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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Images

When I was a child, one of the greatest lessons in patience was the slow march through the fall school semester: cool, then cooler weather and shorter days. School crafts marked the special calendar events of fall, leading up to that most joyous time, Christmas.

Some time in the middle of December my mother would select a six-foot-something tree and my father would lug the fir into the house and set it up in our ancient, slightly rusted tree stand.
We decorated our Christmas tree with a few well-crafted homemade ornaments and lots of Hallmark specials. I used to explore each bough, trying to decide where I'd most like to sit if I were one of the snowmen or bear or angel ornaments.

We weren't great artists so each tree never went beyond anything but ordinary looking. Didn't matter. It was the emotion evoked by pulling the box of ornaments out of storage, unwrapping each ornament and enjoying the memory of past Christmases. "Last year Mr. Snowman sat near the top of the tree, facing the fireplace," I told my sister. "This year let's put him by the sofa."

One of my favorite ornaments was a large orb with a hand-painted picture of the wisemen and their camels. The indigo sky was illuminated by the brightness of the star and we children knew that those wisemen or kings were being guided toward a very important destination: the baby Jesus.
The picture filled me with a sweet yearning I couldn't even define. I looked at it every day and thought about that night two thousand years ago. It must have been an incredibly important event because so many ornaments, decorations and paintings, done by so many different artists, show the same thing.

Inspired by those artists, my child-mind formed its own pictures of that event. Those craftsmen and women, over the ages, whether motivated by faith or economic need, helped introduce a young child to the awe and wonder of God clothed in humanity.

"We three kings of Orient are: bearing gifts, we traverse afar;
Field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.
Star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to Thy perfect light."(John H. Hopkins Jr.)


  1. Dena,
    I love reading your stories! Thank you for being such a blessing to me!