When God Broke His Silence

Finally everything was quiet. The guests for Carrie Anne’s baptism had gone home, and we could get that much needed rest. And then that baby cried. Another night walking the floor with our little girl who couldn’t be readily comforted except when she was rocked and held or was resting on her daddy’s warm chest. I didn’t understand until much later that she also liked a noisy atmosphere when she slept. People talking and laughing. Vacuum cleaner roaring or TV blaring. All produced sound sleeping with that little one. Quiet night? No way! Ah…the trials and joys of parenting that first child. I understood as a young mother how wonderful that maxim “Silence is Golden” could be. Now I didn’t adhe

The Shepherd Boy's Questions

The brilliant light from the angels is gone. The shepherds make haste on their way The Savior is born, to the stable they run To find the child who is Christ the Lord. A young shepherd boy who hurries along Wonders aloud and his father he asks: “Who is this baby and what will He do? What will our Savior be like?” “Prophets of old have said He is a King. He is the Son of God. Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace And He will Shepherd His flock.” In a dark stable they find what they seek Mother and Father are watching their child Eager the young boy draws closer to look And then the questions begin: “Are you a shepherd too?” he asks the man. “No, I am just a low carpenter.” “How will He learn t

Who's in Your Stable?

“What’s she doing with that camel?” We all were wondering silently about our friend’s choice to put the camel in the stable right where the Baby Jesus would eventually go. It’s our family’s tradition, when all of our adult children are finally gathered together for our Christmas celebration, to fill the empty stable sitting in the corner of our living room. From the time they were old enough to be trusted with the figurines, they have assembled the holy scene. Each year my husband unwraps the treasured figures and hands them out, one by one, beginning with the lowly animals and finishing with the Holy Family. This particular year we had a houseguest from China who was totally unfamiliar with

You're Doing It Wrong!

“Mom, what do we DO with all of this?” My young children whispered their overwhelmed anxiety as they took in the array of china, silver, and crystal in front of each of them. Our family had been invited to a fancy wedding reception, children included. I knew they would behave well and appropriately since we had carefully guided their table manners over the years. However, these elaborate place settings intimidated us all. “Just start using the silverware furthest from the plate and move inward. You won’t need all of the glassware. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what to do. You’ll be fine.” There are times when we feel awkward, unsure of how to proceed. It doesn’t have to be a fancy dinner. I

Occupied With a Glad Heart

“That person certainly has been in that bathroom for a long time. I don’t know how much longer I can wait!” “Are you sure there’s someone in there?” “Well, the sign above the handle said ‘OCCUPIED’ when I went over there a few minutes ago. And I haven’t seen anyone come out since then. I have a clear view to the door.” Finally I could wait no longer. I left my husband in the restaurant booth and resolutely headed to the restroom door. After tentatively knocking, I slowly turned the handle. The door opened… to a completely empty bathroom! *** I have occupied several apartments and houses in my life. Some were short term and others spanned several years. Although the house my family occupied w

A Sucker for Christ!

“Who put sugar in my salt shaker? Was it you, Christine?” Every morning and evening my father brushed his teeth with salt. The sugar replacement was a harmless prank. He pretended to be a bit “put out” by my April Fools trick, but he joined in our laughter. We pulled the same jokes on him year after year with my mother even helping out by sewing the legs of his boxer shorts together. We weren’t trying to make our dad feel like a fool. We didn’t yell “Sucker!” to him like mean spirited children. It was all in good fun. Some suckers I didn’t always enjoy or get a chance to enjoy. When we went fishing, the worst catch of the day was to land a sucker with its fleshy, thick soft lips. Yuck! And g

Restoring the Joy

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