Archives for 2012

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

From our fun-loving gang to yours—Merry Christmas!! Enjoy the celebration!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

*I will resume regular posting on January 2, but if I get a chance I may post another photo before then. Everyone have fun!

Holiday Photo Fun for Christmas Break!

While everyone is busy with family and friends the next couple of weeks, it’s a perfect—and necessary—time to take a break from regular blogging. I’ll return to my standard posts and schedule on January 2, but in the meantime, I’ll pop in a couple of times for some holiday photo fun.

The photo above is a blast from Christmas past. Can you guess which one is me? :)

In this photo, my sisters and cousins and I are getting ready to enjoy one of the Christmas treats our grandmother made for us—popcorn ball Christmas trees! It also looks like we are sporting the Christmas gift of the year, too :)

Let’s all go make some great holiday memories. Many blessings to all!

“ . . . love one another deeply, from the heart.” 1 Peter 1:22b

*What’s one special holiday memory from your childhood?

*If you missed my previous post, check out my first-ever (7th grade!) Christmas poem — if you dare! :)

A Winner — Plus My Very First Christmas Poem!

Somebody just got a little warmer! That’s right, it’s time to announce the winner of the “Warm Me Up” Holiday Giveaway. And the lucky winner is skoots1mom!! Congrats, skoots1mom! I’ll put the Starbucks gift card in the mail as soon as you send me your mailing address. Enjoy—and Merry Christmas!

I have a little gift for the rest of you as well. Some of you may remember I’ve been sharing one of my original Christmas poems on my blog each year. I started writing them for my Christmas cards thirty-one years ago so I have plenty to choose from :)

This year I decided to share the Christmas poem I wrote as a 7th grader. It’s my very first one, written long before the Christmas card tradition began. Reading it now, I’m tempted to make some changes, but since it’s a piece of my history, I’ll share it as is—not easy for a writer to do! Go easy on me, please, as you read it :)

I actually remember my parents and my English teacher being very proud of this fledgling writing effort. I hope that these words—written by a very ordinary 12-year old girl back in 1967—will bless you in some way today. Merry Christmas from my 7th grade self! :)

GOD . . . in a manger

As shepherds were watching their flock one night
An angel appeared unto them
The heavenly creature was a sight,   
Especially unto sinful men.

I bring you glad tidings of joy
That is what he had said
The news is of a baby boy,
He was not a plain baby . . . it was Jesus Christ instead.

They rejoiced when they heard the news
And the sky was filled with singing,
The sky was filled with angels, too
And this little baby didn’t even know of this joy he was bringing.

For the family there was no room in the inn
So out in the stable lay the baby boy
Who would never, never commit any sin
And who would make a sad place, a place of joy.

He died for our sins . . . yours and mine
So please remember him at Christmas time.

I love how the message of the manger that inspired my words back then still inspires them today. Joy to the world! Joy to us all!

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

*I write a poem for the holidays — how do you express your creativity during the Christmas season?

A Date with My Christmas Tree

My friends, I’m thirsty. Thirsty for a date with my Christmas tree. And no, I don’t want my tree to take me out on the town. Quite the contrary. I’m talking about one-on-one time right here at home.

You see, December is at it again. The days are disappearing before I have a chance to enjoy them as fully as I’d like, and it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to get proactive.

Yes, it’s time to step away from the stream of holiday activity and set aside time to soak up the beauty and peace that quiet interludes before my Christmas tree affords. Oh, I ‘ve enjoyed snatches of quiet time in front of my tree already, but those tastes of joy make me thirsty for more. I don’t want the season to go by without spending more extended times there. Anyone else feel the same need?

What can we find when we take time for such private holiday moments? We’ll find space to breath during the press of the season. We’ll find memories of earlier Christmases celebrated with family and friends. We’ll find joy in the beauty of the tree and in the spirit of worship a time of reflection inspires. And as all of this works together, we’ll find contentment settling over us and wrapping us in folds of love and peace and gratitude.

Does that sound as good to you as it does to me? Then what are we waiting for? Let’s spend some quality time cozied up next to the tree and let the wonder of the season work its magic. Let’s go on a very important date. And no excuses. It’s come as we are—to the tree and to the Lord. Just the way we need it.

“Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take of the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22:17b

*What do you most enjoy about spending time in front of your tree?

*Flickr photo by jurvetson

*Deadline to enter the “Warm Me Up” Holiday Giveaway is noon CST Dec. 16. Don’t miss out! :)

Christmas Carol Treasures

I love the music of Christmas. You may remember last Christmas season I wrote about caroling our way to worship. I think it’s something we can do every year and enjoy it afresh each and every time.

The messages in the carols hold such blessing for us, especially when we take the time to sing all the verses. Some of the best Christmas carol treasures are hidden in verses we don’t usually sing.

I came upon one such treasure last year in the fourth verse of “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”. The phrase “O rest beside the weary road  And hear the angels sing” offered me such comfort and also stirred a desire to stop and listen and allow the music of heaven to refresh my soul. Christmas carol treasure indeed!

If you haven’t taken time yet to worship through Christmas carols this season, snatch an opportunity now. Join me in singing the carol below and then find a carol book or hymnal and be blessed by more Christmas carol treasures in the days to come. Enjoy!

It Came upon the Midnight Clear

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From Heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever over its Babel sounds
The blessèd angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
When with the ever circling years
Comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

—written by Edmund Hamilton Sears in 1849

*What treasure did you find in this carol today?