This quiet Christmas morning I will sit still. No dinner preparations this year. Presents already unwrapped, wrapping paper and bows still linger under the tree. The tree is the only light in the early dawn, there is the magic of stillness dancing in the air.
Today I will sit in the quiet of the moment, reflecting on what we are celebrating. God, in all his unimaginable glory packaged in the flesh of a helpless baby.
Do you ever wonder how that felt? Do you ever wonder if he was frustrated with the limitations? I wonder if he always knew he was God, when he was lying in the manger, did he know? Could he see the life that was ahead of him? Or was he blest with blindness of the future that we as humans are blest with? Did he know that just a short time ago he soared with angels, and now he was dependent on two imperfect human beings for even the most minor of needs?
Did he know in that moment of celebration that in 33 short years he would know a time of despair that had never been felt before? Did he know right then that he would be resurrected to save the souls of mankind? Did he know that even with his very best given it would be rejected by some?
I wonder these things as I sit here this morning.
From our home you yours I pray for you the peace and wonder of this amazing miracle we celebrate today.
I am going to imagine that her name is Sally, she looked like what I would imagine a Sally to look like.
I noticed her as I left the parking lot. She was sitting behind a cardboard sign, five or six white garbage bags all around her. She had on several layers of clothing, her face was dirty, and wore the wrinkles of a hard life. I started to drive by but decided to pull over. I got out of the car and dug out one of my beach blankets from the back. She had gotten to the car by that time. I grabbed a couple bags of hotel toiletries, I told her that I did not have money to give her but I had this blanket and these toiletries. Her eyes lit up, her whole face broke out in a toothless grin and she exclaimed “Soap!” She thanked me like I had handed her keys to a warm house and walked back to her spot on the sidewalk.
I know I posted this before but I have a follow up, I had not seen her for several weeks, and I had been wondering about her so when I saw her I stopped. I asked her if she needed anything in the way of toiletries, she wanted shampoo, I dug around in the bag and pulled out shampoo and a few other things. I asked her name and was surprised to find I was pretty close in my guess, her name is Sammie.
Here are all the links to all 7 blogs in case you missed one. Trust me you do not want to miss one. All on the same subject, all so different yet so similar.
Before November gives way to December and all that seems to go with this time of year, make sure to read these. After this week of reading these I feel better prepared to enter this busy season. I will be more intentional with my thanksgiving, more satisfied with what I have, more compassionate to those who don’t have, more focused on the real reason for the season. I will be more thankful.
Take a few minutes, ready them one right after the other, like chapters in a book. it won’t take long. Choose just one or two of the suggestions to try see if it doesn’t change the way you look at celebrating the birth of our Jesus.
Day One by Traci Castaneda : Thanksgiving Blog Venture Day 1
Day Two by Terry Porter : Thanksgiving and Gratitude
Day Three by Bev Landgren : 365 Days of Grateful
Day Four by Joe Castaneda : Be Thankful. Be Thankful. Be Thankful.
Day Five by Tom Tanner : Rooted, Built, Established and Abounding in Thanksgiving
Day Six by Danny Ray : 3 Ways to Make this Thanksgiving the Best One Ever
Day Seven by Becca Forrest : Intentional Thanksgiving
I am working on a special project for this weekend. Stay tuned!
Have a blessed tomorrow.
Today is my day (day 3) in this project, I am honored and excited to be part of this Gratitude Project 101. I hope as the week progresses you will stop in and check out the 6 amazing bloggers I have been teamed with.
365 days of grateful
This is the time of year we stop to reflect on what we are thankful for, we post out thankfulness for the 31 days of November. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great practice, but last year my heart was softly challenged, why only once a year? Why do I take only 31 days out of 365 to actively practice gratitude? These thoughts continued to nag at me for several weeks. Why would I not express my thankfulness every day, all year long? I have a blessed, beautiful life.
Instead of making resolutions for the New Year I chose this one word to focus on and put into practice for 365 days– Grateful. (See this project for more details.)
For days I prayed, planned and wondered, how would that look? How exactly would I place this word in my life in practical, tangible ways. I decided on at least 3 things I would practice every day.
Continue reading 365 days of grateful
Her face has been floating in and out of my consciousness all week. I noticed her as I left the parking lot last week. She was sitting behind a cardboard sign, five or six white garbage bags all around her. She had on several layers of clothing, her face was dirty, and wore the wrinkles of a hard life. I started to drive by but decided to pull over. I got out of the car and dug out one of my beach blankets from the back. She had gotten to the car by that time. I grabbed a couple bags of hotel toiletries, I told her that I did not have money to give her but I had this blanket and these toiletries. Her eyes lit up, her whole face broke out in a toothless grin and she exclaimed “Soap!” She thanked me like I had handed her keys to a warm house and walked back to her spot on the sidewalk.
I am humbled. Soap, she was thrilled to get soap.
While I have been focusing on gratitude all year, I realized in that moment I still had a lot to learn.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
About this time last year I began searching for “my word” for the next year. After praying and thinking the word grateful chose me. It has been an amazing journey this year with this word in the forefront of my mind.
At work I put a very large paper on the door to my office, I placed sharpies next to the door. At the top of the page it said “Today I am thankful for . . . .” Every day I have written something, the surprising and wonderful thing that happened next was; others joined in. The pages filled up with not just my gratefulness, but the thankfulness of others. I can hardly express how this blessed my heart, the way it adjusted my day before it even started. I now have 7 or 8 of these 2×3 foot sheets of paper of gratitude. I am indeed blessed.
I have so much to be thankful for, a loving husband that cares for me, a marriage that is a joy and blessing, an amazing family who is serving God each in their own ways. Amazing beautiful children both natural and step, the knowledge that one day I will feel the huge bear hug that I miss so much.
As I begin this month I am beginning to search for next year’s word. A word for me that also has the ability to impact others around me. Have you tried this? Choosing a word to focus on for the year? This will be my third year, check out this site http://oneword365.com/, there are many ideas here, and the story behind it. One word instead of resolutions.
I am most grateful for the love of my Jesus, who allows all these amazing gifts in my life.
When they couldn’t find a way to get him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down on his stretcher through the tiles into the middle of the room, right in front of Jesus. Luke 5:19
From the time the fireworks tents start appearing through August is what I call the season of Jason. (You can read the whole story here.) This season the story of the man being lifted up on his stretcher and brought to Jesus by his friends has been running through my head.
Many times through these three years when I have been at my lowest I have heard from you that you are praying. Your prayers have carried me time and time again to Jesus. You did for me what I often could not do for myself. When the grief was crippling you picked up my stretcher and carried me. You spoke the words to Jesus when I had no words.
I write this today to say thank you to all of you, I have felt your prayers, I have felt you lifting me to the presence of Jesus. I have felt his healing grace over and over. Thank you for being there still, three years later. Thank you for allowing me to grieve, for not telling me it was time to get up and walk on my own, for giving me the luxury of being carried. Thank you for walking beside me when I can walk, and then carrying me again when I need to be carried. I don’t have enough words to thank you properly, but I want you to know, that I know you are there, I know you are lifting me up to Jesus. Thank you.
I thank my God every time I remember you. Phil. 1:3