Thursday, December 28, 2023

Belated Christmas Greetings

Greetings from Plum Cottage this last week of 2023. 

The end of this year was a bit rough for me. I caught a cold/bug the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so that I had to forego dinner plans with friends, Christmas caroling, three Sunday advent services, no ladies Bible study. That lasted about 3 weeks, totally draining me of all energy. Then as I was feeling better from that I got a bad toothache, cheek swelled. Had an infection, found a holistic dentist who fit me in at 5 pm on a Thursday evening. 2 1/2 hours in the chair. Did pretty good until the end when I was starting to 'feel' what he was doing. Not good. He had already pumped me with numbing agent, but the infection was keeping that from doing what it should be doing. So, he got one tooth out, had started on the second when he had to quit. He wrote me prescriptions for pain meds and an antibiotic. Made an appt for the following Monday morning.

A friend had taken me to the dentist, and when she saw me she suggested I go home with her so that she could take care of me. I was really loopy and emotional and agreed, thankful for her kindness. Miss Tork would just have to survive without me for one night. ;-) We both survived being separated. (We also had two days of winds from that tropical storm, gusts off and on all day of 38-40mph. I prayed that she and the house would be ok while I was away.)

The antibiotic took care of the swelling and infection. Pain med took care of the pain. Monday morning I was only in the chair for an hour, rest of bad tooth out and the infection taken out as well. Have had to eat soft foods ... I'm now doing much better, eating more solid foods. I have a follow up appt on the 4th.  This dentist was so kind and gentle, a real blessing for me.

After over 5 weeks of not being able to do any gardening, I finally was able to get out and mow and trim the front hedge. That felt so good. I had the window of opportunity yesterday as today was predicted to be rainy and it has been all day so far. It's been staying around 60-62.

 December is a hard month for me as that's when my dear Mark was called home to be with Jesus, on the 9th, 11 years ago now. His birthday was the 20th, and then there's Christmas. On the 9th I started decorating for Christmas and that was good for me. I've enjoyed the lights, color and joy of seeing it all, being thankful for the real gift of Christmas, which is the celebration of God coming into this world as a little baby. Since I was recuperating from teeth being extracted, I had Christmas here with Miss Tork, and since Jesus is always with me, I truly was not alone. I was able to go to the last advent service Christmas Eve morning and it was wonderful and great to be with church family again.

I hope you all had a time of remembrance of why we celebrate this particular holiday during all of the happy festivities. As a believer in Jesus, I believe that Jesus is God in the flesh. He is Immanuel. He came as a babe, born in a lowly stable, to humble parents. He came from the richness of heaven, to die for all of humanity, for our sins. One day we will be with Him in His richness, see Him in all of His glory, where we will be forever young, thanking and praising Him for His great love forever and ever. Something to look forward to.

A beautiful you tube video came up on my feed, and brought me to tears with its message for all of us. I want to share it here.

Then this came up a day or so later. Another beautiful piece seen from different perspectives.

May we all be drawn closer to our Savior, Jesus, God Almighty.


In thinking of this past year, about things that have come my way, my word for 2024 is, 

Perseverance ~continued effort to do or achieve something,
even when this is difficult or takes a long time.

In Romans 5:1-5 we read:

 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

through whom we also have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand;
and we celebrate in hope of the glory of God.

And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations,
knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
and perseverance, proven character;
and proven character, hope;
and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts
 through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.


In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we read:

Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Is this an easy thing to do? No, but when I am thankful I am more at peace.

Philippians 4:6-8

Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication,(earnest or humble request)
with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue
and if there is anything praiseworthy
meditate on these things.

As we move into 2024, may we go in faith. May we see beauty in each day. We don't know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know that God holds everything, past, present and future in His hands. He is working all things out. Evil will not win, it has already been defeated, it just doesn't know it yet, but it will.

Be well, find joy in each day that you are blessed with, be thankful and spread love and light wherever you go.

God bless all of you.