Friday, December 31, 2010

lower case letters

dear emily,

after re-reading the grammar rules for capitalization, i realized
that i  have never explained my reason for breaking them.

it's childlike, and i have been chastised for it but will continue to
use only lower case letters for my simple thoughts.  i like the idea
of saving the upper case ones for the One who deserves them,
because this allows me to show Him honor in a 'big' and 'small'

one of my favorite lines is  from harry wormwood to his young
daughter, matilda. "listen you little wise acre, i'm smart; you're
dumb.  i'm big; you're little.  i'm right; you're wrong, and there's
nothing you can do about it."

 google image

it's hilarious, because he is actually the dumb, little, and wrong
one.   i want to be the polar opposite of harry wormwood and
by writing in lower case letters, i have an opportunity to show
what i think about myself.

the Lord is omniscient;  i'm not very smart.  He's BIG;  i'm little.
He's just and true in all His ways; i'm frequently wrong, but there
are many things i can do about that.


"praise our God, all you servants, you who fear Him, both small
and great."  revelation 19:5

Monday, December 27, 2010

paths to take

dear emily,

as i was strolling in the soft, deep sand by the ocean, my calves
began to shout in protest.  it was much easier to turn around and
step into my footprints than to forge on.

unfortunately, attempting to match my own steps took a surprising
amount of concentration.  i was no longer waving at the adorable
babies along the shore or counting the boats on the horizon.  so  i
let my feet resume their aimless wandering,  once again enjoying
the blissful breezes and lapping waves but ignoring my calves.

life is a bit like that.  we decide which path to take, who to
notice, and what to ignore.

i want my children to venture down many enriching and exciting
shores.  some will take the road less traveled, which might be
lonely or dangerous.  others will choose more conventional paths,
that will, at times, be monotonous, but each will have the thrill of
deciding for himself.

my choice will be to love them, pray for them, and welcome them
home.  my comfort will be that "He leads them beside still waters."
psalm 23:2


Sunday, December 19, 2010

home for Christmas

dear emily,

i'm not certain barrett jones will be home for Christmas, but am
happy to say that he has contacted his family and seems to be ok.
thank you for your continued prayers for his family as they sort it
all out.

life is complicated, messy, and painful . . . but so much better than
the alternative, as mark twain used to say.

my favorite early Christmas present is the photo you sent of your
precious #2 and tiny baby bird.  i could hold her for  the rest of
my life and never get my fill.

i'm signing off until after the holidays, because i want to be fully
invested in all the happy moments.   merry Christmas and may
your new year be full of peace and plenty.  (i stole that from
father tim.)


"the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.
we have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who
came from the Father, full of grace and truth."  john 1:14

Thursday, December 16, 2010

dear emily

i have the family's permission to release a picture and the name
of the precious young man who has been missing for over a
week now.

barrett jones

i could always count on barrett to speak to me very respectfully
and look straight into my eyes.   he traveled with my son on
mission trips and played basketball with him for four years.  the
faculty from his high school selected barrett to be their favorite
student of the year.

this is a special young man, and his lovely parents' hearts are

yesterday, a missing baylor student called his family from a
church in arizona.   my prayer is that today, barrett will call
his family, too.

"to this i will appeal:

the years of the right hand of the Most High.
i will remember the deeds of the Lord;

yes, i will remember Your miracles of long ago.

i will meditate on all Your works and consider
all Your mighty deeds."  psalm 77: 11, 12

your prayers and your generous kindness are such a gift,

Monday, December 13, 2010

o come, all ye faithful!

your faithful prayers and precious words of encouragement have
been such a gift.   it is difficult to express to those who do not
blog that there is such love here.

we have not heard anything from my friend's son, but it appears
that he is 'away' on his own volition.   our prayers are for his
safety and his swift return.

did any of us EVER imagine, when our babies were so sweet
and stayed where we lay them, that someday they would lay
us on our faces?

no one has drawn me to come as "all ye faithful," not always
joyful and triumphant, but "to adore Him" than my children.
thankfully, He "always leads us in triumph in Christ."
(2 corinthians 2:14)


Friday, December 10, 2010

urgent prayer request

dear ones,

it is with such a heavy heart that i request your anointed prayers.
the son of one of my closest friends has been missing for almost
three days.  we are beside ourselves with worry and heartache.

if you would pray for his safe return and leave a word of comfort
for his sweet mom, i would be so thankful.

"suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.
does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country to go after
the lost sheep until he finds it?  and when he finds it, he joyfully
puts it on his shoulders and goes home.

then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'rejoice
with me; i have found my lost sheep.'  i tell you that in the same
way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who
repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not
need to repent."  luke 15:4-7


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

to hear the angels sing

one of the roles i cherish as a mother is the one of rescuer.   we
can't always help our little ones, but when we can, it just doesn't
get any better than than that . . .

"well, "  she said cheerily one afternoon to david, her eight year
old, and two of his friends, "what Christmas songs are you
learning this year?"

looking down at his feet, david answered sadly, "teacher says
we can't sing good enough.  she's only going to let the kids sing
who can carry a tune."

inwardly she broke in a mother's rage.  "so that's what she says,
does she?"

she drew in a deep breath, "well how'd you like to practice your
song with me?  what song is your class to sing?"

"it came upon the midnight clear!",  all three boys, speaking at
once.  she played and sang the first two lines, and they opened
their mouths and sang out lustily.

at the end of the phrase, david's mother stopped abruptly;  her
feelings about the teacher made a right-about turn.

she lifted her head and smiled.  "i tell you what, the way, really,
to learn a tune is just one note after another.  i'll play just the
two first notes on the piano--'it came'--."  full of good will, the
little boys sang with her.

she stopped.  breathed hard.  "i think we better take it one note
at a time."

during the weeks before Christmas, the mother invented games to
teach the boys to hear whether a note was higher or lower,  'up
hill and down hill.'  little by little the boys began to sing the same
notes that she played.

when all three boys sang, "the world in solemn stillness lay-- to
hear the angels sing . . ." with the rest of the class, the mother
enjoyed the soul satisfying pleasure of a sweet reward.

walking home on a cloudless, still night, david lifted his face
towards the stars.  "it's so still." he said in a hushed voice, a
voice she had never heard before.

"all those stars, they shine so bright.  but, they don't make a

then he looked into his mother's face, "do you remember in the
song, 'the world in solemn stillness lay'?"

the starlight showed his clear, honest, little boy eyes wide and
fixed on his mother's, and in them she saw a miracle --- of an
awakening soul.

he had not known that he had an inner sanctuary.  now he stood
in it, awe-struck at his first sight of beauty, and opened the door
to his mother.

"i thought i heard them singing--sort of," he whispered.

(adapted from "the night the stars sang" by dorothy canfield

merry Christmas,

"and suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the
heavenly host, praising God and saying, 'glory to God in the
highest and peace to men on whom His favor rests."
luke 2:14

Sunday, December 5, 2010

what child is this?

dear emily,

how can a mother sing the song, "what child is this?" without
weeping?  we've held our own precious little ones on our laps
and laid them to rest countless times.  to think that mary did
the same with the King of kings bears reflection.

He was heralded by angels but was laid in a manger, and mary
treasured these things in her heart.  no place is it recorded that
she said, "what?  my Son, the Messiah, must have the finest
room in the inn.  don't you know who He is?"

could she see the glory of the Lord on His tiny countenance
as He lay there?

simeon did "and took Him in his arms and praised God saying:
 . . . for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have
prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the
gentiles and for glory to your people israel."  (luke 2:28-32)

and then he said to mary, " . . . and a sword will pierce your
own soul, too."  (luke 2:35)  truer words were never spoken.
when my children were misjudged or treated unfairly it killed
me.  i wanted to strike out and protect them.

she seems to have been submitted to His destiny; "whither thou
goest, i will go . . ." as another handmaiden had said years
before. (ruth 1:16, 17)

i fear that, as a protestant, i have robbed mary her due.  she
was not perfect and even admonished by her Son a couple of
times as He grew in stature before God and man, but she had
qualities i would love to see in myself:


"this, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and
angels sing; haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the
Son of mary."


Thursday, December 2, 2010

o little town of bethlehem

dear emily,

we have a winner of the smallest tree contest . . . the tiny candy
cane goes to margaret for not only entering the contest  but for
doing it with such gusto!  she even wrote a post on her pithy
blog, single and sane.

why did i have this silly idea?   my heart must  have been
pondering the wonder of God's value of humility, smallness.

He "chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised . . .
so that no one may boast before Him." 1 corinthians 1:27, 28

He honored young, humble, and virgin mary, a descendant of
the great king david, to bear His Son, the King of kings.   her

"my soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my
Savior, for He has been mindful of my lowly state . . .He has
brought down rulers . . but has lifted up the humble."
luke 1:46-52

and when the time came for the baby to be born, she gave
birth to her firstborn, a Son.  she wrapped Him in cloths and
placed Him in a manger, for there was no room for them in
the inn.

and where was that inn?

in the little town of bethlehem.  "and you, bethlehem, though
you are small . . . out of you will come . . . the ruler over
israel, whose origins are from ancient times."  micah 5:2

"the hopes and fears of all the years, are met in thee tonight."

merry Christmas,

check out the inspirational blogs at spiritual sundays

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

the smallest tree

i confess that i started this duel by asking vee if her tree was
really only three feet tall.  she has to admit, though, that she
escalated the battle by revealing her beautiful tree which IS
three feet.

as i passed my kitchen island, i started snickering, because my
tree is only 22 inches tall!

so, i am challenging bloggers everywhere, even in the remote
country of texas, to "the smallest tree" contest.  all you have to
do is post a picture of your tiny tree, give its height, and leave
me a comment, so i will know to verify your tall tale.

the winner of the smallest tree will receive an itty, bitty candy
cane to grace your teeny shrub.

merry Christmas,

"take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle
and humble of heart."  matthew 11:29