22 December, 2010

Wrap Wrap Wrap

Oh, the hustle and bustle. I thought I was past this time of life. I know the real meaning of Christmas! But yet, it’s December 22 and I can’t see the forest for the trees…

Mom, are you sure we have enough lights up? Let’s go buy some more decorations. Wrap, wrap, wrap. Oh dear, I’ve got to start cooking! What’s on the menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Will we have a brunch or early breakfast? Did I pick up the office gifts? Call UPS and track that package! Wrap, wrap, wrap. What are the ingredients for Eggnog? We need to mail those Christmas cards! I’m off for one more trip to the grocery store. What if they don’t like their gifts? Do you remember where you hid those gifts? Oh my gosh, I’ve got to vacuum pine needles and dust before company comes. Do we have any festive Christmas music? I think I might rearrange the den today. Why don’t these lights work! Wrap, wrap, wrap.

Exhausting, isn’t it? I feel like the family in the movie, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Everything around me is bigger than me and it’s difficult to find my bearings. I am surrounded by Christmas. The to-do list of Christmas has overwhelmed me and in the midst of all that the Christ child waits for me.

“Oh, Kathy, Kathy you’re worried about so many things but only one is important. I am that One. Sit down, listen to me, rest at my feet. Just sit and let my Presence overwhelm you. Be still and know that I am God. I’ve arrived in your world yet you keep spinning around…preparing. I Am. I’m Here. I’m born”.

These are the words of my soul as I read the verses from Luke 10:38-42.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Oh, Lord I pray to sit at your feet everyday until the Celebration Day. So today, I sit and acknowledge it is You this Christmas.

12 December, 2010

December Baby

Ray and I met after we were both out of college. Our courtship was four years long and it seemed like four hundred to me! When we announced our engagement there were a lot of, “it’s about time” comments. The wedding day was a joyful celebration with nary a dry eye in house…beautiful memories for us.

And then after four years of marriage, we were pregnant with our first child. Now the comments really began to flow our way.

“Congratulations! It’s about time!”
“What are you having?”
“Have you decided on names?”
“Boy, will your life change!”

We were good to answer and smile but we didn’t really think our lives would change that much; you know, people make such a big deal out of everything!

Wow, were we mistaken! Our lives changed all right. Here are few life changing observations:

We cared for their needs over our own - not necessarily joyfully (just being honest!)
Our full hearts of love for each other spilled over to our children and multiplied
We cooked, cleaned, drove, washed and ironed – we served
We celebrated victories – kindergarten graduation, high school graduation, soccer wins
We comforted when hurts brought tears.

Yes, our lives changed. These long-awaited, precious children brought change to our lives. We’ve been changed forever….

And now, there is another Baby whose birth we celebrate soon. When people in Mary’s village saw and heard of her pregnancy, do you think she heard, “Your life will change”? I daresay Mary heard these words and perhaps not in a completely loving way. Can you imagine the gossip and humiliation she faced? Her life had immediately changed and she had an immediate response.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Luke 1:38

As I contemplate this December Baby, I wonder if Jesus’ birth into this world has truly produced change in my life? Does my list above apply? Can I honestly say, “Wow, my life has changed”? Can I truthfully say the words of Mary about my desire for the Saviour? Am I the Lord’s servant?

Do I care for the needs of the world over my own?
Does my heart spill over in love for other people and children?
Do I serve?
Do I celebrate well with people in my life?
Do I comfort when others are hurting?

I confess today that I have not allowed the news of this December Baby to completely change me. I’ve held back. So my prayer today is very simple:

Change my life Lord Jesus. Come.

04 December, 2010

Little Tree

We turned off the lights and the tree beamed glorious light. The lighting of the tree is definitely one of the best moments of Christmas. This moment happened again for me last week.

I remember as a little girl climbing up into my parent’s attic and hauling out boxes….the infamous box of lights, the ornaments, the icicles, the old tree skirt, the top star and all the other decorations that went throughout the house. It was so exciting to open boxes and remember! I also seem to recall that the decoration process started with my daddy helping us but by the time we had finished it was just mama and me. (It seems that way in many households…smile).

This past year I’ve talked a lot about the world and the people in it who have never heard of Jesus; therefore, don’t celebrate the Christmas festival. I’ve been convicted to go into the world and take His message to those who don’t know and I’ve written about it on this blog to urge each of us to go beyond our own borders. Acts 1:8 is our mission statement:

…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

I’ve learned that Jesus’ call to me isn’t a choice for me. It’s His command TO me. His words reflect taking His love to my next-door neighbors, to my community, to my state, to the US, to the world of China and beyond.

When we turned off the ceiling light the little tree glowed beautifully. It was again just my mama and me. She was unable to help decorate the tree this year. She watched and instructed me. The long ago memories were just that – long ago. The big tree and old ornaments have been replaced with a small tree and small ornaments. The attic visit wasn't necessary. She didn’t have a lot of boxes to open and my daddy has gone to his heavenly home but my mama and me had each other and we had time to talk and just be.

Those moments for me seemed surreal in some ways. How could life have moved so fast that now our family is the caregiver for our mama. What happened to those days of attic visits, TV watching, Mama's food, and everyone gathered in mama and daddy's house for Christmas Eve? She seems so alone now....Oh Lord, be near to her, I silently prayed.

I heard a whisper in that moment. It was a whisper reminding of me of Jesus’ overwhelming love for those lonely and alone. It was a whisper reminding me that the least will be first. It was a reminder to me to love those in my city who wait for Christmas all alone. We all need the touch of the Saviour…so let’s be His hands and feet.

Blog Archive