Faith · Grief

Christmas Tears

I’ve always loved the simple things of Christmas. The tree glowing in the evening, Christmas music in the air, baking cookies, Christmas parties, the holiness of Christmas, Communion and candle light.

The gifts are an annoying side gig that I must participate in. There was always one beacon in all of the Christmas shopping and that was the annual shopping trip I took with my Dad.

He was the embodiment of Christmas cheer and we had some adventures. There was the year we came out the wrong entrance of the mall and were convinced that someone stole the car. The year we were so busy talking that I missed our exit and we ended up in another state.

Secretly, our shopping was just an end to a means. The means, margaritas and Mexican food. At that table we would laugh, solve word problems and discuss all things past and present.

Dad was plagued with several health issues, failing lungs were one of them. The last few years we gave up the shopping and headed straight to the nearest Mexican restaurant.

It was all he could do to get from the car to the table. But once settled at our table, margaritas in hand we would laugh and talk. As we had dinner and our second margarita arrived, his breathing would ease and I was certain margaritas were his cure. If only we could stay there forever.

Sadly the margaritas were not the cure and this year Dad’s lungs, ever so slowly, stopped their breathing in and breathing out. We knew it was coming, but nothing prepares you for loosing someone so dear. The missing, the aching.

This year has been a year of tears, they can come at any time. Some days I feel panic set in as I try to remember his voice. Walking in my parents house and glancing into my Dad’s empty workshop, grief grips my heart.

Christmas has brought a fresh cup of brimming tears. The thought of Christmas without him seems unfathomable. I want to skip it, run away from it and I certainly don’t want to do any Christmas shopping.

As much as I want to sit with my tears and let them have their way, I have continued to resist them. Maybe I am afraid if I start crying I may never stop.

I read this article What Grieving People Wish You Knew at Christmas , by Nancy Guthrie. I was given this fresh perspective on tears.

For most of us, grief tends to work itself out in tears — tears that come out at times we don’t expect. Sometimes grieving people sense that people around them see their tears as a problem to be solved — that te

Nancy’s words are true. Tears are not my enemy. I am still a woman of faith.

Tears are a gift, a healing gift from God. They will help to wash away my deep anguish.

This Christmas I choose to open His gift and let them fall.

Advent · Hope

Our Living Hope

Today we light the Hope candle. All had been quiet for 400 years. God’s people were waiting for the Light to pierce the darkness. Waiting for their Living Hope to arrive.

As we set our hearts toward Christmas, let’s take a moment and lift our hands and hearts in thanks to Jesus, who is still our Living Hope today. 🙌❤️🙌

Faith · Poetry · self publishing

My New Twist on Publishing Poetry Part I

I began writing poetry a few years ago, and I am loving it, every part.

I love the initial idea and then the weaving of words and sounds.

I love writing in small increments.

I find that in the editing is where I find a poem’s rhythm. The process simply brings me joy.

I post my poems here on the blog and again on some social media platforms.

But then what?

If I’m lucky, really lucky, my poems may be considered for a poetry chapbook. Of course that would mean, finding someone to publish them, which would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

If you, like me, have a file full of poems, and you are wondering how in the world will you ever get them published? I may have an idea for you.

A dear friend asked me, “Have you ever considered printing your own poetry?

Honestly, the idea never occurred to me.

She went on to say, “You could print your poetry and also create some greeting cards from their content. How about you do that and come sell them at our Holiday Maker’s Market.”

I told her I’d get back to her on that, and I let that idea roll around in my mind for several days.

New ideas began to come to mind…

I purchased some graphic designs and began to design poems and greeting cards on a great design site, Canva

I love this site, because it is so easy to use and gives you all of the tools you need.

I also studied font pairings. Learning how to coordinate fonts, brought my poems to life and made them pleasing to the eye. Canva also has a great article on font pairings, you can find them here and here

Then I began to design, often giving each poem and greeting card two different designs, with different color palates.

My son works in publishing and he agreed to be my editor. They great thing with him was he was not afraid to give me honest feed back. Find someone like him, someone who isn’t afraid to hurt your feelings, but loves you.

I then sent my poems and greeting card documents off to the printer.

For smaller poems I used the size of 8.5 x 8.5

For medium poems 8.5 x 11

For large poems 8.5 x 14

Card size was 4.25 x 5.5

Then the idea of hanger frames came to my mind.

Here are the steps to making hanger frames:

Supplies:

Wood trim 1/2 inch

Twine

Staple gun and 1/4 inch staples

Since all of my poems are printed 8 1/2 inches wide. I can cut the wood all the same size. You will want to cut your wood 9 1/2 inches. You want an 1/2 extra on each side.

Be sure to sand any rough edges.

You will then drill holes on each side 1/4 inch in from the end.

You can play around with the length of your twine. You will string it through the holes with the knot in the front.

Attach your poem. You can either use tacks (less than 1/4 inch in length) Or heavier duty staples.

*Just a note. Framing your poems may take longer than writing them, but hang in there!

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My husband made a simple display table and I am ready to go.

This Saturday is the big day at the Holiday Maker’s Market!

You can see all about it here

Am I nervous? Yes! Will this work out? I don’t know!

Here is what I do know. I’m better for trying. I’m better for taking a chance.

The wonderful bonus: My husband Mark and I had such a great time working on this together.

All I can imagine words I have written filled with love and encouragement gracing space in someone’s home, or providing the love and care that comes in a greeting card.

I base all of my poetry from scripture, which always accomplishes God’s perfect purpose in the hearer’s life, and the thought of that really causes my heart to soar.

Stay tuned for Part II and I’ll let you know how it all turned out!

Faith · Poetry

Behind the Poem:. The Breath of Life

Behind the Poem: The Breath of Life
If you have been in the room when a baby was born, you’ve experienced it. Their first breath. What a miracle moment!

Can you imagine being present as all creation caught its first breath, the breath of God.

This is where I wanted to go with this poem, the miracle of creation, the miracle of life.

Can you hear it? The breathing in, the breathing out of all things. 🦢