Chapped Cheeks and Tingling Fingers


Wow!  How I love this time of year.

I just came in from putting up some garland around the patio. Haven’t made it to the lights yet. We’ll probably wait until tomorrow to get those up. It’s quite chilly outside and I love it. Even though my cheeks feel chapped and I have tingling fingers I can’t help but gulp down a good ice-cold bottle of water! Yummy.

I have my tv tuned into “Sounds of The Seasons” and my frosty toes are tapping to Suzy Snowflake. I feel like I have a handle on shopping. In fact, I am very close to being finished. And yes, you guessed, I love to wrap.

I always think back over my life and recall so many happy, Christmas memories. One year my papaw and me took a walk up behind the little cabin where we lived (Mamaw, Papaw, Mom and Me). I was probably 17. We were very poor that year and things were really tight. So, we walked up behind the cabin looking for a tree to cut down to be used as this years Tannenbaum. We quickly spotted the little tree that would be perched in the living room. Much to our surprise we also spotted two beautiful deer standing just beyond the tree. Now I had a perfect illustration of the phrase “like a deer caught in the headlights.” They just stood there staring at us as we stood motionless staring back at them. Soon, the moment was gone and the white tail deer were on their way. It was such a special moment that I will never forget. I know that my life has seen its share of ups and downs, but praise God above He never took His hand off me.il_570xN.650364854_45hj

Looking back I see so many places where He protected me and kept me from harm. I see where He guided my footsteps away from danger and touched the hearts of those who could have hurt me. My Heavenly Father is awesome. I hope you know Him the way I do.

I know that there is much debate about the correct time that Jesus was born. Was it winter? Was is spring? For me, it simply does not matter. I celebrate His birth everyday. I’m just thankful that God sent His one and only Son to earth to save our souls. What a love! What a gift! There has never been any better. This reminds me of song….I’ll post a link to it.

Well, I’ve shared my evening with you. It is now dark outside. I can’t wait to get the lights up tomorrow…but for now, I think I’m gonna have some hot chocolate!

Give Thanks
        God bless,  Rachel


Treasures on Earth

Spending time with my family is what I cherish most about this time of year.  Remove all the presents, the decorations, the food and crazy schedules and it all boils down to time well spent with my loved ones.  I love catching up with all the cousins and aunts and uncles and seeing how the kids are all growing up way too fast.  There is nothing like looking in to the eyes of the youngest one there and seeing your grandma’s eyes looking back at you.  That is amazing!!

My family hails from southeastern Kentucky.  Yep!  We come right out of the holler’.  My mom and her sister and two brothers were raised in severe poverty.  However, you would never know it if you met them.   My uncles worked in the coal mines and I can honestly say that I’m proud to be a coal miner’s daughter!  But I’ll save that for another time…

I get so excited as the evening closes in and the coffee gets poured while we all gather around to hear the stories of old.  Sometimes we pull out old photo albums and that will spark a story which inevitably leads to another story.  I love it!  I would say to anyone reading this…if you are blessed enough to still have your grandparents then run…don’t walk…as fast as you can and ask them to tell you about what they did for fun when they were young.  Ask them about the price of gas or bread…better yet, ask them about their mom and dad.  You have a treasure in front of you just waiting to shine!

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.
Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children. ~Alex Haley
All too quickly time will pass you by.  You will blink and twenty years will be gone.  I believe that is why we need to make every moment count.  Take as  many pictures and videos as you can.  Hug your family every day.  Children…respect your parents.  Parents…respect your children.  You won’t get this day back.

Go and make a memory today….

Christmas Spirit…

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:7

 It was a day of presents today at the shelter.  People’s goodness and generosity never cease to amaze me.  Everyone talks about hard times and how they are struggling just to make ends meet…even still, when Christmas rolls around people’s hearts begin to melt as fast as the temperature drops.  Lights go up, carols are sung, gifts get wrapped and spirits are lifted.  Christmas truly is magical.

In my ten years of working at this shelter for women and children, I am never so touched as I am this time of year.  I see miracles everyday.  Seriously!!  When a mom or single gal is ready to move out she might mention that she needs a couch or maybe a stove.  It never fails that in the same day we will receive a phone call from someone saying they have a used couch or stove and just wanted to know if we knew someone who could use it.  It blows my mind.

We help women and children who have been through all kinds of unimaginable life events.  Day after day of hearing these tragic stories and seeing these innocent children suffer because of their parents drug use or domestic violence or just plain old poverty, takes a toll on your heart.  Sooner or later you start to feel like there is no good left in the world and that all people are mean and out for themselves.

Then comes Christmas. The celebration of God’s greatest gift to mankind. Suddenly, people start to do good. They give of their time and their money to help those less fortunate. People are smiling and laughing and talking to total strangers as if they were long lost friends. I wonder what makes people so happy? I mean, any other time we would all be complaining about spending money we don’t have or giving up time we can’t spare…not at Christmas.

You see it too, right?  I’m not just imagining this feel good time of year.  However, I don’t think it’s the gifts or the glittery wrapping paper.  It’s not the mistletoe or the stockings.  I’m not betting on Frosty or Santa either.  I know, without a doubt what it is for me…


“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.   And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.   For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.   And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.   And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.'”

Luke 2: 8-14