22 November 2013

The Craziest 3 Weeks!

I have been "on the run" the craziest! 

I enjoy blogging and sharing what I'm learning. However, it's the lowest priority right now.  I don't remember being THIS busy when I was in middle and high school. Oh ... probably because I WASN'T! LOL 

My daughter is in the drama club; she had a play not long ago.  My son had a Taekwondo tournament and testing.  Now, the musical audition has started and those practices will begin soon! Jazz Band is meeting after school ... it is run, run, run! ARGH!

I enjoyed Mary Southerland's "A Balanced Life".  What I have learned is ... I can redeem the time I spend in car rider lines. Those can become my quiet moments in Bible Study.  Then there is the "carve time out" for God. It's not going to be natural, not going to feel natural.  It is a choice and takes deliberate action.  I'm now working on her "Holiday Blues" study.  It really continues where "A Balanced Life" leaves off. 

The part I really enjoyed about Week 1's study is Mary tells the story of taking all the Christmas decorations down.  Her husband comes home and asked what she done that day. She said she did her list of things in the most pathetic voice she could muster and ended her list with her back hurting.  He pretty much tells her she doesn't have a back "problem" but a head "problem" and she had him explain that!  What it boiled down to is priorities.  She been in a car accident, they were keeping the grandkids, this thing was going on and that thing was going on "why put out so many Christmas decorations?"  "why feel the need to 'not wait' for help in taking them down?"

I CAN  relate to her husband here!  I feel like Christ gets left out in our home each Christmas because of the decorations and the cooking.  I'm going to shoot strait.  My mother is a "gotta have Christmas lights from one end of the trailer to the other end" each year kind of lady.  Each Christmas Day she "has to cook both a ham and a turkey because not everyone likes one or the other".  As the day comes to end what I hear is "I had ALL this dinner to cook by myself .... I had no help in the kitchen" and this is after she has run us out of the kitchen because it is too small for her and us to be in there!  Then after Christmas Day, the weather is never in favor of us taking down the Christmas lights right away and she wants them "now" and well .... Here's my thinking.  If ALL this is so much trouble, why do it?  If it becomes "all about my sacrifice", why do it at all?  It's not about "my sacrifice"!  Nope!  It's about God's sacrifice!  Even though Jesus may not have been born in the Winter, we celebrate His birth.  That IS the beginning of God's sacrifice!  He SENT His Son to us! 

Now, let us shift to churches.  Churches are the worst!  LOL  We try to cram all kinds of programs into one month!  Adult cantatas.  Children's plays and songs.  Parties.  This practice and this schedule.  Then we wonder why we collapse on Christmas Day exhausted.  There are 11 months out of the year to program! Why do we try to cram it all into one?  Instead of trying to fit both adults and kids into the month ... give me the kids for Christmas, their antics bring comic relief to a stressful season! I love seeing the little ones step up to a microphone all confident in their parts and then ... then that look of shyness comes across their face ... that little grin shines and they lower their little heads a bit.  Either the mom or the children's worker whispers them the part. Just precious!  I always got a kick out of watching my son! Not because he's mine BUT because of how he gets into a song!  He can't stand still!  And when that song is down in his heart, he sings out and his whole face opens wide as his mouth!  He's going from foot to foot, throwing his head back to sing it! LOL  I've seen other kids who do that as well!!  Let the kids have Christmas and give the adults Easter. LOL

Where I'm going with any this is ... If the decorating, programming, and cooking is causing anyone to say "look at what 'I' am doing and how 'I' feel" then Christ has been left out of Christmas.  Whether that be home, church, work, or where ever we go.

Whether we spell Christmas as in "Christmas" or "Xmas", the only time we "x" out Christ is when we use the letter "I".

05 November 2013

Day 5 of Thankfulness

Nope. You won't find Days 1 through 4. I'm not going to keep up as much on the blog as I will on Facebook. This morning I saw a beautiful sunrise ... yesterday morning I saw a beautiful sunrise ... 

One of my favorite songs is called "By Faith". The first couple of lines go like this: By faith we can see the hand of God, in the light of creation's grand design. THAT came to my mind today as I saw the sun's rays on the clouds! The oranges, pinks, and purples! They were those deep Autumn colors, not the pastels. They were the colder shades of those colors. They were painted in such a way that my eyes didn't want to stop looking. Humbled. 

I thought to myself "How can anyone look at that and not see God's hand?" Only God can paint such art in the sky! 

So, this 5th day of November, I am thankful for Cloudy Autumn Sunrises! They remind Who holds the paint brush!
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