It is hard to fathom how much love can fit into one person’s heart. God is the ultimate example, as He cares for each of us perfectly. He has made each of us perfectly, and equipped us with a big enough heart to love all who surround us. Our loving Father shows us the way to love. Love is seen in the prayers of one soul or many.
This first week of December begins with morning aglow in pinks and oranges, and ends with clear, star-lit nights. The wintry skies and precipitation are predicted in the upcoming days though. The weather like health can turn with no permission sought or granted. Too many of my loved ones are in battle for their health, needing pain lifted and minds freed. That neighbor, brother, or sister has a struggle for life today that is different from you or I’s cross-to-bear. Stand in their shoes for even a minute. The heart feels and melts. I want to take this burden from my loved one. Poet Robert Frost wrote, “the best way out is always through.” Prayers are said at this moment and repeated daily sometimes hourly. Sometimes a miraculous healing happens and we rejoice, and other times little miracles happen along the journey, getting us through the dark clouds. Prayers are said for God’s love to be felt along the journey.
the bleak mid-winter / Frosty wind made moan, / Earth stood hard as iron, / Water like a stone;/ Snow had fallen, snow on snow,/ Snow on snow, / In the bleak mid-winter / Long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him / Nor earth sustain; / Heaven and earth shall flee away / When He comes to reign: / In the bleak mid-winter / A stable-place sufficed / The Lord God Almighty, / Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim / Worship night and day, / A breastful of milk / And a mangerful of hay; / Enough for Him, whom angels / Fall down before, / The ox and ass and camel / Which adore.
Angels and archangels / May have gathered there, / Cherubim and seraphim / Thronged the air, / But only His mother / In her maiden bliss, / Worshipped the Beloved / With a kiss.
What can I give Him, / Poor as I am? / If I were a shepherd / I would bring a lamb, / If I were a wise man / I would do my part, / Yet what I can I give Him, / Give my heart.
These are the words from the poem In The Bleak Midwinter
by poet Christina Rossetti, which her lyrics have made a lovely Christmas carol since the early 1900’s.
Work, work, work, and then rest. Warm, cold, warm, cold, cold … the seasons of life, some shorter than others.
The calendar says it is 3 days into winter, though the freezing cold has been around for weeks now. This week I have experienced some brief moments for reflection and observance to the reason for this Christmas season. This Sunday church attendance had picked up and we arrived just as the bells chimed, to find the pews filled. The 4th Sunday of Advent, Dean and I seated ourselves in the balcony of our 190-year old gothic-style church near the choir. The view was like of a bird’s-eye, watching as other late comers found a space or two to join the congregation while the purple vestments of the priest and deacon glittered at the altar. The most touching was the worshippers coming forth for communion, with Dean and I to join by the grace of God to commune with Him.
The song above Bleak Mid-Winter
played overhead while sitting at a large novelty store. This is our last chance for shopping before Christmas gatherings. My tired feet and I awaited while my Dean was in search of the right gift for my son and son-in-law. My feet ached after standing for 7-8 hours at the spice shoppe, so I found a bit of solace in a quiet corner surrounded by books, novelities, and shoppers. Reflections of the lyrics brought me to Him. Whether it be the pure white snow, a shining star on a clear winter night, sharing intimate communion with others, or sitting in a store quietly, all and many more opportunities draw us to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. He dwells amongst us. Merry Christmas to you, and may you know the gift of love and peace through Jesus Christ.
Late this afternoon my sweet hubby and I visited a local Mexican establishment savoring a “happy hour” margerita and a golden bubbly before heading to the Kirkwood Amtrak train station. Americana at its height. I waved hoping to see him one last time before the train disappeared. I saw him and he smiled his Gall grin and shot off one last wave. I cannot imagine sending my lover on a train to a deployment assignment. So many women have to brave such events. Dean is just visiting his children and parents in Lee’s Summit, MO for the weekend. The photo-of-the-week challenge this week is the word “curve”. It makes me think of a nickname my Dean calls me, “curve-a-licious”. So my curves are more pronounced than some others, good reason to cut the ice cream habit in the evenings. Moving to chamomile tea, a healthy option to settle me down for the night. The photo was taken almost 3 years ago while on our honeymoon in Hilton Head Island, SC. Captured is a free-spirited moment. My love, the moon and stars are awaiting your return!
Before the rains come, we decided on a mid-week trip to Boone Hollow Farm last night to deliver our work station for the greenhouse. If it is too wet, we have to walk into the farm. We miss our jeep! The 18-passenger van is too heavy, and our jeep is still needing a new engine. Carrying this huge, heavy repurposed wood shelf and counter top up the hill to our greenhouse would be next to impossible this weekend with the rainy forecast. We invited my oldest daughter, son-in-law, and their three children to join us. So glad we opted to take the 15-minute drive last night! Christmas lights scattered throughout on the country homes and barns presenting quite a show for our eyes. Our Charlie Brown spruce tree shined with blue in the distance visible from the country highway. On the hill, next to the greenhouse the lights got brighter as we came up the hill. Those solar lights are awesome!
But the real celestial show was yet to be seen… An ominous night sky in the countryside of Defiance, MO with a shooting star visible every 2 or 3 minutes. Our Ella Serene and Michael Elijah witnessed their first shooting star last night, with 20 more to follow. A cold winter night, yet it warmed my heart to see God’s creations surround and feel His love blanket my husband, children, and grandchildren. Singing “O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining …” The grace of Jesus’ birth is for my family and yours. I read in the media this morning, apparently we witnessed the Geminid meteor shower.
My Dean & I so enjoyed our stay at Valhalla Resort on Island Lake outside of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. It was a peaceful vacation, time to slow down our pace. Our stay included meals with friends, walks, swims, and fireside chats with tales of old. Friends shared stories of our childhood sparking laughter one after the other. One evening turned into a 1:00am departure from the dwindling campfire. A night owl called to us, or maybe he was talking to the rabbit hiding in the bushes. Bugs chirped. All dogs and cats had long since retired to their favorite beds. As Dean & I walked to our lakeside cabin, we saw the Milky Way. The Big Dipper shone so brightly in the clear northern sky. It brought to memory my father sitting a boat nestled near the dock for that particular summer night, telling a young audience how to tell time from The Big Dipper. My friends recalled this, too. It seemed like yesterday … Dad seemed to explain it so easily that we understood it. Here are a few web links on telling time with the stars: http://www.johnpratt.com/items/astronomy/telltime.html, http://www.av8n.com/physics/star-time.htm, http://www.physics.ucla.edu/~huffman/dtime.html