I am so thankful that my parents raised me to celebrate Jesus on Christmas. There was Santa (more of the feeling and fun of Santa, I never actually believed he existed) and gifts and lights. But more important was Jesus. And I always knew that Jesus was the TRUE reason that we have a reason to celebrate. I want my kids to know that too. So we've made decisions for our family that help us make Christ the center. No TV for one. We have A TV and we watch DVD's but the television itself isn't hooked up to anything else. No TV = NO commercials!! And it's amazing how that alone eliminates the greedy "I wants". People ask my kids all the time what Santa is bringing them for Christmas...and in return all they get is a blank look. Ask them about Baby Jesus, though, and you're going to get an earful!
Yes, there are gifts (as my kids remind me constantly...the 2nd best part of Christmas is the PRESENTS!). But we do everything we can to create an atmosphere of ADORATION during the holiday season. (One thing we started this year is called "7 Nights Before Christmas". Each evening we light a candle and I read from the grown-up Bible part of the story of Christmas...after prayer the kids get to open one small gift. They loved it!!) Jesus was a babe in the cradle so he could become a Savior on the cross...and now he wears a crown and sits on the throne of our hearts. How I want you to know the true meaning of Christmas this year! If you haven't already, please consider giving Him authority over your life so that you may know the true peace and meaning of Christmas.
This is not a normal blog post for me. I've worked hard to transform my physical body but just couldn't let Christmas Day go by without sharing a tiny bit about how to make a spiritual transformation as well. It's so simple...confess to God your sins, repent of your sins and ask for His forgiveness. And ask that Jesus come into your life and transform you from the inside out. And if you choose to do that, WELCOME to the family of God!
Here's my annual photo with my daughter, who is turning 7 in a few weeks. We do this exact pose in front of a Christmas tree every year. I just love seeing the hairstyle changes and facial changes from year to year. I don't know if you can tell but the bottom photo from last year was me at my heaviest (I tried to hide it with hair and angle) and this year's (on top) is me at 43 lbs lighter. This has been such a year of transformation for me in so many ways! (more before/after photos to come on New Years!). You can see it's been a year of transformation for my daughter too!
Is it just me or do we both look healthier?
And here's a recipe to close out the holiday season. This is a new one I'm very eager to try for our Christmas dinner this year. I love sweet potatoes but have not known if it was possible to eat them raw. Now I can give it a try! I'll let you know how it turns out.
Herb-Infused Maple & Pecan
Sweet Potatoes by Russell James, The Raw Chef
1. First make a thick pecan cream by blending the pecans, pine nuts and water. Add a little more water if necessary, to get it to blend.
2. In a food processor, grind the sweet potato into small pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients, except the fresh parsley and thyme. Stir thoroughly.
3. Blend mixture in small batches in a high speed blender until creamy.