Thursday, December 10, 2009

On the 10th day of Christmas...Ten Lords a Leaping

"On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

If we were singing the New Zealand folk song "A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree" version it would really stink.  Litterally.  Today's gift is 10 fish heads!   At least it (sort of) goes along with the Cajun gift, Ten pirogue paddles. 

Traditional fishing pirogue with sail

Now, how 'bought some fishy eye candy?

Hook, Line, and Sinker Necklace, $29.00 from Rustic Roses


Seashell Tiara, Mermaid's Crowning Glory, $23.00 from Brims and Trims Studio


Fish Out of Water Clippie, $3.50 from Kuuipo Flowers

In the Christian version, the 10th day stands for...
What else, but the Ten Commandments!

1889 10 Commandments Steel Engraving By Dore' Moses Puts It All Down, $14.89 by Surrender Dorothy

I have known today's guest blogger for nearly 9 years.  You may recall me speaking of my best friend, Laura, Ashley is her oldest child.  She has always been a joy to be around, bright, inquisitive, passionate... many of the qualities I admired in her mother!  In fact, after her death in 2006, I remember Bob, Ashley's father, telling me that he would often ask Ashley's opinion on things and that it was almost like having Laura there, as Laura had poured so much of herself into Ashley.

It is an honor to have her join us today...
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My, my…what can one do with a topic like “Ten Drummers Drumming”? When I asked Noel if there were any slots left in this series, this was the last one available. I turned the thought over in my head a bit…but it didn’t take *too* much consideration. I come from a family with ten other members (counting Mom, Dad, and siblings only). Growing up, my “drummers drumming” were the happy noises of a bustling household.
Ten People I Spent Most of My Time With
1. Bob (my dad)
2. Laura (my mom, in Heaven now)
3. Bobby (siblings the rest of the way down…)
4. Amanda
5. Daniel
6. David
7. Douglas
8. Jared
9. Ricky
10. Erinne

Happily leading the drumline was my marvelous mother, Laura Belt. Mom was an incredibly special lady who embraced her calling as the caretaker of a houseful...sweetly leading, gently loving, and patiently teaching every one of us from her marvelous wealth of wisdom.

My mom was a big fan of teaching from experience. I suspect that she'd had to learn the hard way her fair share of the lessons she passed on to us. I think most parents have. (Ruefully, I'm already well on my way in the sharing-lessons-learned department. I'm dreaming up lectures for my future children as I type...)

One of the sweetest lessons I learned from my mom came shortly after she died, in a letter I found saved on her computer, addressed to a younger friend of hers:

"As you continue to grow, always remember that the increase of faith is a stretching exercise that will require pulling you into difficult, painful, confusing, or uncomfortable places. Don't be afraid of those things...embrace them as part of this fabulous destiny He is marking out for you."

That is, perhaps, the most treasured lesson I have learned, to date. But there have been other lessons that have had a distinct effect on me as well...

Amanda, Laura and Ashley, 2005

(Ten life-changing things I learned from Mom)
1. Honor God. Always.
2. Honor your parents.
3. Love your family. (Do these three, and it’s hard to mess life up.)
4. Do your work first, then play.
5. There is SO much more to life than boys.
6. If you feel discontent, try to find ONE thing in your circumstance to be grateful for.
7. If you have to keep tugging down at your shirt, and tugging up on your jeans…the shirt’s too short and the jeans are too low. Go change.
8. Speak up for those who unable to speak for themselves.
9. Sing…loudly and often.
10. There is NOTHING more wonderful than time spent with God, and there is NO prospect more glorious than spending eternity at His feet.

And that’s where she is now…singing (loudly and often), spending all her time with her blessed Savior. I'm happy for her, and I wish I was there to sing with her. But in the meantime, I'm doing my best to live out the godly principles she taught me, and I'm hoping that when I do see her...she'll tell me I did alright.

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Incidentally, the number 10 has one other special meaning for me...wedding bells! My beloved, Daniel, proposed to me a couple of weeks ago, and we've officially set a date: October 10th, 2010...or 10/10/10. Before long, I'll be starting my own family...and you can bet I'll be trying my darndest to weave in all the motherly wisdom I can muster.
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Until we meet again, I remain,
Quintessentially yours,
~Ashley Michele~
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Don't forget about our gift certificate giveaway - with a drawing, from ALL the comments on all the days!


To enter:
  • Post a comment (1 per day – so after you check out the next day’s blog, come back here and enter again – just like the song builds every day, so do your chances!
  • If you haven't already, post the button (then a comment letting me know)
  • Blog, Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway with the link (then a comment letting me know)
  • Follow me (then a comment letting me know)
  • Follow Ashley's blog and leave a comment letting me know!
The fine print:
  • You must leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry – this is the only way to keep it fair and straight (and keep me from having to kill a tree printing them out and cutting them apart!)
  • All giveaways will be held on December 13th
  • A random number generator will be used to determine the winner(s)
  • If your e-mail address is not publicly listed on your profile, please include it with your comment(s)
  • We reserve the right to re-draw if the first winner does not respond within 48 hours (please don’t let this happen – that would just be sad!)

Don't stop - there's lots more good stuff...

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