It started with this…


A rosemary topiary
free because nobody wanted it

Not a tree, but almost looked like a Christmas tree

Now, just outside my window is an actual big pine tree


A storm a few years ago left the ends of the branches scattered on the ground

I remember thinking that each would make an awesome…

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

So the other day in a cold rain
I picked the perfect little branch


Sorry Pine Tree

But I still needed a stand

The topiary was in a pretty pot


Now to chop down the mighty topiary…with my bread knife
I took it outdoors, laid it on its side, and began to saw away

Sorry Topiary

And I hadn’t really thought about it until now
But sacrifice is part of the meaning of Christmas

The tree sacrificed a branch
The topiary sacrificed more

I tried shoving the branch in
but the soil was dry and unfriendly

A screwdriver
some water
and in.

A lesson in that too, I think

It was a little tilty
I tried to straighten it out
but then I decided to let it be

although Laska thought the ornament looked silly in the pot


It was perfect – perfection in imperfection – Christmas

A stable, a surprise pregnancy, no room in the inn
And from all that imperfection was born perfection
and from him, the grace by which we can all be perfected

The topiary found its undignified end in the trash – didn’t seem right
But then, I thought, Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb – felt more right

Tree – check
Base – check

Now I needed a red ornament actually on a branch, because Laska made a good point

I have only one Christmas ornament
a handmade gift from a friend

and red

Sadly the ornament has no hook

But, a little story…

When I started blogging I attended a blogging conference
Blogging has been bittersweet, the conference more bitter than sweet
But I read somewhere that you should bring paperclips to a conference

So I bought, and brought, a box
the only box of paper clips I’ve ever bought
a little bending and twisting and voilà … a hook


Tree – check
Base – check
Red Ornament on tree – check


Until I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas
and saw Linus wrap the bottom of the tree in his blanket

Swaddling clothes for the tree

I had no little baby blanket
nothing soft small comfy and blue

But lately I’ve been wearing my one stained ratty old blue sweatshirt


Tadaaaaaa … and Laska admired the placing of the ornament

It’s a quiet tree
It’s a simple tree
It’s a humble tree

It’s not really a tree

It’s imperfect and charming

It makes me smile

Merry Simple Quiet Humble Imperfect Charming and Hopeful Christmas.


Love sees hope in bleakness (part 2)

by Craig on December 24, 2014

If it's bleak, and cold, and dreary and sad for Christmas is there any help?

It’s Christmas so you have to smile.


If your Christmas is a cheery one
THAT makes me smile a smile for you

but if you’re someone who’s just counting the days
until Christmas is past, so the “cheer” will disappear
because you’re life isn’t cheery, and you’re feeling gloomy
and you feel doubly bad because you’re supposed to be cheery

just a few questions…

Does it seem to you that there isn’t enough time left in life
to get done the thing or things for which you have dreamed?
Maybe this question is useful …“How much time do you have left?”

I know if I really believe what I say I do
daily accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord
the clock never runs out, even when it does

If you’re reading this, and believe, I hope you know, anew
your clock, ticking and chiming away hours, will never stop

Or maybe you don’t have enough strength
to make it all happen just as you wanted
if so…maybe just a few more questions…

Is there a God?
Has he done anything good for you?
Has he allowed bad things to happen
and then worked good through them?

Might he do so again?

Do you believe there is a person, human and God
with much more ability than that which you own?

If so…
can He carry you?
Can you lean on Him?

Is He maybe waiting to be asked
before providing the helping hand?

Or is it that no possibility seems to exist
for a life any better, or more meaningful?
I guess then, maybe ask the God of all things…

if he’s at all surprised by how things have worked out

It’s kind of a rhetorical question

is it time to just forget about the location and bloom where we're planted?

If God isn’t surprised, then here is where we were always going to be
maybe it’s time to ask how we might bloom where we are planted
no matter how fallow, or dry, or rocky the ground

That may not be an easy ask, I know

Still, it’s Christmas
no, you don’t have to smile
but maybe talk to God about why it’s so hard to smile…

talk to him…

talk to him…

(and on Christmas Day I’ll write a post that WILL make you smile)

Merry Hopeful Christmas.




And thank you for this art:
the flowers in the desert


Love sees hope in bleakness

December 17, 2014

a regretful prophecy of sorrow an auspicious prophecy of victory the first obscure promise of Messiah the first explicit threat to the Enemy “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel. (Genesis 3:15) One spoke three [...]

Read the full article →

Love knows religion when it sees it | Cosmos pt 4

March 23, 2014

As I watch Cosmos I notice… if you replace, in the script, the words… “nature, science, cosmos, or universe”… with the word… “God”… you have something quite religious sounding. I possess faith, through doubt, and without definitive scientific proof. I love science and was hoping Cosmos would be all about that. I’m still hoping. But [...]

Read the full article →

Love listens closely to words | Christian Reaction to Cosmos Pt 3

March 18, 2014

Cosmos invites us on a fantastic journey into the mysteries of the Universe with these words: But to make this journey we’ll need imagination. But imagination alone is not isn’t enough, because the reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can imagine. Words mean things. Writers get this. We ransack the language [...]

Read the full article →

Love likes the scientific method | Cosmos part 2

March 15, 2014

A faster than light, intergalactic spaceship… from the bridge, the host of Cosmos, Neil Degrasse Tyson states… “This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules. Test ideas by experiment and observation. Build on those ideas that pass the test. Reject the ones that fail. Follow the [...]

Read the full article →

Love knows that the Cosmos is not all there is

March 12, 2014

The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be. (Carl Sagan)   That’s the opening line from the freshly minted TV show Cosmos, which could prove to be a brilliant production that inspires a generation of future scientists, if only it remains… compelling… revealing… and true. I was hoping for the [...]

Read the full article →