Daily Archives: December 6, 2016


While preparing for our Live Nativity (and more!) I searched through many boxes and totes to see what materials were available. At the bottom of a box of light strings, I found two packages of bags for luminaries.

Those paper bags reminded me of home.

There was a large neighborhood in my home town that decorated for Christmas by placing luminaries along their sidewalks, street curbs and driveways. No other lights were used and it created an amazing sight. Cars would line up, turn off their headlights, and drive slowly through the neighborhood. It was beautiful to see those simple lights reflected in the snow. The whole world seemed quieter. 

As I understand it, the tradition of luminaries began when Spaniards, in northern Mexico and the American southwest, liked the Chinese paper lanterns and wanted to do something similar. It became a Christmas tradition to line streets and walkways with luminaries, giving the Christ child a lighted path to family homes. 

Today, luminaries are used by different groups for different purposes. Some put luminaries out to decorate for Halloween. Others have used them as a candle vigil after a tragedy. 

Luminaries are simple decorations. A paper bag, a small amount of dirt or sand, and a tea light candle is all that you need. But, those humble and mundane elements create a path of light that is more beautiful than any electric bulb. 

That inexpensive light reminds me of a simple truth – light is better than dark. One’s life may be mundane and simple, but the light of an honest and faithful heart is more beautiful than anything man can build or manufacture.

Shine, Friend. The light of your life drives away the dark. 


Jill (just one of God’s kids)

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)


“Painted Doll” Part 2

So, “The Wedding of the Painted Doll” was my first “big” solo and it was big – 6 pages of sheet music. 

It was the night of the performance, 300+ people were expected to attend and I looked fabulous. I was wearing a beautiful lace dress, Mary Janes and white ankle socks with lace tops. And the icing on the cake? – my hair was in Shirley Temple curls. I was adorable!!When we arrived, someone explained the set-up to me. I was to walk on stage as the curtain was opening and the pianist started the introduction to the song. They had it timed so that I would arrive at the microphone when the musical introduction ended; I was to start singing immediately. It sounded simple. 

There was only one problem. The stage hand who placed the microphone had missed something. Either the mic was too close to the curtain or the mic cord was caught in the curtain. Whatever the reason, as I made my big entrance, the heavy velvet curtain caught the microphone stand and it started to fall. I heard a loud gasp. (My Poppa said that the audience was worried that the falling mic would scare me.) The crowd didn’t know me!! I ran forward, grabbed that mic, set it right and began singing right on time. Nothing was going to ruin my big song!

Where does a kid get that kind of confidence? Hmmm, do you think that wearing those leg braces and watching people try not to stare at me made the difference? Those leg braces that weren’t comfortable. Those leg braces that caused sores from rubbing against tender skin. Those braces that limited my mobility and activities. Perhaps those braces were part of God’s plan to build my character. 

I wonder how God is using our struggles of today to prepare us for the challenges of tomorrow?

Just a thought. 


Jill (just one of God’s kids)


“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)