Tuesday, December 16, 2014

spectacularly humble





I watched a television show last night.  They were decorating the White House for the 'holidays'.

Miles of ribbons, thousands of ornaments, multiple dozens of garlands and wreaths.  White House staff: pastry chefs, electricians, carpenters, forest service employees, volunteer decorators.  Perhaps 100's of folks - decorating the White House and the Vice President's residence (that rolls off the tongue nicely doesn't it?).

It was both fascinating and frustrating.

Lots of glitz and glam, but no recognition of the glory of that first Christmas.

Lots of show.  No worship.  No manger.  No Savior.

Peace on earth?  Oh, yes, please.  We achieve that by hanging up pretty things and being nice to each other, right?  Ignoring the depravity in our hearts and our need, need, for a Savior.

We need a Savior, not a Santa.

I am not against pretty things.  Or decorating. Or putting out extra effort to celebrate.  I can even kinda get into that sort of thing.

With all the humble circumstances of that first Christmas:
 the long trek of the young couple (no attending staff)
 the stable - basically giving birth outside
 the feeding trough for a crib.
The coarse,  crude beginnings were announced by an angel.

An angel, people!

Then the smelly outcast shepherds were surrounded by the Glory of the LORD.

THE GLORY OF THE LORD, you guys!

And the suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host praising GOD.

A multitude of angels y'all!  
And a star.  
Yes, that star!

No team of experts could top that.  Complete humility.  Spectacular announcement and celebration.

Ann Voskamp in The Greates Gift says,

"Our GOD who breathes stars dark - He breathes Bethlehem's Star, then takes on lungs and breathes in stable air.  We are saved from hopelessness because GOD came with infant fists and opened wide His hand to take the iron-sharp edge of our sins."

Isn't that spectacular?

"




Monday, December 15, 2014

he's here!

His name: Calvin Michael
Weight: 8 pounds 1 ounce
Length: 20 inches
Born 10:26 p.m. on 12-13-14.

He is the first born son of our first born son.

Our fourth grandchild and second grandson.

I get to meet him in a few days and there will be pictures.

Welcome to the world Calvin!

Well done Nate and Michelle!

And thank you GOD!


Friday, December 12, 2014

all things slow


With my injury   and my phlegmatic personality,  I am very comfortable with a calm, unhurried way of life. That is not to say, I don't care to be productive, I do.  But I don't care to be productive in a frantic, frenetic, frenzied way/

Slow is comfortable for me, So when I heard of the slow food movement, I thought, yes, please.

And when I read about the slow fashion movement, I thought that was an idea I could get on board with.

But this?  This really resonates.

Slow Christmas.

I read of this the other day in the book The Greatest Gift by accomplished author Ann Voskamp:

We could set aside the to-do lists that profane the inner mysteries and slow to see the weight of glory in the moment at the sink - the divine design of a day that unfolds with a grace that is not to be missed.  The hallowed here.  Hurry always empties a soul...slow.

We have celebrated Christmas.  No more shopping to be done; the presents were purchased, wrapped, opened, enjoyed.

There is a great advantage to have all of that done by Thanksgiving.

Now, to contemplate.  Savor.  Sit in a quiet room lit only by candles or twinkle lights and reflect, relish, revere.

Listen to music and marvel.  Celebrate the joy and the lavish love the Father has bestowed on us.
'
That first Christmas planned in eternity past, promised centuries earlier - that was slow.

That trip to Bethlehem while great with child - that was slow.

That search for a resting place - slow.

Take some time to slow your Christmas.   See the 'weight of glory'  the 'hallowed here'.

You won't find that at the mall.




Tuesday, December 09, 2014

the neighbors

They feel very comfortable here.  Before the snow fell, we would see them and they would see us.  We stare at them; they stare at us.

In the pre-dawn light, you can see them resting in a balsam thicket at the edge of our septic field.




     

After Thanksgiving, Pat tossed our decorative pumpkins from the front porch into the woods (they had frozen and thawed while we were gone and in my present one-armed state I was in no shape to cut, cook and puree them).
It was fun watching the deer knock the pumpkins off the stumps and kick and stomp them to access the innards.  I think they enjoyed it too.

It took them a few days to eat the 5 pumpkinsicles.

The day before yesterday, Pat put out our bird feeders.  Actually, they should more accurately be called squirrel feeders or deer feeders.

The morning after Pat put the feeders out, before we had even bought any sunflower seeds, there were three deer expectantly waiting beneath.

These new neighbors of ours?  They feel very comfortable here.

This will make gardening next spring very interesting.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

My bling

My early Christmas present:
The hardware.

Friday, December 05, 2014

told ya I fell


Cast is off.  Stitches are out.  No sign of infection.  Lots of swelling, but that will diminish.

Doctor was happy with my progress.

Me?

Happy, happy, happy.

I now have a 10 degree range of motion with my bendable brace.  The goal:  180 degrees.  I've got a ways to go, but I am determined.

My friend N. who has a new business of foot care for the elderly practiced on my feet yesterday.  I felt very pampered.  It was wonderful, except for the fact that my feet are so ticklish, I kept pulling back from her.

I explained to another friend what N. does. 

"So, does she give you a pedophile?"

No.  she most certainly does not.  

Yikes.

Not even a pediCURE.

Simply a trim, a buffing off of callouses and a good soaking followed up with lotion.

It was a sweet gift of love and compassion.

AND, as if that weren't enough (and it was!), she brought us a delicious supper.

We are so blessed.



Thursday, December 04, 2014

post op day 16

Today is an exciting day!

I get my cast off and my stitches out.

The cast will be replaced with a bendable brace.  Bendable.  Which means my doctor will expect me to start bending my bionic elbow.

Yikes.

Here goes....