Sunday, December 15, 2019

Nancy Reinke Shares "A Rocky Mountain Christmas"

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Guest Post #8

"A Rocky Mountain Christmas" by Nancy Reinke

For to us a child is born,

    to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon His shoulder,

    and His name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 Of the increase of His government and of peace

    there will be no end,

on the throne of David and over His kingdom,

    to establish it and to uphold it

with justice and with righteousness

    from this time forth and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

The first three years of our marriage, my husband and I lived in the mountains of Colorado. Striving to live a simpler life, our home was a 624 sq. ft. cabin, built in 1925, that we had purchased and remodeled, doing 90% of the work ourselves. 

Our first Christmas in the cabin is one I will never forget, and one which I would very much like to experience again, only without the chilling cold. 

We longed to avoid the trappings of Christmas excess and keep our focus on Christ. Keeping Christmas simple in a culture that believes more is more, instead of less is more, isn't easy. But downsizing to a small cabin had definitely motivated me to employ a minimal decorating style. There just wasn't room to display a lot of stuff, much less store it.

Our Christmas decorations that year consisted of one red poinsettia, a bouquet of red carnations, and a tiny tabletop living Christmas tree from Safeway, replete with tiny ornaments.

In truth, not even the most extravagantly flocked and adorned Christmas tree could have competed with our Creator's majestic evergreens, blanketed with snow, just outside our cabin.

As the languid December days passed, we discussed our plans for Christmas Eve. Since our children were scattered around the country with no intention of joining us for the holiday, our options were wide open. My husband suggested we attend a Christmas Eve gathering at the nearby Fawn Brook Inn, where we had been married the previous year, and I agreed. The owners of the delightful log structure, Hermann and Mieke, had begun a tradition decades earlier of opening the restaurant to the community on Christmas Eve for a Christ-centered evening of worship, food and fellowship.

On Christmas Eve we drove the 16 miles from our home to the Fawn Brook. The night was cold and beautiful; a clear, black sky studded with crystal stars. Like diamonds on velvet.

It's hard to do justice to the evening with the few photos I took with my old cell phone, but maybe it will give you a glimpse of the serene atmosphere.

People from all walks of life came to the Fawn Brook that evening. It didn't matter where you were from or your social status. You were welcomed. No reservations were required, and the evening was advertised only by word of mouth. The funny thing is, every year there were just enough seats for the attendees. Never too few, never too many. 

The celebration began with a potluck dinner. Hermann cooked several meats and everyone else brought whatever they wanted. Salads, soups, entrees, sides and desserts. There was more than enough food, and it was all delicious.

After dinner the worship began. Some of the guests played songs on their instruments.

Others told stories or read poetry, one woman gathered all the children around her and told the story of Jesus' birth, complete with nativity figurines. 

Mieke completed the Advent wreath and we sang carols. 

Everything was done to elevate Christ and celebrate His birth. It was a simple, old-fashioned Christmas Eve; like one you might read about in Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie."

I no longer live in the Colorado mountains, and have heard that Hermann and Mieke  have sold the Fawn Brook Inn and are now retired. I pray they will enjoy their retirement years and thank them from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful Christmas Eve I experienced through their generosity. It will remain my favorite Christmas memory."


Nancy Reinke lives and writes from her home in Texas. She is passionate about her relationship with Jesus Christ, and is eternally grateful to Him for rescuing her from a life of sin and shame. She knows that there truly is nothing more amazing than His grace! Her devotionals have appeared in Wesleyan Publishing's Light From the Word, and Gary Chapman's devotional book, Love Is A Verb. After three years as a widow, Nancy married Dennis, an artist and poet, in 2010. Together they share the love of God, four children, and two grandchildren.

Please visit Nancy at her beautiful blog, A Joyful Cottage.
You may also view and purchase her husband, Dennis's amazing artwork at Dennis Reinke.


  1. Absolutely beautiful story, Nancy! Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you for reading, Martha! Enjoy your Christmas getaway!

  2. The pictures are so nice! Time and circumstances are changing, but Christ, our (stil coming) King, will ever be the same! He'll bless you also this time of Christmas!

    1. Yes, amen, Lieneke! God bless you with a Merry Christmas!

  3. It sounds like an absolutely wonderful Christmas. Simpler is good in this fast paced world we live in.

    1. I so agree, Betsy! Simple is the best way to live! Many blessings and Merry Christmas!

  4. Liked the story and the photos too. Thanx.

    God bless. Merry Christmas.

    1. Thank you so much, Victor! Many blessings to you!

  5. A Simple Christmas with music and fellowship! Perfect!

  6. What a special way to celebrate on Christmas Eve! I just love potlucks, worship and fellowship, such special times for sure! Simple times really are the best! Blessings to you Nancy, and thank you Cheryl for putting together such a wonderful series for the Christmas season!

    1. Oh, me, too! We had a potluck just a week or so ago that was SO much fun! It is always so interesting to see what all kinds of foods are brought and to sample different dishes. I love making things to take to them, too, and sharing recipes and conversation with those I don't know too well. I agree that simple times are definitely the best! I am so thankful you are enjoying the series, sweet friend. So thankful for you!

  7. What a gift to have had that time and now the wonderful and warm memory of it. This story brought me into it and the Christmas spirit!

    1. Oh, that is wonderful! I can't believe it is only five days away! It hit me yesterday how quickly the Christmas season is flying by! I am not ready for it to end. I still have two packages to get in the mail today and am worried they will be late. My, it just slipped up on me! I think it is because Thanksgiving came so late this year - it felt like the Christmas season got cut short. So thankful for your encouragement and support, brother!

  8. Replies
    1. Wasn't it just beautiful? So thankful you enjoyed it, my friend!

  9. Replies
    1. So thankful for your visit, Amalia! I love your name. :)

  10. Nancy's kindness and strength shines through her writing.

    1. It sure does! She is such a blessing to us all!