Tag Archives: reminder

#37 Core Christmas décor

studio xmas decor book helen steiner rice

Each year, certain items remain a part of my core Christmas décor and the merriment of my heart.

Some of those  items I have put out for more years than the others. For instance, my friend Linda gave me the book Christmas Blessings, by Helen Steiner Rice, over 10 years ago (the sweetest collection of rhyming poetry ever). Whereas the plaid bear I only purchased a couple of years ago at the Oasis Senior Center Gift Shop (I just fell in love with his little plaid self and blue button eyes). Manger Scene from Israel

When I traveled to Israel for the first time back in 1998, I knew one souvenir purchase I was going to make for sure and that was a hand-carved, Olive Wood Nativity. As you can see, I was victorious!

Consequently, since that time, there have been some casualties, key players have been broken and gone missing–like Baby Jesus (what?!?! Yes, I know, it’s horrible.) I confessed it publicly, right away actually, on Facebook, sharing how I had dropped Him and His arm broke off (I know–how could the story get any worse, but I repented, and I’m forgiven, so don’t hold it against me.) 🙂

Then, (and I won’t name any names), but a very kind, creative, and generous soul said she would fix Him for me, but she lost Baby Jesus in her garage, and He has yet to resurface (it’s been two years). manger scene with candle

So…because Jesus is “the Light of the world”,  (John 8:12) a candle now burns in front of the manger as a memorial to the Baby born King, the Living God (Yes, He’s alive, and all-powerful and all-knowing and all-present, just missing from my manger scene. So don’t hold this against Him.) 🙂

Ok, well, that’s probably all you can handle about my core Christmas décor at this time.

How about, by way of encouragement, I leave you with a heart warming sentiment from Helen Steiner Rice entitled, “The Presence of Jesus.”

In all seriousness, her writings about Christmas, and the celebration of Jesus’ birth are the merriment of my heart and I pray yours too. Enjoy.

“Jesus came into the world
one glorious Christmas Eve.
He came to live right here on earth
to help us to believe.
For God up in His heaven
Knew His children all would feel
That if Jesus lived among them
they would know that He was real
And not a far-off stranger
who dwelt up in the sky
And knew neither joys nor sorrow
that make us laugh and cry.
And so He walked among us
and taught us how to love
And promised us that someday we
would dwell with Him above.
And while we cannot see Him
as they did, face to face,
We know that He is everywhere,
not in some far-off place.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really Listening

This past Saturday at the Good Steward Project  (check out the group), we had the opportunity to hear from Dean Del Sesto (Chief Creative Officer, Breviti). One of the many take-aways for me was this quote on listening, “poor listeners hear themselves, average listeners hear the words, good listeners hear the issues, and great listeners hear the heart.” When it came to the table discussion time, it felt like I gave myself a personal “truth and dare”—1. how do I rate myself as a listener and 2.  why don’t you try and apply this newly acquired thought on listening to the conversations at your table. Let’s just say, I have room for improvement.

Later that night as I was doing my AM Bible reading before going to bed (yes, early morning alarms challenge my desired disciplines), Proverbs 20:27 stood out, The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inner depths of his heart.”

It reminded me how much I (and we as humans) need God’s help and power in loving others unconditionally and outside of ourselves (and this includes great listening.)