Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Sunday, December 24, 2017


Do you ever feel alone?

We've noticed this lone Canada goose. We think he cannot fly.  We find him often sitting by himself up on the bank or swimming alone in the lake.

Today, while I was walking around the lake, I noticed that Mr. and Mrs. Mallard joined him on a swim.

Perhaps one day he can join his cousins in the air.

The squirrels were enjoying the day scampering about in the trees.  They were not lonely.

friends at play

A lone pinecone

One loan leaf on my burning bush. 

If you ever feel alone, know that you don't have to be.

Deuteronomy 31:8

 "The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; 
                  He will never leave you nor forsake you. 
          Do not be afraid; 
                           do not be discouraged.”

Isaiah 7:14
 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Immanuel  means "God with us."  He is WITH us!  He desires a relationship with us!  Do you know Christ?  He holds out His hand to you!

I love Christ's promise in Matthew 28:20

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas tree

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
Wie treu sind deine Blatter!

O Christmas tree O Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches

We learned this song in school when I was young - in English and in German because our teacher was Canadian and taught us German.  

Back in the 50's and '60's, you couldn't buy a Christmas tree in southern Japan.  We would take the station wagon to the mountains and find a wild tree to cut down.  We'd drag it home and Mom would decorate it.  I would be mesmerized sitting in front of the Christmas tree as a child, looking at the colored lights through the spun glass "angel hair" Mom put around the tree.  It sort of looked like the tree below.  We even had similar curtains!

Many people put up beautiful designer trees each year.  My tree is not designer, for sure.  It is more of a feel good tree for me.  A time to bring back memories of places we have been and people I love.

Our very first ornament from Hallmark the year we got married

An ornament that brings back memories of our son's Christmas 
when he was 1 year old.


  Snowmen ornaments representing the states we all live in

Snowmen with our grandchildren's names on them

Japanese ornaments from my "home" country

                                    from a friend

our church in Japan had these 

ornaments from various places we have been -  I try to get one wherever we travel to.  Here are a few...

Switzerland - our relatives have the real bells hanging in their living room

Pinocchio from our trip to Italy
              the Russian doll from supporting friends who went to Russia to teach
                             and the cross from our mission trip to Puebla, Mexico

from Haiti last year

from our summer trips to Dauphin Island

ornaments from teaching Sunday School  

And of course, because we are fans!

whimsical ones

and sweet ones

and birds, of course!

and those from friends -

inside joke with our friends
                                                                 one friend made this for me

from Aunt Millie 

from my brother who made this shrinky dink ornament 

and the word we clung to when our friend's little baby died

from our first year in this new house  

I found this great case to keep all my ornaments in! 

I love this ribbon!  The Names of God!

I bring GOOD NEWS!

 One stocking looks "karappo!" or empty.  My husband better get shopping!

 My sister-in-law made this for my parents and she insisted I take it when they passed on.  I LOVE it!  Mr. and Mrs. Santa decorated with Japanese items.

Oh Come let us ADORE Him!

Last evening we were invited to a friend's house.
They had these simple trees with a train 
running around and around at the bottom.
choo choo choo!
That would be so much easier to set up than ours.
It takes me at least 2 hours!

One day, we will simplify.
But for now, I just sit and enjoy the warm feelings!