Sunday, November 25, 2012

Soldiering On

My little soldier- She is getting ready for the local Nutcracker performance.
A bright little moment today getting the pictures made for the program.

Sometimes the holidays are hard.
Sometimes you are struggling through something right in the middle of the holidays.
It might be a personal pain that no one really knows about or one that everyone is talking about.
No matter what it is, it is difficult to navigate the holidays with an ache in your heart.
How do you reconcile the celebration with the struggle?

The holidays alone, with all the expectations- the ones you put on yourself, the ones you put on others, the ones others put on you, can be a mine field of chances to lose it.

I don't have an answer.
I am not particularly good at waiting for God to show me the way to face things.
But wait I must.
I haven't a clue how to do it without Him.

While I wait, I will decide to make the holidays a treasure hunt.
I will find things to delight my heart in because my God is on the throne and I am His child.

Things like my son being asked to carry one of the wise men gifts for the Hanging of the Greens service at our church.
Cute little stinker.

Things like my husband having the whole week of Thanksgiving off.
Or my little girl getting me, my husband and my mom to bike ride with her.
Hammock time.
Seeing my Aunt for Thanksgiving and knowing she lost 15lbs by eating right- props to her.

The more time I spend treasure hunting the less time I will spend nitpicking.
It will certainly make the waiting easier.
And when at last my course is clear from my God above I will have a mental chest full of holiday treasure to boot.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


This month there are thoughts of gratitude in the air. Thankfulness is a running theme.
It's a good thing.

I heard a speaker this week state that the downside of that is comparisons are also running rampant.
"I am thankful because I am not suffering, sick, broke, etc.... like some are".
Or those who read the thankful lines may then feel their lives do not match up to Suzy, whose husband is apparently the "best, most amazing, model of perfection". (Insert raised eyebrow on deadpan face)

While appreciating what we have is vital, appreciating it because it is not one thing or another is slippery ground.
I am a coddled baby at this moment, with a life full of amazing blessings but what if that changes tomorrow?

Would I like Corrie Ten Boom's sister find thankfulness for the fleas in my concentration camp cell? She did. Corrie then found out later those fleas kept the guards from their cell so they were able to read the bible and share the gospel with all the women crowded with them.

Thankfulness and ultimately Joy are not to be logical things- as the world would see them.
They are not to be based on what we can sense with our 5 senses.

Those 5 senses can expand our joy but not create it.

Joy comes from knowing God, from understanding what the future holds for us who love Him and from a deep belief that there is so much more to life than what is on the surface.

I have a very real problem doing this. I want certain outcomes and I cannot imagine why those outcomes would into be exactly what God would want too.

But more than those outcomes, I want joy. I want to be joyful to everyone around me. I want to be that face that lights up the darkest day. So this week I admitted to God I am unable to choose joy. I am without the strength to rustle up joy in my moments of disappointment (which sadly are daily).
I asked Him to come in and live Joy in me.

And as I prayed it I felt Joy, flowing like warm honey into my mind. I felt peace that in my mind made no logical sense, seeping in.

When you know you are leaving for Disney tomorrow does the toaster breaking ruin your day? How much more so do we who are heaven bound need to look ahead for the Joy to face today?

Dear Lord,
This world is not my home, I am only passing through but I pray the direction I am going will lead others to YOU.