Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hope in Seasons of Life

This season has been cold. My heart cold. The gray of the sky, darkened cool light reflects the mood as of late. Many I speak with struggle with this time of the year. My heart aches with theirs. Sharing their grief, their pain. The heaviness of life seems to paralyze at times........but there is hope. Hope has a's Jesus.

.....and He came. Yes, as a precious baby to a cold world, full of winter. Cold hearts. Full of pain. Not only did He come, he engaged those in pain, felt it Himself, and brought Hope. Hope. To the dying. To the lame. To the blind. To the weak. I am all those things. I feel all those things. I give those things. Now, that He has come.....I have Hope. I am now walking with Hope. I feel Hope. I can give Hope. I have Hope! Oh, my little heart bursts with the fullness of this very thought! Lord, You are too good to us!

You care for this unknown sparrow and give food......soul food. To nurish in those long days of winter when my heart remembers how cold it was and acts like it hasn't been changed. I am more can that be? More grace. I have Hope.

Celebrating the Oplatek.....a Polish Christmas Tradition.....breaking the Christmas bread, speaking blessing, swallowing it's deep meaning......Your blessing, Your baby body, broken for bring Hope.....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When the storms come.....

The unexpected storms of life are raging, furiously. Angry, lashing winds of condemnation screaming. Flesh is a powerful force. It's sneaky and when wrapped in the encouragement of itself, dangerous. How quickly our life can change because our fingers are used as a tool to create chaos.....

The wind howls. The boat rocks. I'm in this boat, not because I caused the storm, but because I journey closely with one who crafted the temptest.

My expectation of this holiday season becomes tainted because of the messiness of life. How little I really understand! Why desire the perfection? Planning carefully, for months.....looking forward to new things. The old things...the age old flesh comes in and ruins hours labored for awaiting His coming.

Or does it?

The boat seems to be tipping and I can imagine how the slicing, cold waters will engulf, draw me down to the depths. I gasp. Choke. I'm drowning. And it happened so very quickly. "Lord, save us!"

I'm caught up in the storm.....not resting quietly. I'm so tired. Hurt. Angry. "Where are You?!!!"

I will never leave you, nor forsake you.....

Comfort, briefly. I feel the lashing rain on my face....or is it just the hot tears of loss of control......."WHERE are You?!!!"

I am here. I will never leave you, nor forsake you.....

Listening for the still, calm voice while waves crash and the cries of my loved ones increase seems impossible.

I am here.

Immanuel? Is that You?

Comfort. Peace. Deep love.

Save me!

More peace.

Wind still furious. I am drenched with the ugliness of this flesh storm. I sigh. Choosing peace.

Night will be long for this storm to run it's course......being dragged through it. But He's in the boat. Not stopping the winds, waves.....they are still obeying Him. We must ride out this faith increasing storm. Did I just pray, "Lord, increase our faith?" Yes......and He is. He is using the dirt of this life and breaking up hard, dry soil.....preparing the field.

Shaking with flood of emotion, hurt, my own flesh reactions, will I choose this course? His way? This One who is working, not aparently sleeping in the boat? Will I rest in Him and allow Him to bring us safely to the other side? Will I choose Him as my peace?

God with the barn, the the healing of the leper, my flesh the everyday, working with hands, carving out a the storm, calming me while storm increases......and He increases my faith, deepening relationship.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Choosing Thanks

Snow covered travels to Maine in mid-October.....looking back on a dream trip and remembering His loveliness in that part of the world. I find my mind drifting pack to the places we saw, quickly seasons change and yet feel like eternity when walking through them.....

Looking forward to putting this puzzle together soon......childhood happy memories.....the puzzle encourages me to remember the good, the happy.

This beckons me to curl up in the favorite blanket that must feel like being nestled in His lap.

~for tea time and boys who remember it daily

~ladies who will gather at my home today for what I hope will be rest and comfort....a pause in this season and refocus

~for the children who will attend with them and their little voices of joy that will create laughter

~for the bloodline of Christ that wasn't made up of perfect people, but ones who chose faith and walked by it

~for choosing thanks in today in the difficult situations of life that seem to grasp, choke, squelch

holy experience

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Weekends are for......

Soaring above the cares of the past week......searching for new perspective. Freedom to just ride the wind of change and breezes of blessing.....

Looking down paths to explore and remembering treasures discovered.....

Playing. The fun that spills out when rest is entered into. A good book. A game. A mug of warmth and comfort.........

May your weekend be one of refreshment, reflecting, entering in to rest and play~ Julie

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It wasn't our tree

Anticipating the tree decorating. It's almost December. We have a date for our family night to hang ornaments, deck the halls. And then this happened......

Sunday night ended at a couple's house who invited kids over to help them decorate the tree. This grandma and grandpa opened their home and let others decorate the largest decoration of the season. She said that it "helped her out," but I know she could've done this. Yet, she opened her life, her tradition up for other kids to share. The children giggled, carefully placed ornaments, delighted in little treasures crafted last year proudly placing them on chosen branch. They were so excited. I was blessed.

My boys don't have grandparents near and the generational lifestyle we so desire is difficult to live, especially at the holidays. This couple has watched our boys grow and at a distance grew to love them as their own. I didn't ask them to do this. They just did. I am blessed.

Wondering if this event was as meaningful to them as it was to me, conversation instantly began as we took winding road home. "It felt like what going to grandma's should feel like." "I love decorating such a huge tree!" "I'm so glad we got to do this again this year." "That was really fun."

The evening wasn't anything particularly deep. No story. No analysis of the season. No defining what should occur at Christmas. There was freedom. Freedom to create. To laugh. Explore. Appreciate. Be wow-ed. =) And the deep came. The conversation between children from 2 to 17 years flowed. The story poured out. The holiday memories. These children know each other. They've been through years of just life, together. This was one of the happy moments smoothing over the troubling waters and rough edges. Smoothing. Coming together. Returning to fellowship. Isn't that part of Christmas, too? The most important part? The returning to fellowship and the tree that made the way........

Yes. wasn't our tree.......

I am blessed. The season of Thanksgiving never ends.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's a boy.......

Seventeen years ago today, I cradled a 9+ pound bundle of joy in the Outback of Australia. Looking into that smooth face of loveliness, I was afraid. How could I care for such a gift and this child? This child that I've carried closer to me than anything for 9 entire months. This babe was with me through many transitions..... a young girl desperately wanting to become a lady, a young bride of 2 years still stumbling through a change of roles and a new country, and now, a mama. This tiny one with pudgy fingers and toes, eyes wide in this new world. I know that look. I grin. This sweet one that I now will be with, face to face, and care for awaiting his cries and soothing the hurts, sniffing that delicious head, kissing that yummy face. I am with him and he is with me.

I've learned so very much about who He is in this life through mothering. He is with me. In every transition, He leads me and teaches me those things I need to learn, to grow. I cry helplessly. I am hungry. I have soiled myself and need cleansing. I gash head on corner of the bed post and need a doctor. Stitches to help heal. {I wonder if He looked on, as I did, nauseus that my one year old had to be burrito wrapped and needle through flesh....that precious flesh of mine?} Oh the mind of Him, too great to understand, but glimpses....yes, glimpses of understanding....

I delight as first steps are stumbled out on Aussie soil and board a plane on 1st birthday back to The States. He learns so well, so little boy. What joy he brings! I watch infant change to toddler. Toddler to little boy. Little boy to playful boy, creative. Boy to more of a man. More of a man, yet flickers of boy. Manliness marks this baby.

The years pass ever so quickly, but feel like eternity while in them, and I am not so young. How beautiful the life filled with the ugly-beautiful! The rawness of flesh that I am. The forgiving young adult extends grace for my faults and arms quickly wrap themselves around me. The large hands that grasp the china cup gently during daily tea time. My boy who loves to sit and visit with this mama, who remembers oh so clearly what his life is filled with today.....plans of future, knowing what God has for him, and walking closer with Him daily. What a joy to a mama's heart!

I think back on Mary often during this month. {You see, I have another son who has a birthday in a few days.... joy doubled! Two December baby boys!}

Luke 2:19 (English Standard Version)
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

A heart, purposed long ago to treasure these days, ponders the years of walking, stumbling, running....sometimes away.....but returning, a His child......

How sweet birthdays sweet to walk with Him through this life, never alone. Gift. Pure gift. One I can open daily.

holy experience

Monday, November 30, 2009

Multitude Monday

Writing in a favorite journal and will share more here......

Many things to be grateful for......

~praying for a friend,{one who inspires greatly and points me to Him} who cut finger trying to beautify her home for loved ones, gifts of grace...and in the trauma embraced His greater plan of healing sight

~changing of perspective with the changing of decorations

~needing to finish birthday preparations for my boy

holy experience

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekend Ambling

Staying home is one of the best places to amble, rest,......just be. Holiday weekends provide such rest, when we choose it. We could choose it this year.......and rest we did.

Work a picture......piece by piece. Perspective....a puzzle ecourages new view.

A little town, prepared for the season at a dear friend's house. My heart desires to prepare for His coming......this season of anticipation.....He is coming! In quietness and rest shall be your strength....not rush, worry, fret......but quietness.

For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel,"In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength." But you were unwilling.....
Isaiah 30:15 (English Standard Version)

Oh, may I be willing, Lord, to embrace You in this returning, in coming to You......

Matt 8:7 And He said to him, "I will come and heal him."

Yes, Lord, come.....heal.......

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gratefulness Doesn't Begin to Explain this.....

.....for a life filled with men who desire to be real, loving, strong, and valiant....and that they love me.....

....for hands to work long hours, strength of might and diligence in their tasks, and hands to do His bidding in glad obedience......

....for feet that will run to Him, stand strong when they must battle, and flee from unrighteousness......a blessing beyond measure.....

.....and most importantly, for smiles and deep belly laughs that filled the photo shoot (& this life!) with many "retakes" and memories to come.

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving thanks.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Oh LORD, I give thanks to You for the great and mighty things that I would never have known without knowing You.......You are good.....beyond measure.....beyond words....I bow low....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Snoopy......a favorite anytime of the year!

Just trying something new......It's been a day of new things! =)

Grateful for Tender Care

Luke 12:6-7

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Psalm 84

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!

2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

Each day, I am seeing new things. After my hubbie lovingly created a bird feeder for my kitchen window, I have been delighted by little birds. I have been delighted by growing young men and their deepening love for His creation. The giggles and awe of watching flying creatures, with personalities, sustain themselves.... a daily grace. Sparrows are precious. Little. Ordinary. I can relate. No bright showy red to catch the eye. No size to admire greatness. No food for a meal. Just a bird. A plain 'ole bird. I like them.

"The sparrow has found a home." Home. That's what holidays stir in these days. The beckoning of coming home. Planning for it. Dreaming of it. Yearning for it. A beautifully set table, steaming bowls of love ready for the consuming, happy chatter with loved ones. I think of earthly home. I want to dream, plan, yearn for the home that never fades away.....heaven. Home with beloved saints of old and those treading this dirt today. Oh how lovely to be home! What peace! Oh the comfort!

This little sparrow, so lovingly held in my son's boy/man hands and cared for gently for a time, went home. It's nest close to the altar. The picture, a reminder of His tender care, love for His created ones, and that we share His attention. He knows when the sparrow will fall to the ground and where........and He let this sweet, little one touch us, showing great and mighty things we know not, in new ways.......His tender care.

holy experience

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Consuming Fire

Hebrews 12:29........for our "God is a consuming fire."

Oh LORD, may my heart burn fiery hot with Your passion and love. Full of grace, mercy and humbleness of You. May it warm the hurting and comfort the sick and lonely. May you continue to purify the flesh of self and heal the wounds of life.

May Your light of love penetrate darkness of soul and radiate love, compassion. As the day fades and night surely comes, may I follow You in the light and walk securely on Your path, the unknown way to a weary traveler. You never fail. You know the way. Warm the laborer of life with nourishing words of rest. Consume me...........

Monday, September 28, 2009

Heart Condition

John 12:24
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

OH my heart like this? Soften the hard places. Make my heart fertile soil for your seeds of love. May there be a harvest of peace and grace....

Matthew 7:14
"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Thank you so much, LORD, for your provision. The leper door for those of us who are painfully sick with flesh disease and are still allowed to commune with always provide a way.....

Psalm 34:8 (Contemporary English Version)

Discover for yourself

that the LORD is kind.

Come to him for protection,

and you will be glad.

~Thank you LORD, you are so sweet. You make your children happy. I'm so thankful....

~all photos by julieroberson

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spice Of Life

It's that time of year.......I can feel Fall preparing her grand entrance. I am thankful. I love the smell of these chocolate chip pumpkin muffins baking in the oven. It's delicious scent drifts up the stairs and tickles noses of sleeping boys. I smile knowing that I will soon hear sleepy shuffling feet, hug strengthening muscles of emerging men and see boyish grins of expectancy. Oh, how I love these boys!

Days seem to have a good feel about them. There's a better pattern to life with school in session. I anticipate fall every year. I love it. Pumpkin spice nurtures the soul in our home whether baked in warm oven, candle lit on hearth, or seeing a welcoming, plump friend on my porch. My heart is happy. I, in turn, want to nurture the hearts of the loved ones in my midst.

My face turned upward in gratitude to the One who created pumpkins, pumpkin spice, and a heart full of thankfulness because He did.......

......I love fall. I love Him.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nearer My God to Thee

I went to draw near. Alone. Walking unknown streets. Face toward the cross rising above trees and old homes. Busy streets, people alone, walking. I’m a stranger here. I don’t want to be seen. I hide behind taking photos and, somehow, I begin to see. Nothing is comparing in beauty to where my heart wants to go. I want to draw near.

I walk up stone stairs to ancient structure doors. I won’t reach out and pull. I’m scared. I hear music bellow from deep within. “Draw near,” my heart whispers. Doors open and I creep in. Muffled voices, chanting grow louder. I ask if I may sit on the back row. “Please do,” the answer with inviting hand outstretched. I slide in as mahogany pew groans. I am a stranger here. Colored glass dances in morning sunlight. I’m lost in the music orchestrating this moment. I am afraid to look and soak in this place. The place my heart wants to draw near. Syncopated words carry on as my heart looks for a place to take rest. Quiet sobs drift from front row. I realize my heart is groaning with those who grieve the loss of a dear one. I am a stranger here. Service ends and the grieving file out. Silence fills into the emptiness. I still sit, a stranger here. Peace envelopes this sanctuary. Candles flicker. My heart is drawing near. It can’t help itself. Long rays of light fill arched windows depicting beloved stories of old. Sheep. Ordinary men. Heavenly messengers. My Saviour. Eyes begin to see the enormous structure of this place. I feel small. Comforted. My heart has drawn near.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Necessary Food

It fills my lungs with nourishing refreshment.

It heals my wounded heart.

It shows me I'm not alone.

I cry out and here's where You answer in loving, soothing tones.

When heart is full of joy, You dance me through Your words.

When sinfulness exposed, You slather on the balm.

You comfort and keep me close in these essential words of old.

My life is led to rest and my heart You lovingly mold.

Tender Lord, Your words alone give life and strength for the trials that grip this little one needing desperately to curl up into the lap of the Creator of all things......and cry~Jules

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Weathered Purpose

The trees stand strong in the storms. They face the rain, the driving wind, the drying sun almost unemotional. Appearing dead, they unexpectedly blossom with joy in spring and become shade to the weary traveler. Life hidden beneath earth covered in native grasses and rocks. Roots going deep in the droughts of time, unseen. Waiting for water, nourishment. Completely in the Maker's hand. Each cell performing it's life's work, unnoticed. Each slow change in girth, unmeasured. Branches reach toward heaven and birds make nest in it's crown. Providing shelter, a place to hatch new life, a home.

Psalm 84:3 (New International Version)

3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—

a place near your altar,

O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

Rings of growth unknown until it's cut to it's death to give life to a fire place and warmth to a family, another one's home. It's quietness seen, appreciated on walks taken by nature lovers, identifying type......realizing it's name. The tree. Has a name. Has a purpose. Has a life.

Isaiah 55:12 (New International Version)

12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.

The wonder of creation in the old, knotted tree. An unappreciated life. Yet, full, beautiful and lovely as it's purpose is valuable, essential, perfect.

Thank you Creator God for the wonders of your earth so perfectly created~Jules

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let's Getaway

It's that time of year. I start thinking about vacation....where, when, how long. I'm ready! I know it's mainly because it's getting toward the end of the school year and we are having to dig deeper to get it all done. Some probably call it spring fever....I've called it that myself. But the bottom line is......I am just ready for a bit of a break. =) This is where the rubber meets the road. Pressing in. Doing what we need to do even when we want to be blogging or playing in the spring sun, and taking pictures of the emerging bluebonnets. It's not Texas summer-hot yet and we want to be outside. This is when we start dreaming about a bit of a get away and some rest and play. I'm ready. I wanna play with my 3 guys in the ocean of life and splash the happiness of family with them! I love my is good.

Thank you Lord for my family, for the times that we need to press in and do the mundane with excellence, and the opportunity to walk this life with 3 amazing men~Jules

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tiny buds

Throughout the winter months, I look at the trees and imagine what they looked like with leaves. I anticipate the leaves emerging. Since we moved almost a year ago, I've been watching the face of this town I live in change. I like it. It's a bit flatter than were we used to live, but still intriguing to me. I love little towns. Watching the different moods of the area, I keep coming back to the Bradford Pear tree in my front yard. I've never watched the life of a tree such as this. It's fall colors captured me and I gazed on it often. The fiery leaves danced in the cold wind. After all the leaves coated the ground with color, a skeleton remained. For months, I didn't seem to give notice to the tree that seemed to greet me with it's splendor and I marveled at. I began to wonder when the leaves would return. Time passed. Bare tree. Nothingness. Has my tree made it through this drought we've had? Then, before I realized it, these showed up. Proof that the tree was still alive, thriving. I just didn't know it. Dormancy fools the onlooker.

This is true in my life. The things that seem dead maybe dormant instead. I have to wait and see what He will do with these things. Trust that He is working. Moving. He's for me. Allowing painful time to pass and be Protector, Provider, Perfect. I just feel the length of all of it. I feel the loneliness. But I'm not alone. I just forget what the leaves of His fruit looked like in the winters of life. The hope of spring is still there. The waters to nourish new life fall fresh. My plants desperately need rain. My heart desperately needs the rain of His mercy, grace, love falling and sinking deep into my soul. I drink it in. I am refreshed. There are tiny buds in my life.

Gardener of my soul, thank you for the delicate care You tend our lives with.~Jules

Sunday, April 19, 2009


"And he shall bring it to pass" (Ps. 37:5).

It takes God time to answer prayer. We often fail to give God a chance in this respect. It takes time for God to paint a rose. It takes time for God to grow an oak. It takes time for God to make bread from wheat fields. He takes the earth. He pulverizes. He softens. He enriches. He wets with showers and dews. He warms with life. He gives the blade, the stock, the amber grain, and then at last the bread for the hungry.

All this takes time. Therefore we sow, and till, and wait, and trust, until all God's purpose has been wrought out. We give God a chance in this matter of time. We need to learn this same lesson in our prayer life. It takes God time to answer prayer. --J. H. M.

Author: Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
Source: Streams in the Desert

Time heals........if we let it.....if we let Him. ~Jules

Friday, April 17, 2009

Picture says it all.....

That's the way I feel about this week.......I'm spent. Can't seem to get in a groove. It's like this when my hubbie is gone. I just miss him. Started the week off with a sick boy and although he's better, this week has just been goofy......that's all. It's pretty much done. I won't get anything else house and school wise done. What to do with this weekend? Take a step back. Look at the overall picture of our school and schedule, then refocus. Of course, I'll be praying about all that is in front of me. Most of all, I'm looking forward to seeing my hubbie Sunday afternoon at KAIROS closing ceremony.

That's all~nuff said.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From the Outside

I love old churches. I love the architecture, the history, the purpose. I've always loved stained glass and the colors coming alive as sunlight radiates through carefully pieced glass. From the outside most stained glass seems flat, dull, almost like a mistake. Once inside the sanctuary, it's a world of glowing artwork full of life and light. I think people are like this. Outwardly, they seem cold, plain, existing. Yet, if time were taken to see, be allowed inside, we could see the shattered pieces of glass actually making artwork of a life. It's only when the light is shining in that it makes sense.

The Light of the cross, that is.

Our Creator scooping up the shards of glass and delicately piecing a life together in hope. The glass makes no sense to the onlooker, but to the Creator, He sees the picture, the life. Loving fingers sliced from the task at hand, purifying burning fire, and steady time in faith, a new creation emerges. Different in appearance, yet, all the original bits in new place. A smile emerges, the sin that once gripped and strangled this little life, now is broken, crushed. Freedom. To shine. To radiate life. The Light of life. Though pieces once were, peace now reigns, alive.

Lord, create in me a new heart that will radiate your love to other shattered, hurting lives that they may hope in You.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Learning to Play by Heart

My hands know these keys, but not their names. I hear their tones. I feel their notes. But they are unfamiliar in name. I struggle. I plunk. My form is cumbersome. My smoothness needs work......but I am making music. I am getting out the song inside this heart that has been bottled up for too long. Sometimes this song seems overshadowed by doubt. But I press on in the wrong notes and finally have to stop, regroup, focus on the music...."where did I go wrong?" Play by heart, Beloved. I hear the soothing words. I wince. "I don't know where I am." What is this song I'm trying to play? I forget. I hear it daily in my heart, my mind, the depth of my soul. But I can't seem to play it. My hands won't work together. I can't read it either. I want to stop. Shrink back. Quit. Play the easier song I learned in childhood. Why can't I play this? Is there a wall of sorts? Keys stick. Notes stop. And yet, I still hear the song. Others play this song so easily....I struggle with the courage to play it in spite of the wrong notes. Somehow, through all the sour sounds and aching hands, music is made. The song my hands are playing is becoming more like the one in my soul. It's becoming more free. Happy. Easier. It's becoming more me. Play by heart, Beloved. I hear again. OK, Lord. I'm listening. I'm playing. I'm fumbling, working through sheet music that challenges my abilities, my courage. I'm living. Play by heart, Beloved. I close my eyes and play. I feel the music inside. I play what I hear, what my heart longs to say. And I can see........when I play by heart, my heart is happy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Grace Like Rain

When all my days seem dry and I thirst for something more, I look off in the distance and see the storm clouds pour. I am once again drenched with Your mercy and Your grace as I feel the love and kindness of my Father wet my face. I must only look upward to change the view I see and once again remember it is You that makes me free...........

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Finding Myself in the "Praesepe"

"Praesepe" is the Latin word for manger. My boys and I went to the Kimbell Art Museum yesterday to see the "A Nativity from Naples" Exhibit and Reconstructing the Renaissance. We spent much time looking at this scene that is from the 18th and 19th centuries. The detail exquisite and the faces of the cast of characters engaging. We lingered to the point that it almost came to life!

As we walked through the galleries and enjoyed many Renaissance paintings, my oldest and I shared many moments that a Mother's heart will cherish. He began to pour out all that he had learned about the subject matter. I had a walking tour guide! I ate it up! My heart was filled with delight and reaffirmed as to why we are choosing this alternate method of schooling.

This past fall at a My Father's World conference my hubbie and I attended, I saw a vision of sorts. Our group was taking a little hike through dense woods and a leaf covered path. I saw HS like that. A path, not completely exposed, rocky, slick at times, scary with the unknown all around. However, I also saw the beauty of the hike, the path, the sun filtered through the light of brilliantly colored fall leaves, and places where others had walked. I wasn't alone. I was comforted. Yet, on those days when the hike is tough for me, I forget these things and hear the words of David Hazell of My Father's World, HS cirriculum, "Trust the program." (I've since changed the quote to personalize it a bit. "Trust the path." David liked the change.) =) Today, however, was a lovely day showing me the value of this path. The path of homeschooling works and I enjoyed today greatly. I'm truly not alone.

Which brings me back to the praesepe......we attended a lecture about this nativity and praesepes. In the 1200s as paintings of praesepes were created, interesting characters began to be included. St Francis of Assissi was portrayed in one example. I never understood that before. It seemed odd and unscriptural to add people to the Holy Family and the night Christ was born. However, after this lecture, I realized the "why" of this. People added themselves to the praesepe as a way of personalizing them. A visual example of Christ coming to them. And, for the first time, I saw myself as part of the praesepe. Christ has come! He has filled my heart with joy and I am delivered. My Deliverer in a manger! It's more than this little mind can fathom......and I'm so grateful. I'm beginning to see myself as apart of that night too. Who knows what our praesepe will look like next year? A camel, a shepherd, magi and The Robersons!

Thank you Lord for coming, for 2009, and for new understanding at how personal you are........