About the Pro 31 Women’s Compendium

Welcome to our blog site!

The Pro 31 Women’s Compendium consists of a group of 4 women who are going to blog together.  We will all write a blog on the same topic and publish it.  Our prayer is that it blesses you, encourages and edifies you.  We know you may laugh with us (or at us- whatever ), cry with us, agree with us or disagree with us. We are real women, walking out our Christian lives in this world, just like you, and we want to keep this real.

Let me introduce us in a nutshell:

I am Peggy Gilbert, a want-to-be writer, wife, mother and grand-mother (when did I get old?!  geez!).  My husband and I are founders and Pastors or Ruach Glory Ministries, which is primarily a ministry to network and coordinate churches and ministries in our region for corporate prayer efforts. I was a stay-at-home mom for a few years, but mostly I have had to work to keep the home fires burning. I loved to read Erma Bombeck  during the “raising of the children” years.  If you don’t know who she is, then look her up and read some of her stuff. You will laugh, and you will identify with her for sure!

I had an overwhelming urge to start this blog, and have invited 3 other women to be contributors to it.  I will tell you who they are, but I will leave it up to them to tell you more about themselves if they choose:

Ronda  is an author, strong woman of faith and I know you will be blown away by things that she writes!  You can also read her works at her personal blog: the Kelbey Chronicles on blogspot.

Barbara  is a friend who is someone for whom I have the utmost admiration and respect. She is one of the strongest prayer warriors I have ever known, and I believe that her writings will encourage and challenge us all as we take this blog journey together.

Andrea is a friend of mine for many years now, and is someone I consider a true overcomer!  She is one of the most intelligent and articulate women I have ever known, and I can’t wait to read her posts!

The way this blog is going to work is that I will choose a topic and give it to the other authors.  We will not collaborate on content, but will all write a blog on the same topic and post it on this site. We all have a different lifesong, and I believe that reading different perspectives in the same topic will be very interesting. Once we have our contributions together, I will put it out on the facebook so you all know there is something to read.  We hope you enjoy it, and that we can encourage you in your life.  I do have to warn you, though, that if you are looking for some “holier than thou, uptight church ladies”, you will not find it in us.  While, yes, we are all strong Christian women, we all also believe in telling it like it is and just being real.

Our first topic is “The Proverbs 31 Woman in 2014” and will be published in a few days. We welcome your comments and hope you enjoy!

Introduction submitted by Peggy Gilbert

© Pro 31 Women’s Compendium and all blogs posted by its authors, Peggy Gilbert, Barbara V., Andrea B., Ronda W., including any photos or original illustrations, commencing January 1, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the authors (Peggy Gilbert, Barbara V., Andrea B. and Ronda W., and Pro 31 Women’s Compendium, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Words by Peggy

I have always felt that words are the most inadequate form of communication.  Both speaker and listener are responsible for the analysis of what is spoken, and the margin of error is huge.

Words are easily misinterpreted, flowing unchecked like a swelled river.  They are sometimes elusive and hard to find, frustrating both speaker and listener. They are hurtful, bullying, encouraging, loving and comforting. They are what we have, and they define who we are. They are the most powerful contrivance in mankind’s tool box.

My favorite is the written word. It is poetic and personal, putting far more burden on the writer than the reader.  A well-written tome can transport the reader into its world, seemingly making him or her a character in the story. It’s experiential, expanding the realm of one’s consciousness into places not yet thought of.  It’s exciting, consuming, and can be somewhat annoying when the reader comes to the end.

Then there is also the penned word that is not well-written.  Oh, I don’t mean a boring novel or an article that holds no interest to the reader.  I’m talking of the assault of words that is vomited on a daily basis on social media.

The constant barrage of opinions about everything and anything is a clanging gong inside the head of the reader.  You know of whom I speak: the feckless thugs who mess with the delicate minds of young people, or the bullies who would have us believe if we don’t share the same political views then we are surely mentally unequipped to be a part of society, so we should somehow be annihilated. Those who seem to be yelling and berating everyone who is not they.

I, for one, have grown weary of it. Of course, we can scroll past such ninnies and just ignore them, which is normally what I do. Sometimes though, it becomes personal and hard to ignore.

As an example, I have been told that I am not a good enough Christian because I don’t choose to proselytize on social media.  I find that odd, since most people who get to know me learn exactly who I am and what I believe, in a non-confrontational way.  I recently asked someone who was kind of castigating me for not being more vocal about Jesus if they even read my book.  They had not.  Interesting that I would be judged for not writing a flash-in-the-pan social media post, but the judge had not even read the book that I penned which points the reader to Jesus in every single chapter.

I believe there is a five-fold ministry in the church (apostle, prophet, teacher, evangelist and pastor),. Billy Graham functioned under the calling of evangelist, and he did it well. I so admire him. I am not called as an evangelist; I am a witness.  I do not compromise.  I choose to love. I choose to pray.  I try not to judge as if I’m God. I believe in Jesus and I know Him to be true.

Yet, somehow, I don’t measure up because I don’t join in with the religious talking heads on the facebook.  Truth be known, I find I don’t even agree with most of what the right-winged screamers are writing.  I find many attitudes and opinions that fly around under the banner of Christendom are anything but loving and seem more self-serving.  Maybe they are just poorly written, but that is this reader’s interpretation of the posts that I see.

I have been told that I should use the social media forum and join the political persuaders, for or against whatever issue is trending.  Seriously?  I feel bombarded by explosive and contentious debates seeking to leave me wounded with shrapnel that burns its way into nightmares of rage and insanity.  Good heavens, why would I want to jump on that bandwagon?  I find myself running for cover. Stop screaming at me!  Geez louise!

In recent months we have once again followed the reports of mass shootings of our babies.  Social media has risen to epic proportions debating “could have, would have, should have” scenarios.  The gun toters and gun controllers have taken over the facebook with their rants.  The politicians are scrambling to hold on to votes from every sector.  The screaming is getting louder, and, I fear, the solutions further away.

I weep for what we are becoming as a society.  I pray for our safety and protection and for divine intervention to stop the madness. I pray for the world we are leaving our grandchildren and their grandchildren.  I pray for those that don’t know God to learn of His grace and mercy. I pray for forgiveness for my own shortcomings.  I pray for the leadership of this country. I promise you, I pray. But my opinions on it all?

I find I have no words.

 “ Words  kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”

Proverbs 18:21 The Message (MSG)

Words by Barb

In all my years as a Christian what has become most valuable is the Lord teaching me how important my words are. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 the tongue has the power of life and death and we will reap the fruit of it.  Our words can bless or curse ourselves or others.   Words have the power to bring destruction or edify.  Those who have been reading the blog for awhile know my beliefs on what Christ’s death on the cross did for us. It is not just about getting into heaven but also a restoration of all we we lost when Adam and Eve fell.   It pains me to hear the way that some Christians talk especially when it comes to health and the future.  They will converse about conditions in their blood line, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, addictions and the list goes on.  I hear comments like “Well you know my parents and grandparents had it, so I guess I can expect to have it too,” and “I am getting up in age, therefore I can expect all the aches and pains that go with it.”  STOP!!!! SHUSH! This is not the way it is supposed to be.  This is cursing ourselves.  Luke 10:19 States, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” In these cases, our generational bloodline and failing bodies are the serpents and scorpions that Christ has redeemed us from through his blood and has given us power over.

Romans 4:17 tells us that God called into being those things that were not. When He created the world, He used words to do it. You may say yeah, but He is God we are not. Didn’t God say, in Genius 1:26 Let us make man in Our image and then He gave us dominion over all the earth?  Am I saying that all we need to do is speak something and it will come to pass?  No, our words must be mixed with faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The Bible is filled with promises and we can have those promises if we believe.  We need to proclaim a promise of God till we believe it in our heart. For encouragement read Hebrews 11 regarding the great faith of men and women.  Bear in mind that God wants what is best for us.  Some issues have to do with the will of God, but when it comes to conditions such as healing and addictions we can rest assure the Lord want us healed and free.

I’m sure we all know the rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  What a load of crap that is!  Of course, they can hurt.   Suppose we had hurtful, negative words spoken over us or even said them about ourselves, for example, “You will never amount to anything” or “I’m not good enough.” How do we combat statements like that? We look in the Word of God to see what He says about us.  We will find in Psalm 1 about delighting ourselves in God’s laws (His teachings.) We will be like trees planted by the water, who leaves do not wither and everything we touch will prosper.  In Jeramiah 29:11 we see how the Lord has plans for us, good plans, plans to prosper us to give us a hope and a future.  Speak these words of life until you believe it in your heart and watch it come to pass. 

We can change the atmosphere just by being positive and speaking words of encouragement to those who need it.  Philippians 4:8 tells us to fix our thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. To think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Subsequently if we think good things we will speak good things, which puts us in a position to be an inspiration to others.

In conclusion, remember words can either work for us or against us.  I want them to work for me and I’m sure you want that for yourself.  Let us imagine our words as seeds, seeds of life. We then water those seeds with faith.  Together we will see the promises of God reap a harvest in our lives. God Bless!

FLOATING by Barbara

When I think of floating, it reminds me of being in a place of total peace and relaxation. I generally feel like I’m floating when I listen to good worship music and just soak in it. I feel like I floated right into the presence of God. If we are floating we are not sinking therefore by floating we are trusting God.

One of my favorite songs is “Oceans, Where Feet May Fail” by Hillsong United. If you haven’t heard it, you can find it on YouTube. The song is a description of trust. I envision it as God calling us to do something that takes us out of our comfort zone and may appear impossible like walking on water. Although we might be surrounded by mayhem that would cause fear, we walk out anyway, our feet walking/floating on top of the ocean. Our trust is without restraints and we will do whatever He calls us to do because our eyes are not on the waves, they are on Him.

This is a place we should all strive for. We only see float mentioned a few times in the Bible. The story that amazes me is in 2 Kings 6. The prophets are telling Elisha that the place where they meet is too small. They propose to Elisha that they go down to the Jordan River where there are plenty of logs to build a new place. Elisha agrees and goes with them. The boys are cutting the logs when one loses his axe head when it falls in the river. He is upset since the axe was borrowed. He tells Elisha, and Elisha asks where it fell. Elisha throws a stick in the spot and the axe floats to the surface. What captivates me about this story is that Elisha had no doubt that the axe would float to the top.

This is a man who trusted the Lord with all is being and his faith is great. It speaks volumes regarding his relationship with the Lord. He was a friend of God. I yearn for that kind of relationship. I see floating as a place of growing. When floating, we are moving and not staying in one place. There are times the Lord wants us to stay put but not budging when the Lord tells us to move on will keep us stagnant. In the natural stagnant waters are hazardous and smelly. In the spiritual there possibly will be consequences since we may not walk into the destiny God has for us. God’s plan is good so keep floating. Like typically everything in life there is a good and negative side, floating is no exception. When we are floating we are drifting and we do not want to float/drift away from the Lord. Neglecting our quite time with the Lord, missing church frequently, barely keeping in the Word are signs of floating/drifting away from the Lord. As I mentioned in the beginning, good worship music is a great way to float/rest in the Lord, it will help keep us from floating/drifting away from Him.

Be blessed and float with God.

Exposed by Peggy

Exposed.  The very word invokes thoughts of discomfort; even pain.  Have you ever had an exposed nerve in a tooth, or an exposed wound?  I shudder to think of it! Even worse than physical pain is the emotional and mental anguish that some feel they may experience if things they keep hidden are exposed.

I’ve never felt that I am pretty.  Never.  In fact, there is probably only one day in my entire life that I can say that I actually did feel pretty.  That’s just the truth of it. The truth of my feelings.   As a little girl I was abnormally skinny,  wore glasses and, when very young, couldn’t hear well at all.  I was the weird little nerdy one who seemed to be completely introverted (when you can’t see and can’t hear, isolation becomes a place of comfort).  Even so, I have always been surrounded a loving family (who never made me feel like I was “less” than anyone else), and by friends—some life-long—that are beautiful, inside and out.

I don’t really know when those feelings of insecurity about my looks began, but those feelings followed me into my teen years. I found the way to make friends was to have a good sense of humor, and just kind of pretend that I was as pretty as everyone else.   It’s funny how teenagers think about things: I figured as long as I acted like I was pretty, and other girls hung out with me anyway, then no one would really know how ugly I was, how terribly ugly I felt.  Every. Day.

In my teen-aged mind, one of my biggest fears was that everyone would discover the “real” me, see me for the fraud I was, and know that I was ugly.  As irrational as that sounds, it was a real fear, and a mighty heavy burden. I truly believed I was unlovely.  So, I just went merrily along, acting like everyone else, enjoying and truly treasuring my friendships.  Suppressing the ever-present nagging deep inside that I was only wearing the mask of what I considered “normal”, I was terrified that one day my hidden ugliness would show itself.

As the years wore on, and adulthood happened, I settled into a place of comfort with myself, making peace that I am who I am. People seemed to like me. My husband loved me, we somehow managed to bring three truly beautiful little people into the world whom I loved beyond anything I could ever think or imagine, so, no worries.  Until one day, it happened.

I was in my thirties, happy and content as we were raising our kids, living a good, American life.  Very involved in our church, we spent a lot of time there and a lot of our fellowship and social life revolved around the programs and people within the church.  One day a friend from church and I went shopping to get some clothes for an upcoming event.

As we were trying on clothes, she looked at me and said:  “You know, that doesn’t do anything for you at all. In fact, I’m just going to say it, Peggy, that you need a whole new look!  You’re really pretty plain, and the clothes you wear just accentuate that.  You should wear things that make you look better.”

Yes, she said it.  And there I was: exposed.  If she knew I wasn’t pretty, then so did everyone else.  As usual, I laughed it off and made fun of myself, which was the only coping mechanism I had in place.  But when I was home alone, it hit me.  I was mortified, embarrassed, self-conscious, and terribly hurt.  I don’t think I would ever say anything like that to anyone. All of the old insecurities about not being delightfully cute resurfaced.  ugh.

It was also one of those life-changing moments for me.  As I contemplated the scene (rehashing it over and over again in my mind is more like it!), I came to realize that it wasn’t me that was exposed, but she.  She let slip from her mouth something she probably thought many times, all while being part of my company of friends. I came to think that she had a far greater problem than I ever did.

I had gotten over the feelings of self-loathing years before.  As my life evolved, I found that my friends were true and just didn’t look at me the same way I did when looking in a mirror.  They loved me; it was  that simple.  My family, husband, kids: they all loved me.  That simple.  God?  He loves me.  That simple.

I don’t know why that girl sought me out and made me her friend.  Maybe she could only see the 2-dimensional mirror image of my lack of physical beauty, and she made me her project.  Maybe I was someone she thought she could transform.  The thing was, by that time in my life, I didn’t need to be transformed.  I was not a caterpillar needing someone to break me from my cocoon and turn me into a beautiful butterfly.  I was happy, content, and quite at peace with myself.

I have not held that incident against her, although our relationship did change a bit.  She really seemed to have no clue that her words stung like viper bites.  She was exposed, and I realized that even though her physical beauty was far greater than mine, she must have been hiding some terrible insecurities of her own.  For me it was a point of growth.  I learned how not to act, how not to be.  I learned that if I didn’t want to hurt someone, I needed to reflect on myself often and allow God to change my heart and attitude as well.  I needed to always strive to be a better person.  I began to look at people with different eyes. I needed to forgive her, and I did.  I need to be light in darkness, and not allow darkness in any form to overtake me or become the rudder of my ship.

I won’t say I don’t still struggle with the mirror a bit.  I couldn’t bring myself to put a picture of myself on my book, my website or my blog.  I cringe when someone else posts a picture of me on social media. There are very few good pictures of me, and the thoughts of sitting for a photographer gives me knots in my stomach.  BUT, I do not allow those feelings to overtake me.   I realize that when I think like that, I am hurting God, who made me as I am, and who loves me unconditionally, and has provided me with a truly blessed life.  I guess, in the end, it’s really all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38, 39

Exposed by Ronda

There are many thoughts that come to mind when you read or hear the word “exposed”. There are quite a few directions that one could go in discussing the word, both positive and negative in connotation. However, I am going to go with my first impression from the Spirit when we received the topic for this month. Hopefully, you will get a picture of what the Spirit is saying through what I am going to share.

The Road to Emmaus- Luke 24:13-32

This testimony of scripture is one the most peculiar accounts of the manifested resurrected Christ. The day of Christ’s resurrection, he appeared in visible form to several of his disciples. Most believers are familiar with the accounts: Mary Magdalene, Peter and John and the two disciples traveling the road to Emmaus.

Cleopas and an unnamed disciple are traveling to Emmaus, stunned by the recent events of Jesus’ death and missing body. (They were not absolutely convinced Jesus had resurrected). This account is so peculiar because the two disciples did not recognize Jesus as he talked and walked with them. The disciples could not believe that Jesus was unaware of what had taken place in Jerusalem. However, when Jesus began to explain to them why the events of the past few days were prophetic in nature and necessary- they still did not recognize him! He spoke to them about the Messianic prophecies that had to be fulfilled. He expounded the scriptures to them in a way that amazed them. Yet they did not recognize him.

This is very interesting. What was it about Jesus’ appearance made them fail to recognize who he was? Remember these were disciples.

The disciples did not recognize who he was until he sat with them and broke bread, saying the blessing over the bread! Once they realized it was him, he disappeared as quickly as he had appeared to them on the road. Why is this account in the good book? There are NO coincidences in scripture. EVERY WORD, JOT AND TITTLE has meaning and purpose. What might the Spirit be revealing through this resurrection sighting of Jesus? What might it have to do with the word “exposed”?

This post is a rumination of the scripture account. I am not sure why the account is included in scripture but as I ponder the account there are certain aspects of the story that seem interesting.

Is there a possibility that a disciple of Christ might not recognize him or let’s say his action in the earth? Scary thought but it is right there in scripture. They did not recognize Jesus. He had manifested in a way that was not readily discernible.

We are living in a time when discernment is a necessity. Even with this precious gift and the indwelling of the Spirit, there is still a real chance of imperfect perception or inaccurate

discernment. The two disciples did not readily recognize Jesus, but after he disappeared one said to the other…did not our hearts burn within us as he expounded the scriptures. Selah.

As the resurrected Christ spoke to believers who were without the indwelling of the Spirit, their hearts burned within them as thy heard his words. I kept pondering this, rolling it over in my spirit and wondering what about this biblical account speaks to being “exposed”.

Being exposed can be either a positive or a negative and it is seen both ways in this account. Jesus is exposed in a positive way and the disciples are exposed in a negative way. Jesus shows us that he has the power of the Spirit to conceal and to reveal. The disciples show us how easy it is for us to not perceive and have our ignorance exposed. The disciples remind us of how important it is for our perception to be based on the witness of the Spirit within. The burning on the inside of our spirit is there for a reason. As we see him as he truly is, the Spirit will bear witness with our spirit. And what if that witness is not there? Then proceed with caution because there is the chance of being exposed.

Everything that is hidden will be revealed.

Tradition by andrea

This time of year it is easy to be melancholy about our traditions. We recall the ones that we enjoyed and let go of the ones that pain us. I remember 13 kids, waking early, listening to adults still bustling about, wrapping, decorating and organizing for Christmas morning. We’d have gone to bed with no sign of Christmas and awoke to piles of packages and a decorated tree. At 5 am we’d all line up, youngest first and for about 30 minutes we’d squeal with delight and chatter away as my mother and older siblings looked on, bleary eyed from a very long night. That was my mother’s tradition. We were never a part of decorating, wrapping, shopping and sharing the joy of Christmas preparations.
When I married we decided to make our own traditions, then with each passing year our family grew. Often with more individuals we were more contentious. It was clear that the traditions I learned didn’t make Christmas or any other day a happy day.
Then I got saved and found the meaning of Christmas and meaning in my life. I realized there were so many more important things to focus on than baubles, wrapping paper and decorations…. Christmas became more of a time to watch others enjoying their traditions and just soaking in the truth of life in Christ. Christmas is a day… life in Christ is the gift.
Now we celebrate Christmas Eve with family, Christmas Day we invite all who want to join us to a Chinese restaurant… no ASAP necessary, just a time to laugh and make sure no one has to spend Christmas Day alone. Our traditions can never fulfill what Christmas actually means; Unto us a child is given, unto to us a son is born and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.


Amidst all the memories of past Christmas’s with drunken parties, the hung over mornings, a sense that something was seriously missing… I’ve found the missing piece and no bauble, wrapped or unwrapped will ever matter more than finding that the true traditions are the ones we experience every day.
The joy of Christmas is in knowing God lives within, the decorations are smiling eyes, a loving heart and a warm embrace to our fellow man.
As an unconventional Christian, I bristle at the term traditionalist. I love reading N.T.Wright, who has challenged my once traditional view of heaven. Scott McKnight, who in his book The Blue Parakeet, challenged me to look at my own cherry picking of scripture. Rethinking Hell, a site I frequent that encourages my faith in a loving and gracious God who does not torture unbelievers for eternity. I thank God I no longer hold to traditional views that I see as unscriptural. I can challenge my own views and others.
Tradition can be a warm fuzzy feeling or it can bring loneliness and heartbreak because we cannot continue an idealized vision of what our family “should look like”. I recall someone saying to me please don’t ‘should’ on me. The many obligations we carry like emotional baggage simply because we can no longer fulfill our traditions.


Tradition can also blind us to truth. We accept what was given to us without question. That is why I call myself an unconventional Christian. I allow myself to question, to be challenged and to stand on the love of Christ and not on the word of man.
Today I prefer to find the joy of ordinary days. Any day with breath, any day without drama, any day I share the joy of Christ in my life is a great day. Traditions be damned.
If you’re stuck working to fulfill traditions, make a new tradition. That you’ll celebrate the days that are important to you, your family, your loved ones. Have a “It’s a good day to have a party” party. Instead of struggling through Christmas without a loved one, make a totally different celebration. I’m a great believer in ­­volunteering and encouraging people to find their joy.
Our family will probably be at Sakanas Christmas afternoon for dinner. Although, if one of us doesn’t feel like Chinese we might just decide to have ice cream for dinner and watch old movies for Christmas Day. Whatever we decide we will remember that Dec. 25th is the day, chosen to celebrate the greatest joy in life. The birth of God, come to earth to bring great cheer, love and eternal life. The greatest gift of all is free, eternal life, paid in full by Jesus Christ and offered to all who only need to call on Him and follow. Don’t allow your traditions to hinder you from experiencing Gods gift.


‘Tis the season for unending days of tradition. We all have our certain ways of decorating, certain foods that are always made, cookies always baked, songs always sung, movies always watched.

We rely on our traditions to make us feel good.  Have you ever sat late at night, in a quiet room, alone with the beautifully lit Christmas tree, and feel…, well, just comforted?  It’s like every breath you take brings to mind another memory of Christmases gone by.

I can hear my mother and father setting up the toys under the tree when they thought we were sound asleep.  I can feel again the excitement as I set up the toys for my children, anticipating their utter glee upon waking.  Contentment fills my mind and emotions, as I recall every midnight Mass attended with my parents and siblings; I can still smell the incense of the High Mass and the candles in the sanctuary, hear the choir singing in the choir loft, and being part of that same choir in seventh grade. I still display my mother’s Nativity set (right next to her huge ceramic Christmas tree with little peg lights), reminding me always of the true reason we have this season, and hope rises within me a little stronger.

Every year we string tons of colored lights inside and outside the house, on every branch of our tree.  One time someone snickered at my tree and said it looked like a “clown” tree with all of the colored lights, instead of just clear ones.  Humbug, I say!  If your traditional tree bears clear lights, I’m sure it’s beautiful!  But so is mine!  The beauty of each having their own traditional decorations is that there is no right or wrong, there is just joy!  Unspeakable joy!

I am very melancholy this year, as I know some long-running Christmas traditions are coming to an end.  We will probably sell our house this next year, thus ending the annual open house we host, the lights on this lovely home of ours, the fresh-cut tree tagged weeks before we pick it up.

The thing I think I will miss the most, though, is the family Christmas breakfast.  I just love having all of my children and grandchildren together in the morning, reams of wrapping paper everywhere every colored light blazing. Lots of coffee, French toast, Dutch puff, and so much love!  Everyone is happy, and together.  I look forward to it every year, and will surely miss not being able to host it in this house.  This house where we raised our children, and housed some others for a spell along the way.

Tradition.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s important.  It sets our roots a little deeper, and gives each generation a sense of stability and belonging. The comfort zone of tradition gives us structure, boundaries, and even excuses.

The thing about observing traditions is that we take them with us forever. No matter where we are, we always will have the memories and the feelings they invoke.  Throughout the years, our Christmas traditions have stuck, and everyone in the family feels the same as I, and someone else will pick up the baton. Even though I won’t be hosting the holiday festivities in this house, they will be hosted somewhere, and we will be there.

We aren’t sure where we will end up, Jim and I; most likely out of NJ. Where ever we are, I will string the colored lights, display the Nativity set and ceramic tree, and photos of Christmases past.  I will breathe and take it all in, and I will remember every single Christmas of my life.

I will smile and give thanks to a mighty God, who sent His son to a manger, under a star.  The one destined to die for the forgiveness of all sin, for the salvation of mankind.  I will thank Him for a life well-blessed, and for Christmas.  Then we will get into some mode of transportation and show up at one of the kids’ houses for Christmas breakfast!  Traditions never die, they just change location, and I’m ok with that.

                    Merry Christmas to all, and to all I pray for many blessing throughout the New Year!

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2: 11-14 (KJV)