As some of you saints must know, we lost our little Guiseppe last month, he died in my arms and my heart was broken. Our family was so sweet about it as you will read below.
Thanksgiving followed and I got through that, our loving family was comforting. Now Christmas is on our heels and the Holy Spirit of Christmas is wafting through the Forest here and through our home, and yes, I still miss our dear little Guiseppe dearly. Thoughts also of my dad who has been gone for a year and a half. Every now and then a cardinal will appear. I miss my dad dearly as well this time of year...Oh my gosh, it can be painful.
When we go through loss and pain I often think of kindness and love, we remember those who show those things, I think of what the Bible says on Love. I think we all know what (churched) people are like without Love? It truly is like clanging cymbals. I wonder sometimes what has happened to love and kindness? It seems so very fundamental but is so often missed. Strange to me. It's like having hospitality. We can invite people into our homes or maybe lunch but if we have not hospitality in our hearts, then people will not be ministered to, if not in our hearts then we are checking off boxes and people will feel it. Perhaps you have been on the receiving end of that? Being new to many communities and circles I have. God uses those experiences throughout life to tweak our own lives and allow God to tenderize our hearts to be sensitive and tender to others as agents for Jesus.
My son in law was sharing to my husband the lack of authenticity in the church. He is acquainted with many homeschooling families, he too was homeschooled, has been a pastor himself and Chief of Staff at the Capitol among conservatives. He too has noticed that many professing Christians do not seem to have that personal relationship with the Father but know Him more in a textbook way, just going through the motions of church etc. but missing what is the most important thing, talking and walking with God on their own, in their own hearts, spending time with Him. Knowing Him.
Out of that personal relationship with the Father flows the springs of living waters to others!
It should be second nature, whether an introvert or extrovert. Let's not let our reputations as a Christian be marred by a lack of care or kindness. I'm very big on this myself; I've seen things so very abused and neglected. I've seen churched people diss others because of a different pet doctrine! How's that for the enemy to come in? Don't let him! That is the attitude that hung Jesus on the cross! Can you believe I have to write this even? I know those who subscribe or comment here are not like that. If you were, you would not be a subscriber or commenter here. ; )
Christianity should not be an inner social country club as I'm sure you would agree, it should be an everyday walk with Jesus, we should be those Light bearers to the checker at the store, the man who fixes our motors etc. I have found these to be the treasures! The true friends in life! True church? Yes. And those precious angels often minister to ME.
I remember going into the prisons with my husband who was a chaplain, we both were in that ministry through Prison Fellowship. We became very close to those young and older men. One Christmas we were invited in as family to two of the prisoners and brought our little girls. We mingled with the wives and other children of these prisoners. It brings tears to me eyes as I write this. Later my birthday was to come and my phone rang. It was those prisoners in the chaplain's office singing 'Happy Birthday' to me. They sounded like a Marine band choir. I'll never forget it.
As the late David Wilkerson's sister, Ruth told me one day on the phone after my step daddy had suddenly passed away.... Something to this effect: Every day I ask God what adventure we are to go on. I walk my dog and talk with God and it may be going to the Christian bookstore and he tells me what book to get or whatever, but God is with me and it's a new adventure every day.
I'll never forget her voice. She had said the word, God just like her brother, David Wilkerson.
I read this little story in my Streams in the Desert devotional and thought it was so sweet and just so wonderful. It's about an elderly man who many thought eccentric. Everywhere he went he carried an oil can and oiled any door or hinge that would creak. May I be like the little man with the oil of kindness!
Do you carry your own can of oil with you? Are you ready with your oil of helpfulness each morning? If you offer your oil to the person nearest you, it may just lubricate the entire day for him. Your oil of cheerfulness will mean more than you know to someone who is downhearted. Or the oil may be a word of encouragement to a person who is full of despair. Never fail to speak it, for our lives may touch others only once on the road of life, and then our paths may diverge, never to meet again.
The oil of kindness has worn the sharp, hard edges off many a sin-hardened life and left it soft and pliable, ready to receive the redeeming grace of the Savior. A pleasant word is a bright ray of sunshine on a saddened heart. Therefore give others the sunshine and tell Jesus the rest.
We cannot know the grief
That men may borrow;
We cannot see the souls
Storm-swept by sorrow;
But love can shine upon the way
Let us be kind.
Upon the wheel of pain so many weary lives are broken,
So may our love with tender words be spoken.
Let us be kind.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Romans 12:10
Here's some photos of the past month I thought you might like to see, so I will share:
James, Marianna, Josh, Michelle, Lea, Jem and Me the day after Thanksgiving. We have the two bestest son in loves ever. They both can take one look at me and get what I'm thinking. Kind? Yes! : ) Jem and I have been married for over 38 years and he calls me Gi-Gi. We have a lot of fun together and yes, he is very kind to me. We had our times as young ones knocking each other's rough edges off, smoothing each other but we have tumbled in the rock-gem tumbler pretty well over the years! lol We have such pleasant outings and peaceful suppers together in our middle years.
A jolly good time! James, Marianna, Josh, Michelle, Lea, Jem and me. Rebecca wasn't able to attend this day.
James and Marianna, and ....Another new Grand-baby Blessing coming this May! Oh my goodness, a double Mi Mi I will be! (Hands clapping with a smile)
Lea and I had a blast picking out a whole bunch of toys for children who don't have much. Many went to Lea's church for their Christmas program where parents who are in need can 'shop' for their children and some of the stuffed animals went to the local police department to give to children the police see have a need for Christmas. I really enjoy picking out toys at the local Dollar General. They have very good values, and adorable toys. We also found some cuties at the little Walmart in smalltown. We just had a ball getting the stuff. When we dropped the ones off at the police department the darling young receptionist came out to get them from us and her eyes melted. She gently stroked the fur of the sweet stuffed animals and said... Oh they are going to like these... It blessed my heart.
Nicholas, our Christmas tree. He is very glad to get out of the attic!
Nicholas is all dressed now.
When Lea and I were at Dollar General I spied a little ornament kit. The package made 5 foam ornaments! For only one dollar, an entire kit that makes 5 ornaments! They were darling ornaments and easy to do and....Fun!
We want fun, not frustration right?!
My mom (almost 89!) got a kick out of the little ornaments too, she doesn't care for complicated so these were perfect! No glue needed, everything stuck together with it's own adhesive backing! Michelle had an appointment so we'll have to catch up!
Who wouldn't want to have one of these cuties on their tree?
Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses! See the Art!
Our girls love to make Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses, so Rebecca, our youngest decided to host a little Gingerbread House night. Fun for sisters, husbands and special friends.
Everyone had their own style, Shay was making his with the precision of a surgeon, Shay tries to help others with his knowledge and has a servant's heart, even in the kitchen. : )
Shay made the city skyline, so sleek! He made this with the mental preparation of General Doolittle of the WWII Doolittle Raid! We are talking exact. The photo just doesn't do it justice.
Rebeccca made this whimsical little cottage with pets, a horse with a little saddle and a camel and squirrel with Santa hats. Her trees are fascinating upon fluffy coconut snow.
Lea made a classic Gingerbread cottage, sweet tart walkway! I want to eat the berries!
Marianna made a classic cottage with a little kitty-cat! How adorable, whiskers and everything!
James made the Alamo! Look at the little bears crawling up the ladder and some running the door with a huge pretzel 'log'! lol
A cannon too at the top.
The horse has white tipped hooves, so sweet. James' grandfather trained Tennessee Walking horses.
These guys... they have quite the imagination!
Josh and Michelle were unable to join us this evening. (next time kids?)
Our Nativity overlooked everyone. Sweet Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the precious animals that Holy Night along with the solemn Wisemen. Beautiful I think.
Gracie. This is sooooo Gracie.
I thought this was sooooooo funny! It's true, we don't need to over-do right? I'm trying to keep it simple and let the girls do their thing. Edit: 12.11.18 I asked Jem if I should've posted this video with some of the more sobering things on this blog. He said. Why not? People *need* to laugh at Christmas! He is so correct...
This is my little elfkin. I like to take him places for that fun whimsical never- going-to-grow-up feel. And yes, I do take pics but don't go through trouble. Perfectionism is yuck. It's got to be serendipidity or it's not fun to me. : )
Oh...And one more thing. Let's not be Heelots this Christmas season.
Following is one of my favorite Christmas movies. Meet John Doe. (1941). This is a Capra GREAT.
The ending of this movie speaks of something very important, that man, the first John Doe who died 2000 years ago as Barbara Stanwyck puts it. This is a wowee movie. Highly recommend. Gary Cooper is totally the bomb in this movie. How can ya go wrong, Cooper directed by Capra? Wow.
I have little reminders of Guiseppe around, I miss that little guy, our fur angel, dearly. I still have this on my wipeboard on my fridge. It is from the morning of the evening he passed away in my arms. I just cannot bring myself to erase this. I just can't.
Lea brought this home to me...
Missing my dad too this Christmas season...
Take care, Loves. Thanks for bearing with me on kindness. I felt the recuring nudge of the Holy Spirit to put something up on that.
I just really appreciate you all. I really do. Love to sweet Readers and Friends, ~Amelia
Let's be Christmas as in Jesus with skin on to others. : )
I saw this in a shop... Loved it.