Wednesday, December 21, 2016

'Twas The Night Before Christmas...

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,
A little creature was stirring, yes, ’twas a small attic mouse;

The mantle was decorated with much special care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

Mom and Dad Aleo were snuggled under covers in bed,
While visions of Christmas vacation danc’d in their heads;

And mama on her heating pad, and I in my wrap,
Knew we would never get a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Only to realize it was lots of friends about to gather;

Away to the window we ran with a dash,
Pulled up the blinds, and threw up the sash.

The Winter Solstice moon shown brightly on the snow,
It gave light to the darkened Earth below;

When, what to our blurry eyes did appear,
But friends coming home from college to give us some cheer;

Up out of our beds we sprang with joy,
To greet those sweet faces of many a boy;

They hooted and hollered all ‘thro the night,
Which kept our hearts glowing with much d’light.

Our family is eager to share special time together,
As these precious memories we’ll hold in our hearts forever.

This past year held many challenges and trying circumstances indeed,
But we feel blessed to gather ‘round our sparkling Christmas Tree;

The most important gift is that whom we favor,
So let us rejoice in CHRIST our Savior;

As we ponder and pray and hold our loved ones tight,
We wish you a Merry Christmas, and to all a Good Night.

(Inspired by Clement Moore’s “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Friends, since we are soon ready to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I think it is appropriate to share a few thoughts about living the Abundant life. When I sit and reflect upon my abundant blessings, I am deeply humbled and grateful to our Creator who gives us His good and perfect gifts from above.

I give thanks for living in this expansive and beautiful land that is rich in resources and where I do not go to bed hungry at night.  There is an ABUNDANCE of healthy food and pure water to drink and safe shelter for me and my family.

I give thanks for my loving husband who walks through the door every night after a weary day of work and continually provides for his family whom he dearly loves.  There is an ABUNDANCE of sacrifice and love from my husband who sticks by me "for better or for worse, in good times and bad, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health."

I give thanks for my four sons who have compassionate hearts and hands that care for our own family's needs as well as reaching out to the community and offering help and joy where needed.  There is an ABUNDANCE of their support, sacrifice, love, and care as our family walks through all seasons---easy, hard, and the in between.

I give thanks for our extended family members who enrich our lives with their continual love, support, care, and understanding.  There is an ABUNDANCE of their stability as they have helped us raise our own family.

I give thanks for the access to good medical care that is helping me traverse the hard and winding road of serious health challenges. There is an ABUNDANCE of wonderful individuals who lovingly care for me in critical ways by providing their expertise in helping not only me but also my husband so that we can, in turn, offer hope and encouragement to others. 

I give thanks to my DEAR friends who surround me continually with love, support, joy, and encouragement along this path of life.  There is an ABUNDANCE of compassion and authentic love for which I am humbled. 

I give thanks for this beautiful community in which I live that has been a wonderful, safe place to raise our family.  There is an ABUNDANCE of good people and opportunities that continually enrich our lives day to day. 

I give thanks for the ability and opportunity to stretch my hands and offer my heart across the table as well as across boundaries of culture, race, creed, gender, and political agendas because we are ALL sisters and brothers in Christ.  There is an ABUNDANCE of goodness that we can share with one another if we so choose. 

I hope this Thanksgiving we all will find in our hearts a reason to give abundant thanks even in our brokenness because there is always, always something to be thankful for!

Wishing all of you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!