Eternal Hope


Post Christmas check-in.

How are you doing? Are you rested and recovered from the blur of last-minute preparations? 

December 24, 7:00 pm

There is excitement in the air! Lights are twinkling, carols are playing, gifts are waiting. All is merry and bright.

December 25, 7:00 pm

Christmas is over. I ate too much. Tomorrow we have to clean up the mess, return and exchange gifts, and put all the decorations away. And where on earth is that gift for Uncle Joe that never arrived in the mail?

🎄🎄🎄

Beyond the Manger

The week before Christmas, my husband and I began watching The Chosen. (If you have not discovered this new series about the life and ministry of Jesus, be sure to check it out.)

Two days after Christmas, we discovered a special episode about Jesus’ birth. After watching it, I began thinking about the day after Jesus was born. What happened that day? The Bible doesn’t say specifically, but most likely, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus left the stable to pay their taxes. And the manger went back to being a feeding trough for the animals. Imagine that.

For one night, that manger became a humble bed for our Savior, yet over 2,000 years later, it still fills us with hope. So, as you begin packing away your decorations this week, and Christmas 2020 becomes a distant memory, remember that Immanuel — God with us — remains forever.

Perfect Peace


Last weekend we took a drive out to my brother’s home in Winchester, VA. The ride in itself is peaceful, and I always enjoy seeing the hillsides dotted with dairy cows and sheep along the way. As we crossed  over the Shenandoah River, the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains came into view, revealing the slightest hint of fall colors beginning to show along their peaks.

Hidden Treasure

The highlight of my visit is a short walk down the winding path to a hidden gem, a treasure tucked behind a grove of hickory trees. I’ve named it Peaceful Pond, because that is what it is to me. Tranquility. Serenity. Peace-filled.

It is a tiny farm pond, probably only 6 feet deep at its center, and less than an acre in size, but it has abundant life within it and along the muddy banks.

What I most treasure is the sound of the pond . . . a beautiful melodic blend of birdsong and leaves fluttering in the fall breeze. It is the very sound of nature.

And there is an abundance of colorful wildflowers and weeds rimming the pond’s edge, with pink, purple and yellow petals, and plenty of cattails.

We’ve seen turtles and frogs, geese and Red-Winged Blackbirds. The pond is teaming with Largemouth Bass and Bluegill. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon casting and reeling to your heart’s content. And if you take time to look for them, you will also see the tracks of raccoon, squirrel and deer left in the mud where they stopped for a drink.

We all need a spot like this . . . a place for peace, a getaway when life becomes overwhelming, as it seems to be most days of late. It serves as a reminder that there is peace in the simplicity and perfection of God’s creation.

☁️🌥⛅️🌤☀️

Yes, these are unsettling times. There is so much uncertainty, so much anxiety and so much stress. Behind our masks, there is fear and anguish. We have lost our way and we each need to find a place of peace.

I am reminded of a verse from the prophet Isaiah:

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” — Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭

Where can we find “perfect peace”? Is there such a thing?

When I find myself lately being drawn into despair, I turn my thoughts back to Jesus, my Rock and the source of all peace. It is a peace found not only beside quiet ponds in the woods, but in the midst of the chaos around us. His peace is steadfast and ever-present. Be still and trust that God remains in control.