Sunday, December 30, 2007


The house is so empty.
We begin the end of November, bringing Jesus out. Inviting Him to be a part of everyday. Inviting Him, and His life to be the center of our attention. The tree, lights, Christmas dishes, ornaments, stockings... are really dressed up balloons, crepe paper, and banners representing Jesus' birthday, representing that He is "Emmanuel God with us."
My life is affected by the fullness of His presence. I cannot ignore the fullness of His presence.
But now all the birthday decorations are tucked away in the attic, and the house feels empty.
I feel empty.
My life is affected by the emptiness. I cannot ignore the emptiness. I am faced with a decision. To let Jesus be present all year, or to tuck him away in the attic, miss Him for a while, but eventually get use to the emptiness. Getting use to the business, and over committing I do to ignore that emptiness. When all I need, and really want, all year, everyday, every moment is "Emmanuel God with us" with me.

Awaken what's inside of me
Tune my heart to all you are to me
And even though Your here
God come
May the vision of You be the death of me
And even though you've given everything
Jesus Come
words by Shane & Shane

Thursday, December 20, 2007


For the last 4yrs our family has done a Free Hot Chocolate stand. We do this at Christmas time at one of the local shopping centers. First, we set up a table, complete with hot chocolate (enough to serve 160), marshmallows, whipped topping, and candy canes. Then we go to work yelling, "Free Hot Chocolate!" to passers by. Many people stop asking, "what's the catch?" We reply, "no catch, it's just free hot chocolate, and Merry Christmas." Some try to give us money, but we refuse, kindly saying, " it's a gift, and it wouldn't be a gift if you paid for it." Others pass by multiple times refusing. Our favorites are the ones who stop and take their hot chocolate with the works (marshmallows, whipped topping, and a candy cane). We're especially thrilled when folks come back for seconds!
This has become one of the highlights of the Christmas season for our family. We enjoy this time together as a family, blessing our community. It is an opportunity to give a free gift, just as one was given to us that first Christmas. We see and meet people in our community, and pray that they will take Jesus with "the works," receiving the life in the full He came to give.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive

Did you ever think when you were a child, what fun it would be if your toys could come to life? Well suppose you could really have brought them to life. Imagine turning a tin soldier into a real little man. it would involve turning the tin into flesh. And suppose the tin soldier did not like it. He is not interested in flesh: all he sees is the tin is being spoilt. He thinks you are killing him. He will do everything he can to prevent you. He will not be made into a man if he can help it.
What you would have done about that tin soldier I do not know. But what God did about us was this. The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man- a real man of particular height, with hair of a particular color, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only man but (before that) a baby, and before that a fetus inside a woman's body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.
The result of this was that you now had one man who really was what all men were intended to be: one man in whom the created life, derived from His Mother, allowed itself to be completely and perfectly turned into the begotten life. the natural human creature in Him was taken up fully into the divine Son. Thus in one instance humanity had, so to speak, arrived: had passed into the life of the Christ. And because the the whole difficulty for us is that the natural life has to be, in a sense, 'killed', He chose an earthly career which involved the killing of His human desires at every turn- poverty, misunderstanding from His own family, betrayal,
by one of His intimate friends, being jeered at and manhandled by the Police, and execution by torture. And then, after being thus killed-killed every day in a sense- the human creature in Him, because it was united to the divine Son, came to life again. The Man in Christ rose again: not only the God. That is the whole point. For the first time we saw a real man. One tin soldier- real tin, just like the rest- had come fully and splendidly alive.

from Mere Christianity
and A Year with C.S. Lewis, Daily Readings from His Classic Works

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Par um pum pum pum

"Little Drummer Boy"

Come, they told me (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
A newborn king to see (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
Our finest gifts we bring (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
To lay before the king (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
[x 3]
So, to honor Him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
When we come

Little baby (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I am a poor boy too (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I have no gifts to bring (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
That's fit to give a king (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) [x 3]
Shall I play for you (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
On my drum?

Mary nodded (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
The ox and lamb kept time (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I played my drum for Him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I played my best for Him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) [x 3]
Then, He smiled at me (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
Me and my drum

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs (done by Jars of Clay).
So, I know that Scripture has no mention of a drummer boy at the birth of Jesus. I know that on earth it would be impossible for an "ox and lamb to keep time" (but Balaam's donkey did talk).
But still, it is one of my favorites. A child comes seeing the treasure that Jesus is, and desires to give sweet Jesus his best. Every time I hear the words
"I played my best for him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) Then, He smiled at me," I believe that I am enough "Just as I Am," and that that smile from my Jesus comes because he sees that I get it! "The things of earth become strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

We have gifts to bring to Jesus (He designed us that way!). I have been thinking today about what gift(s) I would bring. I'd bring celebration and a song.
I'd throw a big party for that baby Jesus, invite everyone, rent the biggest hall, get a band, dance floor, food, banners, balloons, lights... and I would CELEBRATE cause God with us is here! I see the smile on His face just thinking about it. Imagine dancing with the King!
And I'd bring a song. I would want to hold sweet baby Jesus. I'd find a quiet place, in a little room, with a rocking chair, and look into the face of the One who made the stars and the moon that fill that little room with light, look into the face of the One who fills my heart with Light. I'd take in every little finger,and those sweet hands (knowing His future, and ours because of Him), I'd smell him, and breath him in. I would hold Him (knowing it is He who holds me) and sing

I love you Lord And I lift my voice To worship You
Oh my soul rejoice Take joy my King In what you hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound In your ea

And you, what gift(s) would you bring?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Last night, while sitting on the couch, watching t.v., and sewing bears, I said to Michael, "I love Noah." He asked, "Why," assuming that Noah must have done something to cause me to say this. I replied, "no reason, I just LOVE him."
10yrs ago at Christmas I was pregnant with this sweet boy. We had our ultrasound that month, and baby had just begun kicking. I kept a journal for baby, a Christmas entry says, "Mommy's scared, and I'm so unsure of myself, what is God thinking."
I was 24, married just over a year, and wanting so badly for the future to never resemble my broken past.
Noah means- peace and rest. And in Hebrew- complete, whole, nothing missing, nothing broken.
God wrote Noah's name on our hearts 10 yrs ago, and He made a promise to us that the generations to come would be His.
As we think on Peace this week for advent, we recognize that we have this PEACE because of Jesus. I have a heart filled with gratitude to the promised One, who makes all things New, Complete, and Whole!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Our joyful anticipation deepens

Sunday we began the season of advent by lighting the candle of hope. Each evening, by candlelight, we have been speaking of the HOPE we have in Jesus.
This afternoon God took Michael's grandfather, Logan Young home. Tonight, we spoke of how grateful we are to have the hope that Grandad is with God, and that we will see him again when we get home.

The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.
Romans 8:20-21
(The Message)

BEAR with me

I can't sew, not really. Okay, so I can...a little. I always wanted to sew, and just a few years ago my sister-in-law Lindsey (the creative one over at imperfect), helped me sew duvet covers for my girls,
and then sometime later she helped me make another duvet cover for Noah's room.
I was a straight line sewer, and after that added pillows, bed skirts, and shower curtains to our decor. Then it happened, BEARS! In autumn of 03 God took my grandfather home, and instead of packing up his clothes and sending them to a thrift store, I decided to take his shirts and make bears from them. I took 2 lessons, and then made 8 bears on my own. It was wonderful to surprise my grandmother, aunts, and sister on Christmas, to give them each a part of my grandfather to hold. I am sewing 9 bears for a woman who lost her father unexpectedly this summer, so that she too can surprise and bless her family with a part of him to hold this Christmas.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!