December 31, 2013
Okay, what does the title mean? Well, I’m not sorry to see 2013 come to a close YET neither am I seeing it as a crushing defeat. It simply was . . .
I don’t like thinking “can’t wait for this year to end” because all life on earth is a mixture of what I wanted and what I didn’t want. To think negatively on 2013 puts an unhealthy expectation on 2014. I prefer to ask the Lord to enable me to know the gifts given to me on the journey and to show me the next steps to take with a happy heart. My life doesn’t often change too dramatically but whether my heart soars or breaks is less about concrete details and more about hope in Him.
December 31, 2013
I read somewhere today that we should use our brains as our hearts know nothing. I am SOOO thankful that I know better. “They” can mess with your head and quote chapter and verse to prove their point. The Bible is often the weapon of choice. It is so often quoted out of context. But Jesus lives in my heart. When it is a happy heart He is there. When it is a broken heart He is there. When there are no answers, when there are only clouds, He holds the answers and He is the Son shining. The heart KNOWS because He lives there.
December 28, 2013
I am sitting in my lovely screened porch and thankful for SC late December weather which allows me to do so. I look outside and see the tall tree in the yard knowing its bare branches will be full of new life in the not too distant future.
Suddenly I am reminded of the words of a friend who said, not long ago that “it’s a widow maker, you know.” With a bad arm and a bad foot, climbing up with a saw, not my talent anyway, is for sure not wise. Having heard the forecast for heavy rain, wind, and potentially dangerous storms, I am wishing I knew a friend who could help me prepare and not knowing anyone, I am concerned about that heavy limb hanging low and oh so near to my home . . . nothing I can do. Not money to hire anyone. The storm will come or not and it has already put a damper on my joy.
Then, I heard it. The sweet yet strong voice of a bird singing high up among the bare branches. The warned of storm is not here so I can easily hear its singing, yet study has taught me that its natural instinct likely means the bird is well aware of the storm not far from here. Its music, though, is sweet!
The bird moves to a lower branch and I see how tiny it is. I see its delicate wings, its light feathers fluttering in the gentle afternoon breeze. I am amazed at the colors . . . then I see another bird . . .
I make note that the solo has become a duet and again am amazed anew at the beauty of this creature, so small and fragile. What hand created it in such love and painstaking attention to detail? But I already know the answer and smile when I recall a Word about the very topic on my heart.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? ” Matthew 6:25-27 I am awakened suddenly to the memory of another storm and recall sitting on my bed in fear as the wind crashed against everything in its wake. In my mind I can hear the noise of the storm and the noise of my fear as I prayed for protection. At first I wondered if I would hear an answer to my prayer and as my spirit grew quiet, I did hear it. My answer came from Him yet through a tiny choir. Storm or not and small and seemingly frail, the wee songbirds huddled on a branch knew the Master’s touch and felt His love and calmly sang their praises . . . and so do I.
December 26, 2013
As I sit here on the day after the celebration of my Savior’s birth, I am thinking many things. I’m thankful I didn’t spend money I couldn’t afford in preparation for the day. I am concerned yet eager as I look forward to a new year. I worry about keeping a roof over my head then remind myself that my faith tells me I will be fine and try to let go of the fear of human weakness. I look outside and realize it’s cold out there, and then decide to stay in and work on a few projects, thankful that my house is clean from the festivities of yesterday. I think with delight of the church services of Christmas Eve, and frown at the weather prediction for tomorrow of stormy wind and rain, even knowing it won’t likely prevent me from doing what I need to do. This day is calm, bright, and when I keep my focus on my newborn King, it is full of hope.
Newborn King! Wow, on this day those many, many years ago, Mary – a girl of barely 14 and still a virgin looked down at her baby who was also her Lord and her King. She was likely tired as it was, after all, the day after her firstborn came into the world. The excitement of His first visitors had likely passed. Her husband might well have been watching closely and wishing to get his party on the way home. As Mary gazed into the eyes of Jesus who was at once her baby son, her God Incarnate, her King of Kings, did she think of tomorrow? Next year? Thirty-three years from now? Did she smile as He snuggled close? Did she worry about having enough swaddling clothes for the journey? Was she thinking of the bigger journey – the one which her life had been all about since the day a certain angel came to her and asked a question which meant her life would change in ways she couldn’t possibly understand? Did she cry at the thought of it, as I am now? What was Mary thinking this day?