Why This is the (Almost) Best Time of Year

My tiny speck of planet Earth looks like this:

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To the locals’ dismay I actually like it. I understand the haters – dangerous roads,  health hazards, those who need shelter, crazy heating costs.

Don’t imagine that this winter love comes from a “sunny disposition”. Nope. I fight my own negativity. All. The. Time.

But here are ten reasons why a snowy cold winter is still a rock star:

1.  WHITE, WHITE, WHITE – It could be ugly brown or grey but we get WHITE, fluffy stuff. It reflects and magnifies our little bit of sunlight.

2. NO BUGS. NO WEEDS – Without these temperatures, bugs, plant diseases, and weeds would be a disaster come summer.

3. YEARLY RESET – The land rests and restores. Without it there would not be enough nutrients for green growing things. I need that reset too.

2014 Gift Guide

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As we celebrate the holidays, I am grateful for my blog readers, businesses, artists, and activists. Each year I meet more and more people creatively using their talents for good.

Gifts

New Finds:

To the Market – Survivor Made Goods

Purposeful Design – Handmade furniture that creates jobs

The Feather and Arrow – Quilts that support anti-slavery efforts (pictured above)

Favorites:

Better Way Imports – Fair Trade goods

Mercy Rising – book to help you find your place in the world of compassionate giving

Mercy Rising – scarf shop – Slavery prevention in Asia

 

Charitable Giving

New:

Blessings for Baher – Help a family recover from a medical crisis

Forever WE Dolls – A doll for you and a doll for kids with cancer

Favorites:

Compassion International – Sponsor a Child

College Park Church - Build Schools in India

 

Support Artists

Music:

The Mantis and the Moon – Son of Laughter

After All These Years – Andrew Peterson

Mortar and Stone – Jill Phillips

Mysteries of the Kingdom – Aaron J Robinson

Books:

The Harpooner – Thomas McKenzie

On Being a Writer – Charity Singleton Craig

Living into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distraction – Arthur Boers

Art:

Jamin Still – oil painting, prints including Christmas Cards

Joe Sutphin – illustration

Joetography – Photographs/Art Prints

Numbering Our Days

(Guest post today from writer Charity Singleton Craig. She can be found at Bringing Words to Life, The High Calling, Tweet Speak Poetry, and in her upcoming book On Being a Writer)

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Our dinner table discussion started innocently enough when I said something about my husband and four step-sons being the “men” of the house. I don’t even remember why, but as quickly as the words escaped my lips, our youngest said, “You called us ‘men.’ We’re not men are we?” At age eleven, “man” was a stretch.

“I just meant that you all are ‘males,’” I said, trying to back my way out of the discussion.

“But you said ‘men,’” he replied. And he was right. “How old do you have to be to become a man?”