May your stocking runneth over

Bethany has posted a prayer request.


11:30 p.m….The caroling was fun and the food was good. Several of us stayed pretty late at the church. Beth made a video of Brandon and Andy singing, but they could only make it through the first verse of the song because Brandon was cracking up. She’s going to post it when she gets it off the camera. We had 27 people tonight.


After we caroled at 2 nursing homes, we went to Ruthie’s house. Ruth is a church member whose life has not been easy. When she was married, her husband abused her, and would not allow her to go to church. He also continually cheated on her. She will freely tell people the story of her life. She fell one day many years ago, and badly injured her knee. Her husband would not let her go to the doctor because he did not want another man looking at her leg. She finally did go to the doctor much later, but by then, her knee was permanently damaged.


She learned to walk, making accomodations for the injured knee, and lived that way about 40 years. But almost 3 years ago, she broke her hip and had replacement surgery. She did great after the surgery, but it messed up that knee again, because she could no longer walk the way she did to accomodate the deformed knee. The doctor wanted her to have surgery for it, too, but one of her daughters was afraid she would not survive the surgery, and she could not stand to be without her mother (Ruth is 89 now and the daughter was in her 60’s.) Because of that daughter’s selfishness, Ruthie is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.


Ruth lives by herself. For a while, a granddaughter lived with her (the daughter of the daughter that stopped the surgery). But the granddaughter forged a bunch of checks on Ruth’s account, and took all her money. The daughter never even told Ruthie how sorry she was that her daughter had done that.


Well…..last week, that daughter died of cancer. Ruth is so sad tht she lost a daughter. Tonight she told us she is so tired of living by herself, and she has thought about an assisted living center. But she knows she can’t afford it.


When we had to leave, she didn’t want to let us go. She just held onto our hands. She absolutely adores Bethany. I feel so sorry for Ruthie. She’s one of the sweetest ladies. So please pray for Ruth. She needs a miracle in her life, too. This is Ruthie, 2 years ago at my parents’ 50th anniversary party:


Ruthie


Here’s a few pictures. I did not get one of Rachael because my camera batteries died and I could not find the spare batteries. Brandon and Andy were singing, and Beth was laughing at them.


Brandon Andy Andy & Brandon Beth laughing at Brandon


5:40 p.m….It is crazy in Walmart. Christmas brings out crazy people who have children that make you want to run over them with your grocery cart  But I did see a friendly, familiar face over there. I saw Frances, mom of my new niece-in-law, Holly. She actually survived the wedding.


I got a picture of Santa Jim…


Jim


When Manuel saw me at Walmart, he said, “Heeeeeyyyy…..whatcha doin?” I thought it was real obvious that I was shopping.  And Robert was out gathering baskets, watching the garden department door. I know he was looking for Beth. It was way too obvious.


We are having some ridiculous weather for December. People are wearing shorts and my hibiscus in the front yard is blooming. I snapped this as I was leaving for Walmart:


Hibiscus


I’ll catch up on everybody’s blogs tonight after we get home. I kinda don’t have much time right now.


Today is my cousin Jill’s birthday. She is 40…I really hope she makes it to 41. She’s undergoing chemo right now, and seems to be doing pretty well. She is a new grandmother. It’s her son Thomas, and his wife Becca, that had the baby on Monday.


1:15 p.m…When I woke up today (I slept late again), I had a song running through my head. It was Will You Go With Me, by Josh Turner. That’s the song Holly chose as the recessional at the wedding. I really like it. I didn’t know why it might have been running through my head, though, until I walked in our bathroom. I didn’t think I could hear it before, but Beth was playing it upstairs. Her room is right above our bathroom. I guess I could hear it in my sleep.


 I went through my usual routine – feeding all the cats and then making coffee. I have to feed them first to keep them occupied and out of my way while I’m making coffee. Then I started cooking. I have a stockpot full of chicken noodle soup on the stove, and I am still in the process of baking cornbread muffins….in every muffin pan I could find. I’m planning on around 20 people tonight for our soup and cornbread dinner after Christmas caroling. Rachael…there’s even some heart-shaped muffins just for you  But I ate 2 of the muffins. Well…..they were falling apart and I can’t serve defective food to other people. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.  (Cornbread muffins make a pretty good breakfast.)


I opened the pantry door….and saw some things I had intended to put in the box to Ethan. I told him sometimes I really miss my mind.  But the good thing is, the post office will still be there after Christmas.  Ethan….it’s a bunch of those little tubes of powdered drink mix, that you just add to a bottle of water. I had gotten them a while back, and was saving them because I knew you’d be going back over there. And that’s what I forgot to add. So if you have any special requests, tell me, so I can send that, too. If I don’t forget


My sister sent an email this morning, with that same “Santa died laughing” joke I posted yesterday…only this one has sound. Santa is laughing the most annoying laugh I have ever heard!


I have to go to Walmart in a little while. I still have shopping to do, but I’m pretty much down to the gift cards now. My nephews would rather get those than anything else. And I want to give one to a lady at church. I have not even gotten any Christmas cards sent out this year, which is unusual. I’m making my list and checking it 40 gazillion times, because I know there is something I will forget.


I just got this from Focus on the Family and thought it could not be emphasized too much, especially at Christmas:


‘If you can take the time to do something for someone else, it helps you put
everything in perspective.’
 


Last week, CitizenLink asked its readers, “What Does Christmas Mean to You?” Nearly 600 of you responded! Thank you for taking the time to write.


Stephanie Hertz of New Orleans, La., was selected as the winner and is the subject of today’s Friday Five feature. Hertz, 48, is looking forward to spending Christmas with her sisters and their families. 


Here is her winning response:


“At Christmas time, I remember what my Heavenly Father did for me in sending Jesus. I try to reach out to others by offering help when I can. I truly believe that God can touch the lives of others if they can just see some kindness in someone.


“Christmas means going to the store for an elderly friend. Visiting someone that can’t get out. Paying toll on the bridge for the person behind me in line. Buying toys for a child that would otherwise not receive anything for Christmas. When we do these things for others, it shows a clear picture of what Christmas is, to others who may not have been fortunate enough to grow up in a Christian home. I believe this softens an individual’s heart and allows Jesus to speak to them. I don’t take credit for these ideas. I learned them from the Master Himself, Jesus. No one gave as unselfishly as He did.”


1. How long have you been reading CitizenLink?


I haven’t been reading long. I’m not sure exactly how I found it on the Internet. I found CitizenLink, and I liked it. It was positive, and a place where you could respond to different things in the media and make your voice heard. It’s only been a couple of months. I saw it; I liked it; I e-mailed my sister. She liked it. She signed on, too.


2. In your winning answer, you talk about serving others. Do you have any stories to share from this Christmas?


My daughter has a girlfriend who is a single mom. She’s on a very limited budget. Her little boy is 10. Every year, me and my two sisters and my cousin, we like to buy a full outfit of clothes and shoes and toys for a child. I told them about this girl and her son, and I said, ‘If you all want to buy for this child, he’s in need.’ They bought all kinds of stuff. I have two great big shopping bags full of stuff. I’m going to take it over there to his mom, for her to be able to put out for Christmas, so that when he wakes up, he’ll have things to open.


3. Tell me about Katrina and the rebuilding process. What role have churches taken?


I really see God working in the city of New Orleans. When the storm came, it was devastating. It seemed like the end of life as we knew it, and our hometown. As things have gone on, I have seen a lot of change for the good. I hear, on a regular basis, the local news media talking about God; on the TV, on the radio, everybody is not afraid to just mention it. Before, you didn’t hear any of that. The name Katrina means cleansing. The city can really take this opportunity to rebuild and do away with the old ways and turn around for the best.


The churches have been leading the rebuilding process. Churches from all across the United States came down here, volunteered, helped people rebuild.


4. Did you lose your home?


My home had no damage and no water. I was so relieved, and then, I just felt this overwhelming sense of guilt, that so many people’s homes were destroyed, and mine wasn’t. A good friend of mine who lived not far away, husband and wife, two children — their house had 18 inches of water in it. They had nothing. They were able to stay with me for seven months. Then I realized, that’s why my house wasn’t messed up, so I could let someone else have a place to stay.


5. What would you say to those who are either rebuilding a house this Christmas, or trying to rebuild their lives?


It’s very tough. They have to put their faith in God. I just encourage them to keep going. This is a tough time of year for some people. If you can take the time to do something for someone else, if you volunteer, if you could see people who are in far worse shape than you are, it helps you put everything in perspective.


That’s good advice. If we spend our time doing things for other people, we have far less time to notice the things that are going wrong in our own lives. And just maybe there would be less going wrong in our lives if we spent them serving others.


troops_1


If you are looking for the cartoon Linda linked to, it is in the previous post.


My sister sent this Christmas card:


Joy Stocking runneth over


I forgot to mention that yesterday was my parents’ 52nd wedding anniversary. On the 29th, we are going to Athens, TX, for the 50th anniversary party of some friends. I’ve known Philip and Anna Fay all my life. Philip grew up with my parents and met Anna Fay in college. She was our church pianist until they retired and moved to Athens to live near one of their sons. Their oldest son lost his wife 2 years ago to cancer.


Hi, E. Miss you. Praying for you always.

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7 thoughts on “May your stocking runneth over

  1. woohoo!!  I’m first!!
    that cat in the stocking is hilarious!  I want to get a picture of Lucy in a stocking but just found ours tonight.  We don’t have a mantle so there’s not really a place to hang them.  At least we have a tree up this year though!  (First time in like 4 years!)
    Sending big hugs your way!!

  2. RYC:  She will cry. Those are the only pictures I have of my grandparents. My paternal grandmother died when I was 2, so I never knew her. My paternal grandpa was a very mean man and wasn’t around while I was a child. He died when I was 23.  When my oldest son was born Doug insisted on finding my grandpa and letting him know his great grandson. We visited with him and had a very nice 2 1/2 years. He died when my middles  son was 5 months old.
    My maternal grandma died when I was 12 and grandpa when I was 14.  I was very close to them and spent lots of time with them.
    The pictures were not real good to make the plates, they should be standing close together so you can enlarge them enough to complete cover the center of the plate. When it is all you have it is all you have and you make do.
    I am headed out to Benton to my nephews. Have a great weekend and a Merry CHRISTmas.
    :love:

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