Wednesday, December 26, 2012

So This Is Christmas

And what have I done?
Another year's over
And a new one's just begun.

And so this is Christmas
I hope you had fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young.

A very merry Christmas
And a happy new year!
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear.*

I'm grateful for this year past with all its blessings and its trials and looking with hope to the coming year.  Jesus came that we may all find our everlasting hope in Him.  I pray that each of you may know Him and His peace through this season and all those to come.  Merry, blessed Christmas and Joyful New Year!

So This Is Christmas, John Lennon, slightly modified

Monday, December 17, 2012


It's just two days later. Two days after the event that should have stopped the world. She, my oldest granddaughter*, is about to sing on stage at church for the second time in her young life.

I keep remembering Thursday afternoon, how she and I practiced her song, watching other kids perform the same one via youtube videos.

Thursday night, how I woke up all through the night feeling afflicted with worry for the coming grandson. "Why? Why can't I stop worrying about the child," I asked Him in the wee, bleak hours.

Friday morning when she rearranged the nativity, leaving Jesus alone in the manger, turning away the momma and daddy and shepherd and wise men. At my inquiry, she told me that they were all watching the tv. Two hours later, I heard the news.

The news that should have stopped the world.

I have not the vocabulary to express the pain and grief I feel. I'll borrow Leonard Cohen's "it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah." Mine is a broken hallelujah.

With deep gratitude to these who can compose themselves, I share:

Advent: Prepare, Jay Kim "Our words do little good and our greatest efforts to comfort fall so far short. But we must give what we can. We must send our love and pray our prayers, from up close and afar, because this is what we have to give and to not give it would be to coalesce into the destructive powers of apathy."

Anger, grief, and love. Feelings (not thoughts!) on a tragedy, Margaret Felice "I love you, amazing, broken world, and lament that I cannot love you back into wholeness."

The Truth About Sandy Hook: Where Is God When Bad Things Happen?, Ann Voskamp "Could we sit in hushed silence, hold hands in this vigil, hang together in this suffering solidarity? What if we wordlessly groaned this prayer that Cain would stop killing Abel, that Rachel wouldn’t refuse comfort, Rachel in Ramah, weeping for her children here no more."

When Parents Have Nightmares, Lisa-Jo Baker "We are the Sunday morning, eyes still swollen from weeping people."

It's Sunday morning
and this baby is supposed to sing
and I am prickly with my old fear.

What if something happens to her?

It has required my vigilance, my obedience, my reliance on everything He is in order to push through these last two days.

His presence.
His strength.
His promise of the peace that is to come.

There was an interlude on the way to the church when she, out of the blue, decided that she didn't want to be on stage. At this, I had to call her momma. Her momma had to be the strength in that moment, convincing the baby that she did, in fact, want to be on stage, and convincing the meemee that everything would, in fact, be okay.

It is some deep part of me that wishes the world could stop, would stop, even if but for a moment. I want the world to look at Newtown, to see every baby's face, to hear every hero's name. If but only for a moment, I wish that every one of us could carry, would carry, the unimaginable burden of grief felt by those left behind.

But the world does not stop, cannot stop.

And so this child,
she leads me on.


*I am grateful for both of my granddaughters and my coming grandson and for all the ways that I am blessed and taught by each of them.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Who watched it ~
that 80's tv series with all the ...
I'm totally kidding. 
This has nothing to do with any tv show!
This one's about this dress. 
Well, mostly.

So I'm gonna go out in the pond here and guess that those who were with me when I found this dress probably thought I was some kind of fashion quack.

It's been around since probably before the Dynasty (tv series) era and it has its share of flaws.

For instance, the print's not properly matched at the seams.  Therefore, I couldn't wear it in a high-lighted scenario.  Like to the grocery store, just for instance.

But hey!  Just look at the print, would'ya!
This is a veritable duck empire dress!

Anyhow, seein's how I was going to the annual Bargain Box Christmas dinner, it only made sense to wear some of my finest finds.  My dress was the customary dollar.  So were my shoes.  And every bit of my jewelry (costume, btw) was thrifted but, as our jewelry gets priced more fair-market-like, and as I've collected it over the years, I'm not quite sure how that part adds up.

But I do know that I spent a load less than retail and that...
that's what I'm talkin' about, jack!


The annual Bargain Box Christmas dinner is the one time of year that we can get all* of our volunteers into one space at one time.  Our service through this ministry is for His glory alone...

It just so happens that being a part of this ministry also makes us happy, happy, happy.

That's my youngest girl there, front and center.
A friend wisely noted that she's carrying a member of our next generation of volunteers.
For a good story about that, see A Son Is Coming.

One last picture and,
while I could say one thousand words about this,
I'll just say

Faith, family, and facial hair.**

*These are but a few of the 75 plus volunteers who serve.
**Duck Dynasty.  Okay, maybe this had a little somethin' to do with a tv show.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Clearance Rack

Or Christmas ornament. 
This could have gone either way.

This one, though, is about the jacket, the one that's hung in my closet for more than its six months' allowance.

It was time to make some clearance so I may as well have worn it at least once.  You know, to get my dollar's worth.


I wonder if anybody ever wonders about these absurd "poses."  I certainly do!  But out of the average 173 photo attempts per post, I just have to settle on the one where I look most like a human and it doesn't appear as if the sun has just made earth-fall.


Anyhow, you can see it, right?  How if you wadded this up into a ball, you could hang it on the tree?  Maybe not my tree but if you happen to be in the right place at the right time this week, you could certainly grab at least the jacket for hangin' on yours! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Something Weird This Way Comes...

...and it's not this sweater...
...but it might be me trying to convince you that it's not this sweater!
How does this happen?!
You have a couple of g'babies
and suddenly there's no such thing
as an ugly Christmas sweater?!
Suddenly, you're diggin' those digs?
What's next?
Purses with actual purpose?
Kitchen aprons, perhaps?
Oh, for the love...
For the love of g'babies, yes.
Weird or not, whatever makes 'em smile.