This Christmas

“Duhn duhn dunna-na, shake a hand, shake a hand”.


This song does it to me every time. Donny Hathaway’s version of This Christmas is a holiday staple that can be heard in most African-American homes. But this song takes me back to ONE Christmas in particular. The year was 1990. I was 16 years old and it was the first Christmas that my Mother, my sister and myself were together again.




Back together again.


After years of separation, years of pain, years of deep hurt, not only were we together but my mother was thriving. She was sustaining her sobriety, had regained full custody of my sister and was residing in a rooming house awaiting the rental of a townhome.


It was in this rooming house, in our one little 10×10 room that I had the best Christmas ever. This rooming house where we shared a kitchen and bathroom and all other common spaces, a rooming house filled with men, no other women and surely no other families but we were happy. In fact, my sister was so happy, she vomited. I can clearly remember her smile, the toothless grin full of cheer. I had just braided her hair the night before and she was oh so cute!


We had a tiny tabletop tree, soulful Christmas tunes played in the background and love permeated the atmosphere.


This Christmas.


This is the Christmas that I remember most.


These are the memories that I cherish and hold dear.


I don’t remember the gifts.


I don’t remember what we ate for dinner.


But I do remember the love that was shared.


The Christmas that followed was special too as it would be the last Christmas I’d ever have with my mother.


“And this Christmas will be a very special Christmas for me”.


It was a special one indeed.


Friends I pray that where ever today finds you that your heart will be filled with love joy, and cheer. I pray that you will be purposeful in embracing each moment, as we do not know what the future holds. Even if you are grieving, even if you are bitter, even if this year isn’t wrapping up as you envisioned, there is still reason to rejoice.


THIS moment finds you with your heart beating, with your pulse steady, with a measure of good health and with the never-ending, immeasurable love of Christ.


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?

While we’ve been seeing 60-degree days here recently in the Mid-Atlantic, this is the time of year we get imaginings of Walking in a Winter Wonderland. My children are already dreaming up a White Christmas. Last winter we didn’t have a ton of snow. But one snowfall was just enough for us to build a snowman. It’s like the songs from the movie Frozen won’t leave me alone. They see snow and all I hear singing is, “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?”


Now let me preface this by saying I don’t like snow and I don’t like to be cold. But for the babies, yes I’ll brave the cold to help you fashion a magnificent snowman. You know like the ones you see on TV. Three perfectly symmetrical balls ascending in size from top to bottom just right. In my mind this would be an easy feat.


Well I soon came to see that the process was far from easy.


In my mind we would just pack the snow into a large ball then roll that balls into the snow, gathering enough snow to the ball to make the head about the size of a basketball. We were able to gather the snow all right and somewhat pack it into a semi round shape. Now the rolling part….well that never quite worked out. Sometimes it stuck, sometimes it didn’t. We ended up with a head that looked more like Ernie from Sesame Street than the head on Frosty. Repeating that process two more times to form the body proved even more challenging. Meanwhile, my children were having a blast with this while I, the perfectionist A-Type was having an internal meltdown that it wasn’t picture perfect. We gave him eyes, a nose and a hat and the children stood back, looked on in awe and rejoiced at their masterpiece.


Oh friends, we too are being shaped, fashioned and formed into works of art. We are the Father’s masterpiece.


O people of Israel, can I not do the same to you as this potter has done?

You are like clay in My hands—I will mold you as I see fit.

Jeremiah 18:6


The Father is consistently:










All in an effort to mold us into His image. As the original designer He knows the desired outcome. [bctt tweet=”Along the way we pick up and pack on accessories that can mar or detract from our unique design.”]


Here lately He’s pinching off control, selfishness and pride to reveal the likeness created in Him of surrender, selflessness and humility.


And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.

We are the clay, and you are the potter.

We all are formed by your hand.

Isaiah 64:8


While the pressing between those MIGHTY PALMS feels like it’s squeezing the life out of me, I exhale long and deep, throw my head back and smile as I go for the ride of my life on the potter’s wheel.


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News at Purposeful Faith