Friday, December 10, 2010

It’s Christmas time… the most wonderful time of year… the season of giving… the season of joy! But why? What is it all about?

I can only tell you what it has come to mean to me in my own life…

My earliest recollection of Christmas time, is gatherings with an abundance of family and loved ones… with much holiday cheer, decorations, Christmas candy, oranges and nuts, gifts galore and a seemingly endless supply of holiday food, including my Aunt Caren’s pink and green “ribbon sandwiches”. (pink was the closest the baker could get the bread to Christmas red (;)

I loved the shopping, the decorations, the smells, the sounds, the excitement of it all! So fun, so merry! All the festivities! From reenacting the manger scene and the birth of baby Jesus, to the wonderment, listening to hear bells jingle, and the sound of reindeer paws signaling that Santa was near!!! Especially when there was snow or a chimney at hand! I even remember years making a fireplace of cardboard and crayons, not wanting to miss out on this special visitor! (Even today, I think what a thrill it would be to be found kissing Santa under the mistletoe :)

But what did it all really mean? Yes, giving does help the giver to find happiness, along with the winsome receiver, but where did it all begin? It wouldn’t be till I was much older that I would begin to have any understanding of what it truly has come to mean to me, although I’ve enjoyed and looked forward to most every one.

For me, I have to go back to my earliest memories of life… I remember feeling all curled up inside and crying inside as well. I just know that there was this warmth, this comfort… unseen yet more real than any other thing! I had no name for it, nor any understanding of the source. I needed none!!! I just knew that it brought me peace and comfort in my suffering. As I have grown, it has remained constant. Eventually, through my religious upbringing, I came to attribute it to God. God being to me collectively, the Creator of All living, One Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the unseen spirit of comfort and bearer of All truth.

My thoughts of God, or as I frequently refer to as My Nearest and Dearest… run through every facet of my life and every part of who I am. At the times in my life I have felt, hurt, rejected, sad, disappointed, misunderstood or even unloved by those around me, the very intimate comfort to my soul has brought me peace, comfort, understanding, forgiving and healing, and has never left me comfortless.

Through personally pouring over ancient text of many that have gone before me, I have developed a very personal, yet not entirely unique view of what Christmas means to me.

It means to me that above all… there is love… Love in each human heart. Love that gives and love that longs to be received… Love symbolized by the innocence of a new born babe… born not to a high regal estate, but instead, in a lowly place to meek young, inexperienced parents, said to be conceived of God, the Father not only of this babe that would come to be called by many, Lord and Savior of the world, but also of each man, woman and child that would come into this world, the place we call our earthly home.

What makes the name of Christ so worthy of praise and celebration to me is this… In His life as recorded in ancient writ… He was not a stranger to suffering, to pain, to the difficulties, heart ache and sadness of this existence. Yet from His attitude, His approach and actions in the face of adversity, I have found something worthy of adopting or at least attempting to emulate. The endless love, the continual giving, thinking of others when Himself in pain and anguish of both body and soul. Reaching out to those in need, defying what we think we know of the laws of nature. Performing what we refer to as miracles and proclaiming that we would be able to do the same and more if we would simply believe… I do believe!!! And through believing.. by faith in things unseen that are real to me, I have witnessed the mighty arm of God made bare in the “miracle” of my youngest, Callie and in many many other unceasing ways. Tender mercies I attribute to God’s love in my life and His desire for me to have happiness.

I feel to sing and rejoice of One I look to not only as Savior of All, through His undying love for us, His brothers and sisters, but also as Friend… not only at this time of year, but the year throughout, year upon year so long as I shall exist or know anything… The idea that He came to ransom us from “sin” … guilt, shame sickness, suffering and all other troubles if we would look to Him and believe is a source of comfort and peace in my life and has saved me and continues to be a source of peace and comfort to me from day to day. I for one look forward with hope to the day that the day He comes to rule the earth in justice, love and peace.

It is from these feelings of my heart that I share the following lines from various of my favorite songs of Christmas. Some may be very familiar to you and some I’m sure will not be… All of which I would love to be sharing with you in a very close personal way. Not knowing of the possibility of this… I choose to share Christmas with you in this way than the alternative… not at all…

First, from O Little Town of Bethlehem…

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given…

So God impart to human hearts the blessings of His heaven…

Where meek souls will receive Him, Still… the dear Christ enters in…

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

…and in despair I bowed my head. There is no peace on Earth, Isaid…

…then pealed the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead, not does He sleep

…till ringing, singing on it’s way, the world revolved from night to Day!

A voice a chime, a chant sublime, Of Peace on Earth… Good will to men.

Far Far Away on Judea’s Plains

Lord with the Angels we too would rejoice,

Help us to sing with a Heart and Voice J

Joy to the World

Let Earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room

And Heaven and Nature sing…

Angels We have Heard on High

Gloria in Excelsis Deo! ~ Glory to God in the Highest!

Peace on Earth Good will to men.

Mary Did you Know?

               Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?

This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.

Were you There?

Where you there? Where you there
On that Christmas night?
When the world was filled with a holy light?
Where you there to behold as the wonder foretold
Came to Earth?

Did you see? Did you see?
How they hailed him king?
With their gifts so rare that they chose to bring?
Did you see how they bowed as they praised him aloud
At his birth?

Did you hear how the choirs of angels sang
At the glory of the sight?
Did you hear how the bells of Heaven rang
All through the night?

Did you know, did you know
It was God's own son?
The salvation of the world begun?
Did you know it was love that was sent from above
To the Earth?

Did you know it was love that was sent from above
To the Earth?

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Light and Life to All He brings. Risen! With healing in His wings!

Mild, He lays His glory by. Born that man no more may die.

Born to raise the sons of earth. Born to give them second birth.

Hark the Herald Angels sing. Glory to the newborn King.

For Unto us a Son is Born from Handel’s Messiah

…and the government shall be upon His shoulders.

And His name shall be called… Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God,

The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!!!

This is my Chrismas gift to you!!! May Love and Peace fill your homes and your hearts this special time of year and the coming year through!!!

May God keep you and yours safe and prosper you!!!

With Much Love,


Monday, November 1, 2010

Reader's Digest Update :)

WOW!!! I'm so behind on this, I don't even know where to begin to catch up!
Life stays so busy and crazy, with it's UPs and DOWNs...
One thing for starters, one of my most recent blogs was the end of football season last year I think.
Well, we've gone through another season of football. At least with Burke's freshman team. He mostly played center, where he started in most every game. They have had a great team and have completed another great season, being undefeated their 3rd year in a row.
We just celebrated Jeff's 49th bday this weekend as well as all the Halloween dress up fun! I don't think that I ate one piece of Halloween candy this weekend!
Matt got on the fire dept in Longview Texas and now Ash and the boys are living there with him!!! Jamison is going to a 6 mo full-time Paramedic training in Dallas, which puts half our grandchildren and two of our kids and their spouses in Texas!
Justin, Alisha and Aiden, Amber and Ian are still here in town with us thank goodness!!! Love the grandkids and having the kids around!
Marcus is working and getting close to filling out his mission papers. He was recently ordained an Elder. It was his priviledge to baptize his friend Matt Mauff, get his partriarchal blessing at the same time as Matt (my priviledge to be there) and also ordain his cousin Jacob as a Elder <3
Elsie continues to keep everyone in line and laughing (when we're not scared running from her :)
Emma was on the 7th grade Dance team and is now on the 7th grade volleyball team! It's so fun to watch her <3
Haley, Hayden and Brin (and Mom ;) have gone through withdrawls this past school year without Emma to get the girls ready for school and out the door! But it's being good for them to have to take responsibility for themselves and not always have Em to take up the slack for them!
Callie continues to improve and constantly has us laughing!!! She has started to open her left eye randomly on her own!!! She never ceases to amaze us!
The only class I'm taking this semester is metal art (my 3rd semester). I'm learning more blade making techniques under a Master Swordsmith, and loving it!
Jeff has been on a different fleet for the past several months and we don't see him quite as much, maybe once a week... hopefully that will change soon!
Can't think of much else to put for now... I'll try to get some pictures on soon! I just put some from the weekend on my facebook page if anyone wants to check them out, this is the URL!/album.php?aid=76467&id=1608946752
Take care... and our love to ALL!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Children and Vehicle Safety

Today, Callie & I were a part of a press conference from Phoenix Children's Hospital. The subject is children and vehicle safety. I little piece will be on the 4:00 5:00 & 6:00 news tonight in case anyone is interested in seeing it.For those of you that miss I will inquire aoubt a link to pull it up after the fact. Thank you for all your love & support!~Dana & family