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When Elizabeth was six months along with John

When Elizabeth was six months along with John, an angel met with Mary who was engaged to be married to Joseph.
Gabriel appeared to her in Luke 1:28 and he said,
“Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Now we must stop for a second and remember she was only 16, not quite a woman; but God knew.
It said she was, confused and disturbed as she thought about what the angel had said to her.
Wouldn’t that be the normal response when hearing a greeting like that?
The other thing to remember; women who were pregnant and not married were often stoned to death.
It was a serious issue not only for her, for Joseph and their families involved.
She must have had many questions and concerns.
Then the angel said,
“Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God!
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
So, the baby to be born will be holy, and will be called the Son of God.
What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age!
People used to say she was barren, but now she is in her sixth month.
For nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary’s response to the angel was,
“I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true,”
Then the angel left her.
{I truly think the angel brought the news about Elizabeth to Mary, so she would believe more intensely and with more reality.
She knew Elizabeth was old and barren. She also knew she must go see her and see for herself what the angel had said.}
When Elizabeth was six months along with John, Mary went to visit her.

It was all taking place to complete the story

It was all taking place to complete the story.
When I think of the Christmas story; I am in awe and in amazement of the number of players that were used to create the scenes.
It is orchestrated like a screen play with everyone doing every little part, to make the whole, story complete.
God was so wise to use a simple teenager, and a humble man.
Of course, HE was wise, He is God the Almighty Father.
It was perhaps a love story; that would be tested from the moment the angel met with Mary.
She was a teen, so young and being told. “You are to be the chosen one.”
She had a tender heart full of acceptance and honor.
Can you even imagine how it started? Being startled by an angel in the room?
“Don’t be afraid.” (Of course, he would have to say that!) I would be terrified.
I have always been amazed over the fact that the angel spoke in a language Mary could understand.
We don’t think of angels having language or sound other than singing.
I wonder if sometimes WE get an angel among us telling us things that we hear, but not realizing Who was telling us?
Mary was the chosen one to be the mother of Jesus.
In Luke 1: The story is written and played out and it unravels with each and every character.
The beginning of it began with Zechariah and Elizabeth who were relatives of Mary.
It was the miracle before the miracle.
Their son, John would be born before Jesus.
Elizabeth was barren for many years and then Zechariah was told they would have a son.
He didn’t believe the angel and so the angel told him to be quiet until the birth took place.
I don’t blame him for doubting, that would be the reaction of many in the same situation.
But God… can do miracles.
A miracle before the miracle.
When I think of the Christmas story I am always in awe of the details and the obedience.
It was all taking place to complete the story.

There is an empty chair

There is an empty chair when someone in the family passes away.
Traditional seating becomes a reminder that this holiday will be different, and the chair will be empty.
We have known two people who were very significant in their family leave this month.
One had celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife, and three days later his heart attack happened.
One had been fighting cancer for two years. Long struggle, sweet memories made while saying goodbye.
One had a tragic death of a grandchild.
Around the table it will be a reminder that someone who was loved, is now not here.
I know it is life changing, and very hard.
Grief is not easy at any point in time.
Around the holidays it is magnified.
Things that were traditional reminders, getting the tree at Christmas.
Decorating the tree, hanging socks with one less, on the rack.
It is not easy, and it is always a very intense reminder, it’s different now.
Thanksgiving is a time of being together.
The chair that is empty is a reminder that life won’t ever be the same.
I don’t know how those who grieve move through the moments.
It is very hard to walk through the stores with festive music and celebrations when one has a broken heart.
I am very aware that this is a sad and difficult time.
Then we also know that the last few years many have lost loved ones.
The quarantine didn’t stop the loss. It magnified it.
Life It is empty but filled with memories that are sweet and good for the heart.
I don’t know how those who grieve move through the motions.
It would be tempting to curl up under blankets and tell others, “Not today”.
There is an empty chair when someone in the family passes away.
Nothing can change the tears that fall as the heart remembers.

It was 49 years ago

It was 49 years ago. A fall wedding featuring the colors of fall.

We were young. I was 18 and he was 19. At the time I had no place to go after I turned 18, so we got married.
It worked for us. It wasn’t easy growing up together, but God was with us, and we did it.

Our wedding was beautiful although I remember very little of it.
Too much to process and take in and we were young.
We had two children a son and a daughter, and our son had three sons and our daughter had three daughters. We are incredibly blessed to be called grandma and grandpa.
Years later we met our pastor who married us. It was very special to see this giant of a man and share in our journey with him.
We are older now.
The golden years is what they call them.
So much has taken place for us. So much memory making, with our kids and their kids and just life in general.
We have lost siblings, parents and friends. Life has a way of doing that, loss is always a part of it.
After 30 years, we moved from our two-story house where he has had double knee replacements and shoulder surgeries and recovery was a part of our journey then. The Lord blessed us with a small cozy home now and really that is all you need.
(These pictures are just a few of us in the years. They are not recent.)
We are at a time in our lives where the golden years are good. We will continue to make them good.
My recent journey was going through breast cancer recovery. We did survive it and we did ok.
It was not easy going through surgery and radiation, but I was able to ring the bell and God willing it won’t happen again.
It was 49 years ago, and our wedding was the beautiful colors of fall.
This picture is from the Hood River area of the Columbia River area near the gorge, The pacific Northwest in Oregon we took it on a fall drive.

Summer is over and fall is here

Summer is over and fall is here.
The air is cooler and the days that were full of heat and sun are now full of cool and rain.
I love this time of year.
I have waited for cooler days, and drizzle of rain sprinkling around the areas.
I am a sweater person; I love to bundle up and hunker down in the middle of rainy days.
Having a hot cup of tea in a large mug given to me by a friend. Is comforting.
I took down some of the normal decorations of the home and added in fake leaves and pumpkins.
It is fall. It is almost our anniversary. Forty-nine years this November.
That is a long time.
We just had a close friend of ours pass away, they were married 50 years and he was gone a few days later.
Makes one realize that life is short and unpredictable, and nothing is ‘for sure.’
It was shocking to hear he passed away, but we know he loved God and is in the ‘peaceful’ place now.
Heaven is our goal if we are believers.
He was an incredible man, and HE KNEW and walked with God.
I feel bad for the family left here to grieve. It is always so hard.
The holidays are soon to be here, and traditions will be different.
I pray for my special friend; I have a heart for widows.
It is a journey that is lonely, and sometimes empty and always alone.
I think for now we can be thankful that we KNEW him, and we KNEW his life to be a good one.
I am thankful we knew them as friends in the Lord and we remember the times we shared together.
I pray for all of those who are heading into this season with new heart pains and new losses.
It is very hard for many.
Summer is over and fall is here. We move through this time slowly and intentionally.