♥ Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥


Cherry Chip Cupcakes

I’ve nothing profound from a writing perspective to share, but with all the focus on love today, I thought I’d give you a peek at the Valentine goodies I made for my hubby.

I’m not a creative cook — nothing like Ruth Logan Herne at her Yankee-Belle Cafe (go check out the guest post on brining a romantic turkey… I kid you not!) — so he doesn’t get anything fancy. But since I seldom bake at all any more, his sweet tooth should be happy with these.

Super-sized Chocolate Brownies

Of course a little chocolate (or a lot) is imperative today, don’t you agree? I cut generous hearts out of a pan of brownies, and afterwards made the still-warm leftover bits into balls and rolled them in sugar, too. Extra yummy bite-sized goodies. (What? You didn’t expect I wouldn’t sample them, did you? Be reasonable. We’re talking chocolate here!)

Wishing you an abundance of love in your life today … from friends, from family, and best of all, from God.

♥   Happy Valentine’s Day!   ♥


“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength.”

[Deuteronomy 6:5 – NIV]
 “… and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” 
[Ephesians 5:2 – NIV]


“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” 
[1 John 4:7a – NIV]


“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
[Romans 12:10 – NIV]


~  ~  ~


The Story, Simple and Unadorned


I saw a lot of trees during the last two days. As I drove through one wintry snowscape after another on our pre-Christmas journey, I couldn’t help thinking of the picture of our Christmas tree that accompanied my Monday post.


We have many favourite heritage decorations on it but I’m also fond of my collection of snowflakes, snowballs, frosted pinecones, tiny birds – ornaments that portray “natural” elements. The tree is always laden with special trinkets to make it special.


In one church that we attend I noticed pots of vibrant red poinsettias lining the stairways, and an ornate golden poinsettia atop the piano, adding to the festive look. That discovery rocked me with a truth I sometimes overlook.



God’s handiwork far surpasses anything man-made. In nature, the snow-laden trees along the road were far more glorious than my fancy re-creation… the natural poinsettias far grander than any gilded imitations.

So, too, is the story of Christmas more meaningful, more awe-inspiring than any novel we might write from our imaginations. In a simple stable the Son of God became the son of man, born to die for us, that we might be able to call ourselves children of God.


This story, simple and unadorned, is the greatest story ever told:

“Jesus loves me. This I know

for the Bible tells me so.”


My wish for each of you is that you will find joy in the simple story of God’s unfathomable love and that it will become especially meaningful and relevant to you during this Christmas season.

(I will be taking a blogging break until after Christmas, but will return next week.)

I Didn’t Want to Know That!

Stumbling from the bedroom early this morning I clicked on the television. The first words uttered by the news anchorman were that Christmas is exactly two weeks away. I didn’t want to know that! Truly I didn’t.


Yes, there is a decorated tree in our family room and the outside lights are up. That makes it sound like I’m well prepared, but guess what? I’m not. That’s just an annual trick to give the illusion that everything is under control. As is the case almost every year at this time, my cards aren’t written, the baking isn’t done, the shopping’s not finished and the gifts that need to be mailed out of town aren’t.


But this evening I will join a group of carolers from our church singing for shut-ins and my heart will feel ready for Christmas. Advent is all about preparation, not of home but of heart. These first two weeks of Advent have focused on Hope and Peace. The next two will be about Joy and Love. When I return to my cards, baking and gifts, I will be remembering with joy those for whom these items are meant, and giving thanks to Him whose Love created Christmas.