Monthly Archives: December 2011

What a Great Year!

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:3-6 

By: Jennifer Mullen

The MOMS of Mosaic of Moms would like to thank you as our readers for making our this year successful.  This has been an amazing year! Since we launched in September we have had over 4,000 clicks!  When we first met in May, we had no idea where God would lead us, but we stepped out in obedience to His calling and here we are.  God is faithful.  We are so excited to see what is ahead in 2012!

We have prayed for you as our sisters in Christ, and have been encouraged by your kind words and feedback.  What an amazing joy to know that we have been a blessing to you! If this ministry has been a blessing to you, please share it with others. And as always, we covet your prayers. 

Blessing and peace for the New Year from the MOMS at Mosaic of Moms. 

 

Christmas Doesn’t Come from a Store

The MOMs wish you and yours a very a very Merry Christmas!  We are taking a break from our normal routine this week and having a guest contributor.  Jennifer Clark is a former teacher and stay at home mom. She and her husband Neal have a son, Jackson, who is 21 months old. He is a blessing and a joy who keeps both of them on their toes!

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the LORD”  Luke 2:11

By: Jennifer Clark

Sometimes I feel like I am a bit of a Scrooge. I roll my eyes when I see Halloween and Christmas decorations sold side by side. And now, when you have to brave pepper spray attacks and riots just to go Christmas shopping on Black Friday, it makes me less than eager to participate in the Christmas mania.

But, really, it is not Christmas that I am rejecting. I am rejecting the commercialization of my favorite holiday. Surely there is more to Christmas than this.

One of my favorite stories is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I still tear up when all of the Whos in Whoville, after discovering all of their Christmas presents have disappeared, gather to sing and express their joy that Christmas morning has arrived. Then, I wonder, would we as Christians still have that joy if we awoke to find empty stockings and a bare Christmas tree? I don’t know about us. I don’t know about me. But there is one thing I do know; we have already received our greatest Christmas gift. He was born in a stable, his crib a manger, truly the most unlikely beginning for the King of all Kings. He was the Son of God, who came to earth to die for our sins. What an amazing miracle we celebrate every December 25th! I can think of no better reason to take our friends and family by the hands, give thanks and sing for joy.

In the wise words of Dr. Seuss- “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more.”

 

Joy to the World, Even though My House Isn’t Clean!

“May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” Romans 5:13 (The Message)

By: Kerri Young

I decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to invite some of my good friends (including the authors from this very blog) over to hopefully enjoy a Christmas brunch. It seemed like a great idea at the time (doesn’t it always?), because I rarely get to see these ladies and I needed a really good reason to clean my house (as if the prospect of my in-laws coming in three weeks isn’t enough!). And therein lies the problem. My house isn’t going to be clean…at least, not as clean as I’d probably like.

Remember Monday’s blog about my gassy little man? Well, for some reason unbeknownst to me, he has had crazy, painful gas and all he has wanted for a good portion of the last two days and nights is to be held or nursed. (No, I haven’t eaten any dairy or chocolate or onions or garlic or tree nuts.) So, naturally, I have obliged him. Because I love him and because this, too, shall pass… all too quickly.

I can get frustrated (and I have just because I don’t understand what is causing his little tummy so much trouble) and stress out that I have sticky spots on my kitchen floor, or piles of papers cluttering up the counter or stacks of folded laundry waiting to be returned to its rightful home accumulating in my bedroom. Alternatively, I can console my sweet littlest man for a while and then build a train track for my other little man (who has been oh-so-patient with baby brother consuming my time) and trust that my friends really don’t care if there is dust on my ceiling fans.

How about you? Are you entertaining for the holidays? Are you stressing out because people—maybe even in-laws—are coming to your house and you have so much to do that you can’t fit it all in? Breathe in. Breathe out. It’s easy to forget to savor all these priceless moments and before we know it another Christmas season is over; or worse yet, our kids grow up and are too big to hold and don’t want us to play tea party or trains with them anymore. Forget the sticky spots on your floor. Forget the stack of mail and school papers that need to be gone through and clothes that need to be put away. They will keep. (Trust me; that laundry is going nowhere and those sticky spots will reappear as quickly as you wipe them up.) Enjoy your family and be proud of your messy house as you delight in the wonder of this season and its splendor. If you do, I bet anyone who comes to your house will be so taken in by your peace and joy that they won’t even notice anything else (at least, that’s what I’m hoping!) =)

Here’s a poem you have probably seen, but it is a good reminder for me because it somehow always makes me feel better.

Babies Don’t Keep
By Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Lullabye, rockaby, lullabye loo.
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo,
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo,
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs;

Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

 

 

 

Chocolate and Cheese and Nuts…Oh my!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Have you ever stopped to take note of what ingredients are in the majority of Christmas goodies and appetizers at parties? I really hadn’t paid much attention; that is, until this year. After attending three Christmas parties in the last few days I can tell you from firsthand experience that 99 percent of the food you and I love to consume this time of year (or, really, any time of year) contains one or some of the following: chocolate, some kind of dairy –be it cheese, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk or just plain, old milk—, onions, garlic, or nuts. Am I right? Pay attention in the next week and you’ll see.

There’s a reason a lot of people put on weight during the holidays. But, thank goodness that’s not what this blog is about. No, I want to talk about sacrifice; specifically the sacrifices that we moms (and dads) make for our children. What does that have to do with Christmas and party food, you ask? Well, unfortunately, everything for me this year. See, I am still nursing my littlest man and over the last four and a half months I have figured out that his tiny tummy has some sensitivity to the foods I eat. Namely, dairy, chocolate, onions, garlic, and tree nuts give him gas. Not just cute little baby toot, passes with a smile gas. We’re talking horrible, inconsolable, wakes him up in the middle of the night screeching and writhing in pain gas which results in no sleep for baby, mommy or daddy. So, I have learned it is much better for all of us for me not to eat those things.

I cannot even begin to tell you how desperately I am craving something simple like an Oreo Blizzard, or pizza, or salsa, or…the list goes on. But I am a mom and making sacrifices is just what we do. Whether it’s giving up precious hours of sleep, having less time for our hobbies, putting our career on hold, buying a new pair of tennis shoes for our kiddos instead of some new boots for ourselves, or spending the baby’s nap time playing with big brother rather than reading that book we got for our birthday and haven’t gotten to start yet, we give things up all the time because we love our kids.

After not cooking, baking, or eating what I want for four months my restrictive diet has actually gotten a little easier…except at parties when the fudge and the cheese dips are calling my name and there is absolutely nothing I can eat. But, all I have to do is look at my littlest man and his sweet, smiling blue eyes and I know that abstaining from chocolate and dairy is a worthy sacrifice that I will make as long as I have to do so. Little dude is worth it.

And so are you. At least, that’s what God thought when He chose to fulfill His promises and send His Son to be born in a little town called Bethlehem thousands of years ago. It doesn’t even come close in comparison, but just like my little man is dependent on me to help keep his tummy free from the agony of gas, God knew we were dependent on Him to keep our lives free from the destruction of sin. We need to be saved from our selfishness, our pride, our deceitful hearts and our gluttony.  We need a Savior, and God was faithful in making the ultimate sacrifice of His own Son to be just that.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

Jesus came and died so that you and I might live freely and abundantly and eternally. His sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice and it is why I am celebrating this season, dairy or no dairy. I pray that you, too, are celebrating this miracle and know God’s life-giving grace and peace personally this Christmas. If you don’t, I encourage you to get a Bible and start reading about the Christ Child in the New Testament book of Luke. It is the greatest story ever told about the greatest sacrifice ever made and one that will change your life if you let it.

 

Smoothie

“Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you.”  1 Corinthians 6:19 (The Message)

My Mom’s peanut butter fudge, my Aunt’s sweet potato casserole, and my Granny’s cherry candy.  These are just a few of my favorite things, or atleast they are my favorite food items at Christmas time.  Throw in some sugar cookies, cheesy potatoes and broccoli rice cheese and I am one happy Mamma, for a while that is.  Then comes the headache and then the bloating, and then the “I think I would feel better if I threw up” feeling.  When I was single I would take a really long nap (yeah, those were the days..), but now that I’m a mom of 4, that is no longer an option.  So does that mean no Christmas goodies anymore?  Of course not!    I’m all for a little culinary indulgence here and there, as long as it’s tempered with plenty of nutrition.  That’s where this green tea smoothie comes in.  Please do not be skeptical, it is really good!  Between the antioxidants, protein, vitamins and a serving of dairy, it’s about the best snack or meal replacement you could have.  After a day or two of eating bad I like to have these for snacks, and have used them to replace a meal or two.  I have listed the ingredients below.  You can change it up depending on what you are wanting.  If you are wanting more of a light smoothie then use more green tea and less yogurt and milk.  If you are making it a meal replacement then I suggest adding some whey protein powder(but not if you are pregnant or nursing.)  Cooked/cooled oatmeal is good to add for a breakfast smoothie.

Smoothie:

1/2 cup ice

1/2 cup frozen strawberries (I sometimes add other berries or peaches also)

1/4 cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup milk

1 cup of brewed/cooled green tea(I like Liptons mixed berry)

1 TBS honey

Put it all in a blender and mix it up.  It will make enough for two smoothies.  I like to make a couple at a time and freeze the extra for later.  It will keep for a while in the refrigerator.