Tuesday, December 25, 2007




Monday, December 24, 2007

Okay, I’m stuck on the story, The Gift of the Magi...I’m just curious, mind you. So—I know she has this long, incredible hair that her husband adores, and (since it’s Christmas) she’s been admiring this beautiful comb in the store window....and he, too, has been secretly admiring something of high price. (But what???) She will (on the sly) go into town and find someone willing to cut off her long beautiful hair and, in turn, earn a high price for its lovely quality. In so doing, she will have acquired enough money to purchase the gift her husband has long desired. (Again, what was it?)

And what does he own that is valuable enough to sacrifice and provide the monies needed for purchasing a costly comb? How about his long beard? Did he even have one? And if he did, were merchants in the habit of buying beards back then? Are they now? Have they ever been? What purpose would a long beard actually serve, except for catching bugs and particles of food, using as kindling, or stuffing a pillow, or weaving a wall hanging. YUCK! And let’s not forget the proverbial Santa Clause. Surely beards of the white variety are in great need throughout the season. So he could sell it at the local barbershop, dye it white, or donate it to the local Salvation Army, but wait, contributions equals no money in return. Remember, DO NOT contribute to a good cause unless all you’re looking for in return is that delightfully warm, yummy feeling you get at the center of your chest.

Yes, it would make for a self-sacrificing ending, her cutting her hair, him buying her a comb she can no longer use, her purchasing a gold pair of shearers for which to trim his foot-long beard, which no longer exists.

There are other options, of course. He could have donated his arm for science, and she could have bought him the long desired trench coat, only to have to sew up one sleeve. Or there’s the proverbial leg. MAYBE it was a fine pair of leather shoes he sought, and so his sacrifice, of course, allowed him only one good shoe by which to hop across the room after watching her place her beautiful new comb in place, and lavish her with a wet kiss behind the ear afterward. Isn’t that a lovely word picture? Or more like morbid? Did someone say that?

I am plum out of ideas—unless it was a new leather wallet he longed for and by the time she purchased it for him, he had nothing to fill it with, because he’d sacrificed all the cash he’d earned doing cartwheels from Fifth Avenue to 64th Street, and kept at it until his jar was full of coins that jangled all the way to the department store where her lovely comb lay in wait.

Well, whether you can recall what the young man sacrificed on behalf of his lovely wife, isn’t the point, I guess. What is the point is that Jesus sacrificed his entire life on earth, stooping first to breathe his first breath in a smelly stable, later experiencing persecution of the worst kind, despite His blatant miracles, and finally, death on the cross so that we could have our heart’s desires—life eternal in a beautiful place, free of worries and cares, absent of any more sacrifice, a love so incomprehensible that we can’t begin to imagine an end or a beginning, and one more thing—all the wants and needs our minds could muster provided at out beck and call.

Now that’s the true gift of the Magi, right there The ultimate sacrifice!

Merry Christmas and the most blessed New Year you’ve ever experience!

P. S. Seriously, now, what did the man give up in order to buy the comb? I haven’t read that story in ages.

------ End of Forwarded Message

Friday, December 21, 2007


A few people have told me they enjoy reading my blogs and when I don't post they wonder where I am and what's going on. haha! Well, some days I have absolutely NOTHING worthwhile to write (like today), and other days I could write pages, but don't have time. Lately, I've been saying to my husband, God did not create enough hours in the day. Why couldn't we have had 30- hour days--or even more? But then I suppose we'd all work harder, get less sleep than ever, and still not accomplish what we wanted! All that to say I guess God knew what He was doing when He set the day at 24 hours.

I mentioned a few days ago that I recently purchased a new iMac. It's been a big adjustment for me, in terms of learning curve--but overall, it's been a good experience. I've especially had fun with the photo aspect. Therefore, I'm going to "experiment" with posting a few photos and use you, my readers, as guinea pigs. The pics I post will be random, everything from last summer, to my pets, to my precious grandson, to -- well, who knows. So, here goes! ENJOY!

Oh, and, just in case I don't post again before Christmas--HAVE THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER.

Be blessed and encouraged--you are a child of the King!


Thursday, December 20, 2007


Guess what! My hubby did not kiss me for the first time (well, I mean a real kiss) until the night he asked me to marry him--32 years ago! I was 27, had my own apartment, and he'd just been discharged from the air force after having served 4 years during the Viet Nam era. We had been the best of friends for YEARS because my oldest brother married his oldest sister when I was 13 and he was, ur, um, 9, so while we grew up best friends, there was always that age difference that kept us from even thinking about a romantic involvement. In fact, yuck! Poke me in the nose with a stick if either one of us even thought of such a thing! In those days we were much more like brother and sister.

Well, growing up I went through one boyfriend after another, and he had his share of girlfriends, but it seemed like we were always checking up on each other -- "Who're you dating now? Is he good enough for you? Is he treating you right?" he'd ask. "Call me if you ever need me to straighten his nose, babe." (He always called me babe--even then.) I'd ask him the details of his most recent love interest, and he'd say, "She's a partier--fun, but not my type." Or, "She's okay, but her mom is too possessive!" I'd say, "Call me if you want me to give her a piece of my mind." You get the picture. We were JUST FRIENDS, but don't nobody ever hurt the other one.

Well, it was September 1975. I was 27 and currently without a man. (Poor me.) He was 23 and fresh out of love with a girl who, well, frankly, wasn't ME, I find out later. He'd even bought her a honkin' big diamond, thinking he could get me out of his mind if he'd just marry someone else. Didn't work.

The Air Force was done with him, so he was flying back to Michigan to see his family and...get this, see if he could muster any sparks between us. (He now felt old enough for me!) He asked me (just me) to pick him up at the airport, and I thought, that's cool. I get to pick up my best friend at the airport. Well, when he got off that plane and I laid eyes on his tanned, muscled, grown-up frame in that white "leisure suit"--yep, you heard right--leisure suit--I KNEW he was old enough. He walked up to me and planted a nice one square on my lips, but it was short, not the YUMMY one I was telling you about earlier, the "real" kind. This was the "teaser" kind, the kind that makes you walk around in a daze and ask yourself things like, "Have I ever really been kissed by another man, I mean REALLY kissed? If I haven't, then what am I missing?" It was a dumbfounding feeling!

A full week passed and no more kisses. What? What is he doing to me? We played, shopped, hung out at my apartment, ate together, went places, shared down-and-dirty, gut-level discussions, discovered we had a lot in common, laughed - and laughed some more, and all the while I'm thinking, "This is my best friend!"


EXACTLY a week after picking him up at the airport, we were coming home from visiting his sister and brother-in-law who lived several miles away. We chatted in the car all the way home. Suddenly, he put his hand on my knee. Huh? What's he doing, and why does it feel so right? OH, LORD, HELP ME!

Back at my apartment, we sat down to watch some TV. My stomach was aflutter and my heart had stepped up its pace. Something felt different.


His arm came up around my shoulder and tugged me closer. My heart literally stopped beating for at least three entire beats I think, and let me tell you, when that happens you get dizzy and lightheaded! His lips skimmed my ear, and before I could even think about what was happening, I turned my face and, well, his was right there, one inch from mine. He gave me that 'I'm-going-to-kiss-you' look, and I gave him that, 'We-better-not-waste-another-minute' one.

Talk about DIVINE. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. It was true. I really hadn't been kissed before - I mean truly kissed - until that very moment. All those other times were just pretend things. Oh, I thought they were real, but they were shallow, meaningless, depthless things in comparison to this. This one was tender, giving, promising, soft, passionate. Whew, baby!

On the spot, he told me he loved me, always had, always would -- and would I please, please marry him?

It took me awhile to wade through the mire and mush my head had become, but when I finally agreed, he said, "We don't have to wait long, do we? We already know everything there is to know about each other."

And here's the big thing. We already knew and loved our IN-LAWS! Right there's reason enough!

Well, two and half months later we were married, and you never saw two more giddy, huggy, kissie people in your life. We must have driven our friends and family crazy with our smoochiness.

That was THIRTY-TWO years ago today. Yep, today's my 32nd anniversary. We aren't as giddy as we used to be, and our love has "settled down", i.e. it's grown, developed, matured, weathered a few storms, produced two lovely daughters, given us a grandchild, taught us patience, grown us spiritually, made us laugh till our sides hurt, and even caused a tear or two to fall.

Love is not always easy, but it's not hard, either, especially when you put Christ into the equation. We decided early on that our marriage needed to be Christ-focused/not US-focused. We dedicated our lives and our marriage to the Lord, and He has blessed us immeasurably. We don't have a ton of wealth or earthly possessions, but we share an undying love for each other that no one can take away.

And tell me--what in life could be more important than that?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


My husband has been building our 21-month-old grandson a rocking horse for Christmas. The project took several hours in a freezing garage, but he loved every minute of it, for it was a labor of love. And let me tell you, it is a WORK OF ART, absolutely BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL, from the handmade tail and mane to the leather saddle; from the engraved brass plate on the platform to the several layers of shiny stain. (I'm going to attempt to post some pictures of the horse up here so you can see what I'm talking about.) Anyway, it is so well-built that it will be an heirloom, passing down from one generation to the next, I'm certain of it. In fact, I envision it holding our great grandchildren someday, and perhaps our great-great -- who knows? Regardless, it will be rocking some precious little loved one long after we are but a faded memory, a photograph on someone's wall.

Heirlooms. They are priceless treasures, the sort of things that live on, that remind us of what once was and sometimes what will be. They can be material possessions or something as simple as a quilt, a journal, a Bible, or a baby's christening gown. Perhaps someone's yellowed wedding gown lay neatly folded in one of your bottom drawers. (My daughter has my 95-year-old mother's gown, which was far too small for either of my daugthers or me to wear.)

This rocking horse has got me to thinking. What other heirlooms are we passing down? I'm not talking about "things" that might be considered treasures by anyone's standards, though; I'm talking about heirlooms of the heart--the kind that help build character, point our children and our children's children in the right direction, the kind that teach them the truly important things in life.

It is our deepest, heartfelt prayer that our example of faith and trust in a loving God will continue on for generations to come, that as our family grows and marries and multiplies, we won't be remembered strictly for the rocking horses, or the homemade cookies and cakes, or the games we played, or the laughter we shared--but for the Christ who lived in and through us.

That is our prayer. That is the kind of heirloom that lasts into eternity.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007




Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007 - 1:28 AM

Okay, so I'm about to tell you the stupidest, well, most absent-minded, anyway, thing I've ever done. In my life! And I did it TODAY! Why swallow my pride and tell the world, you ask? No reason, really, except that I do so love to make people laugh, even at my expense. So here goes!

Five of us girlfriends did our annual Christmas thingie today, celebrated the birth of our Lord by spending money, eating at Reds on the River in Rockford, Michigan, and exchanging gifts. We "bonded" by first stuffing ourselves with delectable food, sharing desserts, tearing into our gifts, then freezing our toes off on the icy sidewalks, as we ran from shop to shop, doling out money just about everywhere we went.

Our day started at 9:30 a.m. and ended at 5:30, and in a nutshell it was a superb day with giggly friends.We met at our church this morning, parked our cars, and all piled into one vehicle, Terri's, in case you want the name. (grins)

On the hour-long trip back to the church, we chatted some more (girls never finish talking), and covered everything from Hollywood hotties to war and peace and grandchildren, and then I don't remember because I napped the last 10 miles of the trip.

Back at the church, everyone started piling out. I started rifling through my purse for my keys. My keys. Where are my keys? "I can't find my keys, you guys." Search, search. Search some more. Get nervous. Did I leave my keys in the car all day? Dumb, dumb, dumb. Did I drop them? Did I give them to a homeless person? "Anyone seen my keys?" Try to imagine a bunch of women all looking for the right shopping bags. You guessed it. No one cared about my lost keys. They only cared about finding their millions of packages in the back of the van.

I got out, feeling dejected.

"Hey, Shar, your car's running!" This from Becky.


"Your car. It's running."

"My car is running? Oh! NO! I left my car running? ALL STINKIN' DAY?"

"Oh, Shar, this is why I love hanging out with you," Bec said, giggling. Her eyes always disappear when she laughs hard. I don't know where they go, but they crinkle up into nothingness. "You give me so many reasons to laugh." She was holding her stomach.

Thanks. I think.

We stood there in Michigan's frozen air and laughed our heads off. "Is there any gas left?" someone thought to ask.

I ran to check. (I filled my tank yesterday.) It still registered FULL! Can you believe it?

I guess it doesn't take as much gas as you'd think to let your car idle for 8 hours.