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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Take it to the Porch!

I had a bunch of people over for supper Friday night….I mean a bunch. Sometimes people refer to this night as “Christmas at the Colleys”, but it’s more like “Christmas FOR the Colleys” because it’s a whole lot of fun and merriment and we are the ones who get a huge blessing from being around our family in Him. Some of today’s most faithful servants for Him were in our house last Friday night. Children brought me little bags of homemade goodness, candles, or ornaments, there was lots of food and laughter and there was even football in the yard. 

But sometimes on this week, we’re a little preoccupied with prep (or even clean-up) and I’m distracted. It was the week I wore my sweater to worship inside out (big tag hanging from my hip and no-one told me till the very end. (…Though I was sitting on the second row. Of course, I was. You have to parade when your tag is dangling.) It was the week Glenn got home from the drive-through with my sandwich…only there was no sandwich for me in that bag. This party prep included old-fashioned glass bottles of Coca-Cola rolling out the back of my SUV onto my driveway and breaking explosively…on three different days. It included the squirrel that went berserk inside our house ( And yesterday, we went to take communion to the nursing home sisters…only we forgot to bring along the communion. 

On the very last day—the day of the party— I was unquestionably out of room. I was out of room in the freezer, the refrigerator, and the countertops. Even more urgently, though, the food that was on the countertop had to find a home in refrigerator temperatures or it would perish. That’s why we call certain foods perishable. Thankfully God had provided a place of refrigerator temperatures; a place where the food could be saved. That place was, of course, the great outdoors. My screened in porch became the food-saving place that day. 

I know it’s a simple analogy, but work with me here. I started carrying food from the counter toward the porch. Just before I got to the porch, I passed a big, long, empty farm table. There was plenty of room there for all the pies and casseroles. My countertop would be free if I set them all on the table. I would not have to go out in the cold. I would save a few steps. My dining room would not get cold. I would not have to lug it all back in later. So many reasons to just move the food from counter to tabletop. But there was one BIG reason why I could not stop short of the porch. The porch was the place where the conditions were perfect for the preservation of the food. It was the place where food would not perish. Further, once I got the food just outside the place of perishing and just inside the place of salvation, I had to close the door. I had to keep the warmth that was in my house from heating up the porch. I had to keep that food in a place that was separate from the place from which it had come. Mixing the two temperatures would have cause the food to perish; to be unclean. I’m sure, to this point, I’ve not shared any light-bulb concept with you. 

But there’s a spiritual lesson here. Has not God provided a place where souls can be saved? Has He given us a place where we can be separated from the uncleanness that makes us perish? Is it okay to stop short of the entrance to that place, although there may be an alternative that seems good for many reasons. If I have moved toward that “porch door,” but not yet walked through it, am I in the place where the conditions are right for salvation or am I still in the place of perishing?  Am I in the place of the saving element? Succinctly, if I’ve not passed through the door, am I saved? 

I want to add, without commentary, the words of the Holy Spirit about that place…a place where the conditions are right for soul preservation. We understand that the porch door is very important when I’m in my dining room with perishables. How much more important is the door when the perishable is my soul? 

He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who believes not will perish…Mark 16: 16.

Baptism does also now save us…1 Peter 3:21.

Arise and be baptized, washing away your sins…Acts 22:16

Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized, were baptized into his death…Romans 6:3

As many of you as have been baptized, have put on Christ…Galatians 3:27

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins…Acts 2:38.

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses…Colossians 2:12, 13

Some have said to me “But, Cindy Colley, you overemphasize baptism.”  

When you read the words in italics above, can you honestly think that anyone could over-emphasize the importance of baptism? Is it possible to attach too much significance to the place of preservation…of souls? 

“But what about all the other things we have have to do? They’re important, too.”

Yes they are. It was important to clear my counter. It was important to lug each pie and casserole through the dining room. It was important to grab the knob and swing the door open. I could not get to the place of preservation without doing all those things. But unless I got the food into the place of preservation, the contaminants would have compromised the food and (I can tell you for sure) we would not have eaten that food on Friday night. I did some pretty daft things through the week, but that was one thing I was going to make sure I did right. (And, by the way, if it had been hot outside on Friday, I’d have found a neighbor with freezer space. You just don’t take chances with food preservation!)

In life, we will get distracted. We will do some pretty daft things when under the gun. But we’d better get this one thing right. Being on the spiritual porch is being “in Christ.” That’s where spiritual preservation is (Ephesians 1: 3, 7), and the door to the spiritual porch—to being in Christ—is baptism (Romans 6:3,4). 

I’d sure love to help you get to the porch. God’s given every one of us the porch door. And there’s a family of wonderful people waiting for you on the porch!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

And Prior to the Lesson this Morning…

I was up at 6 a.m. this morning—a  Sunday morning—and I asked my husband if he’d be okay studying for his lesson upstairs while I watched an episode of something (volume up) and ran on the treadmill in the basement. He said “Oh yeah…It won’t bother me. I’m just going to be preaching up here. Go ahead.”  That’s his usual mode on Sunday mornings. He likes to pace and whisper-preach his well-prepared lesson one last time. He never uses notes in the pulpit and that last run-though is vital to his memory. 

But despite the loud volume on my television and the humming treadmill motor, I could hear bumping and knocking, stamping footsteps and things falling in the upstairs part of the house. It did not sound at all like study or the kind of whisper-preaching that my husband does on early Sunday mornings.  If he was preaching up there, it must have  been some more  powerful sermon. Just as I was working up a sweat, Glenn came down the stairs, rounded the corner and with a look of utter agitation on his face, he shouted “Can you  power that down and come help me?…Can you come right now?”

“What’s wrong?…”What’s the matter?” I said as I started shutting off the treadmill and the TV.

“Well, we have a small squirrel in the house and I can’t catch him. I’ve tried and tried, but he’s very fast and He keeps going under things and behind things and I need you to help me corner him. I’m in a pickle. I have got to get back to this lesson.” 

“Oh no…Oh dear…okay,” I stammered. “…but I am really not your girl for this job.” See, Glenn wanted me to stand at the end of tables and sofas and beds to try and corner the squirrel when he emerged from hiding places. What I wanted to do was stand on top of those tables and beds and sofas and stay as far from that squirrel as I possibly could get. I soon saw, though, that our squirrel had no qualms whatsoever about running on top of tables, himself, and jumping from stairwells to tabletops to floors and behind armoires and under closed doors. He was the next thing to a flying squirrel and he was all over my house. And he loved stairwells.

The next few minutes proved to be a worthless workout. Out of breath, Glenn kept saying “I’m going to have to let you take care of this because I have to preach in a few minutes.”

“I’m not the right person for this job. I just can’t do this, “ I kept responding.

“Be brave. I need you. The church needs you. Just watch for him to come out and call me.”

About that time, we both thought we heard the little fugitive in a closet—a closet jam packed with 150 glass-bottle Coca-Colas, and a dozen packages of paper-ware for a big Christmas party we’re planning for the congregation at the end of the week. In addition there are a bajillion gift bags in there along with piles of random packing and wrapping materials and bows. There’s a shelf of 32 volumes of the “Great Books” and there’s a library that I use for Digging Deep. There are clothes I’ve hoarded for grandchildren and all of my winter coats. There are extra bed pillows and there’s an electric train. In short there are a million places for a squirrel to hide in that closet and there’s great potential for squirrel havoc in there and I am NOT the girl to go rummaging through that looking for a jumpy squirrel! I would jump out of my skin if I ever actually found him in there! My imagination went quickly to him jumping from the top shelf onto my back as  I’m jostling those boxes and bags on the floor. Or what if I came eyeball to eyeball with him when I looked behind that basket of toys?!  Intellectually, I know he’s small and he wants out of my house as badly as I want him out; but this is no academic exercise. This is Cindy Colley in a closet with a squirrel who’s already proven his gymnastic prowess. I’m not your girl.  

So I shut that closet door. I pushed a very heavy chest against that closet door. I went to another closet and got a big black board that I use to cover the kitchen sink when I need more counter space for serving company and I wedged it up against the door, between the chest and the crack at the bottom of the door. I was thinking about all the donations I was making to this project (after all, who wants to set the dishes for guests on a “squirrel trap”?) But I was not thinking too long and hard  about that. I was thinking “I am NOT your girl, whether you have to preach or not.”

I went to the door of the room and shut it, stuffing a quilt under the crack at the bottom. The door kept popping open under pressure, so I rigged a bungee cord up to another doorknob in the adjoining hall. My house was starting to look like a scene in “Home Alone” and I knew that home…alone was exactly what that squirrel was going to be while we went to worship. Home (my home)…Alone (with my Christmas gifts and party supplies and my precious little library)! I could not bear that thought. I am not your girl. 

“What if he escaped from the closet while I was gone to get the board? What if he is not incarcerated, but instead he’s ‘at large’ again in my house? What if he’s in there parading around my Christmas tree where he was when Glenn first spotted him while pacing and preaching  in the living room? What if he is IN my 13-foot Christmas tree? Will I find a mess of broken ornaments on the floor when I get home from worship? Will I pull back the covers on our bed and find pieces of that tree…or worse? What if we don’t find him today? How far back does the front seat recline in my car and is it going to be a warm night?” I went back and rigged another door with a quilt and bungee cord. Some things are just more important than…say, washing your hair or even showering before leaving for worship. 

As we traveled to worship, Ezra and Colleyanna, (ages five and three, respectively) called for FaceTime. Hearing about that squirrel was the best thing about their morning. “INSIDE your house?!!” they yelled with glee. “Under your Christmas tree?!”…”I wish dat squuyell was at my house! Dat would be esciting!”

I tried hard to worship. I really did…and that lesson about Mary and Martha zoomed right over to my pew and zeroed right into my “careful and troubled about many things” heart and I repented for the squirrel-induced hindrances over and over.   

Pulling out of the parking lot, Glenn said “Where do you want to go for lunch?” 

“I just want to go home and find that squirrel.” I replied….”In fact, I’d really love to cook lunch for you while you do the dispatch work.” 

“Seriously?…Well, alright then. We’ll go home.” 

And my good husband drove home, got his little 22 pistol, loaded it with rat shot, and made a regular invasion of that closet. In fact, that entire room looks like it was in the direct path of a level five tropical cyclone.  

A few minutes later, Glenn came through the kitchen with a John Wayne kind of swagger and said “Well, we got him.” 

“Great!… Where was he? I didn’t hear the gun.”

“It was pretty easy, actually,” Glenn replied. “I was just about to give up finding him in that closet. I walked through the bathroom with my gun to look for him in the sewing room…” (That was another room I’d bungee-corded off).  

“…And out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him…floating around in the toilet.” 

Ten take-aways from the thirsty squirrel saga:

  1. Biblical, marital submission trumps fear and is a strong catalyst for creativity.  
  2. When you say “I do…for better or worse” at the altar, you never know what you’re really signing up for.    
  3. Some mornings, just living life burns more calories than running on a treadmill  (or even doing a high intensity training workout).
  4. Always keep a few spare bungee cords around the house. They’re good for lots of things.
  5. Worship is hard work. Some days it’s very hard work.
  6. That Mary and Martha lesson is very practical and unrelenting in its varied applications (  
  7. Lots of sacrifices will be made when the thirsty have hope of a drink.  
  8. Make your husband a hero even if he never pulls the trigger. It’s all in the chase; the effort and the end result. 
  9. Sometimes you plunge in too deeply for something you want and you find there’s no way back out.
  10. Not every Sunday baptism ends with walking in newness of life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Clean Your Plate!

December 15th is the deadline to enter the holiday contest! Rules are here: It’s easy to enter and the winner receives a $50.00 bundle of choice from The Colley House. Merchandise will arrive before Christmas. SO hurry and enter. It’ll only take a few minutes!

The Christmas Shepherd’s Special ends on the 24th of December, so get five gifts in one! Order now and your gifts will arrive in time for holiday giving. That special is here:!/Christmas-Shepherds-Special/p/123864997/category=0 I’m a little biased, but I think Glenn’s work on church leadership is exceptional and much needed in the body today. We’ve loved sending these out to many spots in the country. We pray they will do much good.


Finally, let me report that Glenn and I are eating well this holiday season. Our waitress at the restaurant tonight said, as she collected our empty plates, “Look at those happy plates. You all did a good job. I’m very proud of you.”  She was at work waiting tables, but in her heart, she was still at home with her kids. And she made us laugh. Happy Holidays. Clean your plate!


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: The Natural Look

Our little window for tree-cutting was quickly closing on us. The schedule had been relentless and there were a couple of hours in which to cut the big tree that finds its place in the same corner of our living room every yuletide season. We had two of our kids and Ezra and Colleyanna with us. More importantly, the two tree-cutters were also preachers and both of them had two sermons in front of them the following day. (One of them also had a four hour drive home.) Saddened to learn that the nearby tree farm we’d patronized for the last few years had no big trees this year, we traveled a little farther to a beautiful spot in God’s north Alabama world; a secluded tree farm we’d discovered online. It was a beautiful day and the kids and I rode through the farm in the back of the trailer, thinking of fun superlatives for describing the biggest dog we’d ever seen and watching the baby goats (and noticing that NONE of the trees looked like Christmas trees. They all looked like giant bushes that had just grown up in the wild…kind of like the shrubs in front of your house when you never prune; only bigger.)

But just as we were completing our round of travel around the farm, guess who we spotted at the little office building on the property’s entrance. It was the man in the red suit himself. The tree no longer mattered to Ezra and Colleyanna. They saw Santa Claus! (…at which time my son-in-law mouthed the words to his wife “Remember…my sermon. Remember it’s four hours home.”)

There were no other children around. (There might be a reason this tree farm was kind of desolate on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.) Santa was Victorian. He was authentic. He was conversational. He took time with each child. Colleyanna was afraid, at first, but Santa gave her time and space. He spoke to her in gentle tones and let her examine his white gloves. Ezra talked ninety-to-nothing. He told him about the binoculars he wants for Christmas and about how he wanted to look at the night sky with them. He examined the beautiful golden compass that Santa pulled out of his pocket and learned that Santa depends on that thing to always find his way home. Meanwhile Hannah shot about a bazillion perfect pictures. 

The preachers among us missed the whole thing, of course. They were out there among the trees, trying with all they had in them to find a tree that would “redeem the time” it took for us to get all the way over that river and through those woods. They called us over to look at a specimen that was about 14 feet tall. We let the kids play on the sleigh and trudged over to look at 14 feet of a great big bush. It’s branches began at the ground and traveled all the way up…like a bush. Some of the branches at the bottom, furthermore, were going to have to be cut away in order to get the giant bush in the huge bucket we use for a stand. 

Standing there surveying the tree, I could hear my husband talking to the proprietor. I could hear the man explaining how he doesn’t do a lot of pruning and shaping. (We knew that.) “A lot of my customers tell me they prefer the natural look.” This was that.

But seven dollars per foot for the “natural look”?  We stood there and hemmed and hawed. My son-in-law said “I think this is your tree.” (The sermon was motivating him.) My husband said “This could be your tree, but just remember…Lowe’s has some pretty good 12-footers.” 

I knew the tree had problems. I could see that it was going to take some serious tying off to our mantel to even stabilize the massive bush. I knew it would be extremely difficult to decorate. (I mean there were no branches directed “out” for ornaments and tinsel. All branches were several feet long and they all traveled “up”.) I could see that the tree would be even more directionally challenged when we did the necessary trimming of the trunk. in short, this tree was a true, albeit massive, hybrid between “Charlie Brown” and a specimen from Who-ville.”

But the kids had spent a long time with Santa at this farm. They were playing on the sleigh. Santa had taken a lot of time with the golden compass. The huge dog and the little goats and the trailer ride over the bumpy terrain had been the start to a perfect tree-cutting experience. I knew that my choice now was to take home the giant bush (….all of the big trees on this lot were giant bushes) or to tell the kids we were going to the store and buy a tree. I also knew that their daddy was likely not going to even let them go with us to purchase a tree. (There was the sermon.) We’d exhausted every area tree farm possibility. My husband, the patient, good sport that he is, said “Whatever you want to do. Just know this tree is going to be a pretty expensive “Charlie Brown” tree. But it’ll be fine if that’s what you think.”

In my mind, I weighed the options. This was going to be the centerpiece of two or three large gatherings. All my friends have those “perfect” trees. They all think I’m over-the-top, anyway, about old sentimental or vintage or even art deco-rations. What will they think about this old bush…the tree that really belongs on the Island of Misfits? Then I looked over at the children who were anxiously waiting for the part when we yell “Timber”, fell the big tree, load it on the trailer and sing our way home. I looked over at Santa, who had been so kind and personable to our children while we took all of those FREE pictures with the best Santa we’d seen this year. And then there were the sermons.

The perfect tree or the perfect end to the whole experience?? Which?…Easy decorating after the children leave or hearing the kids yell with excitement when the tree (massive bush) comes down?? Salvaging the sentiment of the day at the farm by the river or…well…Lowes? I looked over at the children on the sleigh and said “ We already got our money’s worth with that Santa and all those pictures and, well, it’s just a tree. I think we need to take one home. Let’s cut it.” Sentimentality, in my heart, always wins over efficiency. Every time. Besides, there were the sermons. 

The rest is history. The moment was perfect. Ezra thought the tree was even perfect. (He still will think that when he comes back in a few days and sees it decorated. In his eyes it will be “bru-tiful.”) They took that massive Leyland cedar bush and put it in a shaker machine. Seeing a tree that big having a shaking fit was pure joy for the kids. Ezra imitating the giant jitters was almost worth the price.  

And that was the last thing that was worth the price. Getting the tree in the door, getting it in the bucket, getting it tied off to the walls and windows and mantel, getting any decorations to gravitationally comply, hiding huge gaping spaces in the greenery with every life-sized Coke Santa or large gift, figuring out a way to top a bush that has one long wisp of a sprig sticking out at the top and attempting to bind together some semblance of a Christmas tree shape was the part of the sentiment that became less and less “tender”, shall we say, as the hours up and down the ladder wore on.  

But then again, it was just a first-world problem of a Christmas tree. I’m praying for so many that would love the chance to be decorating a Christmas tree rather than be in that hospital or rehab room. I’m thinking of friends who will not see their children and grandchildren this holiday season at all. Homes where the joy has been stolen this year because of selfishness are reminders that what’s over in the corner of my living room has little real significance at all.  I think about mothers who are agonizing over children who’ve walked away from God this year. 

As I took out those ornaments that had to be hard-wired instead of hung this year, I remembered so many sisters who had made contributions to the funny tree….There were Betty Anderson’s West Huntsville ornaments, Deanne Foy’s porcupine, Wanda Weber’s stars made from road maps and Pam Emerson’s yearly cross-stitches in tiny plastic frames…and the children’s little handmade reindeer and snowflakes! Darcie and Harrison, Colton and Nell…all have their handmade contributions on the big bush. The macaroni and Lifesaver and popsicle stick ones made by Caleb and Hannah in years gone by are there. It’s always the very most meager ornaments shaped by tiny hands that shout our wealth as we put up that tree! 

So it’s over there. It’s propped and tied and hidden and I’m still watering it just like it was pretty.  A hundred people squeezed in around it last Sunday night. We laughed and prayed and ate and drank Coke from old-fashioned glass bottles. (I’m especially glad for the famous  Coca-Cola Santa this year!) And we drank chai tea, and coffee and cocoa and cider and lemonade. And moving around, shoulder-to-shoulder, with my family in Him, I drank in the truth that the Colleys are very rich. It was the best kind of drinking party. 

And 10 other lessons from this year’s tree: 

  1. There is a big difference between a full-grown tree that’s been pruned and one that has not. It’s that way with kids, too. Diligence in cutting away the ugly stuff each year is so important.
  2. Sermons really are way more important than trees and Santa, of course. Priorities.
  3. Just because something is planted on a Christmas tree farm doesn’t mean it’s a Christmas tree. (There’s similar truth about people planted in a church somewhere.)
  4. Just because a big deficiency is temporarily hidden does not mean it has been removed. (Sin is like that, too. You move the big Coke Santa and it’s still there. Everyone else might not see it, but the One who owns the tree knows it’s there.)
  5. Children are the most gracious critics. Maybe that’s why God says we should be more like them. 
  6. Sometimes, the wrong quick decision at the tree farm has consequences that you’re not really comprehending in the moment. (Sin is like that.)
  7. What’s up at the top needs to be substantial, too. (What’s at the top of your world? Is it substantial or flimsy? It’s what people are noticing about you!)
  8. Sometimes just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it’s good. (Think of lots of entertainment venues, sports tickets, and worldly pleasures here.)
  9. “Natural” is not always better. (Take the “natural man, for instance, from I Corinthians 2:14. Sometimes we need some cleaning up that’s way beyond our nature.)
  10. The best ornaments are not the ones that take the eye of the world. (Remember the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit in 1 Peter 3?…way better than the gold and pearls and costly array.)
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Did You Know? You Can Do what Mary Did.


Since God chose not to tell us on which calendar day our Savior was born, I don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday that has more spiritual significance than any other of the 364 days of the year.  But I do find it refreshing that there is at least one time of the year when the rest of the world dares to speak His name in various public venues. Sometimes the moments of giving and instances of forgiving that occur during the holidays grab my emotions and stir my spirit. Even our own little family traditions give me pause to remember the extreme blessings of family and of the traditions themselves. This year, more than ever, I am learning that memory is a precious gift.

There is one particular set of lyrics that I usually hear at some point in the holidays that evokes emotions and memories in me like most other songs cannot. The song is “Mary, Did You Know?” You know Mary really did hold the infant who had walked where angels trod. When she kissed her little baby, she kissed the face of God. God put His Son, who through infinite time had been far above all earthly principalities and powers, in the hands of a poor Jewish maiden. She slowly recovered from her labor and delivery to realize that she would truly recover with the rest of penitent humanity through His delivery.

And yet, God was flesh. She got to nurse the King of Kings. His tiny finger wrapped around hers and she smiled, too, when she saw God smiling up at her from her breast. She tended His diaper rashes, placed compresses on His fevered brow and buckled on His first pair of sandals. She heard Him speak his first word, and He stumbled into Her arms when he first walked. She probably kissed that first skinned knee and taught the Lord to count. She made His first bowl of broth and she probably fried the first fish he caught. She took him to the market and to the place of worship. She gently rocked the One who gives eternal rest to all those who are weary and heavy laden. She laid him in his little crib.

And Cindy Colley got to do all of those things with her son, too. Have you ever stopped to think that, if you are a  mom, God has allowed you the privilege to spend your days in the same pursuits, the same everyday activities, the same world of constant wonder, as Mary, the mother of the Lord Jesus did? Oh, I know that our babies are not divine, but I suggest that there was little if any difference in the practical expectations placed on Mary and those placed upon any mother among the people of God today. She bathed, clothed, fed, tended, and disciplined the Son of God and Man for his eternal purpose. I bathed, clothed, fed, tended, and disciplined my son of Man for his eternal purpose; so that he would one day become a son of God; a joint heir with Christ. I just find it a blessing in the extreme that I can nurture in precisely the same way that the chosen mother of Christ could nurture.

Now sometimes I think about Mary’s perspective of motherhood. What if she had found the mundane activities of home and family boring and unfulfilling? What if she had wanted more–more than dirty diapers, runny noses and all that noise with all those kids all day? What if her ambitions “outgrew” meeting the needs of that poor carpenter’s family? What if Mary had just rebelled against that primary purpose for which God had prepared her?

“Well, that’s ridiculous,” you may be thinking. She was the mother of the Christ-child. She knew her role was important. She knew her motherhood would transcend time and reach eternity. Yes. She did.

And so should I. Corporations, positions, dollars, houses, cruises, karate lessons, electronic devices, entertainment venues and expensive educations will all be worthless in the final analysis. But the things that mothers do and that money can’t buy will transcend time and reach eternity. My child will never be God. But my child will be God’s. He will never be the Redeemer, but the Redeemed. Never the Savior, but ever the saved.

When Mary kissed her baby boy, she kissed the face of God. The Holy Child she delivered would soon deliver her…and you and me. So, you blessed mother, when you kiss the soft cheek that lies against your breast today, savor the moment. Savor the blessing of doing right now—today– just what Mary did. Savor the chance to wipe the noses, change the diapers, tend (or ignore) the whines, and read the stories.  Mary did it for the great I AM. And that ‘s the same great I AM who still superintends the passage of that precious child from your arms to His!

Mary, did you know

that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know

that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know

that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?

This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know

that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know

that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?

Did you know

that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?

When you kissed your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know…

The blind will see.

The deaf will hear.

The dead will live again.

The lame will leap.

The dumb will speak

The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know

that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know

that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?

Did you know

that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?

The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.

(article adapted from the Bless Your Heart archives)


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Congratulations Mintie!…and…There Arose such a Clatter!

PrintMintie Reagan Welchance, You are the winner! If you put “The Colley House” in your status at any point in the last week and left it up for twenty-four hours, and tagged me in the status, you were in the drawing for a free Colley House Christmas bundle. I hope you enjoy it, Mintie. Valued at $58.50, it’s coming your way on a pretty fast sleigh!

I think we’re about to embark on year eight of the “Bless Your Heart” blog. This year, during the holidays, I’ve received more cards of encouragement from blog readers and Digging Deep ladies than ever before. I don’t know how you would have coordinated, but I’m starting to think you all are in cahoots and have a plan to fill my box with holiday cheer. If so, it’s working!…and I thank you.  And speaking of holiday cheer, I’m up for a lot of it this week. Glenn and I have had our grandson Ezra, for the past five days. Now that’s a lot of cheer…and cuddles… and drives looking for “Pippas yights” (Christmas lights), and choruses of “Dee-dee Bells” (Jingle Bells).”

A couple of nights ago, during our Bible “story time”, I gave Ezra the fill-in-the -blank statement: “When I grow up, I’m going to marry a _______________.” Because he didn’t respond quickly, I added the initial sound of the answer…”Chr…”

Then he shouted with glee “a Pippas tree!!”

We’re enjoying him immensely and are looking forward to enjoying his parents and baby Colleyanna later this week. Next week, we hope to have Caleb and Bekah here, too, at some point. We know we are blessed beyond our imagination’s scope and we praise Him for rich blessings of friends and family.

It will be after Santa’s delivery run that you next get a notification from the “Bless Your Heart” blog page. I hope you are in a place in life in which you can be enjoying family this week, as well. Most of all, I hope you feel the security of the Father’s arms and bask in His salvation. In that vein, here’s a post from the archives about the “clatter” that arose on my roof early one Christmas morning:

It was a shocker, alright. It was in the very early hours of Christmas morning, 2010, when the huge, noise that shook the house abruptly woke up the neighborhood. Glenn looked at me with terror in his eyes and then ran into the room where Hannah was sleeping. He “sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.” I heard him mutter something about a bomb as he ran out of the room. The last time I had heard a noise like that had been many years ago when a big trash truck had bolted over a curb and into our house (but that’s another story for another post). The kids were both okay and, on investigation, we found that, this time, a huge part of a tree had fallen on the house. There was damage, but safety for all. 

Later in the day, the kids and I were talking about how their dad reacts to unknown perceived threats.  He inhales hugely! (BIG gasp that’s a little funny on reflection). Then he runs (dressed or not) to wherever his kids are. The amazing thing was that his reaction was just the same when they are twenty-something as it was when they were 2 and 6. He instinctively runs to his children. Their safety and protection are his only immediate concern. While we were talking about this, Hannah said she could remember one occasion, as a child, when a bumblebee woke her up buzzing around her head. She said, “I was scared of that noise in the dark, I cried out and immediately heard Dad’s footsteps–loud running footsteps– as he ran into my room and took me in His arms. Then he killed that bee. Anytime I yelled in the night, he was right there, right then.”

I think every child who has a good father remembers what it felt like to be in his arms. I remember pretending I was asleep in the back of our station wagon when I was a child just so my daddy would carry me in the house. Ultimate protection, strength and safety were wrapped all around me.

That’s what God does. The Bible describes our God as “a very present help in time of trouble” (Psa.46:1). He’s right there, right then.  He is the Father who pities His children (Psa.103:13), and hears their cries (Psa 34:17). He is the one who offers His help to His people “right early” (Psa.46:5). Deuteronomy thirty-three, verse twenty-seven says he puts his everlasting arms beneath us.

Let me assure you, even if you’ve never felt the need to cry out to your Father or to feel his arms beneath you, there will come a time when a huge clatter will arise in your life. You will look in horror at the prospects before you and you will desperately want to cry out to Him.  Are you secure in the house of the Father? Will he hasten to your side when you cry? If not, will you contact me and let me help you find that security? I wish this safety for every reader.