Living With Gusto

We Are Not Alone

“Christmas is a reminder that we are not alone.” My aunt shared this quote with me and it resonated within me.
God touched humanity with Jesus—the greatest gift of all. Love came down at His birth. He provided a way to live with HOPE in the midst of despair. To have a FRIEND when everyone turns away. To have STRENGTH in the midst of fear. To have LOVE in the midst of hate. To have FAITH in the midst of turmoil.
HE alone is my Rock, the One who has sustained me through some really, really rough times. He has anchored me when I’ve been adrift and floundering.
I am forever grateful for this Savior who came humbly to walk among us and make a way for us to have lives of fullness and joy, regardless of our circumstances. My heart belong to the One who loves me.

May you be blessed this Christmas

and the year to come. 

Love and big hugs, Mimi

Christmas Reflections

A Blue Christmas?


Several years back, my first Christmas as a single mom with my closest family members nine hours away was difficult, to say the least. By the next year, with a bit of experience, my coping skills had improved.

On Christmas day, I booked a room at a hotel in a wonderful touristy town close to us. We pretty much had the place to ourselves!

We ate Christmas dinner with many others at a German-style restaurant–one of the most popular in Michigan. Doing so gave me a sense of family, and the whole experience was festive.

Afterward my children swam until they were exhausted, I read a bit and relaxed, there was a lot of laughter and my children felt very special (it was our first overnight in a hotel together–ever!).

Making these plans to help us through a very difficult time was one of the best decisions I’ve made. As part of the “package” we shopped at the world-famous Bronner’s where each of us chose two ornaments to remember our special time.


My friend Lani Catherine has written some ways to help alleviate the “blues” at Christmas, and they are good ones. Take a peek at her post as a resource for yourself or a friend. I’m going to save it to revisit next year.

Read it here….“Holidays Got You Blue?” 


My wish for you is that your Christmas time is full of joy and love and health. That is always my wish for you!

Remember that you have a very special light all your own, and that our world needs you!


Shine on, my friends! Merry Christmas!

Love and Sprinkles, Passionista



Christmas Reflections

Oh come let us adore Him!

Oh come let us adore Him!

Merry Christmas everyone. Be blessed.

Christmas Reflections

Christmas Eve’s Eve

Two days, and it will already be over. I hate to see Christmas come to an end. I absolutely love this time of year. After this, it’s all a bit anti-climatic. But, ahead of us is a new beginning, a “clean slate” to borrow a cliche. And Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and on through the year. And in ten-ish months, I can decorate again! Oh, how I’ve loved decorating this year. I’m thankful to be at it again, after a long, somewhat “dry” period.

One of the things I truly enjoy every year is taking out the items my children have made throughout their elementary school years. Our tree is laden with their school-made ornaments and it is delightful!


The cinnamon-applesauce ornaments on the right were made by my daughter in 4th grade. I love how this little vignette turned out. And…


this cute little log candle holder she made last year in 5th grade. I added a little white bird and a “joy” ornament to fill in, only because to me “more is better”, but I just love it as it was, too.


And me? In seventh grade, I made the paper mache angel on the right and gave it to my parents for Christmas. I think she lost her wings somewhere during the last 48 years. Or maybe I didn’t give her any. Anyway, again, I love the things made by kids in school.


How cute are these? Funny thing, I remember when our school (I taught there for 31 years and my children attend there now) ran out of the “real” green paper, and we had to use this ugly, faded green for our Christmas projects. Ugh! And here we have, captured forever, art project Christmas trees that will revive that memory for me. How funny!

I had been married for 21 years, never birthed a child, and at age 48 my son came to enrich our lives. My daughter came the next year, just before Christmas. I can say that they have truly blessed my life–and….turned it upside down, changed me totally, and set me on this roller-coaster adventure called life. And they have forever stamped their signature all over my Christmas.

Christmas Reflections

I Had Plans…

I really did. To take the kids someplace, just to get outside, away for a while. But my little home is a Christmas Wonderland, and I am quite reluctant to leave it. I guess I’ve made it too cozy, if that’s possible. Well, I guess it’s possible because I don’t want to ever leave.


And guess what? I don’t have to. I am the captain(ness) of this ship, and I decided to dock it for a while and just relax. Remember that word? Re-lax. Not to be confused with “be lax”, which connotes not doing my job. Sometimes relaxing IS my job. (Jump back Jack, lightening is gonna strike!) And lately I’ve become accepting of my desire to do so.


For many years, I ran like crazy. Constantly going, doing, organizing, caring for, working etc. I got pretty worn out. And that was before I adopted children! I still do all of those things, but to a lesser degree. Took me several years to not feel guilty if I decided to read a book all day. I would remind myself that I’d worked really, really hard for over 40 years, and was often still working hard now. So it was ok if I wanted to sit all day. Strange that I’d think I needed to validate my guilty pleasure of reading.


But you see, my mama was always tearing around. In fact my whole family lived a very full, busy, often exhausting calendar. Especially around Christmas. Daddy was a preacher, mama a teacher, and we were all involved in musical programs in school and church. Barely had time to breathe.

Cardinal card and plants

So right now, right here, I am soaking up the season. Listening to Christmas music. Delighting in having my children close by. Gazing at the lights. Creating decorations. Enjoying the vintage items surrounding me with their stories of my past and my family. Oh, life is just so good!