The story begins on this day of December 1st.
We start out with our decorations, and music and traditions of this season.
Nativity sets are found and set out on the table, we watch shows on our TV that celebrate the season.
The Christmas story has been told in so many ways, some traditional and some not.
In children’s programs little children dress up as shepherds and wise men joining little Joseph and Mary while holding a doll.
We go to church and see trees decorated in shiny lights and tags for us to purchase for others.
It is the season for giving and for remembering and for singing the carols that touch our souls.
Oh Holy Night is always a favorite and we cannot sing that without visualizing the words we sing.
The beauty and the simple birth. The simple couple who walked a road of unknowns following a path laid out for them by the angel.
It wasn’t easy; for it wasn’t ever meant to be. The journey would be long and exhausting.
It is a story that remains strong for years and years, giving hope and love for us.
The story moved from the Old Testament; to the New Testament fulfilling prophecy that was spoken.
There are many details using many characters to complete what was planned.
The story is about love, and obedience and life and hope.
Every detail was ordained and written so we can see the true miracle as it unfolded.
The story begins as we are told with Mary holding everything near and dear to her heart.
The details were orchestrated long before a baby was born.
It had to happen so that we could know a Savior.
The story tells all the magnitude of what it meant for us.
That God in his master plan would design a way for us to receive salvation and hope.
The way would be through His son. The Christ child, the baby Jesus.
Let us move through this Christmas story and remember God’s love for us through the powerful meaning of the virgin birth.
A baby would be born and he would be named Jesus.
The story begins on this day of December 1st.
It’s almost the month of December. The time for festivities and family.
Every year we set up an outside nativity for the yard; using a wooden stable built by my husband.
Our original set of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus was stolen out of our yard one year.
It had snowed and there were foot prints all across the front yard where someone walked across it.
They dropped the little sheep and left the cow. So we had an empty stable that year.
I guess that is pretty symbolic of the story, Jesus was missing.
At this time of year often times, He IS missing. People focus on Santa and parties and food to eat.
Jesus remains an important part of the story in fact HE IS the story.
The reason for the season but He is often forgotten.
I was very upset to think someone would steal our nativity.
Then I even wrote a letter to the editor in our local newspaper.
My son was a police officer at the time and he said to me, “mom whoever stole your nativity is not going to read your letter.” Probably true but it made me feel better.
After that Christmas was over I got on line and found a nice outside set on a discount price.
Replacing the cute child like faces that we had before.
I still look at that nativity with a different viewpoint. Someone stole ours.
I didn’t let it steal my feelings for the holiday or desire to decorate. It just was sad.
We had to make sure the new one would not be stolen so my husband now chains together with a lock.
How sad, but we had to figure something out. You can’t see the chain when it’s displayed.
It is just a reality that nothing is safe. I prayed for the person who stole our set.
I wanted them to be blessed and to know that when they display it at their house, the message is still true.
Christmas is about the nativity. It is the story of the season and always will be.
In between the holidays we plan and save and wonder what our ‘December’ will look like.
There is often shopping to do, meals to make, plans to see others and even some down time for ourselves.
December 1st brings a new ‘sense’ of festivity and wonderment.
I normally post the ‘Christmas story’ in broken down pieces making it live and real to the reader.
Most likely will do it again this year. We never get tired of the story.
Then we dig into the garage for Christmas trees and boxes of ornaments.
Decorations that show the meaning for the season are displayed for mostly just us.
I am not into a lot of hospitality and having others over.
It is a stress to me. I desire to enjoy the season just in a quiet relaxed way.
Gifts are thought out and planned. Cards will be picked out and mailed once we get them back from snap fish who makes photo gift cards.
I actually love this season although often it is not kind to me as I tend to get a bug that needs antibiotics.
So far I seem to be making progress in a natural way.
We try really hard to make this season a time for relaxation and no stress.
If we have to go into debt to make it wonderful it will not be a good thing; so we pay with cash and do what we can to purchase simple gifts.
I love this time of worship and we are already playing Christmas music.
The songs bring joy and warm ‘cozy’ feelings and minister to our ‘spirits’.
I pray your in between time is also a relaxing ‘planning’ time.
Let’s make our almost end of the new year a good one as we remember the reason why we celebrate.
To my family, friends and readers.
I wish you a happy thanksgiving day and a wonderful season of gratitude.
As we enter into a time of giving thanks in this season of thanksgiving.
I pray for all to have a wonderful time with others.
I love that it’s also a time for family and if not family it’s a good time for friends.
We are at the stage in our lives that if we can see our grand children that is a bonus; but we also know they are growing and things get rearranged sometimes.
This year our oldest grand daughter has a job in a care home and is working on Thanksgiving day.
So dinner will have to adapt to a smaller group, our son and his family is doing something new.
Inviting others into their home. It is kind and generous to do that.
We will make turkey and all the fixings. Perhaps order a pie and have real whipping cream.
I will make good use of the left overs and boil the bones for broth.
It will be soup and other left over meals. We are not having green bean casserole none of us like it.
Tomorrow our daughter and her family will come for a pre-thanksgiving dinner so we can enjoy Faith (our oldest grand daughter) too, and her boyfriend.
The ability to be flexible is needed as the family changes.
I am thankful we live close to all of them and see them often.
I am thankful we can be encouraging and helpful in many areas of their lives.
I am thankful we can cook, and have meals together and just enjoy each others company.
There are many things to be thankful for.
Did you know that in the bible the word thanks and thanksgiving is used 143 times?
That is pretty significant and it challenges us to have an attitude of thanksgiving.
[Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, And I will sing praises to Your name.] Psalm 18:49
[Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;] Colossians 4:2
Let us challenge ourselves to keep an attitude of gratitude and faith no matter what happens.
Today is the day we remember all veterans. Those who have served and those who currently are serving.
It seems like it isn’t the same as it used to be these days. I remember when Bob Hope would go and do special entertainment for the service men and women. It was a special time for them.
Christmas music and gifts given for them. For some reason we rarely hear about those who serve.
Even in the holiday season they used to have the service men and women on TV talking to their parents, and sharing where they serve. It isn’t the same any more.
I feel bad that many choose to go and protect us yet they get forgotten while there or at home.
It would be a huge life change to go from a ‘normal’ home life where freedom is everyday then move to a foreign country with ‘military attachment’s’ all around.
I have also heard they carry heavy back backs along with heavy artillery.
The connections made so far away from home are probably good; but once home I doubt if they contact anyone.
I pray for those who are so far away. It’s not an easy life. It is very life changing for them.
My dad served in the navy and my father in law served in the army. That was when wars were less sophisticated and the fighting was more one to one combat.
I had a friend at one of my work places who was from Vietnam and she showed me the other side of the story from the ‘opposite’ point of view. She escaped on a fishing boat after she lost her entire family.
I think war of any kind is horrible. It is not a win or lose it is a hard topic for sure.
Many who return home don’t talk about the experiences. I am sure there are many reasons why too.
Today we remember the veterans. Those who have served and those who serve.
Thank you for your choice and your decision. We know that freedom is not free for everyone.
This time of Thanksgiving.
As we move more into the month of November I find myself thinking of ways to be thankful.
There are so many things we can be aware of, family and friends in our lives, things that give us peace.
To be thankful is to have gratitude. An attitude of blessing.
Most of us have many things to be thankful for.
Traditions are good. They bring holidays full circle to what was ‘then and what is now.’
As a little girl we would go to my grandparents house for the ‘large’ family gathering.
The table so festive full of warm homecooked food. The flowers so pretty with candles flickering.
I love the formal festivities and have tried to continue that tradition with our ‘family’.
The tradition of dressing up a bit more than jeans, making it a special event and meal.
Oh how we love to cook the turkey and have it smell throughout the house.
Then you add the rolls, potatoes, gravy and always green beans. Then a fresh made pumpkin pie.
I am loving the whole process although it tends to be a pretty messy meal to clean up after.
I also use formal china and pretty glasses that all need hand washed.
Someday when the grand children think back on the meal; I hope they not only have warm memories of good food but also remember how pretty it was.
I guess that doesn’t really matter so much as long as the room is peaceful and happy.
It is a wonderful tradition that sometimes seems to be passing away. Life is different now.
Holidays are always going to be special in our home.
As this time of thanksgiving moves us towards the season of giving; may we treasure every moment we spend together. Life is different now but we can make a point in making it good and special.
Today is the day to vote.
All over the United States it’s a voter privilege day.
I never realized what an honor it is to be able to vote; even though my ‘one’ vote doesn’t seem like much.
Each person must decide who they want to win for office if they care at all about the choices made.
History has proven over and over when people vote it changes the way and the direction of politics.
I do not ever bring up politics but today is the day to vote.
It is the day for us to be unified in decisions and unified in having our voices heard.
When we say ‘God bless America’ it is not said lightly or in a joking manner, we really mean it.
Please God; bless OUR United States of America and hold us up to be strong, and respected.
I hope we can voice our opinions and say our thoughts and still choose to agree or not in a civil way.
I do believe in the goodness of most people and those who are questionable; I don’t choose to be with them.
Life is often a series of choices and we can choose and still know wrong from right.
Today I pray for our voters and for good choices and good results.
Today is our wedding anniversary.
We are celebrating 45 years and actually we have known each other almost 48 years because we dated in high school, graduated a year before me.
We were young, and not knowing much. I was 18 and he was 19.
A lot has changed in 45 years. Our first child was a son then three years later we had a daughter.
We raised babies into teens then from teens to adults.
Both got married and had children creating for us the ‘ability’ to be grandma and grandpa.
It has been many ups and downs and better and worse moments but through it all; we made it together.
We are more mature now, in our 60’s and age has not been kind to our waist lines but we are healthy and happy and that is way more important than a number on the scale.
We have seen preemie babies and also teens once more pass through our doors.
The circle repeats itself with our children then with their children.
I feel honored to be called grandma to six. Our son had three sons and our daughter had three girls.
It is a privilege to live close to them and be an active part of their lives.
We celebrate us today. It has been a journey that nothing can prepare you for when you first begin.
Life was as we knew it as young adults who played house for many years then grew one into a home.
Maturity and values play a huge role in this commitment together.
We have cared for each other through surgeries, recoveries, and illnesses too.
We have watched our parents age and pass away and that has left us feeling very different.
Life has changed us for good and we have a story to tell and a legacy to leave.
Today is our 45th anniversary and we will celebrate with a nice dinner and dessert.
It is good to be together. As we move into our sunset years there will be many unknowns; and that will be ok we have our faith and our God and that is all we need to face the years to come.
I found a wonderful saying the other day. I have no idea how to verify whether it was a real quote from the person I believe who wrote Winnie the pooh series.
“Its more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, “what about lunch?” AA Milne
That is exactly who I like to be with. Simple too the point and not over done with words.
We have all met those kind who talk non stop and so much so that I want to just say, “hush.”
I love the real authentic way it sounds. What about lunch? that is relational.
On this first day of November the month for giving thanks. I am challenging us to be more real.
Keep it simple and in our speaking and in our friendships, be simple.
Don’t over expect things. Don’t demand. Just be.
Authentic and real behavior will get us so much further.
I also don’t like overly busy people who want to know more about things they do not need to know.
I love simplicity of words, life and life’s choices.
As I have gotten older and more mature I would rather be with someone who is real, and who does not demand from me their ‘expectation of our friendship.’
Rule makers don’t always make the best of friends.
At least in my point of view and experience.
Do you have a good friend who you can say to on any day, “what about lunch?”
During this time of Thanksgiving I challenge us to write down who we are thankful for and maybe even why we are thankful for them.
Then to take it a bit further and maybe even send them a note hand written letting them know of your gratefulness for them.
Simple words get to the heart. When we have lunch with someone we chat, we share and we break bread.
Relational experience and honest sharing.
Let’s begin today and see how our lives can be enriched by a simple question, ‘how about lunch?’