Duck and Shoot

It was my husband’s idea this year to do some Christmas shopping at Bass Pro in Calgary.  No sooner had we entered the store than we were immediatelyunpopular surrounded by merchandise from “Duck Commander” and “Duck Dynasty”.  It was camo overload!  There were even some full size figures of the Duck gents that patrons could take their pictures beside…which we did.  I giggled at all the little metal signs printed with some of Si Robertson’s quotes from the T.V. show and there was even a huggable pillow of Jase that you could squeeze and he would spout off one of his redneck truisms.  The famous duck calls which sell for nearly $50.00 here in Canada were nearly sold out, which indicates that this is a family who knows how to market themselves and their brand and why they are a financial dynasty!

The patriarch of the Robertson clan, Phil, is outspoken and at times shocking.  He is so blatantly honest and straight forward about his beliefs that sometimes I cringe.  He is NOT politically correct and my Canadian sensibilities tingle when he talks about sex, marriage and raising children.  The thing is, he only says out loud what people think and I agree wholeheartedly with him especially when it comes to his interpretation of the Bible.

Yesterday, Phil Robertson was suspended from the A. & E. T.V. show for comments he made in a recent interview with GQ.  He expressed his beliefs about marriage that the network was afraid would offend some people.

Excuse me????

For a country that prides itself on freedom of speech and freedom of religion, it is interesting how Christians seem to be targeted the most to keep their opinions to themselves in the U.S.  (Yes, here in Canada too.)  For a country who has “In God We Trust” embossed on each coin and dollar bill, and the fact that the country was founded on Christian beliefs and principles, those who still hold to those beliefs are now banned from speaking out in public because it may offend others who do not espouse the same belief.

For shame, A. & E., in an effort to appease a few complainers, you have successfully shot yourself in the foot.

Phil Robertson has an incredible testimony of faith that cannot be silenced.  He has never pretended to be anyone else but who he claims to be: a follower of Jesus.  Each one of his four boys profess to be Christian and his grandchildren are all raised in Christian homes.

That is a true Dynasty!

A Christmas Carol Quiz

I got a great response to last week’s Christmas Story Quiz, so today for our Friday Funny I challenge you to decipher the REAL titles of these exaggerated titles of very familiar Christmas Carols.  (Answers are following the quiz…don’t peak! :)

1.  From dark ‘til dawn, soundless and sanctimonious

2. Celestial messengers from splendid empires                 carolers

3.  In a distant bovine diner

4.  Universal elation

5.  Ornament the enclosure with large sprigs of berry-bearing evergreen

6.  O miniature Nazarene village

7.  May Jehovah grant unto you hilarious males retirement

8.  Those of you who are true, come here!

9.  Are you detecting the same aural sensations as I am?

10.  The diminuative young male who plays a percussion instrument

11.  Primary Yuletide

12.  Heavenly Cherubs announcing in song – listen!

13.  Reigning monarchs of the Far East

14.  Proclaim it to the Hills

Do you have any more you would like to add?  Leave a comment with the exaggerated title and the correct title!

Answers:

1.  Silent Night

2. Angels We Have Heard on High

3.  Away in a Manger

4.  Joy to the World

5.  Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

6.  O Little Town of Bethlehem

7.  God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

8.  O Come All Ye Faithful!

9.  Do You Hear What I Hear?

10.  The Little Drummer Boy

11.  The First Noel

12.  Hark, the Herald Angels Sing

13.  We Three Kings

14.  Go Tell It On the Mountain

Santa is Welcome

Putting up my Nativity Scene this year and decorating my tree and home, was a little different without the children around “helping”.  Being an empty nester means the yuletide traditions are a little different and I have to get used to the fact that I might not have all my babies here for Christmas.  My children know that Christmas is my favourite time of the year.  I decorate the house with gusto and go WAY overboard decking the halls!  I love the end result of course, but I dread the tear down after Christmas.  It took two days to put up and will take at least two days to take down!  Still, I love the Season, the lights, the decorations, the tree and all the whimsical décor that makes Christmas a feast for the imagination!

As a Christian, of course my focus is on the Birth of our Saviour.  I remember my oldest daughter was only two the first time she “helped” me put up my Nativity scene.  I pointed to each figurine as I placed it on the table.  “Who is this?” I asked her and pointed to each one.  “That’s Joseph,” she said, “and the Three Wise Men, and Baby Jesus!”  I pointed to the last figurine, “Who is this lady?”  My daughter answered quickly, “That’s Mary Christmas!”

I am very purposeful in how I decorate my house at Christmas.  It’s not just a fengkneeling santa shui thing going on with a Canadian Home Living décor, it’s mostly about telling the story of Jesus everywhere you look.  I always situate my Nativity Scene very close to a “Last Supper” sculpture I have.  I hang a large spike close to the trunk of my Christmas tree, representing the fact that Jesus’ Cross was constructed from a tree.  The cradle and the cross should always be remembered together.

Finally I place my “Kneeling Santa” figurine on the coffee table.  My children have always had a healthy attitude towards Santa Claus.  We don’t banish the Jolly Old Elf from our home, nor do we idolize his image.  Instead, in this simple, yet effective way we show him in relationship to the Baby Jesus.  He, like all other people, places and things are under the authority of Christ and we know that Santa is merely a legend, but Christ is REAL.

I’ve told my kids about the true “Santa” – Saint Nicholas who had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for the mythical Santa Claus we know today.

I don’t have a problem with Santa.  Just like any other imaginary character, my kids know him for what he is and we appreciate the fun and the excitement that goes with a visit to a mall Santa and asking for all the things on a wish list.  We hang up our stockings just like everyone else, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be here.  It’s fun!

In researching for this blog post I came across a wonderful “Santa” site…no, not the North Pole – HO, HO, HO!

It’s a website that honours past, present and future “Santas” and I found it of particular interest that the colours of the “official” Santa Claus Coat of Arms are the traditional Christian colours of Christmas. Red is for the blood of Christ, green is for the eternal life in Christ and gold is for Christ the Divine.  Prospective Santas are required to sign an oath that states: I know the “real reason for the season” and know that I am blessed to be able to be a part of it.

So while the children are nestled all snug in their beds with visions of electronic gadgets dancing in their heads; I in my slippers and my husband in his housecoat, will fill up those stockings and then I’ll let my wandering eyes fall upon Santa kneeling and praying beside the Christ Child and it will indeed be a Merry Christmas to all…and to all a Good Night!

Santa’s Prayer

The sleigh was all packed, the reindeer were fed, But Santa still knelt by the side of the bed.

“Dear Father,” he prayed “Be with me tonight. There’s much work to do and my schedule is tight.

I must jump in my sleigh and streak through the sky, Knowing full well that a reindeer can’t fly.

I will visit each household before the first light, I’ll cover the world and all in one night.

With sleigh bells a-ringing, I’ll land on each roof, Amid the soft clatter of each little hoof.

To get in the house is the difficult part, So I’ll slide down the chimney of each child’s heart.

My sack will hold toys to grant all their wishes. The supply will be endless like the loaves and the fishes.

I will fill all the stockings and not leave a track. I’ll eat every cookie that is left for my snack.

I can do all these things Lord, only through You, I just need your blessing, then it’s easy to do.

All this is to honor the birth of the One, That was sent to redeem us, Your most Holy Son.

So to all of my friends, least Your glory I rob, Please Lord, remind them who gave me this job.”

Warren D. Jennings

A Christmas Letter from Jesus

From-Jesus-with-LoveWith social networking, texting etc. etc., writing Christmas Cards along with the annual Christmas Letter may go the way of the dinosaur.  Canada Post is certainly feeling the effects of fewer and fewer Christmas stamps being sold and I would guess Hallmark probably notices that e-cards are getting way more usage than the printed variety.  It’s yet another sign of the times.  Still, I couldn’t just let the season go by without writing my annual Christmas letter and enclosing it in with my Christmas Cards to those friends and family who are not online as much and still appreciate receiving a personal, handwritten note.  It may be redundant, it may be old news to my Facebook chums but it’s tradition and I just can’t stop…yet.

The personal touch…that’s what Jesus was all about.  I suppose if He had been born into this time, He would have utilized social media to get His message of Hope out to a world-wide audience, but somehow I just can’t think of Jesus sitting in front of a computer screen, tapping out His parables and not going out into the public once in a while.  In fact, the more I think about it, the more ludicrous it seems.  Still, I wonder what Jesus would have written in His Christmas Letter* if He were writing one to us today:

Dear children,

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking my name out of the season.  Maybe you’ve forgotten that I wasn’t actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate my birthday on what was actually a time of a pagan festival.  No worries, I do appreciate the sentiment though and being remembered anytime.

I don’t really care what you call the day.  If you want to celebrate My birth just GET ALONG and LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  Now, having said that, let Me go on.

If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of the Santas and snowmen and put up a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn.  If all my followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for a Town Square scene, because there would be hundreds of them all around town!

Please, stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a “holiday tree” instead of a Christmas tree.  It was I who made all trees.  You can remember Me anytime you see any tree and at any time of the year.  Decorate a grape-vine and leave it up all year if you wish and remember I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my “wish list”.  Choose something from it.

1.  Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home.  They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year.  I know, they tell Me all the time.

2.  Visit someone in a nursing home.  You don’t have to know them personally.  They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3.  Instead of standing by the water-cooler with your colleagues complaining about your boss and how stingy he was with the Christmas bonuses this year, why don’t you go into his office with a gift card and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year.  Then follow-up.  It will be nice hearing from you again.

4.  Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts they really don’t need, spend time with them instead.  Tell them a story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here.  Hold them in your arms and remind them how much I love them!

5.  Pick someone who has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6.  Instead of griping about a retailer in town saying “Happy Holidays”, be patient with the people who work there.  Give them a warm smile and a kind word and even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one.  Think about those who have to work over the holidays and bring them a plate of cookies to tell them you appreciate them for their hard work.  Take it one step further…when you go out to eat after church on Sundays, rather than look down your nose at all the people who “missed church” because they had to work, when that waitress takes your order, pray for her and thank her for her service to you and then leave her a good tip…not the chintzy ones you have been leaving.  My children should always be generous!

7.  There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only have no “Christmas Tree”, they have no presents to give or receive.  If you want to make a difference this Christmas, support a local charity that provides clothes, food, and shelter to those who are homeless or who help families in crisis.  Don’t just send them a cheque at Christmas either, support them year round.  If you can’t afford to support them with a monetary donation, give them your time.  Volunteering your time is just as helpful!

8.  Support a missionary, especially one who takes My Love and Good News to those who have never heard My Name.

9.  Finally, if you believe that I am the real “reason for the season”, how about spending more time with Me rather than spending time complaining about how commercial Christmas has become?  Live every day like you believe that I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE, and remember I am with you always!

All My Love,

Jesus

 

(*similar forms of this letter circulate online each year, the sentiment is similar in each one.)

A Christmas Quiz!

Jesus, Joseph and MaryHow do you like my new Christmas Theme? I thought it was pretty festive!  A good way to start the “Countdown to Christmas” here on Journey Thoughts.

My friend, Kathy Howard, a fantastic author and women’s Bible Study leader, gave us a quiz in class several years ago about “How Well Do You Know the Christmas Story?”  I have kept the handout and I’ve added a few more questions of my own that I challenge you to answer without using your Bibles or the internet.  (I’ll supply the answers and scripture references at the end of this post.)  You will likely discover as you piece together the “facts” about Jesus’ birth that what we socially accept is mostly Hollywood glamorization and blatant commercialism that does not align itself with Scripture at all.  So, how well DO YOU know the Story of Jesus’ Birth?  Share if you dare :)

1.  As long as Christmas has been celebrated, it has been on December 25th?   True or False

2.  Joseph was from:

  • Bethlehem
  • Jerusalem
  • Nazareth
  • Egypt
  • Saskatchewan
  • None of the above

3.  Who insisted that Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem?

  • The Angel
  • Mary’s mother
  • Herod
  • Caesar Augustus
  • Alexander the Great
  • no one told them to go

4.  How did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem?

  • camel
  • donkey
  • walked
  • Volkswagen
  • Joseph walked, Mary rode a donkey
  • Who knows?

5.  Mary and Joseph were married when Mary became pregnant?  True or False

6.  Mary and Joseph were married before Jesus was born?  True or False

7.  Mary was a virgin when she delivered Jesus?  True or False

8.  What did the innkeeper tell Mary and Joseph?

  • There is no room at the inn
  • I have a stable you can use
  • Come back after the Christmas rush
  • None of the above

9.  Jesus was delivered in a:

  • stable
  • manger
  • cave
  • barn
  • unknown

10.  A manger is a:

  • stable for domestic animals
  • wooden hay storage bin
  • feeding trough
  • barn

11.  According to the Bible, which animals were present at Jesus’ birth?

  • cows, sheep, goats
  • cows, donkeys, sheep
  • miscellaneous barnyard animals
  • lions, tigers and bears
  • we don’t know

12.  Who saw the star in the east?

  • shepherds
  • Mary and Joseph
  • Magi (aka Wise Men)
  • both shepherds and Magi
  • none of the above

13.  What “sign” did the angels tell the shepherds to look for?

  • A star over Bethlehem
  • A baby that doesn’t cry
  • A baby in a stable
  • A baby lying in a manger
  • None of the above

14.  What is a “heavenly host”?

  • The angel at the gate of Heaven
  • The angel who invites people to Heaven
  • An angel choir
  • An angel army
  • None of the above

15.  What did the heavenly host of angels say?

  • Joy to the World
  • Alleluia
  • Unto us a child is born
  • Glory to God in the highest

16.  Did the baby Jesus cry?

  • He never cried
  • He cried just like other babies
  • He cried when the little drummer boy banged his drum

17.  We Three Kings of Orient Are…Who were they?

  • Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar
  • Astrologers, Seers, Fortune tellers
  • Scholars from Persia
  • Royal Astronomers
  • Kings
  • We’re not 100% sure

18.  How many Magi came to see Jesus?

  • Probably less than 10
  • three
  • We don’t know for sure, but there were probably dozens in their entourage

19.  Where did the Magi find Jesus?

  • in the manger
  • in the stable
  • in an inn
  • in a house

20.  Which Gospels give details about Christ’s Birth so we can answer these questions and get the TRUE facts?

  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • John
  • Matthew and Mark
  • Matthew and Luke
  • Matthew, Mark and Luke
  • Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

Answers:

1.  False.  For the church’s first three centuries, Christmas wasn’t in December—or on the calendar at all.  If observed at all, the celebration of Christ’s birth was usually lumped in with Epiphany (January 6), one of the church’s earliest established feasts. Some church leaders even opposed the idea of a birth celebration. Origen (c.185-c.254) preached that it would be wrong to honor Christ in the same way Pharaoh and Herod were honored. Birthdays were for pagan gods.

Not all of Origen’s contemporaries agreed that Christ’s birthday shouldn’t be celebrated, and some began to speculate on the date (actual records were apparently long lost). Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215) favored May 20 but noted that others had argued for April 18, April 19, and May 28. Hippolytus (c.170-c.236) championed January 2. November 17, November 20, and March 25 all had backers as well. A Latin treatise written around 243 pegged March 21, because that was believed to be the date on which God created the sun. Polycarp (c.69-c.155) had followed the same line of reasoning to conclude that Christ’s birth and baptism most likely occurred on Wednesday, because the sun was created on the fourth day.

The eventual choice of December 25, made perhaps as early as 273, reflects a convergence of Origen’s concern about pagan gods and the church’s identification of God’s son with the celestial sun. December 25 already hosted two other related festivals: natalis solis invicti (the Roman “birth of the unconquered sun”), and the birthday of Mithras, the Iranian “Sun of Righteousness” whose worship was popular with Roman soldiers. The winter solstice, another celebration of the sun, fell just a few days earlier. Seeing that pagans were already exalting deities with some parallels to the true deity, church leaders decided to commandeer the date and introduce a new festival.

Western Christians first celebrated Christmas on December 25 in 336, after Emperor Constantine had declared Christianity the empire’s favored religion. Eastern churches, however, held on to January 6 as the date for Christ’s birth and his baptism.

2.  Joseph was from Bethlehem (Luke 2:4)

3.  Caesar Augustus  decreed that a census be taken and all people return to their places of birth.  (Luke 2:1)

4.  Who knows?  The Bible does not say anything about a donkey.  Luke 2:4 simply tells us that Joseph and Mary went from Nazareth to Galilee.  Many biblical scholars think that because of their economic status they probably both walked but that is just speculation.

5.  False, Joseph and Mary were not married when she became pregnant.  (Luke 2:5, Matthew 1:18-25).

6.  True.  Joseph and Mary were married before she gave birth to Jesus.  (Matthew 1:24)

7.  True.  Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus.  (Matthew 1:25)  However, she did not remain a virgin after Jesus’ birth.  Scripture tells us that Jesus had brothers and sisters after He was born.  (Matthew 13:55)  Read a great article on this topic here: http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-siblings.html

8.  None of the above.  The Bible does not say any words spoken by the inn keeper.  In fact, Luke does not even mention an inn keeper, merely an inn and the fact that there was no room.  (Luke 2:7).  To get really specific, there is also no mention of a stable.

9.  Unknown.  Just like no words being recorded by the innkeeper, there is no mention where Mary delivered Jesus.  Matthew says Jesus was born in Bethlehem and Luke 2:7 says Mary gave birth to Him and laid him in a manger.

10.  A feeding trough for animals.  Perhaps it was this fact alone that has brought about the popular assumption that Jesus was born in a stable or barn because of a manger being close at hand to put the Baby in.  Using deductive reasoning, culture has also determined that if there is a feeding trough, there must also be animals nearby.  Countless Nativity or crèche scenes depict that as fact.  It is merely speculation and assumption.  Scripture doesn’t back up those theories in any way.

11.  We don’t know.  There is no mention of animals of any kind around Jesus after His birth.  Refer to my explanation #10.

12.  The Magi.  The star is only mentioned in conjunction with the Magi.  They told Herod they had seen the star.  (Matthew 2:2)

13.  The sign the angels told the shepherds to look for was a baby lying in a manger.  (Luke 2:12)

14.  A Heavenly Host (Hebrew Sabaoth “armies”) refers to a large angel army (Luk.2:13; Rev.19:19).

15.  “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  (Luke 2:14)

16.   Absolutely the Baby Jesus cried!  Baby Jesus was fully human.  He cried when He was hungry, tired, wet, and in pain just like any other baby.  (Hebrews 2:14)

17.  We’re not 100% sure.  Matthew 2:1-12  reveals nothing of these visitors’ ancestry.  Over the centuries, legend has assigned them names:  Gaspar, or Casper; Melchior, and Balthasar.  Balthsar has a Persian sound.  If indeed these men were scholars from Persia, they would have been familiar with Daniel’s prophecy about the Messiah or “Anointed One.” (Daniel 9:24-27).  The designation “Magi” refers to a Persian religious caste, but when this gospel was written, the term was loosely used for astrologers, seers, and fortune tellers.  Matthew does not call them kings; that title was used later, in legends.  They may have been royal astronomers, advisers to kings.  http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/a/Three-Kings.htm

18.  We don’t know for sure.  The Bible does not tell us how many Magi visited Jesus.  The tradition of “3” probably developed because they presented 3 kinds of gifts.  According to scholars the Magi’s journey probably lasted up to two years with an entourage of dozens or more people.

19.  Sorry to wreck your Nativity scenes, but the Magi were not present the night Jesus was born.  Scriptural evidence shows Jesus could have been as old as two by the time they arrived.  If that is true then Jesus, Mary, and Joseph would have been staying in a house.  (Matthew 2:11)

20.  The Gospels of Matthew and Luke give us all the details of Jesus’ Birth.

Dancing with the Stars

268685-dancing-with-the-stars-online-gameIt is no secret around this house that I am a HUGE fan of the T.V. reality show, Dancing with the Stars.  I don’t think I’ve missed a moment of every season.  My family will also tell you that I LOVE to dance – yeah, I’m a rebel Baptist :)  However, as much as I love to dance, I’m not that particularly coordinated, and certainly not a ballroom dancer by any stretch of the imagination.  So I live out my dream of dancing vicariously through the T.V. show and applaud loudly each performance.

That said, on Tuesday after a good visit with my daughter and my two adorable grandbabies, as I was heading out the door I did a pirouette that would have made all the judges on Dancing with the Stars oooh and ahhhh.  Oh, wait…that was me groaning immediately after I broke my foot and ankle on my daughter’s less than Welcome mat.  Never saw it coming.  Stepped out the door, caught the edge of the mat and a split second later I was on the ground writhing in pain.  Didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out it was more than a twisted ankle.

I managed to crawl my way back into the house to collapse onto the front entrance floor and my daughter went into “care giving ” mode.  My 2-year-old grandson ran up to me and gave me a hug, “Grandma, do you have an owie?”  Through my tears I tried to act bravely so he wouldn’t be traumatized.  “Grandma, fell down but I’ll be okay.  Keep hugging me and I’ll feel better,” I said.

My son was called and took me to the Urgent Care center in our small town and several hours later I was back home trying to negotiate a tiny step into my house while balancing on crutches; my right leg in an air cast.  The doctor wants me back in two weeks for reassessment but until then I’m doing the “cast and crutches” dance and I’m a horrible partner.  This being my first broken bone, I have never used crutches or hobbled about in a cast.  It’s been a whole new learning experience and one I hope I never have to repeat.  Needless to say, I will never take my right foot for granted ever again!

I had a very busy week planned and for all intents and purposes, all those plans have been abandoned.  My sweet husband stayed home for a day to wait on me hand and foot…literally.  My three kids have been “on call” in case I need something because I can’t drive with a bulky cast on my foot.  Talk about a lead foot :)

Sleep has been challenging while wearing a cast but kicking my husband when he snored last night might be considered assault…poor man.

I have a large dinner party planned for Sunday.  Yes, I’m sort of freaking out a little, but I’ve told everyone that I’m not cancelling and I may be “directing” rather than “serving” but that’s okay!  Not sure what I’ll wear, but combined with a colourful Christmas sweater the whole ensemble may have a really festive look if I attach a few bells to my cast!

This morning I couldn’t help but giggle when I thought about my life verse:  “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  Prov. 16:9  Seriously? Where were you Lord, on Tuesday?

I think He’s smiling and telling me that no matter my circumstances I just need to Keep Dancing!

 

 

For Such A Time As This (2)

Rest of the storyPaul Harvey coined a phrase, “The rest of the story”, and indeed with my son’s adoption story there is more to it.  I was too ecstatic with the thought of bringing my son home from the hospital and getting the adoption finalized to give too much thought at the time how God had brought this all about.  And it is only a story God could so masterfully have put together, so here’s ‘the rest of the story’.

While my husband and I were lining up an adoption agency and going through the home studies etc., our next door neighbour, Dana* was going through her second bout with cancer.  A beautiful young woman, she had two children already and Laurelle (my daughter) would babysit the little girl.  My neighbour discovered to her dismay that with the cancer treatments she was too exhausted to give the children the care and attention they needed, so she hired a day nanny to come in on a part-time basis and help with some of the household chores and look after the children.  After my neighbour went into remission and was recovering nicely, she still had the nanny come to help  periodically.  I would often chat with my neighbour; I knew her struggles with cancer and she also knew of our dream of having more children and wanting to adopt.

My friend, Colleen, who was my Bible Study leader at church, had a cousin who acted as a birthing coach to young unwed teenaged mothers who were facing crisis pregnancies.  At the time, Margo* was counselling and meeting with a young soon-to-be Mom who had already decided she wanted to place her child up for adoption after the child’s birth.

One day three women met together over coffee to make Christmas crafts together.  Colleen (my Bible Study leader), her cousin Margo, my neighbour Dana, and her nanny.  (“Wait a minute”, you’re saying…”that’s four women…not three…do the math!”)  Well, the cousin and the nanny were one and the same person.

As the three are chatting, Margo, who had invited Dana to join her that day to make some Christmas crafts and to meet her cousin, gets to talking about what she does when she’s not playing nanny to Dana’s children.  She talks about a young Mom who is about ready to deliver her baby and is looking for a couple to adopt her baby.  Colleen, thinking about us, mentions that she knows of a family at her church who is looking to adopt.  She starts to share a little bit more about us but does not mention our names.  Then Dana pipes up and says that she has some neighbours living right next door to her who are also looking to adopt.   When she shares that her neighbours have a little girl who sometimes babysits for her children, Colleen and Dana look wide-eyed at each other, and realize they are talking about the same family…us!

Without knowing it, we have just received our first and second “endorsements” for approval as prospective adoptive parents, and the next time Margo meets with the young expectant Mom, she excitedly tells her about us.

Now, we are blissfully unaware of this conversation until we receive that phone call from Colleen a couple of weeks later saying “A baby boy has been born in Calgary, the family is looking for an adoptive family, are you interested?”

You can read what happens next: http://lynndove.com/2013/11/22/for-such-a-time-as-this/

And that’s the rest of the story!

*names are changed