Monday, December 20, 2021

Merry Christmas!

 


So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. ~Luke 2:4-7


2021 has been a challenging year for us.  From Danny's pacemaker issues and subsequent heart ablation to Mom's illness in the spring and summer that eventually leads to her passing, we have been through the proverbial wringer.

As Christmas is right around the corner, with the New Year close on its heels, I've decided to take some time away from blogging to reflect upon all that's transpired, to open my heart and mind to the wonder of our Savior's birth, and to prayerfully contemplate my hopes and dreams for 2022.  Maybe, this season of rest and regrouping will also reveal to my my word for the year to come.

Thank you all who have loyally followed Meditations of My Heart throughout the year.  Each of you is dear to me, and your thoughtful comments always make my heart sing.

May you have a Merry and Blessed Christmas, and a safe, prosperous New Year filled with love, joy and peace!

Amen!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Rock My World!

 


May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~Psalm 19:14


When granddaughter, Virginia, presents with her drawing that I feature in the previous post, she also gives us this bag of rocks.  ROCKS???  What, you might ask, do rocks have to do with missing your grandparents?

But I know their significance immediately.

When Virginia is younger, and frequently staying over at our house, she loves to collect rocks wherever we go.  She is especially intrigued by the stones her Papa (aka Danny) places in various spots in our yard to help control erosion and encourage more moss growth.




Mind you, I don't let her collect too many of these at any given time as that would defeat the purpose of the rock piles, but I do encourage her to look for the prettiest ones.

I've saved most of the stones she has gathered in a special container.  As you can see, we have a moment of whimsy with two of them.


But here are Virginia's special "gems."


We collect, or rather I buy, these during our several visits to the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History located right here in Kennesaw.  These are the only items of interest to her in the gift shop, and Gammie is relieved she doesn't ask for more expensive items!

Virginia's gift of rocks is a loving acknowledgement of fun times spent with her grandparents.  When I ask if she would like us to add this thoughtful collection to one of Papa's stone paths, she is absolutely delighted.  I tell her I'll find a separate area in need of stones so we'll always know they came from her.



And every time we look at them, we'll think of her, and the deep, rock-hard love we have, and will always have, for one another.

Amen!

Monday, December 13, 2021

One in Love

 


Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves. ~Romans 12:10


When we arrive at Sarah and John's home, Virginia greets us with this drawing featured above, and it's obvious she's put so much thought and effort into crafting it.  We are, of course, beyond delighted and honored.  We've missed her more than words can express, yet she has tried to communicate the vacuum that she, too, has experienced in her heart with this tangible reassurance.

Virginia's favored channel of communication is art, but mine is words.  Here is the poem that bubbles up after receiving this special gift.


I've waited, counting days

Until you come and hold

Enfold me in your arms

As we did for years

When we lived close

And never gave a thought

To separation; distance

Does not define our bond

We are one in heart

We are one in spirit

We are one in love


No, distance will never define us.

Love will.

May you all be surrounded by God's love during the Christmas season and in the New Year.

Amen!

Thursday, December 9, 2021

A Walk in the Park

 



How many are your works, Lord!  In wisdom, you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. ~Psalm 104:24


Ever since she is a tyke, granddaughter, Virginia, has always loved being in the great outdoors.  It's no wonder, then that she asks her Papa and me to take her to Umstead State Park, an almost 6,000-acre sanctuary located between the cities of Raleigh, Cary (where we are staying in a condo), and Durham, NC.  She has been there on numerous occasions with her family, but they use the entrance closer to their home in Raleigh.  Loblolly Trail is not only new for us, but new for her, too!

As you can see from the sign above, this isn't a loop trail, so we decide to walk in for forty minutes, then turn around a walk back, knowing that by the time we pop out at the parking lot, it will be lunchtime, and the Chick-fil-A down the street will be calling our names.


Papa and Virginia constantly get ahead of me on our walk.  Turn around, you two!


Some autumn color still remains in the leaves.


Lovely ferns were growing everywhere!



Virginia is so enjoying herself!


Virginia drops back to walk with the slow poke, and Danny snaps some photos.


I still can't get over how much this "baby" has grown!


And what would any family outing be without the obligatory selfie?

I do hope you all enjoyed coming along on this lovely, if very cold, walk with us.  During the coming holidays, I invite you to step back from the hustle and bustle, and take time to enjoy God's marvelous creation all around you.

Amen!

Monday, December 6, 2021

God Knows Us

 


Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice! ~Philippians 4:4


The last half of November is filled with legendary travel and joyful reunions for my husband, Danny, and me.  He just finished processing gorgeous photos of scenery we enjoy along the way, so I'll share those with you at a later time.  First, I want to focus on the main purpose of our journey:  Seeing our family who now live in Raleigh, North Carolina!

When we arrive at daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, John's, place on Saturday, it's definitely a time to rejoice!  The hugs all around are indescribably long and longed for.  When Virginia, pictured above, throws her arms around me, I think she will never let go, and that's absolutely fine with me.  I find myself in this moment recalling every embrace we share during our visit; a visit that now seems more like a dream than reality.

But here are some undoubtedly realistic moments.


Savannah


Alexandra




We not only draw pictures and play the fishing game, but endless rounds of UNO, too.  Savannah and Alexandra especially enjoy these games with their Gammie, who manages to get down on the floor and get back up with only a tweak in the hip.  LOL!

I expect all the hugs and laughter, of course, from the family being together, but the biggest surprise is how grand-dog, Finn, greets Danny and me.  Sarah and John tell me he doesn't take to other people readily, but his reaction to us is over the top welcoming.  As soon as I walk through the door, Finn is clamoring for my lap and my attention, and is beside himself with joy when either Danny or I give into his desires.


Alexandra is amazed by this unabashed greeting when she states, "He doesn't know you, but he knows you!"  In other words, Finn has never met you, but he knows you are people he can trust because he senses you love him and love us.

Wow!  Don't you love the reasoning of a six-year-old?  No wonder Jesus told us to become as little children so we could enter the kingdom of heaven!

The girls' unreserved and genuine hugs combined with Finn's enthusiastic welcome should remind us all of the love God has for us.  He never holds back, He never withholds.  He always welcomes us with open arms.

We simply need to turn to Him and revel in His love, His grace, His forgiveness.

God knows me.

God knows you.

Amen!

Roots Take Hold

  Consider how the wild flowers grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one...