Do You See What I See?

I was stunned. Hadn’t expected what I was seeing.

I got back late Saturday night from time in Miami. Tired yet grateful. Tiffany and Ramsay, the new parents, were doing amazingly well as they adjusted to baby Brooklyn and her needs. They’re being true students of their daughter, learning who she is and 08c37774-b02a-4762-8b49-98c37a766f31what she requires to live her life well.

I left that idyllic scene and came home. Feeling a little under the pile.

We’d left home in a rush. Got the call that Tiffany was in labor, threw clothes in a suitcase and left.

Hadn’t finished decorating the tree. Bins full of Christmas clutter were scattered around the house.

More great intentions down the tubes.

Not life and death. What bothered me more was we hadn’t purchased or mailed any gifts.

When I got back home, I fully expected the Christmas mess to be staring me in the face. John had come home earlier in the week for work, and I knew he’d had a hectic few days.


What I saw when I entered the house was nothing short of a surprise.

Bins banished to the garage. The tree fully decorated. Poinsettias purchased and placed strategically around the house.

We have a number of nativity scenes. The issue has always been where to put them. We don’t have a lot of display surfaces–we’ve always needed space for chairs to seat our large numbers. The nativities have been put in areas most people can’t see. Or touch.

John had cleared a bookcase and put all the scenes in it.

I walked around the house in awe. Seeing little touches here and there. Things I’d have never thought of because I don’t think like a designer.

I felt cared for. The house was beautiful.

I’d done nothing.

John did it all.

Because he knows me and loves me.1ca3bf1a-aebf-4fa4-accf-503bc01b8d0c

He knew I’d come back from Miami feeling overwhelmed by what hadn’t been done and what needed to happen. That I’d turn into the nag from the pit about the things we needed to do. That I wouldn’t stop harping till things were done.

Out of love for me, he took care of the things I could have stressed over and worried about. A gift.

God did the same thing that first Christmas.

Knowing us and loving us, He knew the challenge of following laws and rules to prove our righteousness to Him wasn’t working. Our brokenness can’t be super-glued together. There are no quick fixes to becoming holy.

God gave a gift of mercy and grace. So we wouldn’t be held to a standard we can’t possibly keep and yet receive a gift we can’t hope to earn.

Jesus came to take the stress of trying to live perfectly from us. Because of His love.

I can try it my way. Refuse the gift and try to live a perfect life, which is what it would take to get into heaven on my own.

Or I can receive that which can never be taken from me. Love, forgiveness, righteousness.

I’ve tried, failed and stressed enough for several lifetimes.

I’m making His hope the star of my life.



21 responses to “Do You See What I See?”

  1. Way to go John!


    1. This is why I keep him around, Ran.


    2. He blesses my heart more than I deserve.


  2. John is making the rest of us husbands look bad! 🙂


    1. He just puts the bar higher, Bob!


  3. Dayle, you’re right, there are no quick fixes to my being HOLY, either! HE ONLY – gives the gift of MERCY, GRACE, LOVE, FORGIVENESS and RIGHTEOUSNESS – [And not just in that order necessarily!]. Blessings and Love to John and You, Lois and Curt


    1. Thanks, Lo, for your continued support in this endeavor–to read and get me means more to me than you will ever know. Merry Christmas to you and Curt!


    2. No quick fixes, but so many long-lasting fixes!


  4. How wonderful! Way to go, John! Have a very Merry Christmas.


    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Lynn. I’m waiting with baited breath for your new installments! You’ve got so much to say! Love you!


    2. It’s why I keep him around. Merry Christmas, sweet Lynn! Love you!


  5. Oh, Dayle! What a precious gift and illustration of unconditional love joyously carried out for the one John loves, YOU…just like Jesus!!


    1. It really means something to know you’re loved, doesn’t it? By a God who finds us so delightful and special. Thanks, Allie!


    2. He is always surprising me with his acts of kindness. What an opportunity to see the Lord at work! Thanks, Allie.


  6. John, John, John….you don’t HAVE to keep raising the husband bar higher now, do you?
    Beautiful acts of love for your bride! Have a blessed Christmas!


    1. He’s taking a page out of your happy, helpful husband book, Lar! Thanks for the encouragement!


    2. Lar, bring your bride out here for a visit. Or better yes–move out here! The time is great for you to come.


  7. Larry posted the above!


    1. You two really need to get your act together!


  8. Way to go John!!! You are a winner – not only in the eyes of your wife, but you now made points in the awesome, caring husband category for all of us! And, you have a wonderful wife that praises you to others! Very sweet! Congratulations to both of you for your growing family! Miss you tons. Have a great Christmas season! Love you. The Shoes (P.S. The other post Larry did but accidentally under my name)


    1. Miss you, too, Kar! And I’m so thrilled that Jonathan and Tracy and family are coming back for a bit! Enjoy them this side of the ocean while you can. Are you ever coming out here to visit? Please?


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