and it will be lovely

Walking by my kitchen table this morning, my centerpiece looked a little different. I saw for the first time, the compilation of years of life spent, and gifts received. You see, there are three angels in my Christmas scene. Three angels that were obtained at very different times, and yet somehow, all work together.

 

One came from an ornament exchange, another was a gift. Yet a third was a purchase made at a garage sale. It’s funny how little things collected over the years, put together, make a complete picture.

Life is just like that. God puts people in our lives, takes them out, allows us to walk out our journey, only to put it all together and somehow, cause it to make sense. Many “scenes” in my life have evolved in such a way, and I can only imagine what we will see when we finally find our way home for good.

Do not be discouraged if right now things don’t make sense. Be not afraid while waiting for God to put your pieces together. Your scene will be complete. And it will be lovely.

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back in the front room

This year we put our tree in the front room. It’s separate from the main living area and while it’s lovely to be able to see the lights as one approaches the house, I found that I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. So, this morning, I am sitting on the floor, just taking a moment to soak in its beauty.

It’s funny how “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” we tend to be. Last year this room held a television and kid-friendly furniture for my younger two, but since we’ve moved everything to their room, this space is often ignored, save the few moments a day when my oldest comes in to tinker on the piano. As much as I love a Christmas tree, I’ve barely given it a consideration outside of an appreciative glance now and again in passing.

Relationships can be the same way.

Walls and boundaries change, people change, life gets busy and pretty soon even our most favorite of people can become more of a novelty rather than the center of our day. Just as a tree is meant to bring peace and beauty and a reminder of the season, so our relationships with others are meant to bring fulfillment, joy and a reminder of the “season” we are in.

This next few days, in the wake of the busyness of the holidays, make the decision to put that person back in your front room; back into the center of your world. And have the happiest of new years!

Feeling

My daughter said this morning that it didn’t “feel like Christmas” yet. We have a tree, decor up, Christmas music playing daily, and a kitchen counter covered with holiday projects and wrapping paper. It’s hard to know what more would make her “feel” like the holiday is near.

Sometimes we need that feeling; we need something tangible – an attitude of gratitude – a shift in perspective. We want emotion and fireworks…

Can’t we be the same way about God? We can daily, see evidence of His grace, beauty and creativity in everything from science to nature, to the miracle of birth. Yet oftentimes we just can’t be persuaded that He exists.

What do you need to believe? Is it a slight shift in perspective? The decision to choose to see? Open your heart and let love in. Let yourself feel His love this holiday season…

crumbs

What gets you out of bed in the morning? Stirs you to action? Brings a smile to your face and threatens to put your coffee maker out of work??

Some days, for me, it’s a struggle to get going. To face the never-ending logistics and tasks,  and to rise above the sense that my once-promising life of fulfillment has been reduced to potty training and crumbs. When I was younger, life before me looked a little more exciting. Fulfilling.  And while I know in my heart that raising up 5 children in the way they should go, and equipping them for adulthood and in being positive contributors to society, some days it can feel a bit more like a chore than a calling.

When Jesus came to earth, He said that He came to bring life and life to the full. When we seek after His calling, tug at His shirt tail and pursue His teachings, we discover greater depth to our lives. Little actions and choices have greater meaning, inconveniences become opportunities for growth, and peace is more of a lifestyle than just a punchline at Christmas.

During this busy time of year, don’t forget to carve out time with your purpose. Pray, meditate, dig a little deeper. Create margin to allow meaning and relativity, even spirituality, to soak into the marrow of your daily life and deep into your soul. Find Him and He will reveal your true purpose.

Even in the crumbs.

 

Emmanuel.

Emmanuel means “God with us.” Of course during the holiday season, we hear that word a lot, and a great deal about how Jesus, the Son of God, was born to His people. But for me, this understanding has taken on a much deeper meaning than I had previously considered possible. Yes, when we accept Christ into our heart, He surely lives in us, but if I were to be completely honest, the majority of my life, with and without salvation, has held to the ideology that God mostly exists in heaven. Far away. Looking down from above. God has no limits, though, as much as we would like to establish in order to better relate…no limit on time or space, ability or creativity… And when He comes to dwell with us, He really and truly does.

For quite some time now, I have been in a season of transition; not at all easy to define, even to myself. Change is never easy and as it has been coupled with a great deal of loss and struggle as well, I have found myself taking on an interesting position – that of peace.

The bible tells us that God will bring us a peace that passes all understanding and I now have a much greater perspective on what that truly means. It’s almost as though I am in a glass bubble – still experiencing life, but safe. My tears are steady, but no longer overtake me. My heart heavy but not hard.

What would it mean for you, to truly accept that God is with you? How would your life look if you took on the belief that you truly would never be alone again?

Emmanuel.

I never was the apple of their eye

A consolation, maybe

Just a nice person.

Some of us might not be destined to be royalty…

Value found in Christ was enough.

But still different.

Sometimes I wonder what that would be like

To be found of such value

A priceless jewel.

But to be counted might be sufficient

For today.

counting

I have this wonderful little setup that allows me to see how many readers visit my blog on a daily basis. To be perfectly honest, some of those statistics are less-than-inspiring, and there are days, sometimes weeks, when I just don’t see the point in writing. It can discouraging at best, to put your heart and ideas out to the world, only to see how quickly those sentiments pass and the writer is forgotten.

Last Sunday at church someone came up and mentioned that I had not been writing, and said to his friend, “I have to get you set up to read her blog!” It was so humbling, and encouraging, and I promised I would blog three times in the next week (I better get moving!).

My point? We can never fully realize the full impact of our daily decisions. The way we respond to stress. How we handle a difficult co-worker. Whether or not we choose to serve those around us or the smile we pass on to a busy clerk. It’s almost cliche’ how often people talk about such things, but it’s an important reminder to those of us who are tired, or feeling as though doing the “right” thing is too hard sometimes. If you’ve ever wanted to quit, remember that someone is counting on you not to.

You matter more than you know.