Sunday, December 27, 2015

Best Christmas in Years

Post after post on social media seems to exclaim:  “This is the best Christmas in years!”  I shout “Amen!” as I read them and join in the excitement of my friends. 

That’s how I feel this Christmas too!  It has been one of the best in years.  That’s because God did what we could not do!

I’ m basking in the love God has for His children.  His desire is for families to be reconciled to Him and to each other.  Reconciliation!  Oh, the freedom of it!

Ephesians 2:14 says:

 For Christ Himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.

I listen to songs proclaiming the peace of Christmas and read the words in Christmas cards.  This year that peace fell upon our home and our family as we experienced the gift of it in a long awaited prayer request for someone dear to us.  As we enjoy our days together this week, we can’t stop talking about the goodness of God and His amazing love for us.  Breakthrough is a wonderful thing, especially at Christmas.  The peace of it extends to every one of us in our family!  It was a present to us!

No wonder we have been inundated with spiritual warfare over the weeks prior.  The enemy does not want God’s people to unite, to love and forgive.  No, he would much rather fill our lives and homes with contention, strife and bitterness.

He didn’t win!

This has been the best Christmas’ in years.  We are a thankful bunch!

Here are some memories I hold dear this year.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


I heard a great truth during one of my pastor’s sermons during December and it grabbed a hold of me.  He said: 

“I think Christmas should be changed to “Christmess.  Because when Jesus is invited into our messes,
 He rescues us from all of our shame, all of our depression, all of our sickness,
 all of our sinful choices.”

That line stayed with me throughout this holiday season carving new life in my soul and in the way I pray for myself and others.

Yesterday I overheard my husband speaking on the phone to our youngest granddaughter.  “I’m happy you are coming to Papa’s house and I can’t wait to see you.  We have lots of toys and lots of lights.”

We have lights!

I pray that to be so spiritually as well.  1 John 1:5 states that Jesus is the light.  In Him there is no darkness at all.  No messes; He is perfect.  I ponder the messes I create and realize my need for Him to clean them up as only He can and fill my soul and my home with His light. 

That’s what He did that first Christmas.  That’s what He does today!  He is still in the business of rescuing mankind.

I ask Him to bless you this Christmas, my friends.  May Christ’s bright light shine on you and your families filling you and your homes with His joy this Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas!

Linking to:  Jaime's Sitting Among Friends Blog Party

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Abba's Lap

I noticed a behavior pattern in little Amy, twenty months old, that I want to imitate.  She moves fast engaging in one toddler activity after another spinning like a whirlwind from one room to another.  Yet, she pauses, intermittently, long enough to get refreshed.   I want to be like this grandchild of mine because she knows where to go and how to get comforted.

Amy moves at record speed, putting more miles on a pedometer in one hour than my accumulated weekly workouts at the gym.  She can build a skyscraper so tall, I wonder why those bright pink Lego’s don’t topple to the ground as she continues to stack just one more piece on top.

I learned never to leave the room to get another cup of coffee.  Once, when I returned, I found her climbing past the couch with hands and feet reaching for the living room drapes.

She has a consistent habit that I admire.  In the midst of her activities, as she moves robustly from one play area to another, she pauses in front of her daddy’s recliner.  I’ve observed this numerous times in my visits and he always puts down the book on his lap, or lays his phone on the coffee table.  The look on his face says:  “Great.  Amy is here!”

She climbs on his lap and with one pull of his arm he swings her up on the recliner, shifts his body to cuddle her comfortably and kisses her forehead.  Every time!  It is a picture of security to me as I watch her sucking her left thumb while she twirls her golden locks with her right fingers.  She doesn’t stay long.  She gets her hug and slides down running to the next play station. 

The Greek word, Abba, means “Daddy” and is used in Scripture to give us a vision of our heavenly Father’s parental love for us.  He desires to cuddle with us, holding us on his lap so we can know the security of a father’s big hands steadying us.  He wants to hold us tightly because, after all, this world is a scary place sometimes.  The activities of the day wear us down and we need to know Daddy is not only there but more than willing to listen intently and individually as only a supernatural parent is capable of doing.

I’m like so many at Christmastime, busy with baking homemade cookies, breads and decorating.  I like to visit neighbors and friends sharing baked gifts from my kitchen.  I drive myself in a tailspin working hard at my day’s schedule to get everything done on time! 

I know full well where to go to get the refreshment I need.  I know how to climb on Abba’s lap, but sometimes I put it off thinking He’ll be there when I can get around to drawing close to His peaceful heart in our special place. 

Do your holidays call for too much to do in too short a time? 

This year I’m taking a tip from little Amy.  It’s okay to schedule every fun activity as long as I remember to take a few minutes out to climb on Abba’s lap and breathe in His peace and love!

This post links to Liz's Christmas Blog Hop

And it links to Tell Me a Story.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Movie Comes to Life

It’s uncanny when a new holiday movie comes out and resembles your personal life. 

I came clean to my husband on that drive to the Harkins in Sedona confessing that the movie got bad ratings.  It isn’t the type of movie that he would choose to see in the first place.  Rotten Tomatoes gave it one star.  My prince charming replied:  Let’s see what we think of it and rate it ourselves.”  Yes!  High five to his palm!

It started out as a fun afternoon date.  It would have been perfect if the lady directly in front of me didn’t have on super-strength perfume.  Smells can be troublesome when you’re prone to headaches.  I stuck my head in a big bucket of buttered popcorn; you know-- to alleviate her fragrance, because popcorn smell is less offensive.  What else is a girl like me to do?

We named the genre “drama with comedy.”  Cast of characters acted like the typical family scene at Christmas time.  On the drive to the show, we joked about what a Christmas movie contains.  This one delivered.

*A dog or pet would somehow mess with the food.  Check.

*Family members would irritate each other with dysfunctional habits.  Check.

*The no-no tense topics of religion and politics would be discussed at the dinner table.  Check.

Then it happened.  I saw myself on the screen when the aging mom clanked her water glass with her fork and proposed this question:  Let’s go around the table now and discuss what dreams you are hoping come true for you in the New Year.”

It’s embarrassing, but it defines me.  And just like at my house, her family makes disgusted faces, rolls their eyes and exclaims:   Oh, no, do we have to play this stupid game?”

After the movie, my date chose a lovely restaurant for dinner with southwestern cuisine and decor.  We enjoyed our meal in a cozy private booth with a crackling fire burning in the fireplace across the room.  Oddly, we both liked the movie!  We laughed about seeing ourselves in it. 

That being said, do you want to play?  OK, then!

This question is taken from a favorite Christmas read, The Christmas Conversation Piece, (Creative Questions to Illuminate the Holidays.)

If you could hire a skywriter to write a special Christmas message in the sky over your city or town, what would it be?”

This post links to Liz’s Christmas Blog Hop featuring stories about Christmas time.  


And also:

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