Category Archives: devotional

The Simple Reminders

As I sat in the quiet, dark room at my parents’ home in Florida, I could not keep my eyes off of the little Christmas tree in the corner.

Hailing from Goodwill, adorned with hand-me-down ornaments, a star and tree skirt from the Dollar Tree and colored retro lights, I have to say it is one of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen.

No, you won’t find it on the cover of Better Homes and Garden magazine or replicated at the Biltmore Estate. But it is so beautiful to me because it reminds me of my childhood.

I literally could not stop starring at the tree.

It’s only 3 feet tall but it reminds me so much of our trees growing up with the multi-colored lights and the simple ornaments. I didn’t want to go to bed as I didn’t want to lose this moment of just me and the tree and the childhood memories.

Simple.

That’s what I miss.

Simple.

Jesus came into the world in the dirtiest of places surrounded by slobbery animals but He was beautiful. Mary was beautiful. The star was beautiful. All was right with the world.

I love Christmas and I love decorating for Christmas. But today I am reminded that sometimes it truly is the simplest of things that bring back the simplest of memories that keep us in check for the simple ways of life.

We make life so complicated when it doesn’t have to be. A beautiful tree from a second-hand store. A beautiful baby in a second-hand manger.

A beautiful reminder.

Simple yet complete.

Don’t let the chaos of this world cause you to lose focus on the important things this Christmas season.

Jesus And Peppermint!

I usually do not get political or controversial on my blogs. And I don’t expect this to be a start of anything different.

I do want to say, though, that the principal in Nebraska who banned candy canes from the classrooms because they were in the shape of J representing “Jesus” has made my day.

“What?” you say. Yes, she made my day.

You see what she intended for bad to quash the meaning of Christmas has now become national news and people who never thought of the candy cane as a J for Jesus is now going to remember the candy cane associated with Jesus.

So rather than criticize the woman, I want to thank her for just bringing this fact to light so that Jesus could use it for His good.

In Genesis 50:20, Joseph tells his brothers who had been trying to kill him out of jealousy: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

WOW!! Thank you, Principal Sinclair, for reminding us that the candy cane has a deeper meaning than red and white striped peppermint-flavored candy.

You can’t outdo God. He is amazing!!

Grab a couple J-shaped peppermint sticks today and enjoy a little treat and a whole lot of Jesus!

This Ain’t My First Rodeo!

*The new guy comes into the office and tells you how you should lead the team meeting.
*It’s the first family Sunday lunch with your son’s new girlfriend and she tells you how it might work better serving her way instead of your own.
*The mechanic is looking in the wrong place to fix what you believe is causing issues with the car.
*The backseat driver who is visiting you for the first time in your hometown tries to tell you which interstate would be the quickest.
*The coaching intern has his way of doing warm ups.

Makes your skin crawl just thinking about it, doesn’t it?

We’ve all been there.  Someone comes in and inserts their opinions into your well-oiled, long-standing, flawless routines and you just want to scream:  “This ain’t my first rodeo!!”

I laugh just thinking about it.  I wonder how many times God has said that under His breath to us.

I tell Him how it would be best to give my daughter this job.
I tell Him how it would be best to heal my sick relative.
I tell Him how it would be best to use the rain and the sun to make our crops grow.
I tell Him how it would be best if I didn’t have to go through this trial or that hurt.
I tell Him how much better things would be if this person was elected to public office.

And quietly He says, “Deanna, honey, this ain’t my first rodeo.”

Are you riding the bull and yelling out the commands?  Maybe you and I need to join hands and walk to the sidelines.

It ain’t His first, and I know if I do it my way, I will get knocked off and thrown into the corner.  I think it’s best if I let the veteran Cowboy handle this rodeo.  🙂

 

THIS HOME BELIEVES….

This wreath is more than just a welcome sign as guests enter our home through the garage. It is a statement.

We bought the sign years ago when our daughters were younger and I guess I secretly hoped it would encourage our girls to believe in Santa forever.

I loved all the Santa magic…the letters, cookies and milk (and one year cheese because Morgan saw it on TV ), the pepper-soot footprints left behind from Santa’s delivery of gifts on Christmas morning and the secret key to the door when our new house did not have a chimney.

Oh how fun it was. And the memories still remain fresh as ever.

But now THIS HOME BELIEVES sign has a deeper meaning. I added the wreath and embedded the sign within. As we grew, both physically and spiritually, we see now that it means this home believes in the birth of Jesus, the real meaning of Christmas.

It means we believe in miracles and answered prayers; in healing and hope; in love and forgiveness; in faith and family and friendship and God’s richest blessings.

Yes this Christmas season, our home believes.

Do you?