In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A gift for you this Christmas: A peek at the 12 Pearls of Christmas

Over at The Writing Road, I'm participating in the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog tour. From December 12 until Christmas Day, there will be a new story posted, written by well-known authors like Susan May Warren, Tricia Goyer, Mary DeMuth and Melody Carlson.

I thought I'd post one of the stories here for you to enjoy. You can find the rest of the 12 Pearls of Christmas over at The Writing Road.

Leave a comment on this post or on any of the The Writing Road posts and you'll be entered to win a pearl necklace!

Merry Christmas--and I'll see you in 2010!

12 Pearls of Christmas: God With Us

by Deb Kalmbach

I used to be the queen of over-commitment, and December brought out the worst in this malady. It was as if I were poised at an imaginary starting line, and when I flipped the calendar page, I was off and running--the December dash!

You could hardly see any white space on my daily planner it was so jammed with events. Kids' Christmas programs, church programs, and endless lists of things-to-do obscured my calendar and my vision to see what really mattered. Each day when we hung another ornament on our Advent tree, I felt my chest tighten, and my breathing get shallower. Only single-digit shopping days left...Panic mode was about to set in.

Of course I was singing in the Christmas choir. I love music, and the heavenly Christmas anthems we sang. The neighborhood cookie exchange was an annual tradition. Forget about the old standards, chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies. Let's talk about jam-filled tea cookies, chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls, or iced sugar cookies with colored sprinkles. My kitchen looked like a Martha Stewart test kitchen gone awry.

My head spins just thinking about it. I usually felt so frustrated and exhausted by Christmas Day, I barely enjoyed the celebration. I repeated this drill for many Christmas seasons, before I finally decided to step back and think about why I was trying to accomplish the impossible. I learned to take a deep breath and accept the fact that I can't do it all-and I'm much better off if I don't try.

That's probably why I'm writing this. The tendency to revert to this frenzied pace by mid-December is still a challenge. I need to be reminded of the quiet simplicity of this season, so I can hear the age-old message once again.

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

Immanuel! Our God is with us. If we can stop long enough to listen-we will hear the invitation that beckons us to come, to wait, to get ready for our coming King.

No doubt, December will be as busy as ever with gifts to purchase, trees to decorate and carols to sing. But this Advent season, I pray that in the midst of everything contending for our time and attention, our hearts will be moved and our senses sharpened to rejoice in God's greatest gift.


Deb Kalmbach is the co-author of Because I Said Forever: Embracing Hope in a Not-So-Perfect Marriage and the author of a book for children, Corey's Dad Drinks Too Much. Deb and her husband, Randy, make their home in a tiny town in Eastern Washington. Visit Deb at her website or blog.


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is leave a comment here. Come back on New Year's Day to see if you won!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Frosty the Snowman and Porn

Photo by barrym67/

I have a sense of humor.


But I can't see the humor in having Frosty the Snowman talk about his porn collection.
(A Fox News video clip that contains the ad is below.)

The TV show, "How I Met Your Mother" used the clip from Frosty the Snowman and coupled it with some dialogue from an episode. So, what you have is Frosty supposedly showing the kids his porn collection and then giving the guy selling tickets at the train station his porn collection.

Funny, right?

Sorry, I don't think so.

I just don't find pornography humorous. I don't like how it degrades women. I don't like how child pornographers go after our children. I don't like the fact that school-age children are being exposed to online porn.

Did you know that federal law makes it illegal for anyone under 18 to look at pornography? And yet:
  • Forty-two percent of children ages 10-17 were exposed to online pornography
  • Forty-seven percent of school age children (7-18 year olds) receive spam with links to X-rated Web sites on a daily basis. One in five open the spam.

Pornography harms our kids. It harms our marriages, our families.

It's not a joking matter.


Monday, December 07, 2009

News of Interest for Moms December 7, 2009

News to know:

Children whose parents are deployed have more struggles with anxiety and depression than their peers, according to a report published in the Dec. 7 issue of Pediatrics.
Researchers interviewed more than 1,500 military family members, including children ages 11-17. Nearly all had a parent who was deployed or had been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Thirty percent of the military kids who were 7 to 11 year old reported elevated anxiety symptoms. Researchers also found that children fared worse if their parents struggled with their own emotional or mental health issues.

Too often, parents talk to their kids about sex after kids start experimenting sexually, according to a study that will be in the January issue of Pediatrics.
Researchers found that more than 40 percent of adolescents are having sex before their parents have talked to them about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or birth control. Conversations with boys always took place later than conversations with girls, according to the report.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

News of Interest for Moms December 2, 2009

News to know:

Doctors believe dads struggling with postpartum depression is a more widespread problem than most people realize.
Men who have a history of depression or who have partners who are depressed have an increased risk of postpartum depression.
Symptoms usually develop within a month after a child is born, but can show up three months later. Typical symptoms include:
  • tearfulness
  • decreased energy
  • low-self esteem
  • loss of sleep/appetite
  • suicidal thoughts

HPV sometimes a factor for increase in oral cancers in women

In people under age 50, the human papillomavirus (HPV), may be replacing tobacco as the primary cause of oral cancer, according to recent data from the Oral Cancer Foundation. In previous decades, oral cancer was primarily a men's disease, affecting six men for every woman. However, in the last decade, the ratio has decreased to two men to each woman. About 34,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.

Increase in babies born with Down syndrome

Babies born with Down syndrome increased by 31 percent between 1979 and 2003, according to a report published in the November 30 issue of Pediatrics.

Researchers said their findings could reflect an increasing proportion of births to older moms during this same time, as well as medical advancements that improve survival rates of babies born with Down syndrome.

Newest celebrity Mommy-Come-Lately: singer Lisa Loeb

Singer Lisa Loeb, 41, and her husband Roey Herskovitz, 31, welcomed their daughter Lyla Rose on Dec. 1.

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