One Word

The presents are unwrapped and the boxes are empty. All of the anticipation and excitement has come and gone.

Even in the most joyous times, those that we hold in our hearts for a while, life goes on. The sun has set on Christmas and it has risen again on a new day.

A new year is just around the corner. Like a valuable present that God saves until the hooplah has passed. Something that He gives to each of us at just the right quiet moment. It has a personal meaning that is different for each of us…

A new beginning. Hope reborn. Challenges accepted. Opening one door and closing another.

I’ll be adding a new button to my blog in 2013. It’s the One Word button and the challenge is to choose one word that represents your focus for the coming year. It can be something tangible or intangible. It can be a thought, a feeling, an action, or a character trait. Your word will be a reminder, a nudge. Something you can reflect on, that will challenge you, that will inspire you.

LISTEN. That is my word for 2013…



Listen to His whispers.

Listen to my heart.

Listen to the heart of another.

Listen to my instincts.

Listen to the wisdom of those who have traveled this path before me.

What is your one word for 2013?


Want to get your own free “One Word” button? Stop by Melanie’s blog and learn how…

The House Where Christmas Lives

I want to get the room clean and rearranged before putting up the Christmas tree.

I have a perfect picture in my head of where I want to put it and what it will look like from the outside.

Everything is ready and my helpful teenager gets the tree from the storage closet…. Wait a minute, this isn’t the right tree. 4.5 feet? really?

I sit on the floor and watch the perfect pictures in my head fly out the window like a deflated balloon. Disappointment & irritation sit down with me. I’ll just get another one. We have some extra $ this year and I haven’t bought a tree in years.

Turning to look at it again, I remember…. it’s been 4 years. And I didn’t buy this tree. A kind co-worker gave it to me. It was the year Sophia was born and I had only been back at work for a few weeks. After paying bills of necessity (rent & utilities), I spent everything to buy my son the one gift he wanted. Sophia was only two months old and all of her gifts came from other friends and family members.

Like a scene from “A Christmas Carol”, the ghost of Christmas past took me right back there. In that painful time that I can now face and see in a completely different light.

And suddenly, that 4.5ft tree is perfect.

A perfect reminder that God’s grace is enough…

Enough to move hearts,

Enough to carry me through the hard times,

Enough to humble me and help me remember what is real and what is important.


So, in this season of excess and spending, remember the message that was famously taught by my favorite author, Dr. Suess….

“It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”