I wanted to use this last post before Christmas to remember and honour the Reason for the season. It's the perfect time to do a bit of recollecting. I hope to stir up a bit of Light and Love in your life, too.
Three particular sources I draw strength from throughout the year resonate louder in my soul at Christmas.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
If I named every daily event that God has assisted me with in the last year, you’d still be reading ‘til this time next year. Instead, I hope you'll not mind that I share with you just a couple of memorable highlights.
A new book in the company of friends
Early last year, I got to work with some of my favorite people and close friends, Maria Jordan, Vicki Warner and my cousin, Rita Hicks Davis, in the production of FarmaCopeia: The Little Book on Lavender. It was my first time to work with Rita and wow! I learned sooooo much! She’s an incredible multi-media artist and graphic designer, and my ongoing thanks to her for patience and the knowledge she passed along during the book's development.
This book is the first to have my name as the only author, which was a milestone for me. That’s not to say I don’t like joint writing projects. Both are awesome and this makes my third book to play a part in authoring. There is a lot more to making a book than writing it, though, and were it not for the assistance of these women I’d still be working on it.
Maria Jordan of marcoujor's musings and Vicki Warner of WarnerWords were along for the adventure once more, in the production of our third (and since then our fourth) joint book compilation. These ladies are not only wonderful editors and also dedicated independent business owners, but also use their literary skills to consistently help the independent business community grow and thrive for all of us.
I don’t like snakes. Not saying they don’t serve a purpose, just sayin’ I don’t want them serving a purpose around me.
This summer, I spent nearly an entire day travelling around Gibson and Posey Counties with a young friend, in my care. After a tour of the Workingmen’s Institute museum and library, then a visit to Mt. Vernon for lunch and a trip to their river-front park, we headed back to his family’s home. I went inside and came back out not long after, with my hands full of stuff to load into my little SUV.
I opened the door, and before I could deposit anything inside, I saw what looked like two balls of black, plastic or rubber ribbon. One of them fell out, followed by the other one, and they were wiggling.
I’d disturbed not just one, or two, or even three, but at least five or six small snakes in my vehicle, all wrapped around each other in two wiggling piles. They’d been snuggled up against the driver’s door, between it and the seat. The seat I’d been driving all over Southwestern Indiana in, for hours
I try to get in a walk and jog every day, but that day, I put my sneakers into a whole new gear. I’ve not jogged that fast since high school.
Past the lingering, “Ick!!!” and “Eeeeek!”, the blessing is that they never touched me or my friend. And as much as it wigs me out to think of them riding along in the car with us, I’m very thankful I didn’t see them while driving, or my friend J and I might have been having supper on the other side of eternity.
Since then, I’ve been praying for additional subscribers. Ones who enjoy my work enough to keep coming back to read my weekly posts, buy my books and are awesome tippers. Not ‘cause I’m greedy. It’s ‘cause I wanna earn enough to purchase a snake proof vehicle and a pet mongoose--which I shall name Rikki Tikki Tavi. (The mongoose, not the vehicle.)
My sister’s elder mare, Touching Fire, is pushing 30-years-old. She’s an incredibly lovable horse who suffered years of neglect from a southern Indiana horse breeder before she was rescued. In fact, she nearly died the day she was rescued, and those in charge decided to put her down rather than let her linger and suffer, save one young woman. She stepped in and asked that Fire be given a chance because she felt the horse was fighting to live. She was right. About a decade later, Fire is still with us but has occasionally suffered with gastrointestinal sensitivity from her years of neglect.
This year, she got dangerously ill. The vet said there was a chance she’d make it, but the percentages weren’t good considering her age and her touchy health.
And so, we prayed. Not just my friends and family here but prayers went up from around the globe for Fire. Those of us who live in Christ, know He delivers help perfectly in ways we can’t understand, but that we can trust Him to be ever listening and interceding in our behalf. Once met, He cannot be un-met, or un-reckoned with.
The night Fire had to get through was a long one. Alicia stayed in the pasture with her all night and Fire declined. I stayed awake all night at home with Jade (my tiny parrot), and continued to pray.
Come the morning, while Alicia was here gathering up some stuff to take back to the farm and her husband waited with Fire, she got a call. The intestinal blockage had passed and Fire was improving.
God isn’t daunted by odd. He isn’t threatened by whom or what He has to work with. He is expertly capable in every situation.
If you’re not acquainted with Him, and ever get to know Him, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
My behavior is imperfect. My trust is imperfect. Thankfully, Christ is absolute perfection and is ever gracious to not let my imperfections stop Him from interacting with me. Loving me. Blessing me.
Monetarily, I could be viewed as having very little. Yet, because of Him, I’m quite wealthy in things many of the wealthy are often lacking.
I have amazing people in my life. They are unique. They are priceless. They don’t love me because I have big bucks banked. Moreover, the world can’t produce anything that I would trade them for. God considers them riches and He richly lavished me with them. To me, it’s a flawless expression of His love for me and His love for them.
This year, every day, every month since the first of it, I can find Him in every moment I recollect and I can find a multitude of reasons to be grateful--to realize I’m loved. Favored.
Christmas 1863, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was 57-years-old and thankful yet heartbroken.
His eldest son was slowly recovering from a gunshot wound sustained in battle (Civil War). His surgeons were unsure if he would ever walk again.
Also, Longfellow was still grieving the loss of his wife. She'd died in a fire two years prior. He'd tried everything to save her, including an attempt to suffocate the flames with his own body and being badly burned in the doing. Her death left him a widower and single parent of six children--the youngest being about 10.
That Christmas Day, Longfellow, feeling nearly overwhelmed with worry and grief, heard the church bells ringing carols through Washington D.C. Their message, loud and clear, was understood in a place mortal eyes can't see, but where his his immortal soul drew strength from. It is to date one of the most famous works of literature in U.S. history and is often sung throughout the Christmas season.
☙ For a special finish, please watch and listen to the vid below by Kylene YOLOcks.
Kylene is the producer of one of my favorite YouTube channels. While watching her recent vlog, about her dreadlock update (yes, she’s a dreaddie, and a very cool one) a wonderful surprise was presented about two minutes into it.
Also, don’t forget to click the like option and even subscribe if you like her channel. She’ll sincerely appreciate your interest.
Perfect timing, Kylene. Happy Christmas to you and your beautiful family!
My prayer is that you find yourself as abundantly blessed as I do while we of Christendom give thanks and honor our most precious Prince of Peace.
Thanks for the read.
Hope to have you back again next week,
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