Photo Credit:ContinuityTime

The final day of every year normally brings a long post about what I have done-learned-seen-yada yada yada the past year---HO HUM!  I have PLENTY to say on all of that--BUT to keep from boring you all to tears--are even causing carpal tunnel whiplash from the knee jerk pushing of the delete button--I will graciously change the subject.

Somehow in this day of changing technology--I discover I have become a social media conglomerate.  The scary part---I have NO CLUE what half of these are-do-or mean.  When I ask questions of those nearest and dearest to me, I get evasive answers and sometimes a look that says, "You could never possibly understand so why bother."  In my grand delusion that someone might care to read my muses and learn from my opining, I have spent hours researching how to get it all out on the WWW.  Turns out--you must use social media---ALL OF IT!  Even if you have not the foggiest idea what you are signing up for---get on board.  

Well if you are reading this--you must know I am in the Wide World of Blogging!  HERE is the dirty little secret you may not know---I have another site that has been created---MY OWN DOMAIN!  That is a BIG DEAL-  NOT!  I have grand illusions of creating my final blog title--after three other titles to date.  Trouble is---I am frozen in cyberland in a state of "What's Next?"  The name is the simplest of the hurdles to jump--then you have the page construction--other pages to construct--the format--the links--on and on.  It was easier to write complex college papers on the intricacies of the Internal Revenue Code!  So here I sit writing on the same format--hoping it might be read.

SO you MUST have a Facebook page to link back to your blog to increase your readership.  Something tells me the more than 1000 who have graciously agreed we are friends may not be looking at my FB page--much less linking back to my blog.  The fact that only 200+ wished me Happy Birthday was a dead give away.  WHAT kind of friend are you to miss my Birthday?  OH--you don't look at Facebook all day-everyday--WHO KNEW!

Then there is #Twitter---HASHTAGS DRIVE ME OVER THE EDGE!  Life has become a series of events which are now summarized in hashtags.  WHO even thought up hashtagging?  SO the trick is to link my post to Twitter with hashtags attached (I ALWAYS forget to link--much less add the hashtag).  Once again--we all are linked together with our Twitter Accounts to keep everyone current on our latest moment of clarity.

Then there is Instantgram---to date I have posted two pictures on Instantgram--one of which Son #2 posted for me in an effort to teach me how to do it.  He FAILED in his mission!  I cannot remember to make a picture half the time--much less get it on Instantgram.

OH YES---Google PLUS----WHAT THE HECK IS GOOGLE +?  I have asked--the best answer I got to date--"It is another tool of social media similar to Facebook."  I am a registered member--but beyond that I have no clue.  If we are in the same circle--trust me---I am a total circle of confusion when it comes to what we are supposed to be doing.

And Then there is Linked In---a site dedicated to Professional Contacts--I am retired--WHY would I be on there?  They have invited me to publish on the site.  I am pretty sure that means "Professional Articles"--BORING!  Thank you to all that Linked up with me--now what do we do and if I missed your work anniversary--please forgive me!

LAST but probably there are more I am forgetting is Pintrest.  I have pinned my writings on my boards--occasionally.  I have loads of boards--but once pinned--out of sight-out of mind.  I do not spend much time perusing Pintrest--although when I do I marvel at all I see.

SO---with all this and a couple of email accounts, I could find myself on the computer all day everyday.  Meanwhile life goes on around me and I am not smelling the roses or feeling the joy while staring at a screen.  I feel a New Year's Resolution coming on.

Something tells me I should re-evaluate my LINKING UP!


Games from my childhood are still fun to play--when I play them with some of my favorite children.  There is a long list I have revisited since moving to Fort Worth---chase; cops and robbers; board games; puzzles; ring around the rosie; and on and on.  These Little Men LOVE to play hide and seek-

They never tire of hiding or seeking and be warned their slow count to 20 is NOT so slow!  They squeal with delight when I pop around a corner and discover their hiding places with a "GOTCHA!" 

 One of the more interesting things I have noticed is the increasing sophistication of hiding with maturity.  The oldest might be inside a trunk or under the bed---with age he has learned to hide himself in the not so obvious places.  The middle child (POOR MIDDLE CHILD) has not honed his skills of deception quite to that level.  He tends to duck into a closet or behind curtains with his feet sticking out.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

And Bless His Heart---Poor Little Man-may be standing in the next room like this

Photo Credit:Different Dream Images

Or perhaps he is standing in the corner with his back turned to the room--in clear view.  In his mind--if he cannot see me--then I cannot see him.  SO FUNNY!  

They are all hiding--with different levels of skill--BUT I find them--they are never totally invisible!

I play this little game of "Hide and Seek" with God.  I am hiding--and He is always seeking.  I fool myself into thinking--OH--He is busy--so surely He does not see what I am doing.  With more practice, I have become quite skillful in my ability to hide from Him---or so I think.  I hide behind good deeds, busyness, shadowy righteousness, and even the name of Jesus.  I quickly throw out my bold claim of redemption and never stop to consider the cost.  I am hiding behind my thin veil of self righteousness which is a thin disguise of my true self and never fools The Great I Am.

I forget the thrill--the wonder--the amazement--of His -"GOTCHA".  I am never truly lost--never hidden---He always has me in the grasp of His hand.  And the best news--He is not playing games--it all is "Real" and He always knows where I am.

Therefore since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with our God, through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access through faith 
into this grace in which we now stand.
Romans 5:1


Do you remember "Pigpen" from Charlie Brown?

A cloud of dirt followed him everywhere he went and not one inch on his body was ever clean.

We have our own "Little Pigpen" in our family.

And the rule goes like this--the cleaner more pristine I am--the dirtier he is.  It all starts with the entire days menu being revealed down the front of his shirt-and then, of course, the sticky hands and fingers that go along with that.  Add to that, the fact that there is nothing he likes better than being outside in the dirt--mud is even better.  The picture begins to come into focus now---my own little living -walking-talking two year old Pigpen.

The story always ends like this---I am my cleanest--most spiffy self--and he is his most grimy-muddy--sticky little self.  I pull up--he sees me and he begins his little run toward me--his entire body wiggling with each step.  Finally he lifts his arms and shouts--"YUYU!"  Who could resist--I throw caution to the wind and scoop up the traveling dirt fest.  I love him so much--that knowing his dirt and goo will become part of my dress-- does not matter.   All that matters is how much I love the little man.

So it is with God---He is literally glowing with purity and righteousness---pristine garments of truth and perfection clothe Him.  And still if we will turn to Him, run to Him, declare our love for Him--He will scoop us up with a love as white as the driven snow.  We may be slimy, filthy, smelly, dirt covered sinners, and He still is happy to embrace us when we turn to Him. Our condition never fazes His willingness to hold us--if we only will run to Him with our hands held high.  What a God!

However to the man who does not work but trusts God
who justifies the wicked, 
his faith is credited as righteousness.
Romans 4:5


As you bask in the glow of another Christmas that has passed-
May your heart be blessed by the words and tune of the old carol-

1. In the bleak mid-winter
  Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
  Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
  Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
  Long ago.
2. Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
  Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
  When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
  A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
  Jesus Christ.
3. Enough for Him, whom cherubim
  Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
  And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
  Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
  Which adore.
4. Angels and archangels
  May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
  Thronged the air,
But only His mother1
 In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
  With a kiss.
5. What can I give Him,
  Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
  I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
  I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
  Give my heart.



As I drove through the darkened streets, the houses were twinkling with lights and many surrounded by cars.  It was the night we all begin our preparations for a birthday celebration and I am filled with my thoughts turning toward


While sitting at a table and enjoying a feast fit for a king, I sit in the company of those I love dearest and am reminded of who has blessed me


In the company of God's people, we lift our voices and our hands in praise for the gift of long ago.  Repeating age old words of prophesy and its fulfillment by the birth of a baby, the


Gazing above at the star filled sky, I recognize it is the same sky in which a choir of angels joyously proclaimed the birth of our 


Traveling the highways as Christmas dawned with promise, all is quiet--all are at rest on this day like no other in the year.  A stillness--a serenity hangs in the air as we turn and remember the


The day slowly closes and another celebration draws to an end.  My heart cries out in praise for the birth of my


I pray I always remember---no never forget--each and every day is all about


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6





Once again Christmas Eve is upon us--the final preparations are nearing an end.  Gifts are wrapped and under the tree, baking and cooking smells float through the air, the lights are twinkling and the stockings are hung, and the parties have drawn to a close for the year.   Candles are lighted and carols are sung as we greet one anther on this fine Christmas Eve.  Long hours of preparation and days of whirling in a ceaseless spin--all leading up to these final hours has come to an end.

Some are alone--some are in despair--some have no heart for any acknowledgment of the season.  Families torn apart, loved ones gone on, illness, and suffering still surround us.  No home, no friends, no family, no hope is the constant companion for ever so many.

My prayer for us all--those with great anticipation for the celebration of the day and those with only dread for this day is peace and joy and the sure knowledge of the reason we celebrate.  The glory--the wonder of what happened that day--when God sent His son to begin the path to complete our redemption.  No matter the state of our hearts and lives--NOTHING-can take away that Jesus came for one single reason.  He loved each and every one of us so much--God in the form of man came and was born of a woman in a lowly manager with a star overhead.  The Angels were singing of great Glory to God and the Heavens were filled with loud proclamations of God's gift to us all.

So Dear Friends--on this another Christmas Eve-- I wish you songs of praise and great glory for what was done.  Take some time to step away from the gifts--step away from the hubbub into a time of quiet contemplation of what this all is truly about.  It is not the gifts, it is not the food, it is not the lights nor tree, it is not even the gathering of our loved ones---it is about Jesus.  We all have cause to celebrate this day--as we remember the birth of our Savior and the Cross He bore- that was yet to come.  


LUKE 2:1-20


Two of the grands, my great nephew, and my niece went with me to ride the Polar Express.  This is the wonderful picture my niece made as we made our way to the train.

"Follow me, Boys"---I laughed and said I am applying for the job of the Pied Piper.  Fun--fun--but safety comes by staying together--You need to keep your eyes on the leader.  At some point during the day, the troops got out of control and failed to follow the leader.  This always leads to trouble--someone may get hurt, there are dangers lurking, and you may loose your way.  I grabbed one of the boys during the afternoon and said, "You will not run away--you need to stay close and obey."

Someone has to be "The Leader" and that someone needs to be trustworthy and have your best interest at heart.  A Good Leader is always concerned for the well being and protection of those who are following.  It also pays to choose a good leader to follow.  There are more Indians than Chiefs--and ALL of us are Indians at some point in time.  If you are going to follow---pick someone worthy of being followed.

LONG AGO--there were two who stepped forward and said, "Follow me and let us go see this sight."  Someone stepped up and gave the command or asked the question of gave a suggestion that they should go and see this baby they had heard so much about.  One Wise Man and One Shepherd made the bold proclamation--we need to go see.  If the other Wise Men and the other shepherds had not heeded the call to follow that day--they would have missed seeing The Wonder of the birth of The Messiah.  A handful of people saw that glorious sight--knowing what they were seeing--but they would have missed the blessing had they not been willing to follow or had been distracted by the world around them.

All these years later, we are still being called to "Follow Me".  We allow ourselves to become disobedient--we take our eyes off our leader--and then realize the danger we have exposed ourselves to when we did not follow-sometimes too late.  Seek His path--ask for His guidance--follow His wise counsel and be Blessed!

 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
Luke 2:15


I am thankful, Lord God
All those years ago
You chose to be here
So that we could be near
You came into our presence
Your faithful love shining bright
Lives in my heart ever since that night
You chose to be here.




In Case You Missed My Six Days of Celebrating My Birth on Facebook--a SHORT Recap!

Day 1- One Little Snowman Cookie from the Nearby Five Bucks

Day 2- Two Scoops of my favorite-Chocolate Ice Cream

Day 3-  Time Spent with these three who brought me Petit Fours

Day 4- Hot Pecan Pie--with a double dip of Vanilla Ice Cream Drizzled with Chocolate

Day 5-  A More Serious Note--as I prayed for five things

Day 6- TODAY--A Fun Outing with six of my favorite people--you will have to wait for the picture--I am out having fun

Thank you for your cards, texts, messages, and Facebook comments.  It has been a wonderful celebration!  For those of you who failed to even acknowledge the birth of greatness 66 years ago, not to worry--I am certain your words were inadequate to express the deep admiration and love you have for me.  Start now and perhaps by next year you will think of something profound enough to convey the depth of your feelings for me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Meanwhile here in the hood---The Season Of Goodwill has digressed slightly.  A rash of burglaries has hit the chain email.  Obviously The Grinch is lurking in The Hood- with doors kicked in and Christmas gifts stolen--in an effort to steal our Christmas Cheer.

Someone suggested-we all go caroling around The Hood.  Another thought it a good idea to carol with the intent of being on "Neighborhood Watch" at the same time.  

 The jury is still out if we will pack heat or not since there is still the slight disagreement over gun control among the neighbors. "Hark The Roving Vigilante Carolers Sing"



I must confess--a great deal of my Christmas preparation centers around gift selection.  In the past--there have been times I wanted to run away screaming from the frustration of finding those perfect gifts.  I still have a few I agonize over, but life is much simpler these days.

We are bombarded from every side with "The Perfect Gift".  My poor grands are convinced they need every thing in every catalog that comes in my mailbox.  Henry, the oldest here in Fort Worth, pours over the toy catalogs I receive.  He drags them home and keeps them in a secret stash.  Little brothers have picked up what is going on quickly--Elliot now also wants everything on every page--when he gets the chance to look at a catalog.  Even the two year old Little Man has learned to point and say "Dat--Dat".

If they received every gift, they think they need, we could fill up every house in "The Hood".

I must confess--I am occasionally caught off guard as well, with visions of Santa-Good Fairy--Prince Charming dropping by to give me my heart's desire.  One of those wonderful--cannot live without---needed in every home---this will make your life perfect---gift of a lifetime--as advertised in "Good Housekeeping" and "Shoppers Network".  My dream trip--the car I have always desired--beautiful jewelry--and the list goes on and on---so many wonderful things--I really do not need and certainly could live without.  It all comes with the delusion created by the attacks of The Media.  I am a sucker and allow myself to watch and dream and get my hopes up.  Nothing wrong with dreaming--or is there?

Gifts are wonderful--but when gifts begin to creep in and consume our thoughts and time--there is a problem.  Life is all about balance--anytime we allow one idea to consume us--we are way out of balance.  We forget the important things--what we will remember forever--those things which have eternal consequence.  What are my memories filled with---a handful of gifts and a lifetime of happenings.  The Christmas I had a two week old baby and there was ice on the windows--the many Christmas Eve Candlelight Services--the family gatherings--the games played--the caroling--the roaring fires and cups of hot chocolate--precious memories.  I even have a wonderful memory of finding a new Schwinn bike that Santa brought one year.  

The very first Christmas--there were gifts--but they were only a small part of the "Big Story".  The real story centered around a baby--a small newly born baby--that is what we remember today--that is what this is all about.  I am praying we all remember the why--and if you also receive the "perfect gift"--what an added bonus!

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts
Matthew 2:11


I have done a lot of thinking about the birth of Jesus.  We read The Word and it is such a beautiful story.  We forget what goes on during birthing-how it actually happens. In my journey through historical fiction, I have read several books about mid-wives.  It has dawned upon me what the scene really must have looked like- Not the G rated version--but the real life version.

When I had my last child, the two older brothers who were 15 and 7 came to see their sister in the birthing room shortly after she was born--BEFORE the room had been cleaned up.  I well remember the comment one of them made-"YUCK!".  Yes birthing is messy--not the clean straw--shear white swaddling clothes--pristine event we tend to depict when we remember that day.  We would scare off the masses if we gave a real  life picture.  So we skim right over the pain--the long hours of pain--the fright--that Mary must have felt.  We jump right into the plump sweet baby in His mother's arms with all clean and bright.

Babies are born with pain and mess.
This does not diminish the beauty of birth--it is one of God's true miracles, but you have to go through the pain and mess to witness the blessing.

So are our lives---they are painful--they are messy---but that does not lessen the great joy we also live with.  God has allowed me to suffer pain--He has allowed my life to be a mess---and then He showed me the blessing of His presence.  

I am thankful during this Advent Season for Mary's pain--and her willingness to endure the mess that came with bringing Our Savior into this world.  What could be more beautiful than the birth of a baby--but especially this baby.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:7


Advent Season celebrates the coming of The King.  The period of waiting for the birth of Our Hope.  Advent Season--each and every year--also brings the celebration of my own birth---66 years ago now.

There was a time, I thought 66 was ancient.  It is amazing how un-ancient I feel.  I still want to play--I still love to laugh--I still love a great adventure--I still love a delicious meal--I still anticipate what each and every day will hold.  The one thing I have noticed--my body does not co-operate as well as it once did.  That can be circumvented by allowing a little more time--lifting a little less weight--not getting on the floor and Indian leg wrestling anymore--and walking-not running.

I have my brutally honest mirror--which I avoid at all costs--and truth telling grand to remind me of just how old I am.  The fact of the matter is--I might not have another double digit birthday.  THAT My Friends is ominous!  Will I be around at 77?  Possibly--but there are no promises.  Fear not--that does not upset me.  It DOES make me keenly aware of the need to make the very most of each and every day I do have.  I will not be sitting in my rocker-staring at the television--spinning yarns of yesterday--pining away for what could have been--until they tie me down.  Going for the gusto---making the most of the day--living the "God" life--while He still has me here.

Reflecting upon my life---I have been blessed.  Yes there have been difficult--gut wrenching days--but the good ones far outnumber the harrowing ones.  My past has made me who I am today--and who I will be tomorrow.  Those days which were almost unbearable--would not have come if I had not risked the pain and lived the blessing which came first.    I am thankful for my past--thankful He has loved me enough to allow me to suffer. My suffering has grown empathy and sympathy to a mature crop.   I am thankful He loves me so much He uses me. Even when I see the suffering of others, when my eyes fill with tears as I lean into their world of hurt as I do what I can, I am thankful.   Thankful for the incredibly good and the miserably bad that He both allowed and caused as I traveled this path.  I would never have known the depth of His faithful love without it all.

So, Friends, on this day of my birth--I am thankful and blessed ---for I KNOW He has plans for me

It does not matter what the plans entail--good or bad---it will all be lived for His great glory.  My plans are shallow and trite when compared to His.   I am thankful for hope and a future---no matter how long that future--the hope is so great. So


For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

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You are standing on the hillside--in the cool of the night--watching over your flock of sheep. The ink black night sky is filled with a carpet of glimmering diamonds.  The only sound is the occasional bleating of one of your charges and the popping of the small fire you stand near.  One stands guard-while the others take a turn sleeping--with only stillness echoing off the hills surrounding the valley where the sheep graze during the day.

It is a night like any other--with the only threat being the potential of an animal attacking the flock.  The fire and your watch create only a slim possibility of any danger. 

Suddenly there appears a bright light in the night sky--staring in amazement-the shepherd is alarmed.  Waking the others by the fire--they all stand in fear and amazement--as the light slowly comes into focus ---there standing by them was what appeared to be and angel.  He then gives them the news-

A 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all zthe people. 11 For aunto you is born this day in bthe city of David ca Savior, who is dChrist ethe Lord. 12 And fthis will be a sign for you: you will find a baby gwrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

THEN a multitude of angels appeared and they all sang together
 i“Glory to God jin the highest,
jand on earth kpeace lamong those with whom he is pleased!”3
And the angels then went away from them into heaven.


What would we do--confronted by this scene?  Run for the hills--cower in fear---or perhaps sit around the fire and discuss what you had seen--what could it mean?

No, they listened with their hearts---and went to see the New Born King--dropping to their knees in praise when seeing the baby in the manager.  They were one of the select---honored to visit the promised Messiah. Had they doubted--had they turned a deaf ear--they would have missed their greatest call.  Their hearts were listening and receptive to the message from God. They listened with their hearts and were obedient to God's call and they bowed in the very presence of Jesus. 

Listening--with an expectant heart--I am listening while I wait.


Some are weeping--this Advent Season.  Rivers of tears roll down their cheeks.  With brows furrowed by the weight of great grief, their mouths thrown open in loud moans of anguish.  Their broken hearts leaking the deep grief of loss and desperation.  No hope for tomorrow--no plan for today--only the reality of the bleakness of the moment and the bite of their sorrow.

While the world whirls around them in frivolous delight, hurrying--scurrying in some mindless task.  Grabbing for all they deem to be their right---gifts and glitter--feasts and flora--songs and silliness--joys and jubilation.  All we need and everything we want , overflowing abundance with no thought or hesitation, is gathered around us in our storehouse of more than enough.

Those who are left with hearts filled with grief--must stop and wonder where they went wrong.  Why are they sitting without a glimmer of hope-when all the world seems filled with plenty?  Has He forgotten them--is He punishing them--or are they invisible to the hordes who espouse good cheer?  Silently they cry--wordlessly they grieve--the shame of their envy hidden deep in their souls.  The reality of their circumstance wedged deep within --sitting in resignation of the bleakness of the day.

The age old question --Why? --will be asked by most of us at some point along the way.  Why--Why--Why?  There is no good answer--a mystery for all the ages--there is no answer here on this earth.  What we know-






So whether you are shouting for joy or kneeling in pain--always remember -the greatest gift--the only true gift----the only eternal gift--came long ago.  No matter where you stand or how you stand--He was given--and that, My Friend is


In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
I John 9:4-11