Saturday, December 26, 2009


What is your favorite Christmas song? Mine has to be "Mary Did You Know?" I love the perspective it brings to the reality of not just having a baby, but having God's baby! My favorite phrase in the song is, "Mary did you know, when you kissed his face, you kissed the face of God?" What an honor to have had. To be holding this tiny baby so dependent upon others to care for him and know that you must depend solely on him for redemption with God.

Recently, I heard an episode of "Down Gilead Lane" on the radio where they told the story of Jesus' birth through the eyes of a 14 year old girl...Mary's perspective. I encourage you to check out this link and go listen to the show. If you aren't interested in the whole episode, then just go near the end of the program and listen to the story the 14 year old female character writes about how Mary must of have felt. It is well worth you time. If you are a softie like me, you might grab a few'll need them. Go to this web site click on "episodes" and look for FROM MARY WITH LOVE.

No matter what perspective you look at Jesus' birth, I hope you will look at it and consider it's importance. God chose to take 76 generations (through Mary's linage) of people to bring his son into the picture so that we might have eternal life and enjoy restored fellowship with our creator. God is patient and is waiting for all of his children to return to Him; however, he won't wait forever. What are you doing today to claim that promised forgiveness and restored fellowship with God? If you have claimed it for yourself, what are you doing to help others claim it? What are you doing to live out your faith and belief in God?

Sunday, December 13, 2009


If you live long enough, you have the misfortune of "celebrating" holidays without a dear loved one who has passed away. No matter how hard you try to "keep tradition" it is never the same. Decorations can look the same, activities and people sound the same and sometimes even the food can taste the same, but something is always "not quite right."

I watched this happen to my mother after her parents died when I was a teenager. I couldn't understand the magnitude of her loss and the sadness that prevailed even though the rest of us tried so hard to make things cheerful for her.

Eight years ago, when my own mother passed away in November, I finally understood the depth of sadness she must have felt. My first holiday celebrations were basically ritualistic and void of any feelings. My family and I were consoled by friends and included in their celebrations or we broke tradition and did something totally different. Friends tried hard to make things better and joyous but I remember how empty it all seemed.

After that life changing event, I found myself trying to duplicate certain food dishes or experiences in an effort to reconnect with my mother and "home". I remember the year my daughter was born, and she was too young to travel 1,300 miles to see family. That Christmas, was the saddest Christmas of my whole life, even sadder than when my mother died. You see my husband and I waited 17 years to conceive this child (our oldest is adopted but loved as much as if he were born to us). I was sad because I had the best gift in the world and I couldn't share her with my family. Even more heart breaking, my daughter would never know her "Me-ma".

Recently, during our annual visit back to where my husband and I grew up, we visited with more than 80 relatives over a two week period. For my husband's mother, it was an especially sad Thanksgiving, as her sister had unexpectedly died just 7 weeks before. Her whole family would be gathering for Thanksgiving. For the siblings, husband and children who came and tried to "carry on as normal" it must have been difficult. It was comforting I'm sure for them to be with family, but painful at the same time. So many memories, so much fresh pain still lingering in their hearts. To top it all off, the woman who had died, would have celebrated her birthday that same weekend.

The death of a loved one changes you forever. Even knowing that those who have passed on before us are in heaven and we will see them some day, it is still difficult to move forward. It's like life just grabs you and drags you along. I can't imagine not knowing Jesus Christ and having the assurance of seeing them again.

A result of my recent maturity is knowing that my comfort is no longer found in the assurance I'll see my mother and other dead relatives again, it comes from knowing that Jesus is my brother, Lord and Savior - family. That home is heaven, not here on earth. My longing is not to see my loved ones who have passed on, but rather to see Jesus face to face for the first time. That is my longing.

Friends, family is valuable and an important gift from God, but our desire should always be to know intimately, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the heart of God. If you have never really taken time to get to know Jesus, it's never to late. Spend some time with him today.

"I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High." Psalm 9:1-2

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Hi readers. Sorry for no post last week. Holiday travel was starting to wear on me. I am still processing the wonderful, annual visit we had with family last month. We had nice long visits with nearly all of our extended families. I had a "Big Toe" reunion with my exclusive, four member "Big Toe" buddies. This was the first time we had all been together at the same time since college 20 years ago...gosh has it really been 20 years! I can't possibly be that old!

As much as I enjoyed renewing family ties, I was equally blessed by the reception I received from our neighbors and friends upon our return. Hugs were longer and tighter. Smiles were brighter. Appreciation was expressed repeatedly. My daughter is still begging to see her best friend again and again. My son's anticipation of seeing his "girlfriend" keeps mounting.

Home really is where your heart is. It's here in West Virginia and it's in Oklahoma too. My "Big Toe" buddies were surprised to hear me say "back in my home town" (referring to my WV home) when were were sitting in the town I grew up in. That place is where my family lives, but it isn't my "home" anymore. My heart is wherever God wants it to be. Where my heart is there my treasure will be also. My heart and home is right where I am (which ever state that may be in).

Thank you God for giving me such a wonderful gift of renewed relationships with family, friends and neighbors. May I never take any of them for granted or ignore them. Thank you for touching other lives through my presence in this world. May you continue to use me to touch others for you in spite of my sinful self. Thank you for helping me discern the value of relationships and for strengthening them through your bond of love.

Matthew 6:21 (NIV)

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."