Twelve Owls of Christmas

Owls have always fascinated me. I received a handcrafted owl, made in Finland, as a gift. This owl will make a hooting sound when you blow on the hole at its tailfeathers.

At Christmas I enjoy taking out ornaments that have been packed away. I have a number of owls and I find a place for each on the tree. The grandchildren count them when they visit. (There are twelve.)

A wise old owl sat on an oak,

The more he saw the less he spoke;

The less he spoke the more he heard;

Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?

Edward Hersey Richards

Mom at Rest: December 14, 2020

For the past few years Mom was a resident in Porter Hills nursing home. Her memory and physical mobility were declining. And then the pandemic came and visits were restricted. Mom was alone more and placed on hospice care. We were grateful when in person visits were allowed once more.

Last week the nursing home had a covid-19 outbreak, and within a few days Mom passed away. We grieve her passing but rejoice that she is at rest with the Lord. She believed in Jesus and confessed him as Savior.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Reflecting on Mom’s life and looking through photos, I came across a letter I wrote a few years ago. 

Today is Mother’s Day and I am thinking about all the ways you have been a blessing. I have many wonderful memories.

Do you remember the house on Prevost, in Detroit? One day when I was little you let us eat lunch in our backyard. We were pretending that we were in a restaurant. We had a menu and you served our food through the milk box. 

You planned many birthday parties—making a birthday cake and inviting friends over for a party.

On Easter Sunday I always had a pretty new dress and shiny shoes. Sometimes you sewed the dresses for Joyce and me.

You let me bake and cook, giving some guidance, but also letting me try recipes on my own.  My confidence in the kitchen grew.

You always had books in the house for us and took us to the library. This was a great start for succeeding in school. 

You raised five children and we all went to college.

You shared your love of berries with us. When my children were little you and Dad picked strawberries and blueberries. You gave them to us. You made applesauce for us and your grandchildren still remember. 

I am thankful for Mom and glad that she is at rest in the presence of our Savior.

Beyond the Sunset

Beyond the Sunset is a hymn that I remember from childhood. My Dad had a good voice and sang this with joy. Here are the words to the first verse:

Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning,

When with our Savior heaven is begun,

Earth’s toiling ended, O glorious dawning;

Beyond the sunset, when day is done.

Blanche Kerr Brock, Virgil P. Brock, Albert K. Rowswell

As Christians we have a balance to keep. We hold God’s promises dear and look forward to the return of Jesus. At the same time we have a job to do. We are called to be servants of our Lord.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

During this challenging time with the pandemic and political unrest, we may wonder what our role is. Is a global reset coming? We can pray for our country, for our family and for the church worldwide. After we have prayed we can stay alert, paying attention to the Holy Spirit for our words and action.

Kate’s prompt for the Five Minute Friday writers is: BEYOND Join the fun and visit the link-up here.

Also sharing this post with Crystal’s Heart Encouragement.

Present in Advent

Last Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent. With joy we turn our attention to God’s gift of love. Jesus came as an infant to fully participate in our human experience, and then provide a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus as newborn baby and Son of God was presented at the temple in Jerusalem.

And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. Luke 2:22

In a letter to Timothy, Paul gives instruction to present ourselves before the Lord

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

Our children attended Awana clubs. The purpose of Awana is to teach Bible verses to children, encouraging them to memorize. The letters in Awana stand for: Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed. The Bible verses that they committed to memory have been a blessing in their lives.

Our son, Steven, memorized 2 Timothy 2:15 and commented on it in the little journal that he kept. In the last days of his life the truth of the Bible guided his thoughts and comments.

As we approach Christmas let us recognize God’s gift with awe and seek to come to Him, continuing to learn and grow in our faith. 

Every Friday Kate gives a one word writing prompt. Today’s prompt is: PRESENT Visit the writing community here.

Linking this post with Heart Encouragement .