Showing posts from December, 2019


Oh, the things I save….like my old calendars. I imagine that years from now, those calendars, with my daily entries, will trigger memories. But I also saved two calendars that weren’t mine.
They were a 1991 calendar from my mom, and a 2006 calendar from my dad. I can still read their handwriting, as they both had written down special birthdays that would be celebrated. I can imagine they both thought that the year ahead would bring time.
It did not. Cancer and illness defined those years. So, as I hold onto those two final calendars, I also hold onto the last lesson my parent’s unwittingly taught me: time is a gift. Open each day and treasure it. Just like 2020 vision, may the Lord help us to see clearly and use our time wisely in the year ahead.
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is.” Psalm 39:4

Secret Givers

Just inside the store’s entryway, there was a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments and paper tags—each one bearing a child’s name and age. The names are local kids who won’t have many gifts, if any, to open. 
I was waiting for a prescription to be filled and sat near the tree. Soon, I was joined by a young woman also waiting for her prescription. We watched as shoppers glided past the tree. But some of them stopped, checked the tags, and then plucked them off the tree. The smiles they had as they carried their chosen tag were a precious sight.
My bench mate pointed to the tags, “My name used to be on one of those trees. It was the same thing every year—a few days before Christmas, there was a knock on our apartment door, and a big box full of gifts had been left for Mom and us kids.”
“I didn’t tell my friends I got gifts from strangers, but now when I look back, I’m really thankful for them.”

She rose and walked to the tree, looking carefully at the tags, and then she selected one. 

Christmas Miracles

At Christmas time, I see more stories about miracles. I love them. I’m held captive as the the story unfolds. 
Just as you imagine the ending, it shifts—often without an explanation. Some stories are beyond human understanding—true miracles.
I recall a miracle that remains as clear today as the afternoon it happened. 
I wrote about it years ago, but during this season of gratefulness I tell it again because this miracle still shakes me to my core in its absolute mercy.

I was home by myself with my four-year-old grandson. I’d been letting him drive his battery operated car in our large indoor shop. It was time to take him home, and he reluctantly agreed. “Can I park my car, Grandma?” he implored, looking at me with his large dark eyes.
I nodded and as I stood at the door, I watched as he hit the accelerator and drove quickly across the building—at least 40 feet from me. 
Then the accident happened. He drove his car into our folded-up wooden ping pong table.
I stood frozen as I watched the for…

Apology Bread

I've never mastered the bread-baking skills of my grandma. Oh, how I wish I'd paid closer attention. She could bake mouth-watering loaves without fail. 

But I think she knew her bread was really a form of love.

I saw this first hand as a child.

Grandpa could be gruff. Highly intelligent and savvy in conversation, he had little patience for those who refused to see his logic. 
This was the case when the screen door banged shut, and Grandpa went to his chair without a word. On a normal day his frown lines were deep, now they were reddened with unspent fury.
I silently crept up to the loft. Grandpa believed a child shouldn’t speak, unless spoken to. From my upstairs perch I watched Grandma take some small pieces of split wood and kindle a fire in her wood cook stove. 
Then I watched as she scooped flour into a large mixing bowl. She didn’t measure, she'd done this hundreds of times before.

I was mesmerized by her rhythmic kneading of the dough. She placed the dough in a towel-covere…