Monday, December 12, 2011

Receiving - And a Chistmas Giveaway

The little boys and I tucked a seventh chair under our dining room table. Wrapped a bed in soft, winter flannel. Twisted sparking, white lights in Logan's bedroom window.
My oldest son will be home for Christmas.

It's impossible to prepare for him, to rejoice in togetherness, without being touched, in the deepest, most tender place, by God's gentle care and love. Two years ago, I was stretched taut with the uncertainty of upcoming change. Two years ago, I couldn't imagine opening my closed fist, and my heart, to release my son, even knowing that it was necessary and right and good.

But God came close. Spoke through His Word. Brought daily encouragement, promise, love. He provided for me. For my son.

And somewhere in the growth, the stretch, the pull of new trust, blessings came. Many. Fresh and new. And this joy, the homecoming joy, the welcoming a boy-grown joy, is one one of the blessings.

But I had to let go to receive it.

Thank you, God, for teaching me to receive.

A memory from Christmas past, Guideposts, last December: 
Link to "The Ornament" at


As a small, heartfelt thank you for your friendship and time, I'd like to give away a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love, and a copy of Cec Murphey and Marley Gibson's The Spirit of Christmas. God allowed me to have stories in both books.

Just please leave a comment, or send an e-mail... a line or two about something Christmas. Anything Christmas. A blessing. A Memory. Tradition. Then in our high-tech way, we'll write names on slips of paper and Zay will pull two from a hat ~ one for each book.

I'm grateful for you and to you.

Sending warm and wonderful wishes for a very Merry Christmas...(will post winners next Monday).

With Love,


  1. I love you and your heart for God, Shawnelle! Thank you for sharing this! Christmas traditions.. Hmm. We are still a young family and are trying to come up with some fitting traditions for us. But a favorite memory would be opening a box that I was sure was shoes to find the softest (Cabbage Patch size) sweetest dolly inside-auburn yarn hair, brown little dress with white and yellow flowers on it, arms up as if waiting for me to hug her. Which I did with squeals of delight. She was the best dolly I ever had. All cloth, so sweet and endearing. Perfect for cuddling. :-) Thanks for asking!
    My favorite adult memory was Aaron proposing in front if my whole family! What a wonderful night that was!
    Amy Farrey

  2. Thank you, Amy. How precious ~ that your doll's arms were up, as if waiting for a hug. That is just so sweet. And the proposal...dear. I'd love to hear more about that sometime. Maybe over coffee...:) And Amy, I love you, too.

  3. I love thinking about your boys preparing for the arrival of their big brother. Such a special relationship. My Christmas thought? Well, ornaments that my kids made when they were little are some of the favorites to go on our tree. I especially love their little handprints on muslin with green ribbons. Merry Christmas!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing, Peggy. Oh, those sweet handprints. What a blessing. You know, I used to love to help decorate Mamo and Papo's tree. They still had ornaments my mom and her sisters had made, after all those years, more precious with time. Treasure. Sending hugs your way...

  5. I so enjoy reading your blog and stories! God has blessed your writing in so many ways! Christmas is such a special time for our family. We do as many family activities as we can; ice skating, roller skating, incredible pizza, cookie baking,movies at home, reading Christmas books or getting all snuggled in our bed to watch a movie. The boys have both caught that Christmas Spirit, and r making homemade gifts for family and friends! Merry Christmas from our Peeps to yours! Happy Birthday Jesus!

  6. Thanks, Tammy, for sharing. Love it...esp reading Christmas books and snuggling together. Such sweet times. And homemade gifts ~ I know Gabe is excited:) Merry Christmas to your dear fam, and YES! Happy Birthday, Jesus!

  7. My favorite Christmas memory is of a gift Sydni had given me. I was in the midst of my divorce, working many hours and going back to college as a single mom, and had endured a cancer scare and surgery three weeks before Christmas. Life was tough. On Christmas morning Sydni brought me a small package she had wrapped herself. Inside I found a small printed paper box held together with ribbon (she had made it at a Festival of Trees craft table I had taken her to) and inside that box she was so proud of making were all of her pennies she had saved. Be still my heart! That is still my most treasured gift and it sits on my bedroom dresser all year long! She was only four years old at that time and I love to tell her that story now, as a twelve year old.

  8. Kelly~ This is precious. So dear. I read it twice because it touched my heart deeply. That gift from Sydni truly is a treasure - a reflection of her sensitive, giving, others-focused heart...and at such a young age.Giving what she had. This is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.(I love that the gift is on your dresser)