Saturday, December 15, 2012

Newsletter - 12/15/12

Hello Friends!

It's interesting to note that the next time I do a newsletter, Christmas will all be over and we'll be celebrating New Year's Day of 2013.  Wow!  Time passes on and makes us consider what changes we want to make in our lives.

A time of resolutions for exercise programs, quitting an addiction, being more kind, planning more family time, etc. etc.  We can come up with so many ideas of things we think we've got the willpower to make happen ... but in reality, not much lasts for long unless it's done through Christ's strength.

Praise God for giving us that strength in Him!  And remember ....

   The life you have led doesn't need to be the only life you'll have.   
-- Anna Quindlen  

The word "PEACE" comes to mind often these days as I see the world hustling and bustling around for whatever version of Christmas they celebrate.  It's a holiday about peace as Luke 2:13-14 tells of the message that came with Christ's birth: "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'”

Ridgeview Park - Waynesboro, VA
It's a time to show good will towards those less fortunate in life. Jesus came to minister to the poor and also "became poor that we might be rich" (2 Cor. 8:9).

We've been celebrating with a few Christmas activities.  We attended a double-feature show with a local theater group.  Well done!  Both shows were for Christmas.  The first was "The Gift of the Magi," and the other, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."

Since the town, Waynesboro, VA, was about 40 minutes away I scheduled several activities for our peaceful Sunday. We visited Ridgeview Park and wandered down the nature trail beside the river.  There were a lot of Mallard Ducks in the river and they were using an area of it like a Six Flags "ride the waves" feature.  They would swim around a large eddy of water and then ride it back down to where they were.  I took a short video.

Video From Bridge of Ducks Riding the Waves - Ridgeview Park - Waynesboro, VA  12/9/12
Mallard Ducks Having Fun on the River - Ridgeview Park - Waynesboro, VA

After the nature walk we visited a Model Train Railroad Museum which was very interesting.  I took lots of photos:  View Railroad Museum photo album.

Trains are a special memory from childhood since I used to go to the train yard and station every week with my great grandfather.  He lived until I was 10 years old.  I loved climbing on the red caboose and pretending I was an engineer waving to everybody at the crossings.  Then we'd go to the station and get some Chicklets from the candy machine.  Sweet memories.

© Donna L. Watkins - Augusta County Railroad Museum - Waynesboro, VA

We're committed to making each weekend a special celebration of Jesus.  We may even get a little backing in for something special.  Memories of recipes used while our son was young.  I am excited I am now able to cook more without the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain, but I still get frustrated with the damage of the RA since it affected my hands the most.  Isn't that just like the devil!?  Our hands are used for service.  However, Jesus provided healing on the Cross and I know I am in the process of being renewed, restored and repaired.

© Donna L. Watkins
Red-headed Woodpecker on Front Porch
Tell me what are your favorite holiday traditions?  Or maybe your favorite Christmas memory?  Post them in the comments area for this post on the blog so everybody can smile with me.  Share your thoughts here.

Our front porch buffet is crowded all day long. One of my favorite visitors is the Red-headed Woodpecker. He likes the bird bath and the suet feeder. He'll also take a few black-oil sunflower seeds now and then. I just think God is an amazing artist. There is no end to the diversity of colors and design in His Creation. It's incredible!

As you can see from the photo, the birds like to splash the window which is just fine with me since they tolerate me being right on the other side of it.

Speaking of woodpeckers, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been working on the back holly trees at the breakfast window.  The male is pretty skittish, but the female has been visiting and she will allow me to open up the window to watch her.  She's only a yardstick away (three feet) which is simply amazing.  There must be some pretty good sap coming from those trees.

© Donna L. Watkins - Limpy's Backyard Visit in August
During the hunting season, we don't get many deer in our yard. Behind the woods behind our lot there's a highway and across that there's supposed to be some shooting or gun range ... and I think they have hunting land also. I've never wanted to know the details. Anyway, we hear gunshots mostlyon weekends, but it's a time of year that the deer probably head to the center of our community far within no hunting ranges.

One afternoon, December 7th, I saw a deer on our front walkway and decided to go out to greet it and discovered it was Limpy, the injured stunted deer that has been around now for over a year.

Her front leg broke at the "knee" and she really had a hard time of it for months, especially since the other deer would chase her any time she came around. But then it seemed prayers were answered and it healed up. She still limps a bit but can use it and gets around well. I'm so excited about that!

Soapstone Quarry Tour
During the end of summer and into Autumn, she was hanging out with a pair of twin fawns after their mother seemed to disappear and one of them was with her at this time. The fawns were probably one male and one female. I didn't see the other one with her, but at this time of year, the young males tend to hang out with the males/bucks during mating season. Males reach "maturity" at 1-1/2 years but they don't generally successfully breed until they're 4 years old.

I'm going to keep this newsletter short since most folks have very busy lives in December.  I will look forward to hearing what some of your New Year resolutions will be when I sent out the next issue.  Be prepared to tell!  :-)

My prayer for each of you is to seek a revelation of God's love for you.  It will fill all the empty spaces and replace all the pain and heartache.  His love is truly amazing. Seek Him with all your heart!

Jeremiah 29:13 - "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Love, Holiday Hugs & Christmas Blessings!

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written by Donna

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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2012 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

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