Tag Archive | gifts

In Pictures

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”     1 Thessalonians 5:18
My thankful list in photos, on this Meditative Monday:
(Beth custom-made this beautiful purse for me, then packaged it in my favourite wrap–brown-paper tied up with string!  🙂

The Perfect Purse, by Beth Stone



52-54.  My grandma’s dishes :-), a great deal on this second-hand china cabinet, and one of my current and highly recommended reads, Feminine Appeal, by Carolyn Mahaney

A few of my favourite things



55.  John’s laughter and “temp” dog (enjoyment w/out the responsibility)

John with our "Temp" Dog



56.  The intricacies of a flower

A closer look

Tulip Details



57.  The deer that come to our yard (before ‘temp’ dogs chase them away)

One of Many



58. The help, awesome talent, and friendship of our brother-in-law, Harold

Carpenter's Hands

He turned this…..


Into this…

After....and more to come!

And he continues to work hard (between a much-needed break)!

John and Harold (aka The Finisher)



This last item for today will get a post of its own soon….
60.  Our peaceful hollow, in His hands…


Roof with a View



Join me and others here in giving thanks to the Lord for ALL His unspeakable gifts:

Christmas Carols–Grace Notes

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining,’til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.”  O Holy Night

To me, Christmas Carols are the best part of the Christmas season.  I talked about it last year, HERE.  Many of the older Christmas songs are simply, yet profoundly, the truth of God’s Word set to music.  They serve as ‘notes’ or reminders, of God’s grace and goodwill toward all mankind, clothed in gentle and lovely music, to share the truth of Jesus Christ in times and places where preaching would never be received. 

So, until the New Year, I will post Christmas carols, some known, some not, to keep us me focused on the One whom angels sing, wise men seek, and shepherds kneel to worship.   One that brings me to my knees almost immediately is “O Holy Night,” written in 1847 by Placide Cappeau, a poet/wine merchant of Roquemaure, France.    [Learn some interesting historical background about this hymn HERE.]


O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels’ voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.



Sing, worship, listen, and let the Lord minister His compassionate grace to you today.  And you may enjoy Third Day’s contemporary version from their Christmas Offerings CD, just uploaded in the Music Box to the right. [Fyi, if you dig a little deeper into the Box, you’ll find another version by Mercy Me uploaded last year.]

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

55 Christmases

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  Matthew 7:11

TMI. That’s what this post probably is. Who wants to know where I’ve spent a lifetime of Christmases?  But the Lord’s faithfulness over my vaporous years simply overwhelms me and I rejoice in His sovereign grace!  These years are like GOOD Christmas gifts, never requested or even dreamed of, all from the heart of a pure, loving, and extravagant Heavenly Father.

So maybe this post is just for me.

Christmases 1 – 22:   Denver, Colorado.  Family and security.
Highlight: My life was secure, I don’t have any awful stories! Praise God!
Low: 1974- First Christmas without my Grandma.

Christmas 23 – 24: Okinawa, Japan.  Navy, Married and New Parents.
Highlight: 1977- Celebrated with our newborn daughter, Joy!
Low:  1976- 6-month military separation from John (as newlyweds!)

Christmas 25:  Denver, Colorado.   Family Visit.
Highlight: Seeing Handel’s Messiah performed at the Air Force Academy

Christmas 26: Sarasota, Florida.   Family Visit.
Highlight: Celebrating our first Christmas with daughter, Hope!

Christmas 27 – 28: Guam, Marianas Islands, US.  Navy, Family, Fellowship!
Highlight: Christmas with our newest bunny, Grace!
AND:  Great Fellowship with lifelong friends!

Christmas 29 -30: Camp Pendleton, California. Illegal Homeschool Mom 🙂
Highlight:  Christmas on Sunday, Praise before presents!

Christmas 31:  North Shore, Hawaii.  Three homes for homeschooling!
Highlight: Living in Hawaii!!

Christmas 32:  Sarasota, FL.  Family Visit.

Christmas 33:  Denver, Colorado.  Enjoy parent’s hospitality. And more homeschooling.
Highlight: My dad gave John his first 35mm Camera.

Christmas 34 – 36:  Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico.  Back in the Navy for Me.
Highlight:  Extended Christmas celebration through Three Kings Day!
Low: Having to work Christmas Day, Eve, etc.

Christmas 37:  Sarasota, Florida.   Family Visit.
Highlight: Our two families celebrated Christmas all together!

Christmas 38 – 40:  Augsburg, Germany.  Navy, Family, Old World Traditions.
Highlight:  Nurnberg Christkindlmarkt, Gluhwein, and all that is German.
Low:  Missed my parents–they never made it over to visit.     


Nurnberg Christkindlmarkt

Christmas 41 – 42:  Virginia Beach, Virginia. Navy Teacher, Family, the States.
Highlight: My parents visited twice!

Christmas 43:  Blue Ridge Mtns,  Family Visit.

Christmas 44 – 47:  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  Smaller family, Bigger house!
Highlight:  White Christmases always guaranteed!
Low: 1997 – First Christmas with Joy living elsewhere.

Christmas 48 – 51:  Fort Meade, Maryland.  Girls coming and going!
Highlight:  All the girls together again!
Low: 2002-First Christmas Hope stayed in Ukraine. And 1st without my Dad.

Christmas 52 – 54:  Blue Ridge Mtns.

Highlight:  We couldn’t be with our family in December, so we celebrated in January.

Christmas 55: Ottawa, Canada.  We needed a snow and fellowship fix!

Christmas 56:  To be determined.

So, as the song by Steven Curtis Chapman says, “Christmas is all in the heart!” [1]  There were a few quiet Christmases, some leaner ones, and those much more abundant.   Lord, help me remember that, 

 ” in whatever State I am, at Christmas and everyday, therein to be content.  (Philippians 4:11 paraphrased) 


[1] Christmas is All in the Heart, Steven Curtis Chapman.  I just uploaded this to the blue Music Box, with a few other Christmas songs.  More to come….