Monday, December 14, 2015

The Prayer Tree

This evening, I decorated our Christmas tree. As I opened the ornament box and began unwrapping the treasures within, I found myself praying. Let me show you.

This angel has been on the top of my Christmas tree every year since I've had a tree. My best friend in high school made it for me well over 30 years ago. As I put the angel in place, I said a little prayer for Debbie.

This hand-painted goose egg ornament was a gift from our dear neighbors, Bob and Jerry, for our first Christmas in our very own house. Bob and Jerry (yes, she's a she) treated us like their own children. Bob passed away several years ago, and Jerry is in assisted living now. God bless Jerry.

This pretty angel was a gift years ago from a fellow teacher and friend. I said another of many, many prayers for her as I hung it on the tree. She lost her son to suicide last May. He was 26.

 These tiny bird houses were made by another neighbor in the days long past when his hands could do such fine work. Now both he and his wife are fighting cancer. More prayers.

My big sister made this beautiful cardinal. She's traveling abroad right now and having trouble with her knee, so prayers went up for safety and no pain or stiffness.

My middle sister made this pretty one. She has blessed me with several of her handmade ornaments over the years. She's been having trouble with her feet for a while now. Praying for healing there, too.

My aunt made this lacy ornament. Can you tell she's a master at crochet? She's also in her 90s and dealing with all that brings. God bless my Aunt Mayo.

Her older sister, my Aunt Jessie, has also given me ornaments through the years. Some she made herself, and some were made by her friends in the Woman's Club. She's 98 now, and having some trouble with high blood pressure. Still more prayers.

Then there are the ornaments my mother made. She loved Christmas! I can remember watching her make beautiful things to decorate our home. She died in 2009 and I miss her more and more. Thank you, Father, for a mother who loved me.

Robin's aunts made ornaments, too. This star and ball are covered with embroidery and sequins, evidence of their fine handwork. They're all gone now, and I miss them, too. Thank you, Father, that I had the chance to know and love them.

This little dough boy was a gift from a school child and his mother, many years ago. That little boy is in law school now. My, how the years have flown. Prayers for Scott as he navigates through life.

And so it went,

unwrapping memories and prayers,

and hanging them on our tree.

When I got to the bottom of the box, the prayer tree was beautiful and my heart was full. And I think that just might be the sweetest blessing of all this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cold Frosty Morning

Nighttime temperatures have been in the 20s here lately. This makes for some chilly mornings, during which I usually stay snug indoors. This morning, Robin called at 8:00, telling me to get my camera and hurry because the frost and fog ought to make some pretty pictures. "Dress warm," he said.

I quickly swallowed the remainder of my breakfast and threw on some clothes. Then I bundled up in my heavy coat, along with a scarf, hat, and gloves. The car thermometer said 25 degrees. Brrr! But it was worth it. The frost was indeed photo-worthy. Here are the best of about 135 images.

There's an old-time fiddle tune called "Cold Frosty Morning." Maybe the long-ago fiddler who composed it was out doing chores on just such a morning as this. Not only was it cold and frosty, it was magical, too.