Lovely Holidays

1 Corinthians 13-A Christmas Version

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend myriad holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break; pearl necklaces will be lost; golf clubs will rust; but giving the gift of love will endure.

-Author Unknown

A little change, a little late

Hi Friends,

I realize it’s already the 8th (gasp!!) of December, nearly a third of the month has escaped my notice. Quite literally 11/12 of the year have skimmed past my eyes, and leaked through my fingers like so much sand through an hourglass. It has left an indelible mark on my memory, my perspective, my future, my dreams, my relationships, my hopes. You know just about everything I know about my life and about the goodness of God to me. I hope you are experiencing Him in as much of a tangible way as I am – in the middle of the pain.

For the closing of this year, I want to turn the tide of our conversations just slightly. Let’s end on a positive note, with a sneaky little twist on the Predatory Lies.

For December:

On Mondays we will talk about gifts. Decemeber is the quintessential month of giving.

Packages pile beneath evergreen trees.

Gifts of song on doorsteps please,

The neighbors who offer us cider.

Secrets for one month are good.

Below the mistletoe I stood.

Dying to tell you, longing to kiss you,

My little secret,

“I love you!”

~God’s gifts to us, unusual Christmas gifts, the best gifts, the worst gifts, promised gifts and disappointing gifts, our gifts to God.

Wednesdays we will talk about the lies surrounding Christmas. I’ve already thought of a few, but I’ll bet you can tell me more of your own. Was the idea of Christmas a lie in  your home? What did you believe about Christmas that turned out not to be true? What is true about this globally recognized holiday? Is there one true Christmas – or are Hanukah and Kwanza and fables of Santa just as valid as the truth of the Christ who came to live and to die and to rise again for the salvation of the world?

And Fridays are going to remain our play-date. I reserve the right to deliver delicious recipes and tips for navigating Holiday dinner parties, cookie exchanges and testy relationships. I’ll give you a couple of excellent links for great gifts and serene quiet times of prayer and the revival of the bank account. I might have a few poems up my holly-laced sleeves.

January will appear, unbidden. Much as I could use some extra time to resolve the crises of this year and a few longer moments to just be here; on January first, Lord willing, I will be prepared to be there. I’ve discovered some great new books by Moody Publishers that I will review and give away copies of. That’s the start of my New Year’s plan… more to come.

Merry Christmas, Friend!

Merry Christmas!

Wishing You a Grinch-less Christmas!

I do have a selfish reason for this post and very sincere Christmas wish: please tell me any lies that you ever heard or believed about Christmas. Everything from how quickly your parents broke the news about Santa Clause to terrible secrets that were exposed one perfect Christmas morning. Have the Happy Holidays ever hurt you? I want to discuss these here – so chat it up!