It’s Christmas Eve! – Day 12 Photo Scavenger Hunt

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours! Our family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve, so I’ll be a little busy for the next couple of days. I just wanted to update you on the photo scavenger hunt.

1. German Pyramid Nativity has been submitted by me :).

2. Under the Tree Nativity has been submitted by Linda at Simply Splendid Living.

3. Blue Natvity has been submitted by Blue Cotton Memory.

4. Table Top Nativity has been submitted by Christina at To Show Them Jesus.

5. Jesus bows before Santa has been submitted by Tracey at TCSoko’s Blog.

Thank you everyone for your participation!

Come back tomorrow for the results!

A Star, A Sage, A Shepherd and An Innkeeper – Day 12 Christmas Photo Scavenger Hunt

Blue starlight shafts through dark-and-dusty cave
illuminating child-yet-King.
The Heavens declare His glory.

Three wise men travel months, perhaps years
to find Him – experience Him,
bringing gifts fit for a King.

Shepherd’s work is interrupted abruptly
by skies full of angels
singing His praise.

An innkeeper misses the chance of a lifetime
to host the important human ever.
He shuts the door on opportunity.

“I can’t, there’s no room for you,” he objects
“I’m full already, and I won’t turn myself out.”
No Vacancy sign flashes red.

It never knocks again, this chance to host a King.
And I wonder…which of these four characters
am I?

Starlight declaring glory? Boldly announcing His coming?
Wise sage searching Him out? Bringing gifts?
A shepherd recognizing importance? Dropping everything to see?
or an Innkeeper full of everything and everyone? Turning Him away?

May I shine forth His glory to a dark and dusty world.
May I seek Him, no matter how long–until I find Him.
May I allow myself Divine interruptions to capture a moment.
May I never turn Him out of my home, because there’s no room for Him there.

Congratulations Dana from DRGT/Just Wondering. for your exquisite picture of your advent calendar…

There were no submissions for the prompt snowflake, but you still have until tomorrow for your submissions for a nativity…Can’t wait to see your pictures!

The linkup will be through 7Am tomorrow. I will go through the posts and gather the pics for the correct days. Thanks so much for your participation, this has been fun! Link up your post featuring a photo with a theme listed above. Include my blog button, and visit other “hunt” blogs. Stop by tomorrow to vote for your favorite “nativity” picture. Have fun! (Blog links must be provided before 7:00 AM CST, in order to be voted on 🙂 ) I have no idea why the number of links doesn’t update…There are participants!



Grace Like A Snowflake… Day 11 Photo Scavenger Hunt

Snowflake 1

full of grace. Hail Mary full of grace.

i feel grace-depleted. what little i had left
has melted on my nose tip like a lone snowflake
this warm winter season.

my husband needs grace. i have none.
my children need grace. i’m empty.
no. more. grace.

an angel came to Mary.
with a proposition and a plan.
she said yes.

God’s Word comes to me
with a proposition and a plan.
i say no.

Mary said yes.
she was full of grace.

i say no
i am replete of it.

awake. repent.
say yes.

graceful.

1. The Journey Advent photo comes to us from Dana at DRGT/Just Wondering. Her beautiful calendar comes from Ann Voskamp’s 15 year old son, who made these beauties so that he’d have money to donate to Compassion.

2. The Jesse Tree Advent photo comes to us from Blue Cotton Memory. She writes of raising Boys to Men.

3. The Traditional Advent photo comes from Christina at To Show Them Jesus. She writes about her experiences as a home schooling mom.

4. The German Advent calendar photo comes from me. 🙂

Thanks everyone for your participation!

I know that this week will be busy for all of us, so I’ve decided to post the week’s photo prompts:

Wednesday – Advent Calendar
Thursday – Snowflake
Friday – Nativity

The linkup will be through Friday. I will go through the posts and gather the pics for the correct days. Thanks so much for your participation, this has been fun! Link up your post featuring a photo with a theme listed above. Include my blog button, and visit other “hunt” blogs. Stop by tomorrow to vote for your favorite “gift” picture. Have fun! (Blog links must be provided before 7:00 AM CST, in order to be voted on 🙂 ) I have no idea why the number of links doesn’t update…There are participants!

Linking with my dear Emily:

and with the amazing poets at dverse

Advent-ure – All Roads Lead To New Glarus (Even here!!) Day 10 Photo Scavenger Hunt


Advent – the coming or arrival of something extremely important.
What could appear less important than a baby born in a stable-cave?
and yet
the significance of this night moved stars to proclaim His coming.
the planets aligned, so to speak.

I have been on an adventure.
A Journey toward the coming or arrival of something extremely important.
This is why I most identify with the Wise Men in the Nativity Story.
I am searching and looking for Him.

Today’s prompt is to share a photo of your advent calendar. Whether you have a candle wreath, or pockets filled with felt objects to place in a nativity or on a Christmas tree, I’d love to see how your family marks the time until this coming of Someone extremely important.

I received this beautiful advent candelabra as a Christmas gift from my parents. It’s imported from Germany, but it was purchased in, you guessed it! New Glarus. Even this part of my journey from advent to epiphany follows the New Glarus road.

I’ve written a poem about this journey, called Journey From Advent to Epiphany.

There were no entries for the Salvation Army bell ringer.

The winner for the picture of the gift was Debbie from Heart Choices.

I know that this week will be busy for all of us, so I’ve decided to post the week’s photo prompts:

Wednesday – Advent Calendar
Thursday – Snowflake
Friday – Nativity

The linkup will be through Friday. I will go through the posts and gather the pics for the correct days. Thanks so much for your participation, this has been fun! Link up your post featuring a photo with a theme listed above. Include my blog button, and visit other “hunt” blogs. Stop by tomorrow to vote for your favorite “gift” picture. Have fun! (Blog links must be provided before 7:00 AM CST, in order to be voted on 🙂 ) I have no idea why the number of links doesn’t update…There are participants!



Hear Those Bells? – Day 9 Christmas Photo Scavenger Hunt

Salvation Army worker
Today’s prompt is a Salvation Army Bell Ringer. There’s nothing more “Christmasy” than hearing a Salvation Army bell ringer. I wonder if you’ll take a look at my past with me? A stroll down memory lane if you will…

I had the most beautiful upbringing in the whole world. Part of this heritage includes a family with its roots entrenched in the Salvation Army. My father, the eldest son of Salvation Army officers started his young family where his foundation lay…at the SA. My mother had her life changed when at 15, after a Billy Graham crusade, she filled out her followup paper work with SA for Saint Ann’s Catholic Church, and the Salvation Army showed up at her door. I have a plethora of family members that has served as officers of the Army and are now retired. As someone who has had the pleasure of watching their lives from the inside, let me tell you, they do the most good.

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My own spiritual formation took a turn when I was 14. An uncle from my mother’s side started a non-denominational church and we began attending there. However, there have been key moments in my life when I have found myself right back where I started…at the Army. Two times stand out in particular. Once was the Thanksgiving when my father encouraged my family to help serve Thanksgiving dinner at the corps they were attending. My children were all tweens at the time, and at first they were a little annoyed that our family traditions were going to be “interrupted”. But, by the end of the dinner, I can honestly say that they were truly more grateful for things that previously they had taken for granted.

The other time that stands out in my mind was around the same time as the first. We went to church with my parents who were then attending a Salvation Army church in Janesville, Wisconsin. The Army has much more conservative services than my children were used to, and the congregation there was much more…shall we say ecclectic? First, a lady with a FULL BEARD, stood up and gave a testimony. I gave the “look” to my boys, more than once, and eventually they were so intrigued by her praise to God and to the love and acceptance that the rest of the congregation showed that her that they were okay on their own with my evil eye. Next, a lady with an oxygen tank got up and played the accordian for special music. I’ll never forget my daughter whispering very sincerely and innocently in my ear, “This is better than a circus!”

…and then I realized. How many churches would celebrate these dear ones? Would mine? Even more importantly, would I? I am reminded of an old song we used to sing when I was in the Army. “To love the unloved, in the service of the Lord.” It is service to the Lord when I love those the world calls unlovely. And the unlovable aren’t just those who look different than we do…or those who smell different than we do. Sometimes they are the co-worker in the cubical next to us, or dare I say it, the person we are living with…

Please consider giving to one of the most nobel causes on the planet. The Salvation Army has made the world a better place in so many ways. Won’t you help them do it? If you are interested in contributing to my virtual kettle, you can click here.

Ham barely beat out turkey for most popular Christmas Dinner meat. Today’s poll is for the best picture of a Christmas present.

I know that this week will be busy for all of us, so I’ve decided to post the week’s photo prompts:
Monday – A Gift
Tuesday – Salvation Army Bellringer
Wednesday – Advent Calendar
Thursday – Snowflake
Friday – Nativity

The linkup will be from now through Friday. I will go through the posts and gather the pics for the correct days. Thanks so much for your participation, this has been fun! Link up your post featuring a photo with a theme listed above. Include my blog button, and visit other “hunt” blogs. Stop by tomorrow to vote for your favorite “gift” picture. Have fun! (Blog links must be provided before 7:00 AM CST, in order to be voted on 🙂 ) I have no idea why the number of links doesn’t update…There are participants!



Waiting. With Anticipation. – Day 8 Photo Scavenger Hunt

Waiting. With Anticipation.

Each day, children wait
to open the presents under the tree.
Cradling pacakges,
they check them for size and shape,
weight and balance.
Shaking them to discover
if they make a sound.
Breathless, trembling,
they anticipate opening day.
Filled with awe and wonder.

Each day, we wait
to find the gifts He’s left behind.
Cradling His love letter,
We whisper words of praise,
singing songs of delight.
We search for unexpected
objects of beauty
in places so obvious
That they aren’t noticed anymore.
Breathless, trembling
We are filled with awe and wonder.

Giving thanks today with Ann:

84. Snow, a Christmas miracle.

85. Grown up daughter baking Christmas cookies while listening to music that I haven’t asked to listen to…someday I’ll miss this…

86. Nutella and pretzels.

87. Seeing daughter bring the house down in Christmas production.

88. Looking at the beautiful stage my son helped design for the production at church.

89. Going out to eat with two of my favorite guys…

90. Cutest present under the tree.

Congratulations to Jennifer at To Tell You The Truth for winning the angel photo prompt!

I know that this week will be busy for all of us, so I’ve decided to post the week’s photo prompts:
Monday – A Gift
Tuesday – Salvation Army Bellringer
Wednesday – Advent Calendar
Thursday – Snowflake
Friday – Nativity

The linkup will be from now through Friday. I will go through the posts and gather the pics for the correct days. Thanks so much for your participation, this has been fun! Link up your post featuring a photo with a theme listed above. Include my blog button, and visit other “hunt” blogs. Stop by tomorrow to vote for your favorite “gift” picture. Have fun! (Blog links must be provided before 7:00 AM CST, in order to be voted on 🙂 ) I have no idea why the number of links doesn’t update…There are participants!



There were no entries for the outdoor lights photo contest.

and with dearest Michelle:

Light Up The World – Day 7 Photo Scavenger Hunt

This is a home down the street from me…The really neat thing is that they are doing a hunger drive by. (There’s a huge tub to put canned foods in, in front of the house.)

I was thinking about outdoor lights, and how merry they make a neighborhood…and it reminded me of the scripture that says we are not to hide our light under a bushel, but we are to be like a light on a tall hill in the city. That kind of sounds like the Hollywood hill. There’s no question where you are when you see those letters on that hill. There should be no question with Whom others are with when they are with us. We are God containers. What a mystery! That God would want to be contained in flesh. I’m so thankful He came here, live and in the flesh! So shine your light today and everyday. By doing so, you show others Whose you are!

Hollywood Fog

Today’s prompt is outdoor lights. You may include a photo or a video.

Congratulations Frances at Frances for her picture of the huge gold star on top of her tree!

Now for today’s poll…

1. I’ve included a picture that a friend of mine took of my snow angel. Her blog, To Tell You The Truth is a wonderful combination of word, and if you look way back she has some amazing photos as well. She is one of my most talented face-to-face real life, lifetime friends. Please visit her!

2. Kateri over from Dandelion Haven has made another fine entry called Angel’s Wings! Don’t you just love the name of her blog? Her writing is beautiful as well.

Link up your post with a picture of a home decorated with outdoor lights! Include my blog button, and visit other “light” blogs. Stop by tomorrow to vote for your favorite “outdoor lights” picture, and find out what tomorrow’s photo hunt will be! Have fun! (Blog links must be provided before 7:00 AM CST, in order to be voted on 🙂 ) I have no idea why the number of links doesn’t update…There are participants!



Linking with:

Sunday Snapshot

and

Angels We Have Seen On High – Day 6 Photo Scavenger Hunt


Today’s Prompt: An angel

Congrats to Kateri from Dandelion Haven for winning the Christmas Ornament Photo Contest!!

Here are the entries for yesterday’s star prompt:

Both entrants have been featured already on this scavenger hunt.

1. Emilie at Capturing This Lifesong with Star of Wire.

2. Frances at Frances with Gold Star.

Link up your post with a picture of an angel! Include my blog button, and visit other “angel” blogs. Stop by tomorrow to vote for your favorite “angel” picture, and find out what tomorrow’s photo hunt will be! Have fun! (Blog links must be provided before 7:00 AM CST, in order to be voted on 🙂 ) I have no idea why the number of links doesn’t update…There are participants!



Where Is My Star? – Day 5 Christmas Photo Scavenger Hunt

Please scroll down to vote on your favorite photo and/or participate in today’s photo prompt: Star

I want to find the Christ Child.
…to be the Shepherds, the Wise Men,
A donkey in the the stable, for all I care
I just want to be found there.

I want to see the blue light of night
pierced through with white star beam.
…to hear Heavenly hosts sing
the song of Heaven’s theme.

The religious were looking too
…looking for a man of power, a king.
But He came as humble God-man child
And they missed Him, looking past Him all the while.

It must have seemed so anti-climatic
after all their studying and seeking
A baby born amidst whispers of shame
and impropriety…without fame.

And hindsight’s 20/20
It’s so easy to see the handwriting in the sky
after history has been written.
…but in present blind eyes are smitten.

And I sweat to search
with every fiber of my being
I look, I peer…is He in History?
Literature, Science, Prophecy?

After all, the Magi found the path
to God in Science and heathen religion.
And Mary said yes to imagine
herself Mother of God and to the loss of her reputation.

The Wise Men still had to travel
through desert and discomfort
after the excitement of the start
and after their homes they departed.

Following yonder star
From afar. I am far
Far away from where I long to be.
Where is the star that will lead me?

Will I be willing? Willing to study
Hard and long?
Willing to travel far and wide?
Willing to put my reputation aside?

Am I willing to knock over sacred cows?
Put preconceived ideas away?
To find Who He really is,
And not Who I make Him to be?

Lord, give me the pure faith of Mary,
The simple trust of Shepherds,
The tenacity of Wise Men
Following Yonder star.

Please vote on your favorite ornament picture.

A little about the contributors.
1. Reflection is found at my friend Shanda’s place: A Pause On The Path

2. Frosted Church is found at Emilie’s place: Capturing This Lifesong

3. Homemade Ornaments is found at Elizabeth’s place: Just Following Jesus

4. Peace Pillow is found at Dolly’s place: Soul Stops

5. Nature’s Best is found at Kateri’s place: Dandelion Haven

6. Hello Kitty Ornament is found at Melanie Joy’s place: Our Journey Home

Link up your post with a picture of a star! Include my blog button, and visit other “star” blogs. Stop by tomorrow to vote for your favorite “star” picture, and find out what tomorrow’s photo hunt will be! Have fun! (Blog links must be provided before 7:00 AM CST, in order to be voted on 🙂 ) I have no idea why the number of links doesn’t update…There are participants!



storytellers button rust

Oh Come Let Us Adorn Him – Day 4 Photo Scavenger Hunt

Today’s prompt? Christmas ornament


There are many literary references to our life as a tree. Psalm 1, for instance, says we are to be like a tree planted by rivers of living water. This time of year, many of us decorate trees. We do so because trees are a symbol of life in the midst of a lifeless winter. We do so because the One Whose birthday we celebrate died on a tree to bring us everlasting, evergreen life. And we adorn these trees with beautiful ornaments. With splashes of red and the glimmer of silver and gold, we celebrate all that a tree of life in the midst of death signifies.

I guess it goes back to the Garden. We, like that first man and woman search for the tree of life, in the midst of a desert barren from all green….and now we find it because He has come!

As I decorate my tree this Christmas season, I’m asking myself, “How do I adorn the tree of my life? Does my tree bear fruit? Does my tree bear love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, meekness, self-control? Ga. 5:22-23. Or, do I bear such little fruit that I am cursed and die?” Mark 11:20.

Lights are the foundation of my tree, I always start with them first. To be quite honest, there are many years when I’m tempted to stop there. The tree with lights alone is a beautiful sight. But how much more beautiful it is, when I begin to adorn her with ornaments…Ornaments with significance. Each one has a memory, and remembers a significant time and place. And such is the case with our own lives. Will we allow ourselves to have the ornament of wisdom? Pro. 3:22. Of meekness and grace? Let His character adorn the tree of your life and shine the light of His love everywhere you are today and this holy season.

Congrats to Amy from Make Me A Mary who won the wreath contest with the Book Lover’s Wreath.

There were no entries for the candy cane prompt.

Link up your post with a picture of an ornament! Include my blog button, and visit other “ornament” blogs. Stop by tomorrow to vote for your favorite “ornament” picture, and find out what tomorrow’s photo hunt will be! Have fun! (Blog links must be provided before 7:00 AM CST, in order to be voted on 🙂 ) I have no idea why the number of links doesn’t update…There are participants!