Lavished in His Love

The word “lavish” is not used much any more. Its connotation, however, is one of abundance almost overflowing. I think of this in the light of a bridal or baby shower I remember having three bridal showers, including my church, my husband’s Sunday School group, and a childhood friend’s. We only received one baby shower from my blind friends. In any case, we were grateful for their wonderful outpouring of love. God has also poured out His love toward the world- especially, to His children. First, He sent Jesus, to show us how much He loved us. And, we Gentiles, …

Worn Out Getting Ready for the Day? Rest in Him!

Wow, just a few more days till Christmas!  If you’re like me, there are still quite a few things to do to get ready for the day.  I keep thinking I need to add an arrangement to a table, an ornament to the tree, a package underneath or another string of lights outside.  Most of us, if truth be told, have lots more Christmas ideas than days left to accomplish them!  I find that right about now, I begin to lose ground between my ideas and plans and daylight hours. I also find that I am getting tired.  It’s a …

Let All the Boxes Be Emptied!

I got a text from our oldest daughter last night. She had three more boxes of Christmas decorations to put out around her house. She said “if it doesn’t get put out tonight, it’s not getting put out at all”. It was her way of saying she was done. It always seems to take longer and longer to get everything out and set up. She also laughed that she was getting forgetful because she had found several things that she had not remembered having. I can relate. I open up the Christmas storage boxes and am so excited when I …

Decorate Your Heart With God’s Light

Inside my house are the warm colors of Christmas. I love reds and golds and shiny lights. I enjoy the many angels I’ve collected along the way as well as the nativity scenes both large and small. I like the Scripture verses framed and carved into wood. We also have a wall of crosses that stay there all year long and in the middle of that wall is our family name, surrounded by the crosses. I would say our house is warm and cozy inside. Outside though it’s dark and gloomy and drippy. It’s not that welcoming. The outdoor Christmas …

Don’t Let Christmas Become a Cartoon

We watched an old Christmas cartoon with our grandkids the other night. It was a classic with Mickey, Pluto and the two chipmunks. The chipmunks were wreaking havoc with the Christmas tree and Pluto was doing his best to guard it. In the end Pluto was frustrated and just went after those two little trouble makers and the tree was completely wrecked! And Pluto was blamed for it all. Somebody wants to wreak havoc on your Christmas. There are situations going on that you feel you have no control over. Trouble is brewing and you’re trying to decide if you …

Don’t You Just Love Your Gift?

We hosted the Christmas party for a local motorcycle ministry one year. As part of the festivities everyone brought gifts to exchange. We played “dirty santa”. As each person opened a gift the next gift recipient could either pick a new gift or steal one from someone who’d already opened it. It got pretty funny as there was a lot of gift wrangling going on! The night ended with lots of laughter and fellowship. Everyone went away a winner, but not everyone kept their own gift. It was light-hearted fun though as no one got upset when their gift was stolen. …

Tis The Season To Remember the Reason

The first Christmas that Danny and I were dating he went home to see his dad and other family for Christmas. We had not known each other very long but oh how I missed him. I had already given him my heart. We’ve had over 40 Christmases together now. We still can’t think of another person we’d rather spend the holidays with than one another. Except for Jesus. For those of us who have given our hearts to Jesus we are like that. We can’t stand to be apart from our Lord. We’ve given Him everything and we have nowhere …

Focus on the Coming

DAY ONE: ADVENT – Focus on the Coming In years past, the chaotic, commercialized, celebration of Christmas sucked the life out of me. I love Christmas! But, there’s the Final Sales Event of the Season that happens every weekend. Charity drives, company socials, family dinners, parades, church plays, and band concerts fill the calendar. Apparently sleep isn’t necessary the last six weeks of the year. Christmas decorations crowding out pumpkins before the first leaf falls bugs me. Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas debates on social media are annoying. One Christmas carol per sixty Santa Baby songs on the radio bothers …

Peace from the Shepherd

DAY THREE: ADVENT – Peace from the Shepherd “Daddy, I’m scared.” The father pulled the tiny balled-up fists from the child’s eyes and wrapped his strong hands around them. “I’m right here. Tell me why you’re frightened.” “I don’t know what’s going to happen.” “It’s going to be fine. I promise.” “But, how do you know?” “I know because I’ve already been there. Rest now.” Our family knows how the child felt. Four years ago, my grandson, Gage, was diagnosed with leukemia. The discovery came fast. In just a few days, Gage went from not feeling well to a trip …

Joy From the Savior

DAY FOUR: ADVENT – Joy from the Savior Grandma Murphy gave me joy. When I was young, my grandparents were a full day’s drive away, so we didn’t get to visit often. I remember climbing out of the car after the long trip and greeting the stocky woman with a twisted gray bun. She was usually outside watering a grassy patch in the yard. What astounded me was her solid footing in bare feet while bees swarmed around her legs. She didn’t flinch. We’d always enter the house through the back. The wood framed screen door would squeak loudly in …

Love From God

DAY FIVE: ADVENT – Love from God My parents divorced when I was two years old. Of course, I was too little to remember, but what I know is that I was probably the typical toddler, my sister was a preteen, and my brother was dying from cancer. While sandwiched between one daughter’s puberty and another’s terrible twos, Mom dealt with hospitals, doctors, and her son’s awful disease and ultimate death. She worked hard to take care of the four of us. Money had to stretch and put food on the table. Babysitters had to be arranged. I never remember …

The Gifts

DAY SIX: ADVENT – The Gifts God arranged the greatest celebration when he sent his son, Jesus, into the world and promised he would come again. How do you take part in the festivities? Are you like Zechariah, the Jewish priest? He was invited to the party. An angel of God told him that he would have a son who would announce the Messiah to the world. Zechariah doubted at first. Are you like his wife, Elizabeth? She was invited to the party. She excitedly participated as she mentored Mary, the mother of Jesus. Perhaps you are like Simeon. He …