The Woman in Tears

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Well, you wonder why I always choke up and cry
At the scene with Mary holding the baby sent to die,
And why do my tears seem to be more than usual ones?
‘Cause mothers were never meant to lose their daughters or sons.

I cry for the mothers in all the stories I read,
For the confused, fearful, ill-prepared ones like me.
I cry for the ones who’ve been given more than they can hold,
But are bearing it anyway, gripping; pretending to control.

How Can We Know Hope?

He just asked a question.

Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, were old and had struggled with infertility for many years. Despite all of their heartache, they remained faithful their God who seemed non-responsive and so far away.

I imagine Elizabeth’s cyclical shattering of dreams had long since crowded out any ideas that things could be different.

Cynicism is safe. Pessimism is protection. Continue reading

For Unopened Gifts

Last week, I asked one of my Sunday School students, “For what are you thankful this year?”

“I’m thankful for the presents that I’m gonna get for Christmas,” he said, smiling.

I frowned and began a lecture in my head, “Let’s take one holiday at a time, shall we? How rude to rush ahead to your Christmas list when you haven’t taken time to properly remember what you’ve been given.” Sheesh… kids these days. Continue reading

Our 5 Best Christmas Gifts That Keep On Giving

Our family loves Christmas. We start talking about what kind of lights we will put on the house and tree right around Halloween. Clark My husband turns up the volume as soon as the radio station switches to Christmas music. Our Christmas movies get pulled from the shelf and dusted off even before we’ve digested our Thanksgiving meal.

And much of our enjoyment is a result of some practices we fell into when the kids were young. I say “fell into” because I don’t want to sound like we are the kind of people who have our act together. We didn’t intentionally plan out these things… they just sort of happened.

But these are the things that have made a huge difference in how we celebrate this monster of a holiday. These are the things that have helped us “tame the beast” a bit, and even enjoy what could be a pressure-cooker for a family of six. Continue reading

A Proverbs 31 Christmas

An excellent holiday woman who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her family counts on her;
they will lack nothing from their wish lists.
She does them fancy, and not plain…
all the days of the season.
She seeks stylish matching Christmas outfits
and never pays full retail. Continue reading