Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'tis the season.

Seasons come and go. Some are full of happiness and excitement when all is well. Some are full of sorrow and disappointment when all is not well.

I've seen lots of seasons and have learned to accept them as they come along. It's the stuff life is made of.

Yet, there is hope. We don't live in hopelessness. The sun rises every morning even when its cloudy and we can't see it. Without hope, the Bible tells us the heart is sick. There is nothing worse than living without hope.

Life can bring about some tough stuff. I haven't written in awhile because I have been dealing with some tough stuff and I have been needed as a mom. There have been moments when I cannot take hearing about one more person's hurting heart. But then I remember about hope.

Hope means that something good might come of this predicament we are in. It means that despite being kinda stuck in the world with all its moth-eaten and rust-corroded problems that leave us doing the same things everyday to keep on going is that God loves us so much He keeps placing sure footing in front of us -- even when we've screwed up. Hard to resist that kind of love.

There is an old song that says, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow". Whether you are a church goer or not, it is as sure as gravity. We don't see gravity but we see the affects of it. We don't see God but we see the affects of Him. The Master Designer created this world and all that is in it. Certainly, He knows all things. He sees the end from the beginning. Something.. someone bigger than us has the final say. And if you give up now, you just don't know what could happen tomorrow. Yeah, it could get worse, but it could get better.

One thing I've noted about the seasons in life is that there is a beginning and end. Nature speaks of this and it is applicable to our lives in a personal way.

The Christmas season is here and it's always a time for warm feelings as we gather with family and friends. In the midst of my sadness, there is the sparkle in my 9 year old's eyes that make me remember that life is worth living. Intermingled with the bad stuff there's some real good stuff, too. Look for it.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, the sun always comes out tomorrow. And if you're hurting, or your child is hurting, "Merry Christmas" is not for you. But knowing that God redeemed us when He sent Jesus, a baby who was predestined for death, wrapped in swaddling (grave) cloths with gifts of ointments (used for burial), there is reason to be at peace. There's even joy. Because when you trust God you relax. So much is out of our control.  The choices of others to be exact. And when we know God is with us, well, we have joy. Happiness is temporary. Joy is constant.

To every thing, there is a season. There's a beginning and a middle. But there is an end!

Monday, December 06, 2010

the wonder of christmas.

I bought this almost 20 years ago. Advent calendars (this one has ornaments that have the names of God with correlating information on His names) are a simple yet powerful way to keep Christ in Christmas. The ornaments are durable and each day we read the name of God and its history before placing the ornament on the tree.

One thing, though! When I looked this up online it came up on Amazon. It's out of print and ... sells for $200 and $100!

So, you may not want to purchase this particular one but look for it at yard sales. It's a keeper for the content ... but it's also valuable!

Friday, December 03, 2010

love notes.

In 1991, life hit in a way that I didn't know could happen to me. Why is it that we are never prepared? We always think it will "happen" to someone else.

I was deathly sick with morning/afternoon/night sickness with my 6th child. It was so bad I wore a TENS unit. At 10 weeks I had an ultrasound and also, my mother had been admitted to a university hospital, recovering from lack of oxygen as her organs were shutting down. She was in ICU for 7 weeks and never recovered. So, with severe nausea and fatigue, I managed some trips to the hospital which was 2 hours+ away.

At my 3rd month check-up, the doctor could not find a heartbeat. An u/s later that day revealed the baby had died. A week later, my mother died. I carried the baby for 2 weeks before miscarrying.

Life was hard. Too hard.

Yet, God is always with us. People get mad at God like He could do something about our situations. The way I look at it, we live in a broken world.  Tires go flat and we get the flu. We accept the fact that there's lots of maintaining in this world we live in. It's like it has to play out the ways its going to play out. Not that we cannot hope, ask, and believe.. but we have to accept what we cannot change or what is out of our control.

How do I know God is with us? Well, there are always these little personal love notes He sends at just the right time.

Going into Christmas that year was very difficult. I had 5 children, ages 2-10 at the time. I remember walking into a department store and in the Christmas aisle were little figurines to decorate the tree ... children figurines. And guess what I found? One that depicted each child perfectly!

A 10 year old looking boy throwing a snowball. Yup, that would be my oldest!

An 8 year old boy carrying a stack of wood. That fit number 2 son to a "T".

A 6 year old boy with a charming smile, holding a wreath. Perfect.

A little girl kneeling in the snow feeding a carrot to a rabbit. Nice.

And a toddler on a bicycle. Adorable.

It may not have meant anything to anyone else but it was just right for me to purchase these. Almost 20 years later, these are taken out of a safe place and placed on our Christmas tree. Added over the years I found 3 more representing the next 3 children.

I don't know what life holds for you but stuff happens. Just know that God is with you in the mom stuff.