. David is a full time student and works full time too, and has even been pulling some overtime, so his "days off" from work are not full days off, as he has school to go to. He has been getting a little burnt out, and so this Tuesday he decided to skip out on school and not do any classwork either. We started our day off with a lovely pancake breakfast. After shoveling all that yummy food down, we all got bundled up and ventured out to find the perfect Christmas tree. We found a lot with some really good looking trees, but unfortunately there was no one there yet, as it was still morning time. So, we had to settle a bit, but after bringing it home and decorating it, it looked just perfect in our little home. The decorating was fun, but I think Kayla enjoyed tearing up last years wrapping paper more then anything else! We had Bing Crosby's Christmas album playing in the background and several warm apple pie candles lit (man I love those things!) We decided to finish off the day with making and decorating some sugar cookies. Now, this was the best part of my day! Watching my husband and girls do that was so special. Having this day with my family reminded me about the beautiful simplicity of my life. I am a wife,
a mother, a f
riend, and a child of God. I love every one of those's that simple.