Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Christmas in Heaven

This is a repeat from last year, with a few changes. 😉 I hope you’ll enjoy it.

another-merry-christmas

I started to repost this on Facebook yesterday. At Christmas, I like remembering friends and loved ones who’ve passed.

But when I really looked at that picture and read the words, it sounds almost as if my loved ones were gone. Over.

That’s not true. Those who’ve gone on are in HEAVEN! (No doubt about that.) They’re with the Jesus, face to face!

Can you imagine the celebration There when it’s Jesus’s birthday? The joy, happiness, the atmosphere of pure love that happens when they celebrate The Day the creator of the universe and everything in it became a helpless human child, so that thirty odd years later he could take our sins?

Try to imagine the colors. The songs. The absolute explosion of joy that inundates everyone during the celebration!

In my imagination, when the heavenly choirs sing, their music is visible,  colored light, like rainbows and sparkling stars. But that’s my weirdness showing there. LOL!

Christmas was Mom’s favorite holiday. She loved it, worked HARD to make it special for me, my siblings and my kids.

One year she made our picture window look like stained glass by coloring a giant picture and doing somthing to it (seems like baby oil was rubbed on it, but I was just little, so I’m not sure) to make it transparent.

And because there was no Internet, she drove to Tulsa day after day, Christmas shopping for all her loved ones. I remember many nights when she’d come in, exhausted from being over there and going from store to store, not only for our family’s gifts, but for Grandmother’s, too, since Grandmother didn’t drive.

Nope. I can’t just light a candle to remember her at Christmas. I’d have to set off an entire pyrotechnic display!


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Teach the Children

 

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

From Facebook–

This isn’t original with me (it’s all over Facebook) but I love it. I’m sharing it here in case you missed it. Wednesday, we’ll be back to our regularly schoeduled program.

merry-christmas-ball.jpg
Late one Christmas Eve, I sank back, tired but content, into my easy chair. The kids were in bed, the gifts were wrapped, the milk and cookies waited by the fireplace for Santa. As I sat back admiring the tree with its decorations, I couldn’t help feeling that something important was missing. It wasn’t long before the tiny twinkling tree lights lulled me to sleep.

I don’t know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I knew that I wasn’t alone. I opened my eyes, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw Santa Claus himself standing next to my Christmas tree. He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot just as the poem described him, but he was not the “jolly old elf” of Christmas legend. The man who stood before me looked sad and disappointed, and there were tears in his eyes.

“Santa, what’s wrong?” I asked, “Why are you crying?”

“It’s the children,” Santa replied sadly.

“But Santa, the children love you,” I said.
“Oh, I know they love me, and they love the gifts I bring them,” Santa said, “but the children of today seem to have somehow missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. It’s not their fault. It’s just that the adults, many of them not having been taught themselves, have forgotten to teach the children.”

“Teach them what?” I asked.

Santa’s kind old face became soft, more gentle. His eyes began to shine with something more than tears. He spoke softly. “Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see, hear, and touch is much more than meets the eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and traditions of Christmas which we now observe. Teach them what it is they truly represent.”

Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a tiny Christmas tree and set it on my mantle. “Teach them about the Christmas tree. Green is the second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen, with its unchanging color, represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that mankind’s thoughts should turn heavenward as well.”

Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree. “The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises, and that wise men still seek Him.”

“Red,” said Santa, “is the first color of Christmas.” He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree. “Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life-giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God’s greatest gift. Teach the children that Christ gave His life and shed His blood for them that they might have eternal life. When they see the color red, it should remind them of that most wonderful Gift.”

Santa found a silver bell in his pack and placed it on the tree. “Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep.”

Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it. The soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened the room. “The glow of the candle represents how people can show their thanks for the gift of God’s Son that Christmas Eve long ago. Teach the children to follow in Christ’s foot steps… to go about doing good. Teach them to let their light so shine before people that all may see it and glorify God. This is what is symbolized when the twinkling lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright, shining candles, each of them representing one of God’s precious children, their light shining for all to see.”

Again Santa reached into his bag and this time he brought forth a tiny red and white striped cane. As he hung it on the tree he spoke softly. “The candy cane is a stick of hard white candy: white to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock the foundation of the church, and the firmness of God’s promises. The candy cane is in the form of a ‘J’ to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth. It also represents the Good Shepherd’s crook, which He uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane had three small red stripes, which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus, so that we can have the promise of eternal life.”

“Teach these things to the children.”

Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh, fragrant greenery tied with a bright red bow. “The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection, which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven-turned needles of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice. Even its very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ’s love. It is a circle, without beginning and without end. These are the things you must teach the children.”

I asked, “But where does that leave you, Santa?”

The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa’s face. “Why bless you, my dear,” he laughed, “I’m only a symbol myself. I represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving. If the children are taught these other things, there is no danger that I’ll ever be forgotten.”

“I think I’m beginning to understand.”

“That’s why I came,” said Santa. “You’re an adult. If you don’t teach the children these things, then who will?”

(Author Unknown)


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White Haired Wisdom from Frank Peretti

Front cover of Piercing the Darkness

Front cover of Piercing the Darkness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog is by Frank Peretti. Remember, “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness?” Yep, it’s THAT Frank Peretti. Don’t be impressed. I don’t know the guy. I just “liked” him on Facebook.

Turns out he isn’t just a great writer, he’s smart, too. So I’m sharing some of his White Haired Wisdom.
If you want to keep up with Frank, you can like him on Facebook. 
White-Haired Wisdom: Our WHW for today is for all those young and not as young ladies out there who are looking toward marriage.  Moms and Dads, you might want to pass this on to your daughters.
When you’re looking for the right guy, make up your mind here and now that you’re going to Go Through The Middle: you’re going to prove and test him, however long it takes, to make sure he’s God’s pick for you.
Too many people fall into a relationship quickly and easily, “in love” but not thinking.  Let me share with you. Quick and Easy do not make SAFE.
Slow and Careful make SAFE.
So to be specific: dear lady, do yourself, your family, your friends, and your pastor a big favor: Don’t Marry a Jerk.
When I consider the rivers of marital counseling cases that flow through any church, it pains me that the bulk of the counseling is because the guy is a jerk, which tells us something we must face up to and fear: There are jerks in this world, even Christian, church-going jerks.
They are out there, and they are looking for you. Sometimes I marvel at the guys that girls marry.  It’s as if the girl took applications and interviewed several men in order to choose the worst possible candidate:
“Oh, no, I’m sorry, you don’t qualify.  You’re a man with deep convictions with a job; you have a car that actually runs; you believe in self-sacrifice and looking out for your wife and kids.
“I’m looking for a man who can’t hold a job so we end up living with my folks and driving dad’s car because ours is always broken down or out of gas.
“I want a man who is always around when he wants sex but has no interest in taking care of me or the kids. “I’m looking for someone who has a drug or alcohol problem because I think I can fix him. “I need somebody who’s really moody and pouts and yells a lot because I like getting emotionally beat up.
“I’m looking for someone who blames all his problems on everybody else so I’ll have to take the rap for everything. “I want a man who keeps score in a relationship –
Well, I did this and this and this for you, but you only did this and this for me – so I’m always, always trying to make him happy.
“I want a man who can’t control his appetites, who doesn’t want to wait until marriage for sex because he just can’t help himself, which means he won’t wait for anything else he wants, which means we’ll always be in financial trouble.” Jerks are little boys who shave.
The most important thing to them is the latest computer game, everybody else is wrong and they are right, they are constantly texting on a cell phone their mother is paying for, and they drive without insurance.
Jerks need to control and abuse to feel manly, and Christian jerks use the Bible, erroneously, to make it spiritual.  And are you ready for the biggest lie a woman can fall for?
Here it comes–
“He’ll change.”
Listen, I know God’s grace can run mighty deep and of course there are testimonies, but more often than not – which means you should count on it – whatever he is now, that’s what he’s going to be twenty, thirty years from now. 
While you’re still free to make a good and safe choice – not just for you but for your kids-to-be – don’t even think about there being exceptions to the rule.
So it’s my prayer that these words will provide some advance warning and protection for you.  I’ve already heard back from some precious women who can verify everything I’m saying, and they will tell you as I will, Go Through the Middle to find a Real Man, which means you’ll probably have to wade through a few jerks before you find him, but just as there are jerks in the world, so there are good, solid, Real Men, and holding out for the right one will be more than worth it; it will define the rest of your life.
Now I’m thinking about what to say to the fellas who want to be Real Men.  I’ll be back shortly. Frank, on June 13, 2012.


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Mary Sue’s Super, Best, Most Delicious, World’s-Yummiest Ice Cream

Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I’ve heard run-of-the-mill things called “vanilla” I never understood it, because at our house, vanilla was the b-e-s-t!

Larry Lawrence asked me yesterday on Facebook if I had the recipe for Mom’s ice cream. That brought memories of the summertime treat flooding back. Yuuuuummy, creamy, delicious ice cream.

If I could make the Homer Simpson drooling yummy sound, I would.

So today, I’m going to share that recipe.

You can make it any flavor you want, as long as it’s vanilla. 🙂

 Mary Sue’s Super, Best, Most Delicious, World’s-Yummiest Ice Cream

1 egg
1/2 pint heavy cream
1 pint half-and-half
4 Cups whole milk
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
2 Cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Using a mixer, lightly beat the egg, mix in cream, half-and-half, milk, Eagle Brand, sugar and vanilla. Pour in the freezer can and fill the rest of the way with whole milk.
Follow the Freezer instructions to freeze.

Grandma told me that sugar can freeze out, so be sure to taste the mixture before you add the final amount of milk and make sure it’s a little sweeter than you think it should be. If it’s not sweet enough, add more sugar. 🙂

And when it’s ready, share a bowl with me!


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Is There a Santa?

I’ve heard about this all my life. And thanks to Terri, my friend on FaceBook, I finally get to see it. (Thanks Terri!)

All I can say is, Virginia thought ahead! (Only September and she’s talking Santa? Whoa!) Anyway, read on!

This little girl lived with being “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” for the rest of her life. Wonder how that affected her?