Monthly Archives: December 2023

Silent Night

Finally, after traveling the eighty some miles to Bethlehem to pay their taxes, Mary and Joseph discovered there was no room in the inn where they had planned to stay. All the other inns were full to the brim with other tax payers. “Where can we go?” Mary asked her husband. She was so weary from the long, dusty journey and was ready to lay down as she was beginning to feel the first twinges of childbirth. Such a young girl with a young husband and they were all alone in the city.

“It may not be the best place, but you could stay in the stable in back,” The innkeeper told them. “At least it is warm and dry and I just put fresh bedding down for the animals. I have no blankets, but here are a few rags to cover you.” Joseph looked at Mary and she sighed and nodded her head.
They entered the stable and looked around. A few cattle stomped their feet and looked with curiosity at the new visitors. A mother sheep and her lamb baaed. Even a few chickens rustled where they were roosting. The young couple quickly fixed a makeshift bed and lay down to sleep, but nature had other plans because Mary was feeling the contractions coming faster and harder.

The birth pangs came regularly. Joseph prayed for his young wife that she would soon deliver. He hated seeing her in so much pain. She squeezed his hand so tightly as she pushed harder and harder. And then it happened. A tiny baby boy was born. Joseph looked at him in wonder because according to Mary, this was God’s own Son and she was to call Him Jesus. He would be the son of God. He remembered the day she told him she was going to have God’s son. He had read the prophesies and knew what would happen, but he had never thought it would affect his family. An angel had spoken to him in a dream and he knew Mary was a devout, godly young woman and he believed her. Not wanting anyone to look wrongly at her or,God forbid, stone her for being pregnant before they were married, Joseph had married her quietly and kept the gossips at bay.

Now here they were, in a stable meant for animals bringing the King of Heaven into this world of darkness. How would he ever protect Him and keep the secret he and Mary shared? The baby was so fragile. Who would ever believe He was God? The day before he was ruling the angels. Tonight he lay in a cattle manger swaddled in some of the rags the innkeeper had given them.

Mary looked at Joseph and smiled. “ If God decided this is how He would come to earth, He will certainly help us care for Him.” They both knew they had some very interesting years ahead of them.
Joseph had noticed an unusually bright star shining in the sky. He was sure it had something to do with the new baby and he discovered that it shown right above the stable. And soon they had visitors. Several shepherds that had been watching their flocks on the hills surrounding Bethlehem had had a Heavenly visitation. A whole choir of angels had appeared in the sky, worshipping God and telling the shepherds to not be afraid for God’s own Son had been born tonight and they were to find a stable for that is where they would find Him. They looked in awe at the little family and fell to their knees and worshipped the baby. Mary saw all this and pondered it in her heart. She was given such a great responsibility and she felt humbled and blessed at the same time.

Whether you believe or not, these things did come to pass. God came to earth as a tiny baby. Nonthreatening. In a humble state. Powerless for a time. He came out of love for the world and all the people in it from the beginning of time. He came to save. He came to take away our fear of death because if we just believe on Jesus and have a relationship with Him, our eternity is established in Heaven with Him. Christmas means love. The greatest gift of all was sent that night. For you. For me. For everyone. You don’t have to work for His love. He already loves you, just give Him your heart. A Merry and blessed Christmas to all who read this. May Jesus live in your heart now and forever.

All is Merry and Bright

Coming to the last countdown until Christmas and I still cannot believe it is just a little over a week away. I feel like I have been preparing for it forever and also feel like I am not prepared at all! I think about Christmas all year and look for things I think loved ones would like. I think I have come up with a humdinger this year. Humdinger. Where did that word come from and do only old people like me use it anymore? But anyway, I have worked on something I believe will surprise everyone this year. I can’t wait to give it to them. I have also planned some fun things to do. I will take pictures.
This year I decorated with snowmen, I have a collection of them. More than I realized. My Santas are not coming out this year to make way for the snowmen,

Here is our mantle this year. I made the quilt hangings with snowmen on them. David made the wooden fence that the stockings are hanging on and all the snowmen and ladies have appeared through the years and this year I decided to showcase them.

Funny thing about my decision to decorate with snowmen. We have been several places, including the hospital where snowmen were the decorations so I must be on something this year. Speaking of hospitals, my nurse practitioner at my cardiologist decided I needed an MRI and an echo of my heart as I have been feeling breathless for a while. I go see her next week to find out the results. Nothing different for me in the way I have been feeling for years, but suddenly it has to be checked. The MRI wasn’t too bad, but if you are claustrophobic I could see how it would bother some people. I kept my eyes closed the entire time and said a prayer and it was over before I knew it. So everywhere we looked in the hospital there were snowmen.

I love my Jim Shore snowman. A good friend gave it to me one Christmas. Years ago we were in Savannah, Georgia and there was a store with all Jim Shore things for sale. The man who owned the store knew Jim personally and said he had the largest collection of Jim Shore merchandise than anywhere. And he certainly did. The store was stuffed from top to bottom with Jim Shore creations. I like his things because each one has a quilt pattern on it. I have a nativity scene that was created by Jim Shore, also. I treasure it.

I bought this snowman online and he fits quite nicely on top of my clock. I painted the dog picture behind it. I love doing paint by number pictures. The company, Masterpiece Pictures, is not your usual paint by number company. The pictures are very intricate and there are a lot of different colored paints you get with each one and it makes things look real in the painting. These dogs just looked like blobs of paints until I stood back and saw they actually looked like dogs. The same thing happens when you paint people. A bunch of blobs until you step back. I have been looking at real artists’ paintings and it is the same with those. Up close you cannot see the picture then when you step back there it is. I could never paint something my self from scratch. It would look like a bunch of blobs! Even when you stood back.

The Christmas cactus decided to bloom on time this year. Last year it bloomed at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. At least it waits for the holidays. It has more blooms than ever this year. I put it outside this Summer and it thrived and next year I will have to put it in a bigger pot. It is about twice the size it was when it was given to me.

What tells it when to bloom? It still has several buds on it ready to pop so I am hoping it will still be blooming on Christmas morning.

I am so hoping it will snow for Christmas. Does it snow on Christmas where you live? We have not had a big snow for several years now, but the Old Farmer’s Almanac tells us we will be cold and snowy this Winter. It’s cold alright. Now bring on the snow.

We had dinner with our daughter and her family last week and then went to see the stage production of Christmas Story playing at the Nashville Playhouse in Nashville, Indiana. Nashville is such a pretty little town with lots of interesting shops. It’s a tourist town and people come from all over the world to visit here. Anyway, Christmas story followed Ralphie who wanted a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas and everyone kept telling him, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The narrator was amazing. He talked all through the play with no script to look upon. All memorization. All the actors were good and Ralphie was played by the son of a friend of our daughter’s family. He did a very good job. I love going to theater. We are going to have a Beatles show at the music center in Nashville that is supposed to replicate an actual Beatles’ show from the sixties. I saw the prices for it and almost fainted. I saw the Beatles for real in the sixties and my and my best friend’s tickets only cost six dollars in total. Of course they were not the best seats, but we got to see and hear the Beatles and that is all that mattered. Best time I have had in my life. Well, almost the best. The center is also going to have a Barry Manilow concert without Barry, I think and those tickets are beyond our willing to pay. I saw Barry Manilow in concert for real years ago and could that man sing and perform! I remember after I had our daughter and had the baby blues, Barry got me through them. I would play his album over and over and cry. Thank you Barry.

So next week we will be busy shopping, cooking and cleaning and getting ready for Christmas day. Christmas is on a Monday this year which is nice. I pray everyone reading this has a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Jesus.. He may not have really been born this time of year since the shepherds were in the fields, but it doesn’t matter What matters He was born. . We celebrate Him and I, for one, am very glad He was born. His birth changed everything for everyone. So, Merry Christmas, everyone. I will see you on the other side. Stay warm and wrap your loved ones in your arms and thank God for His precious Son. Bye.