The day is dawning, I sit in the semi-dark having coffee enjoying quiet and looking at the tree with all the ornaments we've collected over the years and remembering. Remembering how every year I'm up before everyone else, stuffing stockings, and taking time to enjoy a little respite from all the hustle and bustle of preparing for this day. I remember our family from days gone by, excited little early birds dressed in special jammies waiting at the top of the stairs so the video camera can be prepared before they descend to see what treasures await! Packing dozens of gifts in our van and heading to another town to have special breakfast with one family and then breaking neck to get to dinner with another. Although some family traditions remain, those days of having children here anticipating the day and running around like crazy are gone. Our family is grown and making traditions of their own and it's hard, hard to let go of what used to be, the way we used to do Christmas.
This Christmas is the beginning for one daughter's family, the beginning of their own family traditions with a little one! Traditions that include running hither, thither, making sure everyone gets to visit with the babies and share in the joy that awaits as they open their first Christmas present from the grandparents! Deciding who will spend time where and what time we'll eat and when are we doing presents with these...and on it goes when your family is young.
Not so after the kids are grown...it's different...very different. And, as I'm realizing a little at a time and rather slowly, it's time for intentionally preparing new traditions here as well. Not sure what those will be, still in the thinking process. But I'm mentally preparing myself and pushing myself forward...dragging my feet a little, I must admit, but time is moving forward. I can move along with it and enjoy and change OR I can be dragged behind and struggle and kick and be miserable. I chose the former!
Remembering Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas future....looking forward with anticipation to what 2012 will bring for our family!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
When I type the word, "stretching" it conjures up a certain feeling in my heart...a hurt...because things are tight there. Like all muscles the heart gets tight when it isn't stretched. And so it
begins continues, the process of stretching, pulling, tearing away the hardness the tightness, causing the heart to feel.
I read this during the past week and recognize what happens this time of year and other times when our regular schedule of events is "interrupted" by a holiday gathering or some other such event that is unusual in our day-to-day activies and requires more, more of us! I read and I contemplate what it means and am reminded of what will inevitably come over the next few days.
I recognize what will come and what will be required but I really just don't want to go there.
It's like physical therapy, painful, tiring, weakening before stregthening...
WHY, why would I want to subject myself to that rigor?
WHY, why would I want to subject myself to that rigor?
So the week passes and it happens and I fail miserably to be full of grace. I am short-tempered, irritated, selfish and unloving in my heart. Others can see it happening and call me out, but I don't want to see the ugliness of all that is there, just brimming at the edge, ready to spill over on anyone who "bumps" into me! So I wrestle with the whys and the if-onlys and am reminded (when I ask of my Father) that the WHY is for me! He desires to show me my need of Him, my utter dependence on Spirit dwelling in me to enable this grace walk I so desire. And slowly the understanding of truth resurfaces and the ugliness pours out in prayer before the Throne of Grace where I beg for Him, knowing full well I cannot survive another minute with this poison spilling out. And He comes and gives freely what I so desperately need..a heart full of praise to Him, thankfulness for Him and a knowledge that He knows what is best for me, what will stretch me, what will cause me to see HIM and know that nothing can compare with knowing HIM!!
He sacrificed ALL!
I am called to do the same, sacrifice ALL!!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
"Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD and against his Anointed,
saying, "Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us."
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill."
As I read this chapter, I was just astounded at the TRUTH it foretells! Joy, peace and comfort flooded my heart as I was reminded of who REALLY is in charge! For me, reading scripture aloud is a somewhat new adventure and I am enthralled with the experience itself. As I sat in my "front room" (that's the best room in the house besides the kitchen) and read this chapter aloud it was such a wonderful worship experience as I acknowledged through speaking scripture-God's words to me-who the true ruler of the universe is! A King of Kings who will indeed rule the earth one day in splendor and majesty never before seen!
If you are not familiar with Advent I encourage you to check out the link below. Immerse yourself this Christmas season not only in the day we celebrate Jesus birth, but in the prophecy from the Old Testament, the promises of an ever faithful God who keeps His promises. Some of the promises have already been fulfilled, like the coming of Messiah and some, we are still awaiting!
This is an exciting, fun-filled time of year. I'm so thankful for the exposure to some new traditions and the joy they have already brought to my sometimes anxious, stressed-out, striving, cold heart!!
And, if you're never read scriptures aloud, you MUST try it! Faith comes by hearing...and when you hear your own voice speaking the truth of God's word, it has a definite affect on you...just like everything we speak to ourselves, but that's a whole nother post!!