Where the Reindeer Run Free

This past summer my husband and I traveled to Finland. We visited the village where my grandmother grew up, north of the artic circle.

We enjoyed seeing the pristine forests, rivers and lakes.

Finland

And we saw reindeer roaming freely. They graze in the forests, fields and even in yards adjacent to cabins. The lichen growing in the forest is a favored food.

Reindeer

We were amazed to see a couple dozen reindeer run past a strip of stores.

Reindeer

During the summer it is always daylight. But now as winter approaches the sun makes a much shorter appearance, skimming along the horizon. The reindeer are gathered in herds and taken care of by Lapland herders.

Linking this post with Sue’s Wordless Wednesday

Advent and the Family

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son . . . John 3:16

As I think about Christmas and God’s great gift to us, I find it meaningful that Jesus came to a family. He came as an infant to Mary and Joseph, to the family unit. From the beginning, starting in Genesis, God planned the family unit.

We have fractures and brokenness in family life, but it is God’s design for nurture. Jesus came to heal the brokenness. The church family is called to be a place of healing.

My daughter and her husband are taking in two children for foster care, hoping to adopt. This is a stretching experience. We have limited insight into the heritage and health history of the children. We simply know that they need a loving home.

It gives me joy to see my daughter and son-in-law welcoming them into their home. I am blessed in being able to help. As I swaddle and feed the baby he cuddles up against me.

And so I have new insight. As part of a church family my willingness to extend love needs to be stretched. God’s desire is for us to bring healing to those in need.

Five Minute Friday is a community of inspirational writers. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is ONLY.

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Draw Near to the Savior

The Bluebird Café and Bookstore is a charming shop, located on Main Street in Hutchinson, Kansas. Whenever I visit my daughter we make a trip to this bookstore. As I walked through the aisles this time a colorful picture book caught my eye.

Christmas in the Barn  was  written by Margaret Wise Brown.   My daughter and I paged through the book, enjoying the rhythm of the words. The animals came near the birth of the babe in the ancient barn.

The pictures enhanced the story told in poetic form. After the shepherds came, the bright star shining above the barn guided the wise men to the barn. The words are a lyrical version of the story recorded in the book of Luke.

So many wonderful parts to the record of Jesus’ incarnation. I like to think about the shepherd’s response.

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us”. And they went with haste . . . Luke 2:15-16a

The shepherds saw God’s plan of salvation beginning to unfold. Now we have the Bible with the full story and the opportunity to draw near to the Savior.

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is NEAR.  Visit this community and join the fun by clicking here.

Sharing this post with Faith on Fire , Booknificent Thursday and Literacy Musing Monday also.