Psalm 107:2 tells us to, "Let the redeemed of the LORD say...." And I am one that has been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb! Therefore, girlfriend, I fully intend to be SAY-ing!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
How will you spend your Christmas?
Christmas Eve!!!.... Wow! Already? Christmas snuck up on me so quickly and silently this year. But ready or not (and ready, we'll be), it'll erupt our morning in less than 16 hours. And it'll be gone before we'll want it to be. How very quickly it comes... and how very fast it travels!
I find myself in a different place this Christmas from all the years past. My days of being enthralled with the beauty and decor of the season perhaps have left? Or rather, it's not the same as it has been. I see beauty a bit differently. At least for this year.
You cannot even begin to know how I used to light up my home. Every nook and cranny had festivities (ornaments! lights!) of some sort or some kind hanging or poked into its corner or ceiling. I have collected Santas since we've been married, so I have a whole attic full that I failed to bring down this year. My days readying for the moment have been too full..... and wonderfully less self-centered than any year prior to our this one. I've learned that when you're wrapped up in self that you mostly don't realize you are. I don't know that you mean to be. It's just that your eyes have failed to look up and look further out to take time to see any others that aren't in your immediate world. You don't mean not to notice them, you just don't.
The pictures above are pictures of our trees in past seasons. We usually get them 15 to 18 feet tall. Beautiful trees, for sure! And I must say that I have taken great pleasure in each one of them.
This year's tree is a little bit smaller :) Tiny to be exact. Literally less than two hands high in measurement (I know. I measured it!). It may be small, it may be teeny, but it couldn't be more perfect. In years past I've always bought real ones, we've never conformed to the artificial, and always huge and flocked, paying way too much for them. That being so, and feeling too guilty this year to invest in such cost for a frivolous moment, we pulled a small tree out that we used to sit on a table. We had to place it on a small child's rocking chair in order to help it appear taller and bigger. :) My youngest daughter decorated it for us. She didn't work too hard, but she did a good job!
We did buy a tree this year (a 7 footer), but didn't keep it. We loaded it up to take to a girl that was recently released from prison. She's hoping to have her little 10 year old boy in time for Santa! The tree is decorated with donated lights and ornaments from people with very kind hearts. There have been a whole army of hands trying to ready her apartment from its emptiness to ready for her son. How priceless is that to end our 2010 year with? It's been such fun! So exciting! Such a pleasure! She told me, "It's full and it's beautiful!"
And it is!
Here is the picture she sent me:
Seeing her tree made me want to cry. It represents more than anyone can know. It's not only a gift from our family to hers, but it's a gift from my Father to me!
Back to finding myself in a different season. I am in the midst of a different world than I have ever found myself in. I am recently usually either in the prisons with the incarcerated or with those that have recently gotten out that mostly find themselves left with nothing. Or. I am with the homeless, who don't even have a place of covering to lay their heads, that are grateful for whatever it is that you'll give them and also very thankful for the time you'll spend.
I went to Taco Bell the other day with my youngest daughter and her friend. We had just picked up a man from the Salvation Army that had been homeless for 8 months and put him on a bus to see his mom (that he hasn't seen since he was 13... he's now 47) in California. From there we went to the Thrift Store to buy some things for another lady. Then, we went to the drive-thru at Wendy's to get another daughter some fast food. Wildly, I kept thinking and feeling guilty for the money we had just spent at the two fast food restaurants. I kept thinking of how far the homeless could extend that money to go for used shoes or shirts or food or blankets. I am more conscious of and spend more carefully than I used to. I'm so ashamed of how I used to spend.
I want to give more than I want to get. And I want to invest into the lives of others, not just my own or my loved ones who already have so much. I keep thinking and keep wondering where it is that I am spending my life? How am I spending my Christmas? Where am I spending my years?
Ah, the stories I could tell.... I am so thankful for my Lord!
Sweet Home.., in a Sweet Southern State, United States
A skin that Jesus lives in that's continually seeking more of her Lord! Thrilling in Him more every day. And wanting to live being the Display of His Splendor.
John 1 talks about 'The Word becoming flesh and dwelling among men'... which was Jesus coming to the world in the skin of a baby. Jesus is still birthed again into this world and walks in human form, flesh,... He still chooses to live in skins. This time in mine, and yours too if you've asked Him to. That's the reason for my chosen description of a skin that Jesus lives in. I'm honored that He would live again in this skin He's wrapped me in!