Tag Archives: Christmas

I guess it’s ’bout time!

It’s been more than two weeks since my last “non-holiday’ post, and I figured it’s about time I get this whole blogging thing back on track! We’ve returned from our lovely time at the beach, and are sifting through all our post-vacation debris and getting ready to hit the road tomorrow for our January SOWER project in Lake Wales, FL.  New adventures await!

But first – The Beach!!
Ahhhh……
Untitled

I’ll be honest with you, Gary & I are not really ‘beach people’. We gravitate more towards mountains and cabins than sandy beaches and condos. But we truly did have a delightful time in our little ‘condo by the sea’.
Untitled
No alarms, a fair bit of eating out, and even a bit of time on the beach.
Untitled
We weren’t sure what bird made these footprints
Untitled
but I am glad I never ran into whatever it was on a dark night! (Probably a Great Blue Heron, though we never actually saw one!)
Untitled
While we had some beautiful sunshiny days, the temperature never got up high enough to tempt us to pull out those swim suits. In fact, on Christmas day – high of 46.
Untitled
Brrrrrr…. (If you can zoom in on that picture you might see some crazy folks in the water (with wet suits on)!.
We were on the fourth floor of a 16 floor condo, and were pretty much lined up with the boardwalk out to the beach.
Untitled
So even when we didn’t feel like heading to the beach, we could still watch the ocean (and all the folks coming and going!). I never tired of the view, and was delighted with both the sunrise
Untitled
and the sunset
Untitled
most days.

It was a very different Christmas for us, and we did indeed miss seeing our kids and grands. Zooming is fun, but it’s not really quite the same thing, is it? But for this year, and this season, our little beachy Christmas was just the right thing.   Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of the sea!

As always, thanks for stopping by!
Steph

PS – If you’d like to see more pictures of our time at Orange Beach (’cause you I took MORE!), you can check them out HERE!

Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we are heading out for our Christmas Getaway – 12 days at a “Gulf View” condo in Orange Beach, AL.
OrangeBeach
Even as I dig out the beach towels and bathing suits from under the bed(rather optimistically since I’m pretty sure the temperatures aren’t even supposed to hit 70 while we are there!), and organize the power cords for packing, I must admit I am a bit conflicted. Oh, we’ve had several years when we haven’t been with family on Christmas Day, but I cannot think of a Christmas Season where I wasn’t kissing little faces or snuggled up with a slew of kidlins watching Christmas Story or playing games around the kitchen table at some point. We would be the “Phase II” Christmas, and it worked pretty well (plus the kids loved having two Christmas mornings!). But this year, long before the huge up-tick in COVID-19 cases and the “stay home” recommendations, we had decided to do Christmas just on our own. (We actually had considered taking a cruise. But you know…cruises and pandemics….no. Just no.) We have no agenda for our time at ‘the beach’ =). I’m bringing books and my cameras and my computer and I’m sure the days will fill up just fine! Along with the beach towels I’m also packing hats and scarves and warm jackets so we can take long walks on the beach regardless of the ambient temperature! And with today’s wonderful technology (and WIFI at the condo) there should be lots of opportunities to be part of the family festivities without anyone actually having to find us a place to sleep!!

Before we head out tomorrow, though, I wanted to give you a quick wrap-up of the work here at Teen Challenge. With the help of that fine tool (the Gecko Gauge), the section we were working on went up like a dream. We completed the entire section in just 2 1/2 days,
Untitled
and that left plenty of time for clean-up and fine-tuning some of the ‘mechanical’ areas around back.
Untitled
Untitled
Next month there are three SOWER couples coming so they should be able to finish off the front with no problem (we’re leaving them that miracle tool). I don’t know if they’ll tackle the end of the building, but once it does get all done, everything will get a fresh coat of paint so it won’t have such a patchwork look (from the different ages of the siding). We might have to stop back next year to see how it all comes together!

Praying you all have a blessed Christmas week! I know there is a lot going on, and for many of us it will be a Christmas like none we’ve had before (kinda like 2020 in general!). Don’t know how the blogging schedule will develop over the next two weeks – but just in case –

Steph

Sabbath Rest – Of the Father’s Love Begotten

The original words for this ancient hymn were written in the fourth century by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, and translated from Latin into English in 1851. This version from 2016 by the group Out of Darkness (Adam & Lori Ubowski) has modernized some of the words and I found it to be quite lovely! I hope you enjoy it!

The words below are close, but not exactly the same as the lyrics on the video.

1 Of the Father’s love begotten
ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega,
he the Source, the Ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see,
evermore and evermore!

2 O that birth forever blessed,
when the Virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
bore the Savior of our race;
and the babe, the world’s Redeemer,
first revealed his sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

3 This is he whom heav’n-taught singers
sang of old with one accord,
whom the Scriptures of the prophets
promised in their faithful word;
now he shines, the long expected;
let creation praise its Lord,
evermore and evermore!

4 O ye heights of heav’n, adore him;
angel hosts, his praises sing:
all dominions, bow before him
and extol our God and King;
let no tongue on earth be silent,
ev’ry voice in concert ring,
evermore and evermore!

5 Christ, to thee, with God the Father,
and, O Holy Ghost, to thee,
hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
and unwearied praises be,
honor, glory, and dominion
and eternal victory,
evermore and evermore!

Here is a 2014 orchestral interpretation that is also a WOW!

Sabbath Rest – Sing We the Song of Emmanuel

This may not be on your list of favorite and familiar Christmas Carols – yet!
Hope you enjoy this new Christmas Hymn-
Sing We The Song Of Emmanuel
Song by Keith Getty, Matt Boswell, and Matt Papa

Sing we the song of Emmanuel
This the Christ who was long foretold
Lo in the shadows of Bethlehem
Promise of dawn now our eyes behold
God Most High in a manger laid
Lift your voices and now proclaim
Great and glorious Love has come to us
Join now with the hosts of heaven

Come we to welcome Emmanuel
King who came with no crown or throne
Helpless He lay the Invincible
Maker of Mary now Mary’s son
O what wisdom to save us all
Shepherds sages before Him fall
Grace and majesty what humility
Come on bended knee adore Him

Go spread the news of Emmanuel
Joy and peace for the weary heart
Lift up your heads for your King has come
Sing for the Light overwhelms the dark
Glory shining for all to see
Hope alive let the gospel ring
God has made a way He will have the praise
Tell the world His name is Jesus

Glory shining for all to see
Hope alive let the gospel ring
God has made a way He will have the praise
Tell the world His name is Jesus
Gloria, gloria
Gloria, gloria
Gloria, gloria
Gloria, gloria