Monday, December 26, 2011

the pondering heart . . .shadow of the cross . . .12/26/11

Dear Holy Friends,
One of the most powerful Christmas pictures I have seen is the one with the shadow of a cross over the manger. It inspired this poem.
In His Grip, Chandra
The Shadow of The Cross

The infant in the manger

tiny and brand new,

how could it be

He could 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

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~


Sunday, December 25, 2011

the pondering heart . . . fingers and toes . . . 12/25/11

Dear Holy Friends,
We came back from midnight services last night and took our Baby Jesus that stays out of the mange all of December, placed Him in the manger and sang Happy Birthday to Him. I love the beauty of Christmas Eve and the peacefulness of the morning before the others are up. ( and now that they are not young . . . they don't wake early at all. yay!) So, this morning I can ponder what it was like when Mary held her baby.
In His Grip, Chandra

Fingers and Toes

Ten fingers, ten toes,

dark hair, crinkled nose,

tiny feet, soft skin,

dark eyes, little 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!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

the pondering heart . . . not here, not now . . . 12/24/11

Dear Holy Friends,
My house is loud, my sons are home and I am smiling . . even as I try to get away from their chasing me in their crazy voices! I think of Mary and Joseph and what this day was for them. I wonder how tough it was when Mary realized the time had come. Perhaps she prayed 'not here, not now.'
In His Grip, Chandra
Not Here, Not Now

Not here, not now,

I just want to be home.

It's not time, it cannot be,

it's Joseph and me alone.

Why a stable, not even a room,

really there is nowhere to stay?

I thought we'd get home in time,

then the pains started today.


Not here, not now,

God, is something wrong,

Mama should be here, or someone at least

why are we so alone?

Can Joseph do this, does he know how?

I wish your plan I could see.

For at this moment in time

I am beginning to doubt me.


Not here, not now,

does Joseph know what to do?

The star in the sky above us

A sign sent to us from You?

My faith is big but, trust feels small.

I need to feel Your presence

in this manger stall.

. . . Not here, not now


~Chandra Lynn Smith, updated 12/24/11~

Thursday, December 22, 2011

the pondering heart . . . head full of thoughts. . .12/22/11

Dear Holy friends,
How often are we like that? Our head so full of thoughts we cannot organize them into one coherent one. Especially these last few days when the list of what is yet to do can overwhelm. Maybe today we could all benefit from a little being like Mary and treasure these things in our heart and ponder them!
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 and let worries go.

~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the pondering heart . . .what he gave up for me . . .12/20/11

Dear Holy Friends,
    I am looking at the cloudy sky and wishing a little of the white stuff was in the forecast. Yep, me, the proclaimed lover of summer, is ready for some snow! But, hey if it is going to be cold, it might as well be pretty! Anyway, this morning there have been many things heavy on my heart and I got to thinking about all that Jesus gave up for me. Reminded me of this poem from last year.
                                                                                                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.

He gave up 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~



{I certainly have nothing to complain about!}

Sunday, December 18, 2011

the ponderign heart .. . Son of God . . . 12/19/11

Dear Holy Friends,
At church today I heard a phrase that touched me. " Son of God became man so that man could become sons of God."I said to Lisa sitting beside me, 'there's a poem in that.' She chuckled. But, guess what, I found the poem.
In his Grip, Chandra
Son of God
a virgin girl
still unmarried,
a carpenter man
probably harried,
a long journey
a donkey small,
no room in the inn
birth in a manger stall,
star shining bright
shepherds arrive,
angels sing praises
the Messiah's alive,
amazing plan
to a world undone,
God's Son became man
so man became God's sons.
~Chandra Lynn Smith, 12/19/11~

Thursday, December 15, 2011

the pondering heart . . . on a cold, lonely night . . . 12/15/11

Dear Holy Friends,
I grew up thinking it was wrong to question God. I mean, he was the one in charge, the creator of all things, so who was I to question Him? The answer to that is I am His daughter and I have every right to question Him. I just need to understand His answer may not always make sense to me or be what I want to hear.
In His Grip, Chandra
On A Cold Lonely Night
Have you asked Him why it hurts so bad,
why so many things make you feel sad?
Have you looked to the sky in desperation,
felt prayer answers brought more frustration?
Long ago on a lonely night, stuck in a manger stall,
don't you bet Mary wanted to question it all?
Maybe Joseph stepped away and glared at the sky,
and when Mary's pain increased he asked God why?
The answer from heaven was a brightly shining star,
angels' songs, shepherds and wise men from afar.
God never told them why it went that way,
but promised His grace and mercy was there to stay.
Years later in frustration we look to the sky
shake our fists and ask God tell us why.
Wasn't it supposed to be easy, this following Him?
Why did it seem easier while still steeped in sin?
He isn't angry when you ask why its this way.
he'll just remind you his grace never strays.
His plan may be unusual, but it's always right,
just like long ago, in a barn, on a cold lonely night.
~Chandra Lynn Smith, 12/15/11~

Monday, December 12, 2011

the pondering heart . . . ready? . . . 12/12/11

Dear Holy Friends,
Are you ready? Am I? The question can be taken more than one way and that determines the answer. But when it comes to Christmas, somehow I think even the people involved that blessed night were not necessarily ready. Have you ever thought about that? So, if you are feeling very unready for Christmas to be here in thirteen days, you are in good company!
In his Grip, Chandra

I think of the teenager

talking to the angel

and wonder if she knew

it would mean a manger?

I look at Joseph

respect could be lost

did he ever think

it would lead to the cross?

I see the innkeeper

who turned them away

when did he realize

his Savior was born that day?

I wonder if the shepherds

in the fields that night

saw the star and understood

it pointed to One true light?

I look in my heart

search inside my soul

am I ready for Jesus' birth

the One who makes me whole?


~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Thursday, December 08, 2011

the pondering heart . . . the wonder . . . 12/8/11

Dear Holy Friends,
Christmas is such a wonder. And while many tell me that Easter is the more holy holiday, there is something magic about Christmas. And without it, there would be no Easter. I also do not get drawn into the arguments over the fact that December 25 is also a pagan day. And, as in our country white is the color of purity, while in India it is the color of mourning; neither is wrong or right.
I believe celebrating our Savior's birth is way more important than when. So, maybe we can all go back and focus on the wonder.
In his Grip, Chandra
The Wonder
Fresh hay has a fragrant smell
but manure can overpower.
I wonder what 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.
But may I never take lightly
the humble way of my Savior's birth.
~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

the pondering heart . . . what happened next? . . . 12/7/11

Dear Holy Friends,
This time of year as I wonder at the miracle of it all, I feel like a four year old with a wealth of questions! So, today we look at more.
In His Grip, Chandra
what happened next
What happened next
after they knew?
Were you two alone,
or did they stand by you?
On the long journey
were you all alone?
Or were others there
as you left your home?
When nights got quiet
did you feel God's presence there?
Or was it a lonely time
made you wonder of His care?
What did you speak about
those hours on the road?
Did you understand
together you carried the load?
When did the star appear,
did you rejoice in its light?
Was its very brilliance
a way to make you feel right?
One day in heaven I hope
to have a few moments with you.
I need to offer my thanks,
your family brought my salvation too.
~Chandra Lynn Smith, 12/7/11~

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

the pondering heart . . . look to the heart . . . 12/6/11

Dear Holy Friends,
On the long days, when everything draws your heart away from Christmas. Trials, sorrows, hassles all manage to break the spirit. Maybe it is time to just stop and reflect.
In his Grip, Chandra
Look in the Heart
Is the hustle getting to you
are things decorated,
does shopping make you blue
do you feel frustrated?
Is the line long, mail too slow
prices high, check small?
Is it hard to let angst go,
are you tired of it all?
Then look to the manger
and a young teenaged girl,
riding the donkey, the dangers,
the changes to her world.
Think of the lonely night
when the baby was born,
the new star shining bright
the visitors that morn.
When the days crash in
and materialism attacks,
then we should begin
to see what we lack.
Christmas begins in the heart
and spreads love to all,
the joy only starts
in a manger stall.
~Chandra Lynn Smith, 12/6/11~

Monday, December 05, 2011

the pondering heart . . .joseph musing . . .12/5/11

Dear Holy Friends,
I sat here this morning, thinking of Joseph and tried to write some, I didn;'t like the way it was going. So, I shall get back to that later. Today I will post one of my poems about Joseph that I wrote a few years ago.
In His Grip, Chandra
Joseph Musing

Believe her? Dare I trust?

something tells me I must.

Angel visit? Yeah right.

Yet I know what I saw last night.

Marry her anyway? Father this child?

This is crazy, it's too wild.

Says she's pure and it's God's Son?

Her baby is prophesied one?

How do we tell others? What will they say?

Life was simpler yesterday.

Is she worried? Is she afraid?

I must be true to promises I have made.

Is this an honor? or maybe a task?

So many questions I want to ask.

God are you there? Will you stay?

I need You to show me the way.

Go to her. Hold her tight.

Trust God will make everything all right.


~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Friday, December 02, 2011

the pondering heart . . . if I could ask her more . . .12/2/11

Dear Holy Friends,
This morning, I had some more questions for Mary!
In His Grip, Chandra
if I could ask her more
How did you tell Joseph,
what did you say?
Were you confident
he'd let you stay?
In his eyes
as you told the news,
did you see belief
or doubt of the truth?
Did you find comfort
in his embrace?
or was there judgment
in the set of his face?
Did you ever ask God
to pick another instead?
On your long journey
what words were said?
When the time came
and there was no room,
how did you face it
without filling with gloom?
Did the star in the sky
fill your heart with joy?
Did you realized God's presence
in your newborn little boy?
~Chandra Lynn Smith, 12/2/11~

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Pondering Heart . . . if I could ask her . . . 12/1/11

Dear Holy Friends,
This time of year we could easily lose our focus on the meaning of the season. Today I want to ponder a few things in my heart the way Jesus' mother did. I was thinking about things I would ask her if I could. Here is the short list.
In his Grip, Chandra
If I could Ask her
If I could ask her
what would I say?
Would I ask about
the weather on that day?
Or maybe what she felt
when the angel called her name?
Did she understand her life
would never be the same?
Was the pregnancy easy
since she carried God's Son?
Were her pains reduced
for the Holy One?
What was it like
nursing the baby boy?
Did rocking Him bring
amazing mother's joy?
And as He grew
did you see the signs?
Did you ever question
the wisdom of God's design?
This time of year I ponder
you, the mother of my Lord.
I wish I could thank you
for giving birth to the Word.
~Chandra Lynn Smith, 12/1/11~

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Pondering Heart . . .the days between . . .11/29/11

Dear Holy Friends,
My Christmas mugs and dishes are out. Other things will slowly find their places in the next two weeks. I love going to pick Adam up from wrestling each evening and seeing which houses have added their lights to the displays. Christmas is my magic as many of you know. That Jesus chose to leave royalty for me is overwhelming. And that is the heart of it. Whether he was born in December or July, is not nearly as important as the fact he was born. And that is what I celebrate, why I love the magic! So, here's to another year of The Pondering Heart poems.
In his Grip, chandra
the days between
thanksgiving ends
family goes back
leftovers are consumed
routines on track,
decorations go up
each day a few more
turkey replaced
with tinsel galore,
hustle and bustle
grumpy people seen
we can lose the magic
in the days in between,
advent means waiting
for the Savior to come
don't forget that part
when getting shopping done,
the carols, the lights, the candles
point to Christmas joy
we must never lose sight
the holiday is about the Boy . . .
~Chandra Lynn Smith, 11/29/11~

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just For Today . . . soul moments .. 11/21/11

Dear Holy Friends,
The clouds and rain today are so very typical of Thanksgiving week in this part of PA. So, typical that if it is a sunny week it feels out of place. But you know what, this dreary weather makes the whole cooking of things cozy! I wrote this poem on a sunny morning, obviously. But just wanted to send it today. Maybe today you will find your 'soul moments.'
In His Grip, Chandra


In the field I see diamonds

sparkling like sunlight

really they are spider webs

covered with dew overnight.

In the woods is gold

brilliant in its hue

really it is maple leaves

indicating fall is almost through.

In my yard I hear music

sweet songs touching my heart

really it is winter birds

heralding the season's start.

In my house there is beauty

and a soft enveloping peace

even in the chaos of family

their love makes trials cease.

In this life there are moments

God reaches into your soul

He desires to show you

His love is in control.

~Chandra Lynn Smith~

Friday, November 18, 2011

Just For Today . . . calm the storm or us . . . 11/18/11

Dear Holy Friends,
    This week has been a struggle. And something tells me I am not the only one who has struggled this week. Storms come to us in all sizes and forms. They blow us around and beat us up and tear into our hearts. At the end of a week like this my husband and I look at each other and say "It was a long month this week." Has your week been a long month? I need to remember when the storms are here he is with me. I need to run to Him before I vent. So, today's poem is about storms.
In His Grip, Chandra
Calming Storms Or Us
Is there a storm brewing in your life

that you asked Him to take away?

Are you filled with worry and stress

not sure what you should say?

Sometimes He chooses to calm the storm

and make the rough times cease.

Other times calming us in the midst of it

is how our faith will increase.

He is there beside you right now

will help you see it through.

He asks you give all of it to Him

don't rely so much on you.

When you open your heart and release

the storm into His hands.                                      

He'll either calm it or he'll calm you

as you trust in His plans.


~Chandra Lynn Smith, edited 11/18/11~