A Poem, Ruth Graham

Had I been Joseph’s mother
I’d have prayed
protection from his brothers:
“God keep him safe;
he is so young,
so different from
the others.”
Mercifully she never knew
there would be slavery
and prison, too.

Had I been Moses’ mother
I’d have wept
to keep my little son;
praying she might forget
the babe drawn from the water
of the Nile,
had I not kept
him for her
nursing him the while?
Was he not mine
and she
but Pharaoh’s daughter?…

Had I been Mary –
Oh, had I been she,
I would have cried
as never a mother cried,
“…Anything, O God,
but crucified!”
With such prayers
my finite wisdom
would assail
Infinite Wisdom;
God, how fortunate
Infinite Wisdom
should prevail!

This poem is from Ruth Bell Graham’s “Collected Poems.” It’s also available in This Christmas Night: Reflections from Our Hearts to Your Home.


Tales Magic Monastry by Theopane the Monk

“Here, the charming, mature stories from the internationallly beloved monk are accompanied by original art. Like the parables of Jesus, these tales repeatedly unfold new levels of meaning if we are willing to sit with them.” By Publisher

I agree. One tale that keeps me in a meditative state is: “I sat there in awe as the old monk answered our questions. Thought I am usually shy,…I found myself raising my hand. “Father, could you tell us something about yourself? He leaned back. “Myself?” he mused. There was a long pause.

“My name used to be Me. But, now it’s You. “

Our Adopted Socrates

Our Adopted Socrates

Little White Dog by Gary

I wonder if the little fella ever has any fun in life? There he is a little, white, scruffy looking dog. How we got him is a story.

He came to us from a nice family, husband, wife, two kids maybe three the youngest a baby. He was too much for them. The kids loved him, he was a lot of fun for them. But mommy and daddy, well he was too much for mommy and daddy. Somebody had to walk him, the yard wasn’t fenced, and he had to be walked. Then he had to go to the vet, a lot. Expensive to take him to the vet. Yet the fellow had to have help. He was always scratching, itching never stopped scratching himself. He scratched the hair off his legs it hurt him so much.

They were his second family, the first one was just one guy from what I’ve been told. But the dog had to go because the guy had to go to live in another part of the world for work. So he gave the little fella away.

Now, I’ve been told that dogs never forget. That if you are mean to them as a puppy they remember, if you are nice to them as a puppy they remember. I think the little fella remembers being brought home by that guy, loved, cared for, taken for walks, given treats and toys. Then one day for the little fella it was all over. He was picked up, put in a car driven over to another house, dropped off with all the toys and treats and dog stuff. But he wasn’t the only one there. There were kids there, he loved the kids. He played with them. I never witnessed him playing with the kids. But, I know he did, because when he came to us he would bring his toy to us and nudge our leg with it to play tug of war with him and to throw so he could retrieve.

Then the little fella’s world with the father, mother and three kids came to a crashing stop, he was put in a car again with all the dog stuff, food, toys, leash, bed, blanket, pills, and treats and he came to us. I think when we got him, he remembered being given away the first time, and I think he was thinking, “not again”. I think it made him nervous and have a rash and scratch and itch and dig his skin. I think he was in awful pain. He’s getting over that now with a lot of help from the vet and getting him to take a bunch of pills. Maybe he will settle in. He’s never done anything like have a “mistake” in the house. But I think in his mind he wonders, “how long will this last? Will I get sent away again?”

It must be awful to have thoughts like that.
I think I’ll try to help the little fella have a little fun in life.

Rena’s Doll Story

Rena's Doll Story

Told and illustrated by Rena Oynes from her Journal pages of “The Doll Within Me” from Sara Craddock’s Doll Book. I hope all that read this book will write their story and share.

When I was young my Dad would always wait until Christmas Eve to get a doll for each of his little girls. As I have thought about it there was never really enough money for the dolls so the last minute shopping meant the dolls were at a much lower price. There was no getting the doll everyone else had, but at least it was a doll. Later as time went by he would place the doll under the Christmas tree to remind him of us as we sometimes did not come home for Christmas. How precious. My own Mom would make dolls for people who needed a special touch. She was drawn to people who had children with cancer and would make dolls with their clothing for them. One little girl was buried with her doll. My mother made dolls for her future grandchildren and made one to be baby Jesus when Christmas pageants occurred. Recently one was used to tell the story of baby Jesus at a BSF Children’s meeting. Somehow dolls seem to grab hold of our emotions.

I was so fortunate for so long to work with children in the public school setting. With retirement I find myself going back to my roots with a Mom who had a love for children of all ages and loved to see them happy with each doll given. A few years ago Dorothy who was a Lily and I designed a pattern for a doll that we liked that was put into Samaritan Purse Christmas boxes. Many wonderful Lilies participated and we all had great fun doing a project that we knew would touch the lives of the children who received them. I even saw a husband of one of the wives who was deligently working on a doll sit in the floor listening and observing his wife’s delight over the little doll. At that time I never thought I’d be making dolls again. Here I am and when the call came, I thought yes Lord, I like my Mom, would love to touch another with a special gift of a doll. My mother crocheted hers but I can sew and paint so as you see this little creation is sewn and painted to bring about her character. I pray the woman who receives will be so excited as I was to see her take form in my hands. Poor thing had to take many a scissor and needle, plus globs of paint, cloth, lace and yarn. Yes this is a new season of my life. I can say honestly that God has something for every season of our lives. What a precious God we serve. I would have never guessed that God would have moved me to Alabama and used my love of HIS children of all ages, sewing and painting to bless his people. Thank you God. I LOVE YOU.

Karen Langford Brown ‘s Story


I have read and reread your book, “The Doll Within Me,” for several weeks, and asked God to send me His message for me to write. You see, I have to wait on the Lord and not try to go ahead of Him. 🙂 The ego likes to suppose things that aren’t necessarily so. I have always loved that Dr Dyer described the ego as “Edging God Out,” so I try to go slow and easy before proceeding.

Very, very surprised at the writing that came after much contemplation. Hope you enjoy.

Love & Blessings,

Twin meaning: one of two offspring born at the same birth. A counterpart.


When I was young and there was no money
for frivolous things such as a doll
Actual needs were so much greater
as I look back and do recall.
But then I was but a little girl
wishing for just a Barbie doll
Not understanding or realizing that
my wish was Oh, so small!

God has brought me to a time in life
where He showed me that within
He had created a beautiful doll
that was actually my twin!
He said that when I was born
her spirit was with me
She would abide with me forever
and one day I would see…

The beautiful doll that is my spirit
was always there to comfort me
Because she was sent from Heaven
to always help me be
All that He created and
that He would have me be…
Has always been in His Hands
and I am really three!

(c) 2013 Karen Langford Brown 

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit
gives birth to spirit.” John 3:6 NIV