Been Busy

I am married to Mr. Tidy. He knows I call him that. We are not quite alike in this matter, though he has trained me fairly well over 48 years!

So the Christmas tree come down December 25 as we were finished with the family celebration. And the mantle decorations changed to winter instead of Christmas. Table is being changed over, also.

Why all the rush? Well January 3 Bob is being admitted for a scheduled surgical procedure. The critical illness of January 4, 2018 left him with damage to one of the heart nodes that regulate heartbeat. His pulse is often 38 whereas mine can run 100. Normal is 60-100 beats per minute.

This is basically the same way the doctor showed the pacemaker to us in his office. Bob will be admitted after the procedure for overnight monitoring. They want to be certain that everything is regulated properly.

Everyone assures us it is a simple procedure. That sounds fine until it is your heart (or the heart of a loved one) they are talking about! Bob is looking forward to warmer hands and feet, more energy, less dizziness, fewer headaches, and overall feeling better.

More energy?! Not certain how I will keep up with him then!! He is scheduled to return home January 4. We are hoping this is the end to the illness that nearly killed him January 4, 2018. May the year 2019 be much healthier and calmer. Lord, hear our prayer!

Christ is Born

This came in an email from Printery House. I just love the detail and the topic! Especially the King who laid his crown at the feet of Jesus.

What more can I say? I welcome my King.

Presents in Contrast to Presence

The first year we were married I was so excited to give Bob his Christmas gifts. I hoped to surprise him. He sat with each gift, examined it, and proceeded to guess each one before he opened it. I was so disappointed!

Many years later his sister came to visit us in Ohio from California around Christmas time. She had taken a Southwest flight into Indianapolis. The day she was due to fly out Bob was working and the kids were in school. I drove her back to Indianapolis. Our house was already decorated and the gifts were under the tree. When I returned from the airport, Bob was home from work. He ran out to the driveway and declared, “I felt your presents!”

I was instantly angry. It took a moment for Bob to realize that I heard him say “Presents” and he meant “Presence.” He was apologizing profusely.

He does not guess what is in his gifts any more. If he does, he does not say it out loud!

Christmas Humor

In the grocery store our children and grandchildren often embarrass us. What might have been funny at home or in the car makes us cringe in public. Sometimes those same children can bless others tremendously. I think it is lovely when a preschooler is riding in a grocery basket singing “Yes, Jesus loves me!”

A few years ago I had the opportunity to be blessed by a child who obviously attended church. Whether he had recently learned Revelation 4:8 in his Nursery class or at home I will never know. We are told in that passage that around the throne of heaven there are four living creatures and day and night they never stop saying “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

So here is this kiddo, with dark hair and bright eyes, riding in Mom’s car hollering: “Holy, holy holy is the Lord!” I was in the next aisle over and enchanted to hear such a thing in the grocery. When they caught up with me in a few minutes in yet another aisle, he was still praising. Mom wanted to put her hand over his mouth and was trying to sush him a bit. I reminded her that the Psalmist said through the praise of children the Lord established a stronghold against the enemy! (Psalm 8:2) I encouraged her to let him go 😉 She was visibly relieved that someone appreciated his enthusiasm.

Wonder what would happen if all the believers declared such praise with such volume at the grocery store? A flash mob of joy!!

Ten Years Ago

I take opportunities to teach the Gospel whenever I can. Every year stick on decorations are made for sliding glass doors, etc. I had one I used for several years for our Grandkids to play with. They could arrange and re-arrange the pieces if they wanted to. 

One year I picked up our youngest Grandgirl from nursery school and brought her home for lunch at our house. They had been learning about farms and farm animals. Old MacDonald was a new favorite song for singing in the car.

As she was eating her lunch she looked at the sliding glass door. 

“Look Grammy, there’s Jesus,  right in that barn!”

What a joy to have young’uns among us!

Lord, help me always to see with the eyes of a child. Help me celebrate You right in that barn and in my dining room! 

Another Christmas Memory

The particular winter I am thinking about was approximately twelve years ago. It had been a windy autumn, more wind than usual. One neighbor had begun to decorate for Christmas. In their tradition, the Jesus baby was not put out until Christmas Day. 

As we drove down the street, our oldest Grandgirl, then about five years old, noticed the figures. She said a classic line!

“I see Mary, and I see Joseph. I guess Jesus blowed away!”

We have mentioned her comment every year since. Such innocence and astute observation! If you can’t find Him, perhaps you can explain His absence?

May you know an increased awareness of Christ this season and throughout the coming year! Blessings to you.

“I see Mary, and I see Joseph. I guess Jesus blowed away!”

One Christmas

Christmas time was upon us and Emily, at 3-1/2 years, was fueled by excitement. We had recently purchased a plastic creche set which she was allowed to play with. Both Boba nd I had explained to her the true meaning of Christmas, and she was enchanted by Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. Perhaps the baby Jesus was so fascinating because she had a baby in her life, too, in the form of her younger brother, 5 month old Jeffrey.  In keeping with the family tradition of new clothes for Christmas we had purchased something entirely new for Emily, her own. purse! As Christmas Eve approached I tried to teach her that her purse was for tissues, her offering, and things she might need while away from home.

It seemed a feat of circus proportions getting our family ready for church service that evening, Jeffrey, bundled against the winter weather, was none too happy to be overheating as I grabbed my coat and Bob got Emily into the back seat of the car. I finally drew a deep breath as Bob drove us to church. I reminded Emily that we were going to church to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. She thought that was  great idea!

We placed Jeffrey in the nursery where he could make as much noise as he wanted. the service was refreshing after all the turmoil of getting there intact and on time. As the congregation began to sing “Silent Night” I noticed Emily fumbling with her purse. I asked what she had in her hand, fearful it would be some loud toy or worse yet, something gooey. SHe open her palm to show me the plastic baby Jesus in His manger bed. She looked up at me with dark brown eyes glistening and said, “I thought He ought to come.

 “I thought He ought to come.

               Just imagine that tiny hand opening!

No creche will ever be the same for me. She understood the message about Christmas! And even in the excitement of a new purse, she brought Jesus to church for His birthday. Thank you Emily for a wonderful memory!


One adventure our Grandson loves is going to see the train layouts at the Cincinnati Museum Center. It reopened this year after a major remodeling project. There is a small train the children may ride and ring the bell as they go around. One year we thought we would never get him off the ride!

Well this year, sadly, he was too tall to ride that train! He did display his feelings with the magnetic build-it-yourself snowman! Then we moved on to view the massive train layout with Pop.

So moving to a huge room with almost countless tracks there were my guys oohing and ahhing again.

Hoping your traditions are joyous, also!

Advent Calendar

Someone mentioned on the radio that their Mom used to take an advent calendar and put a slip of paper in each day saying “I love it when you …” or “I love that you are …” It became a treasured memory of waiting for the birth of Jesus. Over our 48 years of marriage we have gathered many favorite decorations and memories. I thought this year it would be great to make something similar to this advent calendar for Bob.

To make it look rustic I took a piece of burlap. Then made little pockets to hold the papers. Placed them on the burlap in the shape of a tree. Sewed them in place and numbered them. Printed the I love you slips, cut them up and presented it to Bob on the first day of December. Gee! it sounds easier than it was when I was making it!

I almost gave up twice. The pockets were not very straight. The puff paint was a mess. I told Bob to think of it as American folk art, similar to Grandma Moses, not a precise creation. Often OCD must die when I do crafts.

Today is December 11 and he is enjoying the calendar. He says he will fill it next year for me.

Meanwhile, Back at the Soldier Crawl

ABIDE:  me with You, You in me , and flowing forth from me.

You are the vine, I am the branch. Our relationship, love, contacts create the tendrils that help me to cling, ABIDE.

Even at crochet group, I choose to abide. Even at the grocery I choose to abide. While listening to Bob and learning to hear, I choose to abide. 

While traveling a few years ago I found this wrought iron sculpture and remembered the book “Clinging” that I had been reading and ABIDE which I am still trying to learn. The tendril is clearly delineated. I want my tendrils tight and close with Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Defined: “Tendrils are slender structures that coil around smaller objects to provide support for growing shoots.” So I went ahead and wrote the meditation/prayer outline for our weekly intercessors meeting.  The theme was abide, remain, stay, endure, dwell. I presented it the day before Bob and I went to the Convent for an Advent Quiet Day. Emilie Griffin wrote “Prayer is clinging, not only that we cling to God, but that He clings to us.” We prayed that the persons on our Topics List would cling to God for all of their needs.

At the Convent we were each assigned a room for our personal use during the day. The sign on my door had a quote from Jan L. Richardson: “The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before . . . .What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you . .  So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. . . For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.”

I was gobsmacked!   Abide   Remain  Stay  Endure  Dwell  Stay  Sit  Linger  Tarry  Ponder  Wait  Behold  Wonder all within 24 hours!

How are you spending your Advent Season?

Hopefully you are able to shed cares and move towards the silence that re-creates.