Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Every year I look forward to Christmas; the celebrations, music, cool weather, shopping for gifts, opening gifts and making special treats to share fill the days with joy. This time of year has such a feeling of joy that often I pause to just let it soak in. But what is it that brings this joyful atmosphere?

I’ve often thought that it was the anticipation of gathering with family to share gifts and Christmas dinner. My early years were filled with celebrations; at home and at both grandparents’ homes. We were blessed to live close enough to visit both my Mama's and Daddy's parents homes in one day, but that meant getting up early, not a problem for us children who were anxious to see what Santa had left us.

However, recently the thought occurred to me that the real reason for this feeling of overwhelming joy might come from the true reason for the season, Jesus, the Christ. Isn’t it possible that the presence of Christ is more present in our society during this time? Or at least more noticed. Perhaps He is granting us a great gift during the time of celebration of His birth, letting us feel his nearness.

Imagine Him standing with you in line, waiting and smiling at everyone who is intent on bringing gifts to others. Not everyone allows His peace to reign, but to those of us who seek Him this closeness is a blessing we’ve come to expect daily yes, but even more so during Christmas.

I am going to try and remember to celebrate Him more and spend less time stressing over what society expects or demands. Christmas is becoming less about receiving and more about celebrating Him. For that I am truly thankful.

Merry Christmas everyone! May the presence of the Christ child bless your days and fill you with joy to last the whole year through.

Monday, November 5, 2012

What do You do When Life Gets Rough?

Life gets rough sometimes that is just part of living here in this world. Right now, for instance, I have a broken ankle, strep throat and possibly a sinus infection. I’ve been to the doctor four times in two weeks and am about to go again. On top of this my husband is home recovering from surgery on his foot. The good thing is my husband is home. He is recovered enough to drive me and help me out around here. The bad thing is I can’t just hop out of bed in the morning and get busy with all the things that need to be done around here. Sometimes when those rough times come I try to run or hide from them instead of confronting the underlying issues. I know that there are times when God wants to use these hard times to grow me or to set me back on the right track. What do you do when life gets rough? There have been times when I’ve agonized over why life is the way it is. Why do I have to live so far away from my family? I love being with family. Why does my son and his family have to live so far away? Why can’t my grandchildren come and visit me for a week? Why did God give me work in a career that is so hard to break into? Other times I have escaped into a novel or a movie. I love happy endings and the easiest way to enjoy those is through other people’s stories. Running away is an easy quick fix, but when I take the time to seek God, that is when I’ve felt peace fill me until the anxiety is gone and trust and faith, remain. I don’t always choose to immediately seek God. I’m not sure why that is except that I know the devil attacks through thoughts sometimes and he will always try to lead us away from God. Perhaps this was Paul’s thorn. He does lament about doing what he does not want to do and not doing what he wants to do. I too desire to do what I know will please God but I often do not and that grieves me. Mostly because I know it grieves the Father. So, how to do what I know I should, that is the question. I think that trying to make it a habit by seeking Him first daily would help. If I form that habit by doing those things that would draw me close to God and do them on a consistent basis then when life throws those curve balls I would be ready to catch them and toss them back. Or, trust God to catch them and throw them back for me. I yearn for the day when I can do those things that please our Father, and do them consistently.