Archives for December 2008

My Big Little Girls

Yes, here are my big girls being little girls at Christmastime :) Kristin and Kelli still love to lie under the tree and get caught up in the magic of Christmas. I love how they love Christmas!

I hope you have had a wonderful time of celebration with your families. I’ll post another picture or two as the week goes on and will get back to my regular posts next Sunday. Enjoy the last few days of 2008!

A Merry Christmas at the Barker House

As you can see, we have been making some merry Christmas memories the past couple of days :) And yes, our blonde Kelli is now a redhead! Hope you all are having fun times with your families, too. Merry Christmas to all!

p.s. If you missed reading my annual Christmas poem, scroll down to the next post and enjoy!

Christmas Changes Everything

Yes, indeed, Christmas changes everything. One of the things it’s going to change around my house is my schedule. I’ll be taking a break from blogging but will plan to return with my regular posts on Jan. 4th. I hope to post a few holiday photos during the break so you might check in from time to time. May you and yours have a happy, happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year — but first, please be blessed as you read my Christmas poem for this year. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Changes Everything

I love it when the seasons change
Whether winter, summer, fall, or spring,
And let’s not forget the Christmas season
For Christmas changes everything.

No other season transforms lives
Quite like Christmas does each year,
It alters everything we do
And turns our thoughts towards Christmas cheer.

We trim our homes with holiday beauty
We thrill in becoming Santa’s elves,
Our spirits soar to merry music,
With cookies and candies we treat ourselves.

These are just ways we celebrate
The night darkness was shattered by Light,
That holy first Christmas that changed everything
Keeps us rejoicing day and night.

The Light who forever changed the world
Longs to be our Savior and King,
To make the difference in your life and mine—
For Christmas changes everything.

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light…For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…” Isaiah 9:2a, 6a KJV

*Flickr photo by AndrewEick, Creative Commons License

Friendship That Crosses Borders

Just a quick post today to share this special photo and a couple of thoughts. Sorry I’m pressed for time. My mother-in-law is in the hospital, my hubby has been sick the past couple of days, and I’ve been trying to get some Christmasy stuff done to boot. Need I say more about lack of time? :)

We were incredibly blessed this past Saturday to get to attend the college graduation of a very special young woman. I wrote about my friendship with Kayoko in my Nov. 11, 2007 post so just use the link to refresh your memory or read about it for the first time.

Not only were we blessed, but Kayoko was thrilled that we traveled to her university to be with her on her special day — especially since her family, who live in Japan, could not attend. It also meant the world to her parents to know that we were helping their daughter celebrate her graduation.

After the graduation, we went to lunch with Kayoko and a large group of her friends — other international students. I was a little nervous about going because communication with internationals can be challenging, and the Thai restaurant was also new to us. I’m so glad we pushed past our comfort level, though, and joined them. North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa (I think) were all represented at our table. What an amazing experience to hear different languages being spoken all around us. Thankfully, they spoke English to us! :)

A couple of things: 1) Let me just encourage you to take advantage of opportunities to develop friendships with internationals. Friendships that cross borders bring rich blessings to all involved (the post from Nov. 07 elaborates). 2) Our God loves all people, knows every language and never has trouble understanding us, has crossed every border to be our Friend, and longs for us to love one another, regardless of any kinds of differences or “borders” we may have.

I’m so glad we crossed the border to enjoy friendship with Kayoko. What border is God calling you to cross?

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11

Holiday Warmth for Giveaway Winner…and Others

Somebody just got a little warmer. Today I drew a name for the Holiday Warmth Giveaway, and the lucky winner is…Dave! A Starbucks gift card and a copy of Grace for the Moment is coming your way soon, Dave. Do your best to stay warm until they arrive :)

You know what? It’s fun adding a touch of holiday warmth to another person’s life. Whether it’s offering a steaming cup of cocoa after an evening of Christmas caroling or a cup of hot coffee to a homeless person taking refuge in a soup kitchen, such small acts of kindness have a way of warming not only the body but the soul as well.

I bet God will give us opportunities to touch others with His tender love and warm mercy this holiday season. The question is…will we be watching for them? Will we be ready to reach out and warm the heart of another?

Sometimes we can plan to reach out — through ministries like Angel Tree or Operation Christmas Child, but other times the opportunities come in the blink of an eye. Things like holding the door for a frazzled mom who needs a helping hand, making eye contact with someone and offering warm thanks, or letting someone check out before us in one of those long holiday lines. Moments come and go so quickly… Let’s try to be ready.

How has someone touched you with some holiday warmth? It doesn’t matter if it happened two days ago or two decades ago. Take a moment and share it with us, won’t you?

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16

*Flickr photo by byJoeLodge