Wednesday, 29 November 2017

God's Christmas Autograph

God’s Christmas Autograph

On Christmas Eve I saw
God’s autograph in the snow --
Tiny creature tracks so fine,
All lacy in a row.
And with the dazzling Christmas dawn,
My eyes did then behold.
God’s signature grown ever dear,
Etched in sunlight gold.
~Rosalyn Hart Finch 

As a child, growing up in Canada, long about the beginning of December, I would start to look for snow. As the days grew shorter, the temperatures dipped, and the ground grew hard and cold . . . I would scan the sky daily for those tell tale feathery first flakes that would begin to fall and alight on my eyelashes and face. Is there anything on earth that tastes better? I think not! Those first few flakes of the season were eagerly anticipated and greeted with great aplomb, for if the snow was falling . . . the arrival of Christmas and Santa Claus could not be too far behind! 

As an adult there is nothing more peaceful then the air that rings with silence early in the morning after a heavy night-time snowfall. How I love to look out over the pristine fields adorned with a heavy white blanket, only disturbed by the tell tale signs small hop hop hoppings of tiny bird feet upon it's surface. All the branches of the surrounding trees draped in it's heavenly sugarlike decorations. There is no more beautiful sight on earth, to my way of thinking anyways. I can always tell when snow is "in the air" . . . I can almost smell it's impending arrival, and the sky takes on a peculiar dark grey leaden appearance. 


As children, the first snowfall brought about a flurry of activity. Our absolute first chore was to build the first snowman of the season. We would spend hours rolling the snow into big balls, three in number . . . each one getting a bit smaller than the last . . . and heaping them one on top of the other, with the very smallest on top. Those first snowmen were always adorned with the last few escaped leaves from autumn's flurry of raking . . . little prizes missed from the rake's ruthless prongs. 

Sticks were sought out and discarded, for only the straightest and best were sufficient for the snowman's most capable arms. Stones were prised from the frozen earth at the sides of the roadway to be used as eyes and mouth, and mom always donated a carrot for the nose. An old scarf and hat were also donated, after much begging of course! (I'm quite sure she kept an old one in the utility room to be used year after year for just this purpose!) 


 What a wonderous sight that snowman would be to behold when he was done. !!! Snowmen would spring up all over the neighbourhood, like welcome immigrants from a mysterious and snowy foreign land that was visited upon us for a time . . . 

I know that the snow was not as welcomed by our parents, for it heralded the season of the back breaking labour of shovelling and having to clean the car off everytime you wanted to go somewhere . . . but it was a wonderful gift from above, and pure magic for us children. It would be several weeks before the novelty would wear off. 

  I do admit that I miss the snow over here, especially before Christmas. A green Christmas, when I was growing up, always meant a season of doom, for, if all the old wive's tales were to be believed, it meant a season of illness and possibly even death in the family. So, while we kids eagerly awaited those first snowy flakes for all the joy they would bring . . . our parents eagerly awaited them as well, despite the work they would bring, for they heralded a season of good health for the family and others . . . 

Alas, I have not known a white Christmas since I arrived on these green and verdant shores, and I expect I may never have one here in England at least, but as they say hope springs eternal, and we have already had a few flakes this year, so nothing is impossible! 

We got the tree up yesterday, and some of the other decorations.  We did not put up a big Christmas tree this year because there just isn't the room. I'm not sure why.  In any case the small one looks quite nice tucked away in it's corner by the Grandmother Clock. 


I had asked Todd to pick up some Christmas tree lights last week when he was out because our old tree had them built in and the new smaller tree didn't so we had no lights.  He picked up some red lights that look like berries, and some blue LED lights.  I am not fond of either, but what can you do, lol.  I am just grateful he picked any up at all!  As they say beggars cannot be choosers! 

This is one of our nativity sets.  We have three regular ones, and all of our Jim Shore Angels have nativities carved into their skirts, including our Jim Shore Santa Claus.  This one is one of my favourites.  It is a small olive wood one that some lovely friends gave us one year.  It has great sentimental value. 


It is definitely beginning to look like Christmas in the Rayner household.  I got my cards for mailing yesterday and last evening we watched "A Christmas Story" about the little boy who wants a Red Rider bb-gun for Christmas.  I am wearing Todd down. Two Christmas films in two days.  Score! 


It cracks me up every time we watch it.
just wouldn't be Christmas without

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° For it is good to be children sometimes, 
and never better than at Christmas, 
when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. 
~Charles Dickens •。★★ 。* 。 


BOOK OF MORMON CORNER - Today's Reading - 2 Nephi 3:6-25
Question: What have you learnt from the reading today? How can it help us to know that, even in our weakness, The Lord has a work for each of us to do?  

My thoughts - Each of us has a part of the work of the Lord that we are given to do. The prophets of old had it on a much grander scale, but we too have been given a sphere of influence to work within. Something which I see in studying the scriptures, is that the prophets of God we're just men, good men, but just men to begin with. It is the Lord who consecrates them, and changes them into mighty men. How does that change happen? Through experience, opposition, through trial and the strengthening of the Lords hand.
Joseph of Egypt was sold into slavery and put into prison unjustly before the Lord used him to save the families of Israel and Egypt. Joseph had a lot of love for his people.
Moses chose to leave the life of luxury and fight for the cause of his own people, the Israelite slaves. He was completely lacing in confidence in his role as a prophet, because of some sort of speech impediment. Yet through him the Lord delivered the Israelites. 
He struggled with bringing them to the knowledge and understanding of the Lord, despite all the miracles they were shown, and God wanting to make Himself known to them. Moses had a lot of love for his people.
Joseph Smith, from age 14 until his death, had to deal with persecution and slander. He had the truth yet few would hear it. He knew Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ personally, and was loved of them. Yet he still had to pass through bitter trials upon him, upon his family, upon his friends and his people. Anyone who would listen to the message he was proclaiming could be saved and delivered. He loved his people.
I am so grateful for these mighty prophets, who were, just men. These men that allowed the Lord into their lives to change them, and to change the world around them. Who have shown me how to endure all manner of persecution, and who are teaching me that opposition can be for our benefit to make us mighty in spirit. And that love for my people, and being strengthened in the Lord is the key ingredient in the work I have to do. 

Tomorrow's reading (Day 41) - 2 Nephi 4:1-27
Question -What have you learnt from the reading today? How can you identify with Nephi's psalm?   


Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Spaghetti Francisco.  A simple, yet delicious casserole that will have your family reaching for seconds!

Have a wonderful Wednesday.  Mitzie is going for her yearly check-up this morning.  Don't forget today that  . . .

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And I do too!  



  1. My parents use to bring us over to my aunt and uncle's farm to go sledding in the winter. My Dad even bought a toboggan for everyone to use. They had steep hills that my cousins use to push me off of and I would scream all the way down the hill. Of course they were all boys too! Lol.

    What I didn't like was the snowball fights. Their aim was too good! Lol. Their was 6 boys and me! I use to run in the house when the snowballs hit me in the face! Then they were afraid to come in thinking they would get scolded. Lol.

    I got one of my cousins in trouble bc he threw a snake in my face! They were in their shed and the sign said,"no girls allowed." Well he dared me to look in! I ran home on the next st crying and called my aunt. Needless to say, he got in big trouble. He never did it again! Lol. My best friend was glad she wasn't around that day!

    They went to a different school til high school. Then everyone knew who my cousins were bc they were very protective of me! Lol.

    Those were the times I wish they didn't go by so fast! Sigh!

    I love to collect nativity sets too Marie! I have 3. A nativity set,a child's nativity, and one that's all in one piece. Your nativities sound so pretty too.

    I haven't watched the Home Alone movies in along time.

    Big hugs!

  2. Hi Marie. I have known a few white Christmasses, but you're right not many. If we do get snow it tends to be January/February time. Mind you a short trip into North Wales can give you a snow boost!

    Your tree and nativity scenes look lovely and your fire looks so cosy, I really miss a fire. I put my tree up yesterday but you wouldn't believe the state of the flat today! I'm having a big sort out of all my baubles etc as my tree is now half the size of my old one. I had to get all the baubles out to choose the best ones and I'll take the old ones to the charity shop. Hopefully I'll get it sorted today and get my garlands and ornaments up. Enjoy your day, lot's of love xxx

  3. Well you know we get tons ..hoping for Christmas to be white..2 trs ago it was so green and bright and sunny we felt away! The boys played football out back..

    fingers crossed.
    There is a sound to fresh snow..there is a feeling..a wonderful feeling.I love going outside when all is calm..all is bright..

    Looks très festive chez vous! Love it..can't wait:)

  4. I have often thought how nice it would be to live where it was warm, with no snow and not have to endure the cold winter days, but it wouldn't be Christmas without it. We have had green Christmases here. One year my son brought his two for Christmas and the were so excited as it would be their first time seeing snow. What they got was lots of rain instead. They were so disappointed. They didn't get to have that snowball fight or build a snowman. We can't choose the weather but we can choose our attitudes and I think that with Christmas it's an attitude of love.

  5. You are such a good book or Novel have been blessed with so much talent! Your art and writing is amazing...your are indeed a good book to read and follow each night! No snow as as of yet but the sunsets are beautiful, I think I'm aging I am noticing things more then ever, very thankful.

  6. You had lots of boy cousins Jan! I used to wish I had an older brother because, a - he could keep me safe and b - I could flirt with his friends! I was not a huge fan of snowball fights. I think it had to do with me wearing glasses and being afraid they would get broken. A boy hit me in the face once and broke my glasses. I can remember being terrified to go home! Love and hugs.xoxo

    I was like you Kate, going from a 6 foot tree to a 3 foot tree. I could only pick the smallest and only a few of them! Hope you get it all sorted out today!! Let the festivities begin! Love and hugs.xoxo

    You are so right Monique, fresh snow has such a silence it is tangible. You can almost touch the quiet! I love it! Oh how I would love to be chez vous at Christmas time! Love and hugs! And Bonne Journee a tois! xoxo

    Oh how disappointed that would be Pam, but nevermind, you still got to spend it together, which as you say, is a huge blessing! An attitude of gratitude IS where its at for sure! Love and hugs. xoxo

    Thanks Unknown! I love a good sunset too! What a precious gift at the end of each day! Love and hugs. xoxo

  7. I often forget to thank you for sharing your recipes. The one you post today looks so good. IIm Anxious to get your new recipe book.
    Marie, as always I just love your writing. I enjoyed reading our thoughts on snow. With all the weird weather in the world; I could see you getting snow in our side of the world. Hawaii got snow a couple of days ago. We are unseasonably warm; very strange. It's light jacket or sweater weather.
    I have so many fond memories of making snowmen as a child and with my childen. I hope children continue to do this. I feel sad that children are so busy on technology that they don't get outside to play as much. Lots of the fun things we did as children they don't even have any idea how fun it was.
    I think red lights will be lovely. Husbands can be interesting. We had to buy a new tree this year and I thought we were getting a smaller one. The one he bought is huge and takes up a bit of room. I'll probably post photos at some point.
    I do love nativity scenes and we have 2 bigger ones and then a couple of smaller ones. I wish I had the funds to collect them.
    I do find that adversity does build character and that is certainly true with our prophets and so apparent in The Book of Mormon. I loved your thoughts today.
    Sending loving thoughts and hugs!

  8. Thanks so much for all your words LeAnn! My thoughts could never measure up to yours. I love all that you share. You have such a beautiful spirit! Love and hugs to you and Roger today and always! xoxo


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