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!”
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?
Friday was a hard day. I had been out of sorts for the last few days. Maybe it was hormones, a heavy heart, work, hate pouring through the tv screen or a combination of that and more. I was blue I guess, so yesterday morning I tried to do what would put me in a better frame of mind. I read my bible and sat in the backyard in the only cool part of the day. My yard is not any kind of oasis, but there is enough growth and color to bring me peace. So as I sat there, I chose not to open FaceBook. I typically do it, so it was kind of weird for me, but I went with and hoped that it would contribute to a more peaceful state of mind.
As I sat and drank coffee, I wondered if part of my feelings were due to what we have
just went through and what is coming up. God has been so good and showing me peace, provision and presence during Mike’s surgery and recovery, but I wasn’t sure if I was still feeling like that. So as I pondered, I felt like I wanted to go back to that time. No… not Mike going through pain. More like I wanted my trust to go back to God, in all things. To really live my life. I have felt fear creeping back in over things that don’t even matter, and I knew I was returning to an old way of reacting. My mind went to an upcoming trip we’ve planned and are so excited about. It’s not till the end of September, and I was thinking, “am I going to put living on hold till then?” No! That isn’t right!
I asked God to help me resolve to identify those things that are a step backwards for me, and to help me go forward. To LIVE fully! Every day! To work hard, play hard and most important…. LOVE hard.
It was encouraging and lifted me up. God set the bar a little higher for me, helping me to look up and seek to live a life that is full and honors Him. How better can life get?
My time in the yard ended, and I got ready for work. As I got in the car, I opened my phone to sinc my music and FaceBook was open. So without thinking, I started to scroll through the feed. It was then that I saw a post that caught my eye. It was a verse:Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of our souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9
Now I love the verse, but I couldn’t understand why a sad face with a tear? I don’t feel sad with that verse…. It gives me peace and brings joy of a life that comes to a full circle in faith. It really irritated me. I thought wait…. what kind of mixed message is that? Then I saw it again on another post and I realized why.
I had known her as a girl serving preschool kids with a knack for telling a story, my hubby knew her as a student athlete, and during her illness we met the young woman she had become. I will always remember the day she came to our house. Mike had set up his “photo studio” and Kay, who is a cancer survivor, came to offer encouragement to a young lady fighting her own battle. We all talked about her treatment, school, photography among other things. Faith and hope were sprinkled in the conversation, that included lots of smiling and laughter.
And as I sat in my car, I realized why I hadn’t looked at FaceBook that morning. God wanted to give me an example of what he was showing me. The right perspective before I heard the news. While she was so young, her life was well lived. She had used it to funnel love, grace, laughter and faith to those around her. And in that life, we see the truth of what God is encouraging us all to do. Live your best life through Him.
I was driving through the fog and couldn’t believe all the cars with their headlights off. It was crazy to me, and I thought, “your lights aren’t for you to see better, they are for me to see you!”
I totally knew that was important, but I wasn’t sure why? It was just one of those statements that seemed bigger than the moment for me. Bigger than just lights in the fog. So I’ve been thinking about it off and on again, why is it so important to be seen?
Well in the fog it’s pretty obvious, so I don’t get hit! But what about in life?
Part of it was something I already knew, but I kept skipping over it, because I was looking for other meaning. “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
So in life the light isn’t really for me to be seen, but to show off God. I knew that though, so it really didn’t seem like the whole answer. Well, that was until this morning. Since my hubby’s surgery, I don’t sleep really well. So at 3:30am, my brain went to the WHY people didn’t have their headlights on.
Worst invention ever, automatic headlights! You see now that people have automatic lights, they don’t have to turn them on when they get in the car. At night it works great, but when it’s daytime and foggy, those lights don’t function correctly. People are driving around assuming they’re on. They assume, they can be seen.
That was the perspective I was looking for. So God wants to be seen through the lives of His people, and that happens through how we live. So what if our lights aren’t on? What if like the automatic headlights, we assume we can be seen and in that assumption we believe Jesus can be seen. So that’s the question, are my lights on? And what am I showing the world? Are we hoping going to church on Sunday shows the world we love Jesus? Maybe it’s the verse we post on Facebook, or the fish we have on our car?
Sometimes I think much of the things we hope shows people that we love Jesus, just doesn’t. Just like the headlights, we assume they are on, because they’re supposed to come on. We don’t bother to check our lights before we go.
My friend Kay just went through a bout with breast cancer and came through fighting. A couple of weeks ago she posted something that was cute, but to the point. “Check your coconuts!” She’s an island girl so it’s perfect for her. I want to steal that for myself, but change it up a bit. So today I don’t want to assume my lights are on, and I would encourage you to do the same. So don’t forget, “check your light!”
Where you choose to look, has such an impact on your life. Yesterday, I did not write. I was not up as early as I needed to be, and by the time I got home I was tired. I think I got a little down, and so I got up this morning with purpose to do this morning differently. But… My first thoughts seemed to be all centered around me, (crazy huh?) so I knew I needed to widen my focus.
Cameras do that. My hubby takes pictures and he rents different lenses all the time. I didn’t really get it till he started taking pictures on the same spot with different lenses. Some lenses produce pictures that make the subject pop, and all the background is really fuzzy. It is very trendy today, and it is really a cool looking shot. You can guess what the background is showing, because you see the color and shapes in it, but the real star of the picture is the subject. It is great for pictures, but a horrible way to live life.
I was thinking of me this morning, and it seemed a lot like the picture. My focus was on me, way too much! What I have to do, the stresses of life, everyone’s opinion of me, pain, fatigue. Ugh! Everything else was there, but it was obscured in the background.
So this morning, it is time to put on a different lens. I really think I need one with a much wider angle. One that will let me see what’s in the background. The people, activity and the good that He is doing all around me.