Have you ever walked outside after a really difficult day and looked up when the first evening star is peeking its head out in the twilight? And all that was so hard, the trials and tribulations, that held you so tight seemed to melt away? Have you had those times when you felt like you’ve been holding your breath all day, and the moment when you gaze up at the night sky, you finally let go and breathe?
When John, my oldest, was a toddler, sometimes after a trying day, I’d scoop him up in my arms and run outside just as the sun was setting. Looking for that first star, we would wait. And without fail, when it appeared, such peace would always find us.
Isn’t that the way it is? The majesty of God’s creation captures us reminding us of who He is—our Creator, our Savior, and as the angels proclaimed so long ago, Our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God….
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I cannot believe in just over a month Christmas will be here… and then it will be gone.
Every year—as life bustles by quicker and quicker— it feels harder and harder to get into the Advent season.
So this Advent, I hope to take a different approach. While I meditate on Christ’s birth, I am also going to—with the Lord’s grace and help—quiet my heart and fix my eyes on Christ’s return, when all the hardships of this world will fade into nothingness.
I would love for you to join me this Advent season. To do so, I have written a Christmas Advent Calendar—four readings for the four Sundays of Advent.
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I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving and a joyful Advent season.
I know this may look as if I’m following the commercial world in jumping from the Fourth of July straight into Christmas even before taking our first bite of a turkey leg, but truly the season is upon us. And it will be past us before we take our next breath. So as we head into the Thanksgiving Holiday, let it begin with the preparation of our hearts for Advent: Continue reading
This coming Friday was supposed to have been the start of our family camping weekend. Anticipating chilly bright-stared nights while sitting around the campfire, followed by the wonderful aromas of coffee, bacon, and eggs—that Jerry would be preparing—greeting us in the coolness, maybe even the frostiness of the morning, brought much excitement for what was ahead. That was until yesterday, when I read with much disappointment, that because of the drought Middle Tennessee is experiencing, no open fires where we were going, are allowed. No campfire at night. No fun stories. And no delicious smells in the morning. No. No. No. Continue reading
Take just a second to soak in the video above. If you’re close to my age, the easy-going guitar riff of Hotel California will launch you back to your youth. I never have paid attention to the lyrics, but I love the tune.
I had the pleasure of attending the 5th Annual Musician’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Not only did I get to see Garth Brooks, Don Felder of the Eagles, Peter Frampton, The Sigma Sound Rhythm Section, and Ricky Skaggs perform some of their greatest hits, but I had the privilege of hearing these folks and others speak personally honoring the unsung heroes of the industry, the engineers, producers, and band members. Continue reading
For the past five years, without fail, one of my children has needed to move. And also without fail, it has happened at Christmas time. So much so, Jerry and I have jokingly said that we needed to purchase a magnetic sign that would attach to his truck advertising this new-found, or not so new anymore, mission in our life, “We Move At Christmas.”
This year Laura, Andy, and Lucy Drew’s move has proved to be true to form, except that it didn’t happen at Christmas, yet. We shall see. (They are looking to buy a home so a move could happen any day.) One week ago after a mad flurry of planning, packing, and saying goodbye to friends and family in Alabama, they have landed here with us. In what I refer to as a happy challenge of rearranging rooms to having a new purpose—the library is now a nursery, furniture finding new homes in different rooms, and the addition of one more dog (she is the best mannered and most well-behaved of the bunch)—we are all settling in. And Jerry and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To be part of the adventure, part of all of their lives, even though moments can be hard, is a blessing we wouldn’t want to miss. Continue reading
Another move is upon us. After ten months in Alabama, Laura, Andy, and Lucy are returning to their roots… well Andy’s roots anyway; Laura, who claims Boston as home, would scoff at the insinuation. Regardless, there I found myself wrapping mug after mug, dish after dish, appliance after appliance in the red-themed kitchen Laura saved just for me. And as strange as it seems, she claims it’s the easiest room in the house to pack because it involves little to no thought; all you have to do is wrap and pack. Hmmm…
Lucy and Molly, the dog, helped pack, too.
After putting Lucy down for a nap, she joined me in the aforesaid easiest room and after what couldn’t have been more than five minutes, threw her arms up in exasperation proclaiming, “That’s IT. I am getting rid of everything! I am sick of having all this stuff and then having to pack and move it.” And capping off her small tirade, mental fist raised in resolve, declared, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jerry and I recently had the privilege of being invited to the book launch of She Reads Truth at the Franklin Theater. One reason this was so special is that one of the authors, Raechel Myers, is the daughter of my dear friend, Susan. But as the evening went on what became apparent, and even the bigger blessing, is the reason the book came to be.
Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams—yes, Bible is her maiden name—in 2012 started reading God’s Word everyday with a group of strangers. They stayed connected with the hashtag #SheReadsTruth. From that came the website, followed by the app, and to quote, “the movement continues to grow. Today, hundreds of thousands of women gather online to open our Bibles together and find Jesus there.”¹
So why am I telling you about this? Whenever I see my friend, Pam—in this hectic, spinning- off-its-axis world is less than we would both like it to be—and ask her how she is, many times with a wide-eyed beautiful grin that conveys mischief mixed with a hint of feigned panic, her answer is, “I’m peddling faster and faster.” And don’t most of us feel that way? As Jerry says, “We go from one thing to another. We end something to only begin again. It just doesn’t stop.” Continue reading
My husband, Jerry has the gift of being able to communicate with animals. Now as strange as that seems, not only can he “talk” to our horses, but to our dogs, to Doris, our cat, but also, as unbelievable as this seems, our chickens.
One of our hens—Jerry has named her Gracie—will run up to him, and, as if inviting him to pick her up, squats down on the ground so he can scoop her into his arms with ease. Petting her as he would one of our dogs, he walks around the chicken yard talking with her until he puts her down so she can scurry off to do her henly duties. I have never seen anything like it. Continue reading
Jerry and I love to walk. Well, me more than him, but he’s catching on. Moving as briskly as possible we generally try to walk five days a week, about 40 minutes at a time. Beside the benefits of losing some pesky pounds while getting in shape, we often get to see beautiful sunrises. One morning this past week, the sky was extraordinary.
Peppered with hundreds of cotton ball-like clouds it was beautiful almost beyond description. I was about to exclaim its loveliness to Jerry when he beat me to the punch saying, “Hey! Look at those clouds. They remind me of the ones on The Simpsons.” In a split instant, I went from marveling at the wonderful picture God had painted across the sky to envisioning the images of Marge, Homer, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie—their theme song then playing in my head.
Men. So very different from women. Some, like feminist and political activist Gloria Steinem, have denied that could be true and have railed against those studying to see if indeed women are from Venus and men are from Mars. But in the end, with all the data from psychological and scientific studies, the findings are, that we are truly distinctive from one another.