New Year’s Eve, 2012

It is New Year’s Eve, 2012. Almost every news article you read, news report on TV, and blog on the Internet will be about one of two things: 1) a look-back at 2012, or 2) a look ahead to 2013. Or if the writer is really good, a combination of the two. If we’re looking back at 2012, we are advised to celebrate our successes and learn from our mistakes. If we look ahead to 2013, we are told to make a plan – about our career, our family, our health, our finances – any area of our life – that we feel needs to be improved. Some “experts” encourage us to make resolutions–some “experts” tell us not to make resolutions. In times past, I made resolutions – only to break them before the end of January. If I’m not determined enough to keep a resolution through the first month of the year, why bother making it to begin with?

Over the last few years, the trend has been to pray and ask God to give you a ‘word’ for the upcoming year. It can be a single ‘word’ or a “word from the Lord” – one of those “Thus saith the LORD” kinda words. So I’ve asked God for a word every December 31 for the last few years and He has always given me a word: renew, refresh, rebirth.

I believe the word for me in 2013 is “trust.”


What about you? Do you make resolutions? Or ask for a Word from God?


The True Spirit of Christmas

I had originally planned to post my Advent blogs that I’ve posted for the last several years. But the first several days of Advent had come and gone before I realized it and I decided not to post them again this year. Those of you who have read them probably wouldn’t want to read them again. And for those of you who haven’t read them. . .maybe next year.

I’ve always loved the Christmas season. I love the beautiful Christmas carols (listening to Christmas music as I write this), the lights and decorations, baking Christmas cookies and candies. My favorite night of the season is Christmas Eve as we celebrate the birth of Jesus at a candlelight communion service.

This year, however, I am the female version of Ebeneezer Scrooge. I think my “Scrooginess” began when I decided we would not decorate our house as much as usual.  We go all out when we decorate. We don’t go to the extremes of the Griswold family, by any stretch of the imagination, but we put candles in each of the front windows-six in all, we hang wreaths on each of those windows and on the front and side doors. On the inside there is garland hung everywhere, the upstairs kitchen is decorated, the dining room table is set with my Christmas china and the mantel in the main floor family room is decorated. The large Christmas tree is in the family room, too.  Then there’s the downstairs. A smaller tree is decorated and placed in the TV room, stockings are hung in this room, and even the kitchen is decorated. And oh yes, did I mention that the bathrooms on both floors are decorated, also? All of this decorating takes a minimum of 8 hours. And before you know it, it’s time to take the decorations down and pack them all up until next year, which will “be here before we know it.”

I had already decided we would not decorate as much as usual, when on October 26, I fell and “sprained” my right wrist. I already had knee surgery scheduled for November 5 and went forward with that. My wrist continued to give me problems and on November 27, after dozens of x-rays and a MRI on my wrist, it was discovered there was a chipped bone in my wrist. (I’ve since been told it is a fracture.) My wrist was put in a cast for at least  three weeks. So here I am, at the beginning of the Christmas season, walking with a cane because of the left knee surgery and a cast on my right wrist. Now, I can’t go all out with decorating this year. So, there is a wreath on the front door and one on the side door. The downstairs is decorated – the tree is up, the stockings are hung. The presents are wrapped and under the tree and the baking was done yesterday.

Still the amount of decorating or not decorating should not affect my Christmas spirit. After all, it is not about the decorations, baking, even the Christmas carols. It is about the indescribable gift of God’s extravagant, boundless love for us given to us through his son, Jesus Christ, miraculously born of a virgin, in the most humble of circumstances.

So, where has my Christmas spirit gone? I could offer all kinds of excuses – and they would all be true. Not valid, not good, but true nonetheless. So I will just say that I’ve asked God to forgive me and I’m publicly, by means if this blog, asking my family to forgive me.

Have you lost your Christmas spirit? Has the true meaning of Christmas been overshadowed by life?


Oh yes, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I will be posting my annual blogs.

Merry Christmas! May the true Spirit of Christmas abide in your heart today and always!