Saturday, December 12, 2015

Kayla Woodhouse | Spread the Christmas Joy



“So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12 NASB

Do you ever feel like each new year just seems to fly right by? It’s crazy how fast time can slip by us. During these holiday seasons, the feeling of newness and rebirth comes to the surface again as people make their New Year’s commitments and think back on times past. This year, more than ever, I am grateful for the journey I’ve had thus far. It’s been a year of accomplishments, aggravations, growth, learning, and maturity. As Christmas draws near, I’m reminded of all the wonderful Christmases I’ve spent with friends and family.

One of my best and recurring memories is of putting up Christmas decorations. For the past seven years at least, we’ve had basically the same tradition: my brother hauls up the twenty-some-odd boxes from downstairs as we crank up the Steven Curtis Chapman and David Phelps Christmas music. It takes us about a week to get everything all set up and ready for a two-month vocation in every bedroom, bathroom, and living space. I kid you not, we’ve had to cut down on our Christmas trees – three years ago, we had thirteen. (Yes, you read that correctly. Thirteen Christmas trees. Of course, that’s including the five for the porch outside and the three mini bathroom trees.)

This year is especially significant, though. Because this will be our last Christmas all together living under one roof. In less than five weeks, my brother will head off for college. I’ll be leaving next fall. We’ll both be back for the Christmas Break; but my mom – who always starts to set up the decorations on November 1st – will have most of the decorations put up by the time we come home next year.

That’s a weird thought.

So this year, as we’re getting ready for Christmas, I’ve realized how much I’ve taken for granted. I’ve complained in the past. A lot, I’m ashamed to admit. As a kid, I complained about having to put up ALL of that itchy, plastic garland on every bookshelf, stair rail, and table. I complained about having to wait about putting up my Disney Princess village. I’ve complained about not getting hot choco right when I want it.

Isn’t it odd how we can be so quick to complain about the little things? One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this past year is that I have made so much kafloodle out of minor issues. I’ve started getting out into the “real world” (a gigantic step for this homeschooled gal) and realized that my family is AWESOME!

Sometimes we don’t recognize what we’ve got until we see it going away, or missing.

So today I’m going to challenge you: what bugs you the most about your closest family member or friend? Look at it closely. I’m betting that 5 months, 5 years, or 50 years down the road, it will look a whole lot different.

Sure, he snores. Ask a widow, and she’ll tell you that snoring is the most wonderful sound in the world.

Sure, your mom drives you crazy with her worry or drama or fill-in-the-blank. Ask a forty-something year old women, and she’ll tell you how precious time with her mom really is (and WHY.)

Sure, your kids are getting on your nerves and you just want to go pee in peace. Ask a most who’s lost their child, and she’ll tell you that she’d give anything to be back in that situation.

This year, while we’re spending time with family (whatever that may look like) let’s put aside our thoughts about tomorrow, television shows, or work related aggravations. Let’s just focus on the now, while we’ve got it. Enjoy the moment. Live in it. I promise you, it’s worth it.

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Eighteen-year-old Kayla R. Woodhouse is one of only a few dozen cases in the world born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. Kayla has appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Mystery ER, Focus on the Family’s Broadcast, Chris Fabry Live!, The Hour of Power, the Harvest Show, and numerous other national programs as well as hundreds of other interviews. Kayla is the co-author of No Safe Haven (her first release from B&H Publishers) and Race Against Time, both written with her mother, Kimberley, making her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher (can you say that ten times, fast?) Kayla contributed to a girl’s devotional titled God “Hearts” Me, released in 2013. She is a gifted speaker and loves to share her love for God and writing with groups all over the country. She feels called to speak out for purity, passion and purpose. You can find Kayla’s story at http://www.kimandkaylawoodhouse.com and read her blog, Living Set Apart, at http://www.kimandkaylawoodhouse.com/kaylas-blog


No Safe Haven
Jenna and Andi Tikaani-Gray are hoping for a fresh start. Though twelve year-old Andi has long struggled with a rare medical disorder, she and her mother have finally received good news from out-of-town specialists. It’s news they desperately needed, especially after the recent death of Jenna’s husband (Andi’s dad) in a car accident.

But as they are flying home to Alaska, ready to begin again, the unthinkable happens. The pilot sabotages their small plane and crashes into Sultana, one of the most remote and dangerous mountains in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Even worse, a winter storm is headed their way along with someone who doesn’t want to save them, but to kill them.

Only one man can keep them alive: Cole Maddox, the mysterious last-minute passenger who joined them on their flight. But trust doesn’t come easy to Jenna or Andi. They both sense Cole is hiding something.

A relentless tale of survival and suspense unfolds, involving military technology designed by Jenna’s late husband that some would do anything to possess.