Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rethinking my Nativity

Last Sunday our pastor preached on Luke 2. He talked about the timeline things must have actually happened in and it got me to thinking, what should my Nativity contain?

And then my Andrea sent me this link. (you must watch the video)

I'm pretty sure this isn't in the picture, but who knows? I do have odd friends...


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pollyanna is back!

Maybe not in full force, but Christmas is this week, my whole family will be in my home and we are blessed.

This always help me to remember the reason for the season. Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Focus

OK, so after a couple of hours in my studio and an attitude adjustment, I threw away my snarky pants. It's really about what I'm focusing on, it always is.

My new focus: everything but me.

It works, I promise. Count your blessings, keep a gratitude journal, volunteer, do something for someone else.

Last night, I made Christmas gifts, sent cards to recovering soldiers, prayed and thanked God for every good thing in my life. Apologized to Him for being selfish and snarky.

Life is good, I am blessed. I will remember this.


P.S. If you want to include some recovering soldiers in your Christmas card list, send them here.

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20307-500

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I'm not sure when this word was invented or if it is even a real word, but sometimes it definitely describes my thoughts and moods. It's those days that I burn out my sarcasm light with so much of it, mostly running through my head. I have to be careful on these snarky days, I could really hurt someone. I've done it before. It hurt me, too. More than I can ever express.

There was a young single mom at our church. We were rehearsing for a Christmas program and while taking a break, just goofing around everyone was kind of joking around and she poked a little fun at me. I poked back. She disappeared. Literally, I have never seen her again since that day. My comment was not intended to mortally wound, but even "joking" can cause great pain when it is mixed with sarcasm and truth. I didn't mean it, I wish I could take it back, I wrote her a long letter apologizing, I called and she made her mom talk to me. I groveled to the point that it didn't change anything and to this day, I regret it. I wish I had taken one moment, swished it around and decided to swallow it instead of poking at her.

Proverbs has a lot to say about the tongue. I've experienced some of these and am striving for some of these.

12:18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

So even on my snarky days, I hope to be quiet more than anything. Kind of goes back to what I told my kids "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."


Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm looking for some. I know it's around, I've just got to find it. Hasn't been in my office recently, maybe I left in my studio. Probably near the paints. That's where I usually find it. Until then, maybe I'll just sing.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Tis the Season

I think of all the Christmas carols I know, I love this one the most. The lines in red remind me of the reasons I celebrate Christmas.

O Holy Night!

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining, 
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth. 
Long lay the world in sin and error pining. 
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth. 
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, 
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. 
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices! 
O night divine, the night when Christ was born; 
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine! 
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine! 

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, 
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. 
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming, 
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land. 
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger; 
In all our trials born to be our friends. 
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger, 
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! 
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! 

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we, 
His power and glory ever more proclaim! 
His power and glory ever more proclaim!


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Convenient Christmas

So this year will look a little different for us. We now have a son-in-law and an out-of-town daughter. We won't have the kind of time with our family that we have always enjoyed. It will be a little more compact.

We will still have time for our traditions, which after being snowed in last year, we all missed! I am looking forward to sharing those with our family again this  year.

In years past, I've had all my shopping done by now. But this year hasn't been as convenient. We just celebrated a wedding and the cash-flow at our casa is greatly diminished. We can't just shop, we have to plan. We refuse to create debt, so we have to be creative. This has forced me to really think about the gifts I want to give. And honestly, I've loved it.

Not at first, it was a challenge. But once I got used to the idea, I began to really assess who I was giving the gift to and what they would enjoy. What would touch them or be useful to them? It has not been convenient. But it has been a gift to me in a way.

God's gift of His son was not convenient either. He saw each one of us, lost and hopeless. We were on his mind when he spoke to Mary and Joseph. When the star shone, it glistened in the tear drops on his face. Tears of pain, tears of joy, tears of hope. He shed them for us. And then gave us the greatest gift of all.

So to my family and friends, I hope this year, though our gifts to you may be small, you'll understand they contain our hearts and treasure them.


Monday, December 06, 2010

Closed Doors

I deal with closed doors much differently these days. I see them as a re-direct for my benefit. Kind of like a detour sign. They don't stop me, they just change my path.

My life verse has always been Jeremiah 29:11-14. "For I know the plans I have for you" says the Lord...."

Sounds like a promise of direction to me. He has the plans. Proverbs 19:21 says "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." I move forward, doing my best, making my plans...but when the detour sign is put out, the door is closed, I now choose to heed the warning. I don't stand there bewildered or angry pounding on the door. I've learned to see the closed door as my protection, my direction and I treasure these almost as much (just being honest) as the open ones.

So today, I'm looking at a closed door. Time to turn and keep moving. There's an open door waiting for me.