Wally and I welcome you!

Thanks for joining my fur baby and me as we wade through life’s puddles.

I love offering splashes of hope through writing books and speaking.

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Celebrate Jesus!

Celebrate Jesus!

No star too bright
To herald the birth
Of the One
Who scattered them
Across the heavens;
No song too jubilant
To proclaim the glory
Of the One who sings His love
From eternity
To forever.
Dance, sun and moon!
Clap your hands, you trees!
Exult and cavort, oceans,
Seas, rivers and lakes!
He who spoke you
Into time
Embraces life
As a man-child
That all mankind
May sparkle as jewels,
Sing with joy
And dance as new creations
With Him. 
copyright JEL
P.S. I will be taking a short blogging break to refresh my spirit and spend time with family. May the Lord fill your life with sweet surprises from His hand this Christmas season, and may the coming year brim with rich blessings for you and your family. I appreciate you.

Your Favorite Christmas Gift?

What was your favorite Christmas gift as a child?

I was eight the year Easy Bake Ovens hit the stores. My mom, a single parent, could not afford a gift of that size. When I spotted a huge gift under my aunt and uncle’s Christmas tree with my name on it, my heart thrilled with hope.

image by fatherly
Image by fatherly

Do you think I got my wish? Could this be why, fifty-some years later, I still love to bake?

Your turn . . . 

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Your Favorite Christmas Movie?

Do you have a favorite Christmas movie, one you never tire of watching? Ours is Silent Mouse, a made-for-TV movie from the 80’s. Starring Lynn Redgrave as the narrator, Silent Mouse is the story of how the famous carol, Silent Night, was written, with a bit of literary license thrown in.

The main character is a mouse named Nonny. Her full name is A. Nonny Mouse. I love that!

Unfortunately, it’s only available on VHS. We keep looking, hoping to find it on DVD. We’ve played our copy over 20 times–it’s that delightful!

What about you? What’s your favorite Christmas Movie?

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Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe

plate of cookies

Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie recipe? Here’s mine. Easy to make, fun to decorate, and a surprise kiss or star in each!

Chocolate-Filled Christmas Bon-Bons

3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 dozen chocolate kisses or chocolate stars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

If using chocolate kisses, cut the tops off before starting. You will have to force yourself to eat the tops, or give them to a spouse or child.

Mix shortening, sugars until fluffy. Add the egg, extracts and beat well. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Press each ball around a chocolate star or kiss until it is completely enclosed. (If dough is soft and sticky, add an additional 1/4 cup flour.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes on ungreased cookie sheets. Decorate with icing and/or sprinkles and jimmies in Christmas colors.

Recipe will make 3 1/2 dozen.

What is your favorite Christmas cookie recipe? Have you started baking yet?

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7 Time Management Tips for the Holidays

Peanuts sing Chrsitmas carols

If holidays bring you more stress and worry than peace, you might enjoy the following 7 Time Management Tips for the Holidays listed below. Knowing how creative you are, I believe you’ll find at least one tip you can use.  

  1. Break chores into baby steps.  You can wrap three gifts or bake one batch of cookies or address ten cards at a time—there’s no rule that says you must do everything from start to finish in one sitting. Some tasks—like addressing cards—can be combined with watching a Christmas movie or chatting on the phone to Aunt Bernice.
  1. Reward yourself when you finish a less-than-enjoyable task. Drink a cup of eggnog, call a friend, or read a chapter of a Christmas novel.

to do list vs. to be list

  1. Ask yourself, “If I had time to do only ONE thing on my list, what would I do?”
  1. Use paper plates, cups, and plastic ware to save time doing dishes. If you explain to guests, “I’d rather spend time with you than to wash dishes,” they’ll feel complimented. If using Grandma’s china for Christmas dinner is a non-breakable tradition, reward the kids in the family to help you clean up by letting them have first dibs on dessert. If you wait till clean up is finished before serving dessert, those dishes will get done lickety-split. Snoopy and woodstock sing Christmas carols
  1. Listen to Christmas music while doing houseworkit will help it go faster.
  1. Never wait till the last minute—something will always come up to delay your finishing on time. Allow plenty of leeway for interruptions and glitches.
  1. Learn to say “no” without apologizing. Your time, health, and emotional stability are worth more than pleasing every elf in the workshop.

What time-saving tips do you use during the holiday rush?


How to Predict Winter Weather

drawing copyright Ron LevellieThe Woolly Worm Report

Did you know there is a surefire way to predict winter weather? According to early American folklore, you can forecast the harshness of an upcoming winter by examining the brown band around a woolly worm’s middle. The thinner the brownish red band, the harsher winter will be.  

But I have my own methods.  As we go on a walk up the country lane near our home Fallat Nevins and I spot a woolly worm scooting across the pavement, I’ll note its coloration. If it’s dark brown or black, representing the bare earth, I predict a mild winter with no snow. If it’s orange—a happy, warm color—I maintain the upcoming winter will be warmer than usual. And if the woolly worm is white or tan, I report that winter will be fast and fun, with snowfall only on Christmas Eve.

Scientific? Hardly. Accurate? Rarely. But my overly biased woolly worm reports make us laugh every time. And giggles help us get through the long, freezing months better than gripes.  I imagine even the woolly worms laugh. At me. 

Jesus face accurate famous

I may not be able to predict the weather, but I’m convinced that the Apostle John predicted accurately when he told us Jesus is coming soon. I hope you and I will spend eternity together with Him, in that lovely city where every day is bright, and every woolly worm gives a sunny report.

Heart of Humor Final front cover 400 x 150The above is an excerpt from my book The Heart of Humor: Sixty Helpings of Hilarity to Nourish Your Soul, a combination of funny stories and articles on how humor helps.

Do you like Winter? If not, which is your favorite season?

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Need Emotional Healing?

A Prayer for Emotional Healing

      I had planned a post on pet peeves, but that will have to wait. This is a chapter from my book, Touchable God. I trust it’s what you need today.

                                                      When You Need Emotional Healing

          My friend is tired to her gut, Lord. She’s tired of pretending she’s okay when she wants to scream and weep and sink into the earth and never hurt again. You know how she feels, for you felt that same screaming ball of nothingness in your belly as they draped You onto two wooden beams, then nailed you fast, so You wouldn’t escape the pain. A pain not only physical; but the vilest soul pain that You were separate from Your Father’s heart and His gaze that kept You close, and His voice that wrapped You.

          The Father turned His back on You, and You bore it so we wouldn’t need to. Yet, she bears it anyway; broken and not knowing she can be whole. Or empty of hope for even a scrap of a put-together life.

Jesus the Good Shepherd

           Jesus, Shepherd who never leaves a sheep alone, hold her until the hurt leaves. Tell her she’s not a disappointment to You. Sing her songs You composed only for her and no other, so she’ll feel Your custom-made love and know You had a reason for her. Show her that reason in a thousand ways, dear Mender of Broken Lives.

sad crying broken heart

           She knows she’s broken, but she doesn’t know why, or she doesn’t want to know for fear the pain is all her fault. Set her free with the truth that the thief has stolen her joy and ripped her value away. Shine the light of Your admiration for her into the deep places she’s not aware of, so she’ll believe and not argue when You say, “I love you, daughter.”

             Grace her to release offenses she’s held tightly in her fists and locked in the oldest diaries of her memory. Cause her to walk upright, gazing into Your broad smile of forgiveness and strength. Guide her steps to sweetest life. Make her believe that she can be whole, as she rests in the crook of Your arm and listens to Your lullabies.

In Jesus’ Name, so be it.

References to Scripture: Matthew 27:46; John 10:11-17; Psalm 139; John 10:10; I John 4:18