Tag Archives: Christmas

Fast away the old year passes…

tree quilt

In many ways, I shall be glad to see the end of it, if only one had not got to carry the sadness of loss into the New. But so it is. Recently, someone expressed what I have often thought – “if only I knew it would be the last Christmas with _____” or dinner, or chat or card or letter…

As this New Year begins, my intent is to be more mindful of the hours and days and the time spent with others because one never knows when the last of something comes.

And, there will be more partings in the coming year I’m sure. An old friend is already clearing house and making plans to move many states away. The constant in life is change. How I longed for it when young, how I wish to hold on just a little longer now.

So, like every year I can remember, I’ll hold on to Christmas through its 12th day. Christmas tree

The intent to ‘keep Christmas in my heart all the year…’ will be an excellent resolution!

creche

Happy New Year!

ornaments

 

Tidings of comfort and joy

Christmas tree

If someone had peeked in a window here today, they might have thought I had worked so very hard on Christmas day, as I slept away the afternoon on the couch while carols played, tree lights twinkled, the tea grew cold, my book slipped from my hands and all was dreamy…

dreamy

But I didn’t work hard at all. I’m so very grateful for my beautiful, thoughtful, and efficient niece who prepared and served our Christmas dinner. And for my wonderful hubby who made sure the kitchen and dining room were cleared and cleaned.

 snowmen chocolate

There were wonderful conversations with loved ones far away and precious gifts beside. So blessed to enjoy this peaceful Christmastide.

Christmas comes

candleIt’s late on Christmas Eve. Only now, as I’ve stopped by this place with a cup of tea do I realize what has really been wrong this last week.  I’ve been cranky, and it’s more than the exhausting pain of two small broken bones in my left foot. It’s more than the clunky boot that makes it so I can get around somewhat pain free but will keep me from driving and makes the stairs a challenge. It’s more than the shopping missed, the cards not written, the cookies not baked…

Cookies not baked… the actual cookies don’t bother me much…

I ran a soapy mop over the kitchen floor – I’ll spare you the description. But the ‘lick and a promise’ clean-up in this quiet helped me to see what I’ve been missing, longing for — the portal. The one I once saw while the cookies baked, the one that even not seen, settles “heavenly peace” over my soul. Do you know it? I’ve been so caught in the web of my painful misery and this following on an autumn of loss, that I wasn’t looking for it. I wasn’t waiting for it. But I am now. I’m quieting myself, waiting.  creche

cropped-20161222_170231-e1482632221986-2.jpg Past the glitter, lights and fancies, the small straw creche with it’s array of wild animals calls. creche Everyone is welcome there: the tiger, the armadillo, moose, penguin, sheep, squirrels, fox, raccoon, owls, mouse, llama, elk, horse, polar bear, a lovely poodle and you and even me. The weak, the mighty, the feared, the loved, all creatures great and small come to adore their Creator.

creche

May we sleep now in heavenly peace on this silent, holy night while angels sing around us.

cropped-20161222_170231-e1482632221986-1.jpg

Joyous Christmas to you.

 

Epiphany

January 6, 12th Day of Christmas, Epiphany

It makes me sad to see Christmas trees on the roadside December 26. It seems that folks are missing the best part of Christmastide. Resting in the beauty of Christmas and the lights and decorations. Yes, our tree is still up and at least for tonight, the lights will continue to brighten the long evening of rest and enjoyment.

2016-01-06The journey of the Magi through the nights and days seems to take a lot of conferencing and convincing – at least that is my imagination story – because it would probably have been my story had I been privileged to see the star and make the journey.

IMG_7190

In fact, I probably would have wanted to bring along a whole menagerie and everyone I knew so no one would miss out, all the while the time would grow later and later for the journey. Distractions.

Epiphany – revealing – my life is a constant revelation of God to me. I would like to see that revelation, the directions, written in the sky. I think it would keep me from distractions. But skywriting looks like this …

20160106_073420 or this  20160106_080221 or even 20160106_082815

All mystery, and like the books and scrolls that appear in my dreams, unreadable…

After my last post on Father Time, I set some time apart to again consider last year and to ponder whether or not to engage with the One Word concept this year. This time I thought about “well” as a thing – a hole dug in the ground to access water. I’ve read of wells that dried up and became trash bins full of broken things, garbage and such. Wells in which weapons or treasures were hidden. Abandoned wells, unmarked and a serious hazard to those who might stumble into them.

I remembered the story in Genesis in which Isaac had to re-dig the wells of his father so that he would have water for his flocks. They had been stopped up with earth by their enemies. I began to see that my cleaning out had been a process that could be like a cleaning out of my own wells clogged with earth stuff so that fresh water can now flow. I found a lightness to my spirit as I thought about this.

Bonnie Gray has been an online friend and mentor for quite some time now. Her book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace, was really a guide to clearing my wells even though I may not have been conscious of it as I went about my season of de-stashing. Bonnie is hosting a new feature this year and would love for you to join her and the others who will link their hearts and words of encouragement at #OneWordCoffee on Wednesdays on her web site, FB or Instagram. OneWordCoffee_Badge2Her word, her theme, is “beloved”. I’ve been hearing that this is my word for 2016. Since the well of my life is being restored, I’m ready to believe.

Do you choose a word for the year?

 

Making Connections

For me, one of the wonderful things about this time of internet communication is meeting people around the world. I want to mention two lovely Australian ladies whose blogs share creativity and kindness so generously.

Kerryanne English blogs at Shabby Art Boutique. This month she has started her 6th year of Simply Christmas entries. In the first post she introduced her beautiful 2015 Christmas Planner – free to download, which I was happy to do. In the next post, she wrote her thoughts on planning. Christmas Planner   I’ve been a planner, but somehow in the last couple of years, I forgot how essential this ingredient is for relaxed celebration. I find that planning – anticipating – can really add so much joy.

I used to keep wonderful records of menus and cookie baking marathons and gifting. I’m starting again to keep this record of joy sharing. Kerryanne is posting ideas for gifts and décor as well as continuing her Friday link-up parties full of inspiration.

Then, I would like to introduce Jennifer Reynolds – Jenny of ELEFANTZ. Jenny is always so generous in sharing her lovely talent in stitchery. She has also been gathering creative ideas for gift giving from other bloggers and kindly sharing the links.

While embroidery is an old and mostly abandoned interest of mine, I was inspired by her holiday table runner last year to create one of my own with fabrics available here.

design   And, I almost forgot – food – you will find tempting recipes at both sites! Have a look?

Merry Little Christmas!

Happy New Year! Blessed Epiphany Greetings!

Christmas Tree

Growing up, I loved Christmas music. Throughout the season I would search through the old records and play them over and over. This one lingers in my memory still. To me, this version of We Three Kings has a rich, mysterious and regal sound. The person who posted to Youtube has added some beautiful artwork to the page, if you care to linger there.

Magi once travelled far from their comfortable homes to seek, to gaze. I think about them each year, the seekers, the searchers, the brave adventurers, the courageous explorers. Their breed has not vanished from the earth, you know. They are among us still.

There is a stargazer inside me – one searching for The Star; longing to gaze into His face, His eyes.

However, I am a bit like this one – see him? Wise Men  Down on his knees, begging his camel to come along… I find it all too easy among all the festivities to become distracted by things that are to serve us, and to serve them. And not only that, but see how the others have become distracted too? Yah, I can lead others to distractions too. Then we miss the shining path through life.

This year, I want to follow our pastor’s encouragement to ‘step into my dark and look up for the star.’

star light

I want to find my way to the promise of grace, wonder, glory and great beauty in this New Year.

May  you find yours as well.Nativity scene

Several years ago, I read and interesting book by Brent Landau titled, Revelation of the Magi. This is a translation of an ancient Syriac document. It is a fascinating story of the Nativity told from the point of view of the Magi and told with great reverence. You might find it interesting.

We had the gift of a light snow today. The beauty offsets the bitter cold.

IMG_4713 It follows after evening and morning glorious of Monday which I simply must share.

evening & morning

{You may click on any photo to enlarge it.}

 

Tree voices

Christmas Eve busy winding along to Christmas day but I haven’t forgotten waking early thinking of trees. I wondered why and listened hard but found them still and silent in the dark outside my window. Not satisfied, I wrapped in flannel and opened the door. Trees patiently, quietly standing washed in rain.

evergreen

I don’t see them, but I hear the early call of a few birds at their prayers – loud praises. No doubt most are huddled in evergreen and bush and brush from the steady rain, whispering bird praises.

I think it a companionable gathering – birds and trees. Storms and disease take their toll, but in life and death, trees live to serve and shelter them.

evergreen

This Christmas eve, I’m not really listening for bird call but I strain to catch other voices, to hear the trees whispering. I am sure they were calling me from sleep. But I hear nothing. Maybe it’s just the breath of fresh greenery in the house. I’ve shared my early memory of trees before and I wonder if my small self heard their voices then.

Trees are like a wondrous, rich inheritance, but one taken for granted, I’m afraid. From Genesis to Revelation, trees are pictured, connecting to us in parable. They are portrayed with their own rich life, lively and nurturing and protecting. In parable, I too can have a rich tree-like life – thriving and strong, serving and sheltering.

lighted evergreen

I’m so glad we celebrate Christmas with trees; they teach me to rejoice too! Listen, you might hear them clap their hands! Now on this silent night, I listen for the rustle of their praise and add my own to the chorus.

Christmas treeMerry Christmas to all!

 

 

5th Day of Christmas

Christmas bloom

My mom grew one of these for many, many years. She always called it Christmas Cactus*. I took cuttings from her plant about 15 years ago. It is not the most beautiful plant – until it blooms each winter. It usually is a bit neglected and then I go into care mode and it rewards my feeble efforts with flower love.

* Schlumbergera truncata – I think!