stable

 

 

The fox must’ve eaten the chickens in the henhouse at the blog. Some of you have been kind enough to notice and you’ve mentioned my absence to me. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

I’ve been in a general blog/life funk.  I’ve been feeling broken and incomplete. How could anyone who gets life so wrong, so often have anything worthwhile to contribute? What leaves me feeling like a smelly gym sock? Here’s a few thoughts:

When the better choice is patience, I choose quick action.

When the better choice is love, I’m judgmental.

When the wise choice is silence, I say too much.

When I should be praying, my hamster-brain paints worst-case scenarios.

I’m writing today, cause I’m remembering this blog isn’t about perfection. That’s right, chicken-wingers…..it’s about the journey! The hot-fudge-sundae-days AND the bug-on-the-windshield days. It’s about days like today when we offer ourselves and our neighbors another spin at the roulette wheel of life. The only required buy-in is a tiny mustard seed of faith.

We’re on a journey to Christmas. Walk with me and we’ll trek to a stable. Aren’t you glad we’re not traveling to a palace? Our comfy, car sweat-pants might not be appropriate attire to meet a child-king, but we look great for entering a stable. Dirty, worn-out boots are welcome. This stable is brimming with the real aromas of cows, horses, pigs, hay and ummm….ummm….animal doo. You won’t inhale the scent of the most fashionable $75 Diptyque ginger-pear candle in this stable.

graham and pnut

No worries about chipping the dried excrement off our shoes before entering. We’ve stepped in piles of it lately but the beauty is….we’re still welcome inside. The only thing is….that overstuffed backpack of regret we’ve struggled under?  It has to stay outside. Along with the stinky gym sock.

Let’s go.

Traveling mercy love to all.

browns

Are you up to your eyebrows in Christmas busy-ness? Have you checked your list? You baking your guts out and then snicky-snacking your guts out?

With the assistance of bad cell phone photos, I’ll bring you up to speed on my Christmas preparations. Here goes:

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Over-achieved one evening and made Christmas cookies. This was the easy part. Looked like a multicolored tornado raged through my kitchen when I decorated them. Can you say ‘backache’?
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Sunday found me in the choir ready to sing John Rutter’s ‘Gloria’.
viewfromchoir
We had a full house, though you can’t tell it from this photo. Started to take a selfie in front of the big Christmas tree. I resisted.
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Took a walk today. 60 degrees and perfectly calm. I was struck by the winter browns. Gray, beige and brown rule the winter-time around here. Saw a lovely herd of deer.
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Dead tree. Victim of too many years of drought. It does provide a nice home for a barn owl, though. Don’t look too hard-the owl is NOT in this pic! Sorry.
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More browns surround the lonely little country house.
barn
Was Jesus born in a barn like this?
pnut
I doubt there was a mini-horse at the manger.
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Was there a big animal close by who sniffed the head of the newborn king? A donkey? A sheep?
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Did the animals sense the importance of the star?
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My side-kick. On our walks, she manages the security on the ground. She savors the scent of every deer, jackrabbit and snake. She resents it terribly when I tell her there was no dachshund present at Jesus’ birth.

I feel incredibly blessed this Christmas season. I know so many others though, who are hurting and suffering. This time of year can be a trial for people. I try to remember to give thanks for my blessings and pray for those who are struggling, realizing we all have our trials. God bless us.

Here’s a couple of fun pics I took with the good camera. They make me smile. You’ve already seen them if you follow me on Facebook.

reindeer Dressing dogs in Christmas costumes. It’s a sickness, I know. It’s just that the doxy loves it soooo much!

hannah
My vote for December picture of the month.

Did I mention blessings? I’m grateful.

Is your heart ready for the hope and wonder of the Savior’s birth? He’s coming.

Here’s hoping the browns aren’t getting you down.

Green, shiny tinsel-y love to all.