*Give Away has Ended*
Welcome to day nine of the 12 Days of CHRISTmas giveaway!!! There are holiday ideas, easy recipes and both practical and pampering prizes to win. Best of all, each day you will meet one of my fellow “sistas” from the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaking team. Get to know them and their wonderful resources including books and teaching cd’s. Why, you might even just discover the speaker you have been looking for to appear at your next event.
So get in the holiday spirit. Tune in each day. Hop on and leave a comment. The more you leave, the better your chances of winning. The 12 daily winners will be announced on Saturday, the 13th day of December so comment on all 12 posts if you can!
Today you will meet my friend Tracie Miles. Tracie and I were paired together my first year on the Proverbs 31 Speaker team at our She Speaks conference. We lead a group of speakers for the weekend and had such fun and made an insant friendship connection as well. Since then, I have been able to listen to her teaching tapes, read her book proposals and devotionals and grow to love her even more as a sweet servant of God. Now today, you get to call her a friend too. Okay gals…meet Tracie!!!!
If there is one thing Tracie is known for, it is the ability to connect with her audiences by being real. As she delivers God’s Word and shares her life experiences and personal testimony with vulnerability and passion, women find themselves encouraged and inspired to seek a closer relationship with Christ and recognize who He is to them.
Tracie lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband of over eighteen years, Michael, and her three children, Morgan (14 ½), Kaitlyn (12) and little Michael (9). She is an international speaker, and is popular at women’s events and ministry leadership training conferences across the country. Tracie’s book, Reinventing Your Rainbow, is a story of forgiveness, redemption and purpose. It is a powerful reminder to readers that all things happen for the glory of God, and that spiritual healing and a transformed life is always within reach through God’s infinite love, mercy and grace.
Tracie’s hobbies include spending time with her kids and husband, playing on a tennis team, spending time with extended family, decorating, cooking and shopping. She also enjoys reading inspirational books, and writing.
· Tracie, we’re glad you joined us! Tell us a little bit about what holiday happenings are taking place at the Miles home this year.
Christmas is the most favorite time of year at our house! The day before thanksgiving we spent the whole day doing all the decorating – being the Christmas fanatic that I am, we have lots and lots of decorations! The day after Thanksgiving, we spent time cooking and baking, then we went and bought our fresh pine Christmas trees.
Whenever we decorate our trees (we have 3), we turn on holiday music, put Frosty on the TV, and make hot chocolate, and this year was no different – it was great fun! My kids favorite one to decorate is our candy tree, which is a tree full of ornaments that look like candy and candy cane striped ribbon that goes all around it.
The next few weeks will be busy as always, with holiday parties, the children’s Christmas concerts at school and church, and holiday field trips, and of course – shopping, shopping and more shopping! We also always make goodie bags for all of our teachers, and the kids each make the candies and cookies that are their favorites. The teachers love them!
We have a big family, which all live fairly close by, so we will spend three or four days after Christmas day visiting with them and over eating.
· You are the mom of two girls in middle school and high school and a young son. How do you include them in helping with some of the tasks of the season?
They love to help bake the goodies that we always make at Christmas, and they each have their favorite requests. The girls love to shop, but most of the time they find more stuff for themselves than they do all the people we are shopping for! We also have a great time wrapping all the presents together. Throughout the month, all three kids routinely take all the presents out from under the tree and count how many they have so far.
My daughter Kaitlyn loves our big manger scene, so every year she cant wait to get it out and set it all up just perfectly, positioning baby Jesus, His parents, the wise men and all the animals in the perfect places.
My 9 year old son, even though he is a boy, loves to get involved with decorating the trees and helping make cookies, in between watching sports on TV and playing the Wii, of course.
We buy a new Christmas movie each year, so we have a whole library of holiday movies, and we try to watch them all together as a family before Christmas is over.
· What fond Christmas memories do you have from your childhood ?
Christmas was always wonderful at our house, and my parents always blessed us with lots of presents and holiday traditions. We have a huge extended family, so we always traveled from place to place trying to fit all of our visits in within a few days.
Each Christmas morning, my brother and sister and I would wake up our parents, and then have to sit anxiously at the top of the steps in torture, until my dad finished building the fire, turning on all the holiday lights and the Christmas music, and then he would finally summon us downstairs and we would race down the stairs.
When I was a little girl, my mother bought a small little angel to put in the middle of our tree, that she said would watch over us all season. We named her Angie, and she became the most important decoration we would pull out every year. She is just a little thing, with soft blonde hair, big blue eyes, a tiny little halo and a little white dress, with bendy arms and legs – she sort of looks like a soft precious moments angel. My mother gave her to me many years ago, and now each year my kids cant wait to carefully unwrap Angie and put her on our mantle to watch over us during the Christmas season. She is very special to us.
· What do you most want your own children to remember about how you celebrated Christmas?
Happy times, love, holiday traditions, baking, visiting with friends and family, decorating, helping others, the rewards of giving to others, and the importance of family.
I know they will not remember the presents they received each year, except maybe a few extra special ones, so I hope the memories that stay in their hearts will be fond ones of love and family.
More than anything, I want to instill in my children a love for Jesus, and help them remember that this season is about Him and not just about decorations or presents. Our family holiday traditions and the warm feelings we share at Christmas are wonderful memories that I want to build in their hearts, but my real prayer is that when they grow up and have children of their own, they will treasure the manger scene, love Jesus, and always remember the real reason that we celebrated in December.
Thanks for your input, Tracie and have a wonderful celebration of the Savior’s birth!!
You are so welcome!
Now for our question of the day and Tracies’ give away. Tracie told of the Christmas angel from her childhood and how meaningful it still is to her. So, start thinking, what Christmas object do you most remember from your own childhood? Tracie will be giving away a copy of her cd entitled Embracing The Call along with a box of assorted fruit and herb teas. Then one of you can sip some hot tea and glean some nuggets of wisdom from Tracie. Here is the description of this challenging talk:
Most women want nothing more than to hear the Lord’s voice within their own hearts. This session focuses on discerning Gods voice about what His will is for each individual persons life. It inspires women to leave their comfort zones, and enter the faith zone – a place where they can step out in obedience, and be blessed. Women will walk away with a renewed desire to determine their purpose and a passion to be in the center of Gods will for their life. They will be inspired and motivated to take a leap of faith for Christ.
Now for the Christmas idea of the day and the comment contest: Although we are talking today about Christmas objects from our past, the idea of the day has to do with Christmas objects of the future for our own kids. Here is the idea:
When your children are young, purchase each of them a nativity set. (Marked down the day after Christmas is best in my book!!!) Then, count how many pieces there are. Determine when you would need to start giving your child the pieces, one each year in their stocking, to have the complete set given by their last year of high school. (If you are starting when they are a bit older, maybe you could give them two per year or one each Christmas and birthday every year.) When they are grown and on their own, they will have a complete nativity set to decorate their home for Jesus’ birthday!!!
You can also give each of your dear offspring a new ornament each year in their stocking to accomplish something similar. Then, when they are on their own, they will have several ornaments to adorn their tree. I try to pick an ornament that reflects what each child was into that year. Needless to say, Kenzie has several Hello Kitty, assorted princesses and now, handbag and shoe ornaments. Mitch opts for the hunting, baseball and basketball types. And Spencer? Anything fun and quirky. (Let’s just say….. I hope his future wife enjoys the Sponge Bob Squarepants look!!!)
Now, back to our comment question of the day. What holiday object do you most remember from your childhood? I remember our small, white music box that was shaped like an organ with a trumpeting angel on top. When you wound the key in the back, it played Silent Night. Oh yeah, and it sat on top of our fake, cardboard fireplace that my brother and I assembled each year!!! (Gotta love the late 70’s!!!!)
Your turn…what do you remember?
Sweet Memory-lane Blessings,