Sunday, December 25, 2011

And Heaven and Nature Sing

She held on to her swollen belly, trying her best to make the jarring not quite so painful.  The pangs of labor were beginning to wash over her and she knew it was just a matter of time before she met her sweet baby.  And her Savior.

As they travelled over the bumpy road, an animal - possibly a donkey, marked at the beginning of time with a stripe down his back and across his shoulders, was to be the one to carry the Messiah.  Walking like there was a King on his very back.

They knew.  The animals they passed knew how precious that cargo was.  How important that job was.  They knew the Christ was soon to be born.  I just know it.  The journey was quiet with worship except for occasional moans that were not intended to slip through this young girl's lips.

And so she gave birth to this Child.

Where the animals ate and slept and waited for His arrival.  On a floor of straw and dirt, manure and blood, she wrapped Him up and the celebration began.

The heavens opened up to a chorus of angels praising God.

We keep trying to pull Him back in to this celebration of His birth.  Is it from a heart of pure devotion or a feeling of obligation?

Are you the one trying to figure out how to salvage Christmas?  With hurt and loss and pain so deep, don't you know the only way to salvage it is to have more of Him?  Not more gifts or holiday activities, but Him.  We need Him more.  Oh, I need Him more.

It is in these times a person doesn't have to have the token activity to pull Christ into the Christmas mayhem.  We pull Him in because the need is great.  No, it is extreme.

So we cry out.  Not in agony or hurt, but in joy and celebration that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  I REJOICE that He hears the cries of His children when they are hurting and when they are not.

We cry out in praise like the angels did.  Like they still do.  The angels and the animals and the trees and the rocks.  Heaven and nature.  Praising that our Savior was born a servant to one day return as King.  My King.

Ain't no rock gonna cry in my place.  As long as I'm alive I will glorify His Holy name.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Some Catching Up to Do

I stumbled out of bed this morning with a full day ahead.  I had several things to pick up before the lunch for the family and then the funeral at two.  It doesn't take long for my brain to jump into high gear, full of to-do lists.

I stood at the mirror knowing I didn't have time to wash my hair, plugged in the straightener, then grabbed the blue tube with the age spot minimizer, then the red tube with the puffy under eye reducer, and the red jar of deep wrinkle cream and wondered again if I put them on in the wrong order.  If all this time opening jars and tubes was really a waste of time and money.

I put a little peroxide on my toothbrush to get whiter teeth and remembered the spot on my shirt from stirring last night's Christmas party sloppy joes.  Grabbed the shirt with toothbrush still in my mouth and poured a little peroxide on the spotted shirt.  Rubbed it a little, spit in the sink, and wah-lah(!) - teeth a little whiter and shirt a little cleaner.

Put on the brown pants from yesterday because I really like my little brown striped socks and went to put on my shoes and found my jewelry I had been looking for in the other room tucked snuggly in the toe of the right shoe.

I went in to Walgreens to make photos for the three remaining sisters, picked up more tea and a few things to go on the tables for the family to feel like we really cared about them.
Got back to the church to the kitchen crew organizing all the food.

The service was beautiful.  Linda would have loved it.  After all the sweet songs, funny stories, great hugs - it was what I saw at the end that touched my heart.

A boy bent over a casket grieving his momma.  Weeping over her still body, no longer able to take a breath.

I saw a small boy rocked by the death of his grandma.  Nieces and nephews so sad because she is gone.

What a testimony of a life.

She dearly loved and because of that she was loved dearly.

I didn't tell my girls that I loved them this morning before I left.  I just opened tubes and jars and played with peroxide and straightened my hair, but I didn't see if they had any needs.  I haven't talked to one of my boys in at least two weeks and the other in several days, and it's been a couple of days since I've talked to Kayla.

They all know I love them, but do I show them enough?  If I'm gone tomorrow will they question my love for them or will they know absolutely that I loved them more than life?
Will all my "other kids" know how precious they are to me?  My mom and sisters?  My family who lives on I-45 in a metal building?

Will Michael know without doubt of my love and complete devotion for him?

If I wake up in the morning I have another chance to let them know.  Another chance to cover them up in prayer and love and reasons to miss when I'm gone.  Another chance to love more and serve more and sacrifice more.  No one cares how big my age spots are or how deep my wrinkles are or how puffy my eyes are.  They only care that I love them.

I have some catching up to do.

Friday, December 9, 2011

See You Soon, Linda!

She had a come back for everything and you always knew where you stood with her.  Her heart was gold, just worn out.   Precious Linda went home early this morning leaving her sisters and children and so many who loved her.  Please pray for those who are hurting over her going on to the ones who were waiting at the gate.

Monday nights won't quite be the same.

We will see you soon Linda!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Blink

The girls and I went today to get all the supplies to make Christmas presents.  It reminded me of when I would take the three older kids clothes shopping for school.  I felt like
 there were always three conversations going at once.  Three different aisles I 
needed to be on at once.

Where has the time gone?

If I had known that I would blink and the three older ones would be married 
and one would have kids of his own, I might have been a little more patient.  I may
have enjoyed them more and spent more time.

I certainly would have made a greater effort to instill the Word into them.  I didn't do that well, especially after the three little ones came along.  

Because I blinked and the older ones were gone, I realize how important it is to 
spend as much time with the girls as possible.  I realize the urgency of them knowing the Word to be able to get through life's difficulties.  I realize that in two years I will be doing the shopping without them.

Oh my.

They have such a good time together.  Most of the time.  How many times today did I hear "Oh Lanty!" -  Leah's name for Hannah.  They had fun trying to figure out what to get every one.  They love giving to their brothers and sisters.
I love that they love that.

I have one, maybe two more Christmases for them to be here to help decorate the house and make gifts.  I already grieve that a little bit.  

What I do with that time will determine what kind of wives and mommies they will be.  I have to make every minute count.  
Every single minute.

And all thy children shall be taught
of the Lord and great shall
be their peace.
                         Isaiah 54:13