Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Since I wasn't able to be with family this year for Christmas, I babysat for a single Mom who had to work. Single moms, in my opinion, have just about the hardest job in the world ... I can't even imagine the fatigue of trying to be both breadwinner, and fulltime parent. Anyway, this little guy was very sweet and we had a great time together. His favorite activity was to play in the dogs' water dish.
He was intrigued with them eating out of those bowls, and wanted to do the same. Next thing I knew, he was splashing in their water dish and dumping it out on the floor. So much fun!! 

Spending the day with a baby (something I don't get to do very often) seemed kind of fitting on Christmas Day as I considered the humble way that God chose to reveal Himself to us. My favorite Christmas passage is the first chapter of John, but another powerful word picture of the way Jesus came to earth is found in Philippians 2 ... that God would come not as a king but as a baby ... in order to identifiy with us in all of our weakness. I have a favorite song (which was recorded by Damaris Carbaugh a number of years ago) and also a favorite Christmas poem (written in the 17th century) and both of them speak to this aspect of Christ's coming. What an incredible gift to give up Heaven and all that was there in order to come as a baby and spend 33 years walking among us and then dying so that we can share in the glory of Heaven someday too! That is definitely something to celebrate!

He Became Poor - Byron Carmony

They borrowed a manager of hay for his bed,
Jesus, my Savior.
No soft downy pillow, no warm cradle spread,
for Jesus my Lord.
His were the planets and stars in the sky,
His were the mountains and valleys so high,
His all Earth's riches from pole unto pole,
But He became poor to ransom my soul.

Overwhelming Love - Richard Crashaw

"That the Great Angel-blinding light should shrink
His blaze, to shine in a poor Shepherd's eye;
That the unmeasur'd God so low should sink
As Pris'ner in a few poor rags to lie;
That from His Mother's Breast He milk should drink,
Who feeds with Nectar Heaven's fair family;
That a vile Manger His low Bed should prove,
Who in a Throne of stars Thunders above;
That He whom the sun serves, should faintly peep
Through clouds of Infant Flesh! That He, the old
Eternal Word should be a Child, and weep;
That He who made the fire, should fear the cold;
That Heaven's high Majesty His Court should keep
In a clay cottage, by each blast control'd;
That Glory's self should serve our Griefs and fears,
And free Eternity submit to years,
Let our overwhelming wonder be."

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I'm feeling joyful today because I finished my Christmas cards - finally! I trimmed my list waaay back this year, from 70 to around 30. I was also thinking about joy this afternoon when I was out running errands with the girls. It was 20 degrees above zero today ... that's warm in this part of the world ... so I had the windows open. If someone asked what I enjoy most about my corgis, I'd have to say it's seeing them bring joy to other people. I love driving around town with the girls, pulling up to a red light and, out of the corner of my eye, see them bring a smile to the driver in the lane next to us. Today, the lady in the other lane was laughing at Dee Dee, who was hanging out the window as far as she could . I love it when the girls light up someone's face ... and they almost always do. They have sure lit up my face ... and my life!

And then gradually I kept adding people back in. When I finished my last card tonight and counted up my final numbers .... I had made 76! Hmmm ... didn't do too well on the cutting back plan. Maybe next year! Yeah ... right ....

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I've been learning some important lessons lately about forgiveness. It's pretty easy to forgive people when they recognize that they've hurt you and apologize. It's a lot harder to forgive when the other person digs in their heels or worse, doesn't even recognize (or admit) that they've betrayed you. Forgiving those who 'know not what they do' has good biblical precedent though. (Luke 23:24). We all have blind spots, and I'm very glad that God forgives me for even the things I'm unaware of .... so I need to do the same for others. Today I tried to express that to someone in a tangible way. Corgis (and all dogs, I suspect) are good examples of unconditional love and forgiveness.
There are some mornings when I'm running late and am downright crabby at my girls, either for some little infraction on their part or just because I'm frustrated and they're the easy targets. I will leave for work, and come home at the end of the day and - no matter how irritable I've been in the morning - they are waiting at the door, butts wagging (corgis don't have tails but it doesn't keep those back ends from moving!!) and happy to see me as ever. They have humbled me many times as I realize I don't deserve that unconditional love, but surely am grateful for it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


We got our first major snowstorm of the season, and while I used to gripe about shoveling and icy roads, my corgis have given me a new appreciation for winter. In fact, it has become my favorite season. Since corgis have a double coat, they stay very warm and it's actually much easier to go for long walks in the winter when they can cool off and eat the snow than it is in the summer when I have to carry water. We have a very nice college campus near our house that has wide sidewalks and is well lit on winter evenings, and it's perfect for walking the girls. The students seem to enjoy having us around too. There is one large hill with a big concave area beneath it. It is like a huge bowl. The girls LOVE to go to the top of that hill, and when I say "RACE", they take off like bullets, running the circumference of the 'bowl', barking all the way. They like to create paths through our yard and chase each other through the maize. And if I throw a ball that lands in the snow, they have great fun digging, sticking their nose down in, searching for it. It always amazes me - the things they find buried in the snow. They'll be digging frantically, and suddenly emerge with a piece of pizza or part of a sandwich. One day Dee Dee found an entire hamburger and there was no way she was sharing it. There are lots of buried treasures in the snow.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


My girls teach me a lot about life. Some day I would like to write a book entitled Life Lessons From My Corgis: Devotions for Dog-Lovers. Many of the things they teach me have spiritual applications. I was thinking about that this morning as I was sitting in church and the candle was lit for the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is all about anticipation - looking forward to the coming of the Christchild. I, personally, love to look forward to things. When I take a special vacation, I enjoy planning it and looking forward to it as much as the trip itself. Anticipation is a lot of fun for me.
Dee Dee is very good at anticipating; much better than Princess. For example, if we're in the yard playing Frisbee, they are both very excited because they know I'm going to throw it. But while Princess stands next to me (where the Frisbee is now), Dee Dee goes out into the yard, watching me carefully so that she can anticipate where it's going to be thrown, much like a center fielder taking position when a powerful hitter steps up to the plate. Because she is better at anticipating, she usually gets the Frisbee. The same holds true when it's suppertime. If I say to them, "Do you want some supper?", Princess will run and stand by the closet door where the bag of dogfood is, while Dee Dee runs to her food bowl where she anticipates the food will be in just a minute. Again, she has the edge because she is good at anticipating.