More Than Just Another Ornament

 

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I open the ornament tub and am greeted by an old friend. The small box beams up at me with its crinkled edges and yellowed plastic. I slip the ornament out of its house, careful not to disrupt the thinned cardboard, and observe the ornament by the lights of the tree. The once shiny metal has dulled, and the face of the bell is brushed with orange rouge from corrosion. The plastic figurines are still embracing, but the girl’s fingers are chipped, exposing slivers of pink.

It’s beautiful.

When my husband and I purchased it, we were newlyweds. Recently planted in Oklahoma, a thousand miles away from our hometowns, it was definitely a leave-and-cleave period of our lives. The month before our very first Christmas, we debated back and forth about getting a tree for the holiday. After all, it was $80! Plus tax! A purchase like that was HUGE for us back then. But we nabbed it from Wal*Mart and bought our first ornament to hang on its artificial boughs.

Over the span of three pregnancies (with a baby in glory) and five moves, this six-dollar gem had witnessed fifteen Christmases from its lofty perch. It has absorbed the wails of infants, the exuberant squeals of toddlers, and the giggles of children.

On the front, the words Our First Christmas Together 2002 are engraved.

This ornament is a testament of a love that’s been celebrated, tested, strengthened, and refreshed more than the barren earth in spring rains. I gaze at it and am encouraged.

Us.

Such a small word for such an expansive meaning.

Like every couple, my husband and I have experienced laughter and pain, defeat and victory. Many sobs. Many embraces. Many smiles. Many kisses. I’ve gained a fondness for football and golf (well almost golf. ;)) And he’s spoiled me by enduring my passionate admiration for watching costumed drama. Two become one. Our lives have blended, our souls entwined. Together.

So obviously it’s our fifteenth Christmas as a couple. I’m blessed to have acquired so many memories and am eager to take on more as our hearts are committed to Jesus and each other.

Do you have a special ornament? What is its significant value?

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Amongst The Roses Cover Reveal

Okay friends, it’s snowing. Nineteen degrees outside with a “feels like” temp of 3 degrees! 3 degrees!!! So today is the perfect day for a summery, sunshiny cover reveal, right?!

Maegan Gorecki’s next release Amongst The Roses, book one in the Keystone Legacy series, is slated to release April 12, 2018.

Wanna know more about it? Here’s the blurb:

The War Between the States shakes Margaret Bryant out of her comfortable upper-class life when her father enlists in the Army of the Potomac. Despite being safely ensconced above the Mason-Dixon Line in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Margaret finds her strength tested by opposition from familiar faces and Confederate threats. Will she let a young man from a lesser station into her heart even as war rages ever nearer to the home front?

Restless Connor Doyle sees the war as a way to escape from his family’s farm and his identity as a poor Irishman’s son. His brother, Adam, torn between duty to country and his family, enlists alongside Connor. Adam dares to hope in a future with Margaret when he begins a courtship correspondence from the war front. The two brothers make a vow to protect one another at all costs, but when faced with death and destruction from all sides—will they be able to uphold it?

The three bloodiest days in America’s history bring these three together at Gettysburg and tragedy’s cruelty threatens to tear two hearts apart—and bring two unlikely allies together.

Now for the COVER REVEAL!!!!

 

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Isn’t it lovely? The whole aura of it is simply stunning. The golden tones, the script detail, the roses that deceive you into believing you can reach in and pluck one, and of course the heroine with an intriguing expression. All so vivid, all so gorgeous! This is a story you don’t want to miss.

 

                                       About the Author

Meghan M. Gorecki is an author of inspirational fiction about what Godfb_img_1512512640450.jpg can make beautiful from the ashes of history, and hearts. A lover and avid studier of people, times gone by, and fiction, she has been writing since childhood and now houses her books under Northern Belle Publishing. Coffee and red lipstick color her days as a redhead from a box, alongside her treasured tribe of family and friends in her beloved hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

You can contact her at her Blog/Website, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Bringing the Gift of Heaven

It’s the first of December. Some may say it’s officially the start of the Christmas season. Christmas is EVERYWHERE! It’s lining the hallways of my children’s school, it’s blaring over the speakers of each store I walk into, it’s the flavor of every single commercial from now until December 25th. (That’s only a few examples. Give me time, and I could fill this entire post with Christmas sightings.)

Here’s the thing. I’ve been reflecting on the meaning of Christmas. And what’s been jumping out to me is this—

God brought heaven to earth.

Throughout the ages, humanity’s heart hungered for something real. For love. For life. Just something to fill the emptiness, to revive what’s dying. Mankind had lived in a state of spiritual feebleness, crying for a taste of hope. And God answered this cry through the birth of His Son. Through Jesus, He brought heaven to an angry, sinful world. He sent heaven to us.

And now we as Christians, can do the very same thing. Our hearts are filled with the hope of heaven, and we in turn, can bring it to those around us. Bring heaven to your voice by speaking words of encouragement, praying for those hurting this holiday season. Bring heaven to your hands with simple acts like making cookies for the widow who lives next door or by donating gloves/mittens/coats to local clothing drives around your community. And just like our Example, Jesus, you can reveal the heart of God everywhere you go.

Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed acts of rage, devastation, injustice and pain. Again humanity is broken, but salvation is within reach. This isn’t a save-the-world post, but more like a I-can-bring-a-piece-of-heaven-by-simple-works kind of message. It doesn’t take much. It should begin within the boundaries of your home. Instead of allowing the holiday stress to overwhelm you, breathe the wonder of heaven by dwelling on the reality of Emmanuel- God with us. He truly did bring heaven to earth, and more importantly heaven to our hearts. It’s up to us to share.