Friday, December 22, 2017

step dad

Step dads don't get a lot of great press.  Generally speaking, they weren't chosen by the child.  Frequently, they act in the place of a dearly loved "real" dad, with all the resentment that carries.  They don't have all the clout or authority they would with a biological child.  It's a tough job, but as they say, someone has to do it...

Jesus was raised by a step dad - Joseph.  As if Joseph didn't have it bad enough, Jesus real father actually IS perfect!!  He is quite the investor, too - designing the entire universe along with His son's assistance.  Though apparently, Joe didn't have to discipline the eldest child in the household.  I wonder if he felt like a third wheel at times.

But that step dad stepped up when the going was tough.  He married a disgraced fiancĂ©, and took some of the disgrace upon himself, though it wasn't deserved.  He ended up running for his life to a foreign country with his bride and step son, again, through no fault of his own.  Joe falls off the Biblical pages long before his son was kindergarten age.  Maybe he was around for Jesus' teenage years and young adulthood.  We don't know.  But we know it certainly would have been a very different Christmas story with that man.

 Here's to a step dad worthy to emulate:  loyal, strong, decisive, loving.  God picked a good one!  And maybe Jesus had a hand in the picking, too, before He left His throne in favor of a cattle stall, that is….


Thursday, December 21, 2017


I've heard it said, 
"happiness is a temporary condition 
and joy is a choice."

How often do we miss a chance to choose joy?
How easy is it to miss joy
amidst all the crazy that is 

I think God gives us experiences and feelings
to help us better understand the
relationship He wants to have with us.
Seeing my baby holding her baby
made my heart explode.
(Mary's Child by Mark Missman)

I love my husband and children beyond measure.

I also think I need to be deliberate in
finding the snips of joy in the mundane.
Sorry, just couldn't make this one B&W

What's bringing you joy?


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

future plans

Certainly, because I am a mom, I am drawn to Mary at Christmas time.  The miracle of birth is overwhelming all by itself.  I remember when each of my sons were born, gazing on their perfectly formed bodies - the impossibly tiny features (which years later twin grandgirlies demonstrated were not that tiny).  The miracle of life!  The wonder of possibility!

 I don't ever remember thinking one of my son could be president or develop a cure for cancer or any other grand and glorious accomplishment.  They totally could - if that was their bent.  But it was enough to behold the miracle of new life and let time and their ambitions take them where they would.  I wasn't in to mapping out their future.

 But Mary, on the other hand, was granted the heavenly view of who her son would be - and that was a heady thing!  President?  Too mundane.  Cure cancer?  Too pedestrian.  How about Savior of the World!!!  How's that for midnight pondering while nursing your baby who is totally dependent on you?  (Side note: what went through her thoughts when child number two was born?  Hmmm)

 Thank you, Mary, for keeping it together through midnight feedings and colicky nights.  Thank you for mending his clothes and kissing scraped knees.  Thank you for obedience and pondering and staying the course. 

 Thank you for bringing us our Savior.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Lent in Advent?

I was talking with a friend today about 
being deliberate about my
Christmas focus this year.
It struck me that I 
actually get more emotionally invested in 

Easter is the culmination, proof, if you will,
of what the angels told us on the night Christ was born.
 Christ came to save us.
The baby in the manger is a promise, 
a hope, of things to come.

So, I'm left to ponder that
Christmas is a season of

Those are a little trickier to nail down than the
sight of the cross.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Star light, Star bright...

What would it have been like that night?  What would have disturbed the shepherds' slumber?  What would have enthralled the wise men to saddled camel and leave home?  What would have frightened Herod to the point of deception and murder?  A star?  A baby?  A new future?  The promise/threat of power realized?

What is it I seek?  The innocence of a child?  The hope for peace?  A place to dry my tears?  The comfort and familiarity of home?  The reason for life?  A new beginning? 
Whatever the answers, if indeed answers are possible, the answer must be "yes!"  and "no..."  The realization of dreams is the realization that our dreams are puny.  When God breaks in, it is in ways that defy prediction and imagination, and even possibility.

Christ's birth is what miracles are made of.  And miracles are what God specializes in.  

May our fondest wishes for the miraculous prove inadequate for the reality of God's love.  Merry Christmas miracles to us all. 

Friday, December 15, 2017


God with us.
Lory and I write these independently
and every once in a while we hit on a
similar thought.

I like where Lory went with this Tuesday.
I had been mulling over
God With Us
as well, but I went a little different track.

I do want to spend time at the manger.
It seems this year, though, as I approach
the manger my view gets wider.

Big Mary's breath prayer is
Jesus hold my hand.

God sent Jesus to be with us,
at the manger
and well beyond.