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Hand in Hand I’m not sure why, but Christmas 2023 was an emotional rollercoaster for me. I had so many memories flooding my mind. Not just Christmases from the past, but little tidbits from my childhood and various family members who impacted my life. Rather than celebrating Christmas, I began to feel weighed down. The feeling was all too familiar because I struggled with grief with the loss of my sister. I had a choice to make, wallow in my memories or rejoice in the blessings of growing up in a wonderful family. I chose to get active and pass along some important tidbits of my heritage to my daughters-in-law, so they could teach their children as they grow. Mom was on my mind and how she could make something out of nothing. I found the old Nestea jar that was hers and added some calla lilies and a ribbon to make a vase of flowers for Kim. Then I wrote a letter to Kim explaining why Mom saved and used a Nestea jar from my childhood era. Mom was a child during the Great Depression Era

Rejoice, Reflect, Celebrate

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  Dictionary.com gives the following definitions... Rejoice - to make joyful; gladden Reflect - to think, ponder, or meditate Celebrate - to make known publicly; proclaim It saddens my heart how commercialized Christmas has become, yet I too am drawn into the hustle and bustle of the season. All of the commercials and hoopla draw us away from the true meaning of Christmas. The Christ child, which is why we should be reflecting, rejoicing, and celebrating. So as you step into the final days before Christmas—just pause. Pause for a minute and take a deep breath. Stop all you are doing and let go of the stress and commercialism. Take a few moments to be joyful. Reflect on Christ and His gift of salvation to you. Rejoice in Christ’s birth. “She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no lodging available for them. (Luke 2:7) Rejoice with the angel of the Lord who declared, “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—h

Meeting the Neighbors

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  We were blessed to purchase a winter home in a wonderful neighborhood in Florida this year. In the evenings I love to walk, and I try to pick a different street so I can meet the neighbors. We were back in town for just a week or so, and I wanted to exchange emails with a neighbor I had met in March, so I decided to walk to her house. When I rang her doorbell, I felt like I had hit the jackpot. To my surprise, several neighbors were sitting at her table playing dominoes. I love to meet new people and was excited as she introduced me to everyone. They immediately began to tell neighborhood stories and made me feel welcome. Somewhere amid the conversation, I mentioned that I was a Christian author and speaker. Maybe it was poor timing, or they didn’t know what to think of me at that point. One of my new friends seemed embarrassed because she had been married four times. I immediately said, “Who am I to judge? I’m on number two myself.” I pray that when I left that evening, none of my n

Palm Branches

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  The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13) . As members of the church waved their palm branches on Palm Sunday, I wondered, “Why do we do this? What is the significance of palm branches today or when Jesus made His triumphant entrance to Jerusalem?” With a little internet research, I discovered some interesting facts about palm branches. They were used for celebration during King David’s time, so the branches were a symbol of royalty. Another interesting tidbit: It takes 30 years for a palm tree to bear fruit and a man couldn’t become a high priest until he was 30 years old. Jesus was 30 when He began His ministry. Coincidence? No, God ordained it, declaring Jesus as a High Priest. Waving the palms in the air and placing them o

Broken Ornament

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My granddaughter, Reagan, helped me decorate the Christmas tree this year. She had only put a couple of ornaments on the tree when I heard a crash, which happens every year. She even commented that there had been another casualty and that an ornament fell off the tree. No worries, we have lost more valuable decorations in the past when she and her sister were much smaller. This particular bulb was one that the grandkids made, and I have since learned to purchase plastic bulbs and not glass ones for them to make ornaments. Decorating with small children can result in broken pieces, but the memories are far more precious than any broken decoration. Today I wrapped a few Christmas presents, and when I put them under the tree I could still see remnants of the glitter which had been inside the broken ornament. The floor in that area had a slight copper-colored sparkle to it. Knowing where the glitter came from reminded me of our brokenness. Our lives are sometimes shattered just like the bu

One of Those Days

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  I was having one of those days, actually I could say one of those weeks, but this day was the topper. Work had piled up, and I felt buried. Not one great big project but numerous small ones that all seemed to have a very high priority. Intense fellowship had taken place between Jim and I that morning. I had waited over an hour (which I didn’t have to spare) to see a doctor, who told me I should consider optional eye lid surgery to solve my eyelash problem. The thought of another surgery just added to my already bad attitude. As I headed for home I thought, “I JUST WANT THIS DAY TO BE OVER!” Then it happened. A bird decided to poop on my parade. Tell me this—how does one bird flying in the sky produce enough poop to cover my entire driver’s side window? I wanted to scream, but thought, “Why bother. No one can hear me anyway.” I was already in the right turn lane, and of course the car wash was to the left. I made my turns and circled back to the carwash so I could see out the wind

The Missing Sock

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  I dropped a laundry basket of clean clothes near my husband’s chair. I knew it was a long shot, but I thought maybe he would notice the basket and match socks while he watched the TV. (Try it sometime, because it worked!) When he got to the end of the basket, he was missing a sock. No big deal, it happens all the time. I set the sock on top of the dresser and figured its friend would show up in another load. Fast forward several days and I’m at the chiropractor standing at the front desk. I removed my jacket and took a step backward. Much to my surprise, there was my husband’s missing sock on the floor. The sweatshirt I was wearing was in the same load of laundry. Apparently the missing sock found a new friend and became rather clingy. I picked it up off of the floor, chuckled and said, “I found my husband’s missing sock. I write devotions. There is a story in here somewhere.” During biblical times Palestinian women received ten silver coins as a wedding gift. These coins were not on