So it’s Christmas Eve and I am fighting my feelings. I’m sitting here with my hubby on a quiet evening. No family…. Not that normal excitement that usually comes with the season. In some ways it seems kind of sad, but it’s just because things have changed. Most of the boys are now with significant others and living out of town. So we spent our “Christmas” together on Saturday, so that they would be with their ladies families on Christmas day. It was wonderful to be together, but the new normal is taking some getting used to. It was kind of getting me down having such a quiet Christmas Eve and anticipating the same on Christmas Day. It didn’t help that I was going to the doctor because I wasn’t feeling well. Really? Is this how the holiday is supposed to be? Continue reading “Advent: Rejoice!”
I started tearing up the other day. They were on me so fast, I could barely stop them from coming. It was because of the rain. Now it typically rains during the fall/winter, but this was the first of the year. I may live in California, but here in the Central Valley, there is not a beach in sight. That’s OK though, because I do live just west of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and they are amazing!
There are good points and bad points to this area, but the worst is the air quality. It sucks to put it mildly. As the year goes on, the air quality deteriorates to the point where you can’t even see the mountains, that are with a short drive away. The funny thing is, at some point, I forget they are there. I drive east every morning, and eventually they fade into the haze. So with the first rains of the year, I knew the mountains would be making a comeback. I also knew that since it was raining, they would be obscured by clouds for now, but soon I would see them. And in the anticipation, I found hope. Continue reading “Advent: Hope”
Advent. It is a new tradition for me, so the first Sunday of Advent almost passed me by. Yikes! It is not my fault! I don’t come from a background where Advent is celebrated, so it just kind of snuck up on me. I was barely over the turkey and it just appeared!
So just like anything in my life, I take what is celebrated by many and use it for my own nefarious purposes. Ok…. Maybe not nefarious, but I definitely do make it my own. I need to have help in keeping focused, and writing helps. I tend to be shall we say….. wordy. So if I have to post something, like for Advent, it helps me to focus and get the writing done. Continue reading “Advent: Focus”
What do I want to remember?
I want to remember that in my actions, I sow seeds. They can be seeds that lift a person up, encourage and give strength. Or they can be discouraging, defeating and used to tear down.
I may never see the fruit of those seeds, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a result or even a price that’s paid.
I think of those days and the men who lived here, planned and executed evil. The seeds sown in their lives were ones that exploded in death.
What seeds could have changed that?
I was thinking the other day how grateful I was. We had just gotten back from a family wedding in San Diego, and it had been so much fun! It was just a moment when I was reflecting on the wedding, the love of family, the amazing time we had and how far we had come this year.
I thanked God for the peace, strength and all the good people He has put in our path to make it all happen. As I sat there I wondered, would I feel this way if the outcome hadn’t been so good? What if Mike’s health and surgery had not progressed so well? Then I remembered that we aren’t really through it yet.
It’s so funny how God speaks to me. Or maybe what’s really funny is how I listen? I told my husband the other day that I had never dreamed about being a writer. Like, that is what I want to do when I grow up! Nope….never felt that way. Writing for me is more about submission and therapy? I write to submit my thoughts and feelings to God, and ask Him to help me sort through them. To move from knowledge to wisdom. Well…hopefully.
It’s Mother’s Day, and I am sitting here listening to Christmas music. I know it’s crazy, but in some way it brings me comfort. It reminds me that there’s hope for this world.
It’s been quite a year packed with all sorts of crazy happenings, but also some of the sweetest moments. And you know, the older I get, the more I see that it all goes hand in hand. Life, death, pain and pleasure. Love, fear, failure and triumph. All these things occupy the same space at the same time, and it’s right that they do so. It’s not always fun, but it’s the way it happens in this world.
There has been pressure this year. With tumors, surgeries and unfortunately a lot of pain, but as Mike said the other day, “I don’t think I’ve laughed so much.” It’s pretty weird because we typically laugh a lot!
I think this is the feeling you get when you truly feel loved. I know about the whole “God so loved the world” thing, but I don’t think I’ve ever come as close to understanding it than I do right now. We are loved by the Creator of all, and He is on my side. Our side. Even while we walk through scary times, I know that His love keeps us safe. Things aren’t perfect, but I trust Him, and that gives me peace. Because of that, we look to the future and laugh. ‘Cuz it’s been mind blowing so far, and we still have a ways to go.
And for the record, I am listening to “Jazz Musicians Christmas” on Pandora….. so it’s not really like listening to Christmas music. Right?
One of my favorite parts of the Easter story is of the last supper. I have always loved how John relays how Jesus washed their feet. I can imagine how uncomfortable they would have been, but how relaxed by the end. I mean really….who doesn’t love a foot massage?
I think of the simple task of Jesus washing and drying their feet. These men who walk everywhere, but not with the comfortable shoes of today. No. They are walking many miles with leather sandals of ancient times. Can you imagine? Ouch! So they are sitting there, uncomfortable in the first place with Jesus assuming the role of servant. Then as they are willing him to finish, they start to relax and kind of enjoy the slight massage of their sore and tired feet. Before they know it, their eyes snap open and they realize that they were in total comfort. They lock eyes with Jesus, and I can imagine the slight smile on His face.
I think that is how He is with our lives. We (I) fight him when he asks us (me) to do something. I struggle like Peter with the appropriateness of the idea, and then before I know it, I am in the middle of His will and my life is filled with His peace. I am in total comfort, and I can imagine His eyes on me. And that same slight smile is on His face.
“So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time, before the Lord returns.” ! Corinthians 4:6
I’ve said it a bit recently to those around me, “it’s not how you start, but how you finish.” And don’t get me wrong…. It’s easier to finish well when you get out of the blocks cleanly.
We judge a person on today or their past, but we have no idea of their future and where that will lead. The choices, experiences and people that will all come together to make a complete picture in a life.
I know it’s hard, but as I read the verse this morning I wondered if we judge in life, when we should just have discernment? So I got out the old dictionary and looked at the difference between judge and discern.
Basically, discern is to recognize something as opposed to judging where you form a conclusion about it. I mean, I can discern that someone else is doing something that is harmful or full out wrong. I can then take steps to not be harmed by these actions, but I just can’t pronounce judgement. The end isn’t written yet! If I do judge, does that contribute to an environment that pushes them towards a not so good result?
I am not sure….but it makes me think? There have been people in my life that have judged me prematurely, and I think there has been a bit of an impact. I am grateful though for those who have been on the other side. The one’s that have given me the chance to change, grow and mature. Those are the ones that didn’t write me off, but gave me the time, love and encouragement to fulfill the potential they saw and hoped to see bloom.