Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Peaceful Home

Home alone today...
enjoying quiet reflective moments.
Our girls are off to see the world with my folks.
I'm listening to Pandora radio online--
the Secret Garden channel.
If you like relaxing instrumental (mostly) music,
go to and search for Secret Garden.
Such peaceful music.

The After Glow

~One of my favorite, lasting Christmas joys is the beautiful pictures
from friends and family which I put on the refrigerator for days to come.

No doubt, we all feel the force to be a little disappointed, a little let-down as we start taking down the lights of Christmas, the glistening ornaments, the stars and Nativity sets, the greenery...

The reality of what Paul talks about in the book of Galatians, with regard to our being spirit and flesh, comes to light as I experience this "after-Christmas-let-down." The force to feel down is only a force though, and as I walk after the spirit of Christ, how beautifully the truth of Paul's teaching comes through.

"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control," he writes. (Gal 5:22-23 NAS)

Once I recognize this feeling as a force that I can do something with, either I can embrace it, and be down--affecting those around me as well as myself--or I can focus on the joy He has brought, and I can embrace the new day, the present moment as an opportunity to follow after Him and allow His sweet contentment to fill me, positively affecting those around me.

Jill Carratini writes today at RZIM, Slice of Infinity:

"...we must come down from the heights of Christmas in order to embrace again the world in all of its brokenness and finitude, in order to truly receive the Child whose arrival was not marked by lights and decoration but a few witnesses in an unknown stable...the time after Christmas is the time when Christ can step into the thick of our lives as he intended...

The Christmas story that sits at the heart of all our holiday efforts begs us to see it as far more than a peak event in December. Christmas is an annual reminder that God is on the move and was on the move long before we knew it. In fact, it was precisely into our dismal, empty, post-festive reality that the Child came near in the first place.

In the bleak moments of late winter, Christmas is not anti-climactic; it confronts us all the more. It is our startling reminder that God has not forgotten, though in the thick of our empty routines, despairing headlines, and blinding self-interest we have forgotten the Child. Yet here, in the quiet and empty days after celebrations have ceased, the sights and sounds of the Child among us can better be noticed and more authentically received. If Advent brings the world's attention to the sounds of one who stands at the door and knocks, and Christmas marks the culmination of that knocking in the cry of a newborn king, the days thereafter usher us further into the presence of a God who not only knocks and draws near, but has opened wide the doors of heaven and calls us in."

~Jill Carratini, Slice of Infinity, RZIM

May your post-Christmas days be filled with His presence, His joy, His peace, and may your mind be filled with the contentment that doing the will of the Father brings.
May you successfully deny the flesh its desire to be "down" and experience the reality of what the Apostle Paul teaches.

Ferguson Girls and A 50's Party

My girls enjoyed a 50's party last night with the youth from church.
My mom took care of a sweet little elderly lady for many years.
When she died, the auctioneer felt these old clothes wouldn't sell, so Mom saved them for costumes for our church plays and parties. Several of the kiddos from church have been able to make use of them. What fun!

LaRae has LOTS of hair,
but she was able to get it up in a 50's fashionable
"compact" way nevertheless.
Youth are so much fun to watch.
They bring such vibrancy to life!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas at Keith and Rachel's

We enjoyed last evening with my brother and his wife, Rachel.
The girls enjoy Rachel's beautiful decor.

She got back the day after Christmas from caring for her aunt.
She actually had more presents for us--not wrapped in aluminum foil. : )
Keith and Rachel inspire us in so many ways.
You who know them understand what I'm talking about.
The poem below brought them to my mind.
They indeed help nourish our hearts and minds.
Thank you, Keith and Rach!
We love you.

Let Christmas not become a thing.
Merely of merchant's trafficking,
Of tinsel, bell, and holly wreath
And surface pleasure, but beneath
The childish glamour, let us find
Nourishment for heart and mind.
Let us follow kinder ways
Through our teeming
human maze,
And help the age of peace to come.
~Madeline Morse

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

I look outside my window.
There's a hush in the air.
Even the turkeys are slower, quieter this morning.
All is still... in waiting.

Ah! My big brother is headed this way with his aluminum -foil -wrapped gifts! : )
His wife had to be out of town on Christmas day to care for an elderly aunt.
So wrapping the presents was left to him; if you know him, you understand
the aluminum foil.

Me and my dad
Playing games after opening presents

Later on in the evening we enjoyed a fondue supper at Curt's sister's home.
Carma's cute decor. I love those mittens!
Curt's sweet mother
Me and my mother
Preparing fondue suppers takes time, but they're so much fun!

Dear friend Dorinda whips up the breading for veggies.
Below is her painting on Carma's wall.
Isn't it wonderful? Let me know if you want to commission her!

Supper is almost ready!
Carma's helicopter-pilot husband, Dan.
It was a wonderful day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

The world is turning white outside
Crystals covering all
Blanketing the dismal gray
Brightening as they fall

Inside our home it's safe and warm
Candles flicker low
Stockings hung before the fire
Presents to bestow

Goodies on the counter
Music in the air
Every one's anticipating
Loved-ones to appear

We're overwhelmed with blessings
So indebted do we feel
For many things we're grateful
But things are not what's real

It's hearts made white with waters
Flowing from above
The crystal fountain cleanses
Bringing forth His love

We owe our blessed Savior
The Creator of us all
Much more than we can ever pay
Upon His name we call

We thank Him for His coming
Into our world of gray
To purify and change our hearts
And brighten dismal days

Merry Christmas, my dear readers!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nothing Matters More

"Standing over the precipices of the things that matter,
nothing matters more than that there is a forgiving God who draws near."
~Jill Carattini, RZIM