Friday, December 31, 2010

Pondering Heart . . . the Shadow of the Cross

Dear Holy friends,
    As 2010 comes to a close, may we once more ponder together. I believe this is my favorite Christmas picture because in one photo it tells all. May we carry the magic of Christmas through the coming winter right into the sacrifice and salvation of Easter.
In His Grip, Chandra

The Shadow of The Cross


                                              The infant in the manger

                                              tiny and brand new,

                                              how could it be

                                              He would save me and you?

                                              No crowns and royal clothing

                                              for this King of kings,

                                              rags and a smelly barnyard

                                              for the Lord of everything.

                                              Lying in the golden hay

                                              the innocence of a baby boy,

                                              heavenly royalty

                                              wrapped in newborn joy.

                                              God, in the babe in the hay

                                              let the miracle not be lost,

                                              look closely in this Holy light

                                              and see the shadow of the cross.


~Chandra Lynn Smith~


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pondering Heart . . . I Wonder

Dear Holy Friends,
All around us people are already getting ready for the 'next thing.' Only four days after Christmas and so many have already taken their decorations down. I'm one of those who hangs on until January 6th so the wise men will arrive to a house still festive! But it isn't so much the decorations coming down that bothers me as it is the push for what is next and the loss of the magic. May we NEVER lose the magic that points us toward the cross.
In His Grip, Chandra
I Wonder


Fresh hay has a fragrant smell

but manure can overpower.

I wonder which was in the air

at Jesus' birthing hour?


Animals give off body heat

but they also snort and groan.

I wonder was it warm and quiet

as pains made Mary moan?


Childbirth is a miracle of life

but it brings blood and pain.

I wonder how Mary found comfort

as birth caused her body to strain?


Christmas is a wonder

Love came down to earth.

May I never take lightly

the way of my Savior's birth.
~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pondering Heart . . . Born

Dear Holy Friends,
Some of you are buried in snow right now. We had 6-10 inches predicted and got a flurry or two. But the wind is harsh and cold out there. And my Savior began His life not in a house with a warm, cozy fireplace, but in a stable, a bed of hay, animals accompanying his mother's lullabies. Wow.
In His Grip, Chandra
One night in a barn
    lonely manger, star bright
        baby's birth, mother's heart
            true worship, holy night
Scent of hay, night air
    animals eating, cows mooing
        stable sounds, night not quiet
            in the noise baby cooing
Heaven opened, angels appeared
    royalty in a bed of hay
        wisemen visit, songs of joy
            salvation come to earth that day
Father's love in a baby boy
    creator living among His own
        manger in the shadow of a cross
            born our sin to atone.
~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pondering Hearts . . . Fingers and Toes

Dear Holy Friends,
I have been sitting in my Granny's old victorian love seat beside the Christmas tree since before daybreak. The tree, the candles, the fire in the fireplace, the coffee, and my dog at my feet . . .aahh! Merry Christmas everyone.
In His Grip, Chandra

Fingers and Toes


Ten fingers, ten toes,

dark hair, crinkled nose,

tiny feet, soft skin,

dark eyes, tiny chin,

sleeping peacefully, crying loud,

beautiful baby, parents proud.


Baby's breathing, pounding heart,

perfect child, joy starts,

baby noises, bright eyes,

tiny movements, contented sighs,

sleep interrupted, time compressed,

life enriched, family blessed.


Every parent feels this way,

long ago and still today,

Holy night in a manger stall,

God on earth in a babe small,

I bet his mother kissed His nose

and counted fingers and tiny toes.


~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pondering Heart . . . Not Here Not Now

Dear Holy Friends,
    It is Christmas Eve. I look forward to the singing and gospels and candles at church tonight. I look forward to standing outside late tonight while I am walking the dogs and feeling the magic, the peace. It is there every year on Christmas Eve. Somehow, I bet magic is not the word Mary and Joseph would have used to describe their experiences that night.
In His Grip, Chandra
    "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn,  a son. She wrapped him in clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:6-7


Not Here, Not Now


                                    Not here, not now,

                                    not in this place I want to be home.

                                    It's not time, it cannot be,

                                    it's just Joseph and me all alone. 

                                    Why a stable, not even a room,

                                    how could there be nowhere to stay?

                                    I thought we'd get home in time,

                                    then the pains started today.


                                    Not here, not now,

                                    not in a barn, I should be at home.

                                    What happened God, is something wrong,

                                    why are we all alone?

                                    Mama should be here, or someone at least

                                    who is going to help me?

                                    Can Joseph do this, does he know how?

                                    God, I wish your plan I could see.


                                    Not here, not now,

                                    not in a strange town, not all alone.

                                    I'm scared Lord, it hurts Lord,

                                    we cannot do this on our own.

                                    The star in the sky is that from You?

                                    Are you saying that You are with us too?

                                    My faith is big but right now my trust is small,

                                    I'm weary I cannot remember what to do.


                                     . . . Not here, not now


                                    ~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Pondering Hearts . . . What Have I Done?

Dear Holy Friends,
I remember a rattle trap motel in Two Guns, Arizona. My Daddy wanted to get a few more miles in before we stopped for the night. So, we did. And, at Two Guns, there was one motel and a pizza place. I remember how much fun it was to get to eat pizza in our motel room- something my parents never let us do. I also remember Momma not allowing us to take baths that night because of the filth in the bathroom that night- something else we never got to do. This motel was disgusting, and most likely a very dangerous lace for a family of five.
And, then there was Mary, in labor, weary, and the innkeeper had to turn them away. I often wonder how he felt? What did his wife say about him offering a stable to the couple?
In His Grip, Chandra

. . . because there was no room for them in the inn . . .

Luke 2:7



What Have I Done?


                                            What have I done, it feels wrong?

                                    I have a feeling this night will be long.

                                    They looked so weary, especially his wife,

                                    Will I regret this the rest of my life?


                                    She looked like the babe could come this night,

                                    giving them the stable probably wasn't right.

                                    But isn't that better than leaving them in the cold?

                                    Right now I just feel mean and old.


                                    Then on top of it all they thanked me,

                                    for providing a place so measly.

                                    Something tells me this is an important night,

                                    as important as that new star shining bright.


                                    I will go check and be sure all is well,

                                    one day this may be a story that I tell.

                                    I'll tell about the full town and the two who stood out,

                                    whose presence changed me of that there is no doubt.
~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pondering Heart . . . Road Trip

Dear Holy friends,
I remember traveling by car when I was nine months pregnant. Ugh! And Mary did it by donkey. Wow. How they must have wondered what in the world God was doing. And, at some point in life I believe each of us do. We could learn from Mary and Joseph.
In His Grip, Chandra

Road Trip


The journey was long

the donkey ride rough

as they moved along

I'm sure it was tough.

She must have felt

every bump in the road

the baby she carried

was a heavy load.

I bet Joseph worried

if she would make it through

and if something went wrong

what he would do.

When the pains began

was there fear and joy

confusion when a manger

was the birthplace of the Boy?

Isn't that how God does it?

does things His own way.

As Mary and Joseph traveled

their obedience showed us the way.
~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pondering Heart . . . Joseph Ponders

Dear Holy friends,
Today I heard all of the lovely contemporary songs about Joseph. I love the line, ' how can a man be father to the son of God?' Maybe it's because I have four sons, but I often ponder Joseph and the amazing man he had to be. I hope to sit with him in heaven one day and have a talk. You know? So, this poem is my concept of Joseph's point of view.
In his Grip, Chandra
Joseph Ponders
I watch her grow and change each day,

She gets more lovely if there is a way.

This woman puts me to shame,

her faith great, mine looks lame.

How can she be strong yet mild,

a woman outside but inside a child?


Father, I know you foretold this would be.

just never expected it would happen to me.

Now, as I see Mary, I worry for her safety,

some women die when they have a baby.

It wouldn't fit your plan for her to die,

but I still worry, don't know why.


What does she feel when the babe moves inside?

Will I be a Father in whom he can confide?

How will it feel to hold Him to my heart?

Will you show me Lord, please give me a start?

Am I doing right are You glad You chose me?

Help me be the man you wish me to be.


The sun rises, our journey begins,

I must protect Mary from the harsh winds.

She takes each challenge with joy in her heart,

I am thankful in this plan I have a part.

When she smiles and says "Joseph the Lord is here."

I am ready to go on boldly and without fear.


~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Pondering Heart . . .head Full of Thoughts

Dear Holy friends,
I just said goodbye to my Momma. Her journey is flying to spend Christmas in Orlando with my older sister. Mary's journey was so very difficult for us to begin to comprehend. The next few days I may actually post more than one poem a day as we prepare for the joy of Saturday. This one is about a journey.
In his Grip, Chandra

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. . . .So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married  to be married to him and was expecting a child.

Luke 2:1,4-5


Head Full Of Thoughts

sleep eluding

baby moving

leg cramps at night,

body bloating

emotions floating

dreams filled with fright,

world changing

life rearranging

not feeling ready at all,

packing gear

time is near

that donkey looks so small,

faith wavering

home savoring

soon is time to go,

Lord blessing

peace caressing

trust means letting worries go.
~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pondering Heart . . . What He Gave Up For Me

Dear Holy Friends,
    For some Christmas will be a wonderful time. For others not so much. For some their tree will be overflowing with gifts. For others not so much. For some this holiday is the magic time of year. For others not so much. Today my prayer is that we all find a moment to remember what Jesus gave up for us. I think in the remembering, we find our 'not so muches' aren't that much, after all.
In His Grip, Chandra
What He Gave Up For Me

He traded a throne for a manger

Angel songs for a donkey bay

Royal position for poverty

Glory for a bed of hay


Adoration for submission

Worship for a carpenter's life

Heaven for a fallen earth

Peace for pain and strife.


That night in Bethlehem

A hay filled manger bed

Royalty became one of us

Condemnation became salvation instead.


~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pondering heart . . . What Makes the Worth

Dear Holy Friends,
    I watched a bird in the wind the other day. I have no clue if it was struggling or playing. But it faced the wind, flapping wigs wildly, going nowhere. It remained in midair flying in place.That reminded me of King Solomon's 'chasing the wind.' All of life for us is like that bird flapping and going no we here without our Savior. And, that's what this season of Advent is all about.
In His Grip, Chandra
Chase the wind
    that's what it's been
            empty within.
I've prayed and tried
    to do my best
        now I'm weary
            in need of rest.
Daunted by doubt
    frozen by fear
        wondering what
            I'm doing here.
It will happen
    to everyone
        no wonder God
            sent us His Son.
Life has no value
    nothing of worth
        till we celebrate
            our Savior's birth.
Don't chase the wind
    whirling around
        see the manger's shadow
            is a cross on the ground.
~Chandra Lynn Smith, 12/7/09~