Monthly Archives: December 2010

A Prayer for the Grieving

I remember the first Christmas without my father. I was only eighteen, my brother only fifteen. We were no longer small children busting at the seams with dreams of Santa and tiny reindeer, but we were still children. Ones with a newly widowed mother.

I do not remember any of the gifts I got that year. I do not remember lights or tinsel or Christmas carols. But I do remember how gaping and obvious my father’s absence felt. I remember a feeling of fumbling through the holidays, an unsteadiness that made all of life seem off kilter. I remember packing up and going to stay with friends because we could not face Christmas morning at home.

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Reclaim Your Commute

This past Sunday while I sat in church there were many great challenges and ideas thrown out that day. My hand was furiously writing as I tried to keep up with all the notes that I wanted to put down on paper as the pastor was preaching. Notes were lining the edges of bulletin and I loved it. In the midst of these great insights and ideas there were three little words that pierced right to my heart.

Reclaim your commute.

It sounds simple enough, but what does that really look like?

If you are like me, you like to multi-task and the commute is the perfect time to get phone calls made or even just chill out to some great music. 

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The Importance of Winter

I have hinted at in my past writings that the winter always tends to be a difficult time for me. It reminds me of things I would like to forget, but every year those same old bluish memories wash over me once again.

The other day, in a bout of unseasonably warm weather and a strange urge for me to get outdoors, I decided to go rake out the plant beds around my house. These beds, in my “not so master gardener” mind, are beautiful and luscious in the spring and summer. They make me so happy when I walk around the edge of my house and see the butterflies dancing all around.

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Eager Anticipation

We can so easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of preparing for parties and presents at this time of the year that we forget to prepare our hearts for the arrival of our Savior. In my dear husband’s message this past Sunday, he shared four ways we can prepare spiritually with eager anticipation.

We know how to bake, shop, wrap, and celebrate, but how do we prepare our hearts for  the celebration of our Savior’s birth?

1. Live in humble repentance – Most of us like to believe that we are basically pretty good people. We look around at other people and determine that we’re “not so bad.”

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Robes of Strength

This last week has slipped away from me. The days race by…faster and faster and faster. As hard as I try to utilize every moment of time, I still find myself short, wishing for just a little more time to cram everything in.

What is it about time? How can I need more time? The Lord gives us 24 hours of time every day. Not a minute more, not a minute less. And yet, here I am, frazzled and yearning for more time to complete everything.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,

and she laughs at the time to come.

Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)

Laughs at the time to come? 

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A Willing Heart

I have been reading the account of the Birth of Christ all this week and meditating on this most precious gift that was given to me. It was a gift of love that, although I try to understand, I still cannot. I want it to get deep into my spirit, and I want my response to this love to be a willing heart. A heart that says Yes to God’s perfect plan, even though I cannot see clearly.

Mary had a willing heart. She was willing to be used by God, no matter what the cost. She said Yes!

When the Angel of the Lord approached Mary to let her know that soon she would be with child, and that this Child she would carry would be the Son of God, Mary was troubled in her spirit. 

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The Father’s Longing

I cannot remember the day my oldest daughter Megan stopped wanting me to carry her. What I do remember is being a bit stunned when I went to wake her up one morning…

I rubbed her back gently and readied myself to lift her from her bed, but she hopped up and stumbled sleepily into the living room by herself. A small declaration of independence, yet one that left this momma’s heart reeling.

So when my nine-year-old lifted her arms for me to carry her one morning last week, I quickly scooped her up with joy. Her long, lanky legs bumped gently against my own as we made our way down the hall.

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Little Things, Big Love—Why You’re Making a Difference More than You Know

Written by Guest Contributor Holley Gerth.

She bows her head and thanks God for the birds outside the window. I think of little bluebirds formed from play-dough years ago.

She offers gratitude for the unusually warm weather, the wind in the trees. I think of a hundred barefoot days, green grass, picnics and play.

She whispers appreciation for beds to hold all of us, the blessing of being under one roof. I think of bedtime stories, covers tucked around me, kisses on my forehead.

She gives thanks for the little things.

She always has.

And as she does, I give thanks for her.

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