Birdhouse of Prayers
January 3, 2013 | My Jottings
We had a nice Christmas — did you? Was yours quiet and spacious? Or crowded and noisy? Did you have some good food? Or did you make some toast and eat a bag of M&Ms? Did you receive a gift or two, or did you abstain from all of that?
Our Christmas was blessed — anytime all my family members are under one roof is a blessing to me. Add to that zero arguments, no hurt feelings, no slammed doors and no burned meat, and that makes it extra special, I think. Not that many of my Christmases have been characterized by the above scenarios, but I’ve had a sad one or two in my lifetime. And I know that Christmas isn’t always the happiest time for many people.
On Christmas Eve everyone brought something to share for our dinner. Carolyn made the most mouth-watering Beef Burgundy, with tender chunks of sirloin, carrots and mushrooms in a rich dark sauce. I made my cheesy Stuffed Baked Potatoes (recipe and photos here), Sharon made Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts that were moanworthy, there was torn (not sliced) French bread to sop up the meat juices, and Sharon also brought a Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie that was so rich and delicious we almost couldn’t stand it.
We also sang some carols, and I mostly cried during that time, because “long lay the world, in sin and error pining, til He appeared and the soul felt its worth” and other lyrics like that always do me in. In a good way. There’s a song I always ask Jeremy and Carolyn to sing because I haven’t memorized it yet, and it’s Psalm 84 set to a Celtic-like melody that touches something so deep in my soul I almost can’t sit up straight when I hear it.
This year my dear friend Diane came all the way from Lompoc, California to spend Christmas with us. She and her guy Davey stayed with us for a few days, and since she and I have been friends for about 37 years, our time together was a treasure to me. She gave me an amazing heirloom gift that I will share about later in another post.
Here’s a gift I received from four of my grandchildren, and if you click on the photos to enlarge them, you’ll see it’s called the Birdhouse of Prayers. How appropriate is that?
The kids painted it, and several little slips of paper sit on the porch, for me to write down my prayers and put them in the birdhouse, letting go of whatever might be worrying me and leaving it with the Lord. I penned my first heartfelt plea yesterday, folded it solemnly and neatly, and placed it inside.
Seven year-old Vivienne painted the cardinals on the roof of the Birdhouse of Prayers.
This thoughtful gift will sit on a shelf in our bedroom, near our chairs where we sit in the mornings and read and pray together. I hope to use it until the day I die.
Did you give or receive a meaningful gift at Christmastime?