Just a Word, His Word

It’s here in the silence, after the Christmas celebration; after the food is eaten; after they’ve all gone home; in the spaces, between the dotted “I”s and the crossed “T”s.

He meets me. The overflowing. The meaning of it all.

Love.

His love is real, as tangible as the sound of the snow falling. As warm as the blanket I’m wrapped in. I know He loves me.

The true meaning of the celebration of Christmas some years gets lost in the food, the fun, the surprise of the presents, the hugs, the egg nog. Yet the very reason that we celebrate is the ultimate gift of Love.

His Love come to us.

To the shepherds, the kings, the Simeons, the Annas, the wedding party, the woman who touched Him, to Jairus, to the centurion, to Peter, James and John, to all who followed Him, to Lazarus, to Martha and Mary, to Mary Magdalene, to Paul, to Timothy.

To us. The broken, the dysfunctional, the wounded beyond repair, the sick, the dying, the liars and the cheats, the get along pretty well on our own. We all of us are the object of His Love.

He came to us, for us, because of us, because of our friends, our families, our parents, our siblings, our children, our frenemies, our enemies.

Us.

Why? Because we can’t do this by ourselves. This living and dying. He designed us. We broke us, and only He can fix us. 

Not one of us can do that. Only Love. His Love. LOVE.

Do you hear it? The whisper in the silence, the still small voice passing by reminding us why we just celebrated? 

God so loved the world (you, me, everyone who has lived, is living or ever will live) that He gave His one and only Son (just One for all) that whoever (each one of us) believes in Him (has faith, looks to and hopes in the Son) will not perish (no everlasting death) but have eternal life (complete and whole as we were designed to be).

LOVE

A Christmas Moment

One moment in time…

Is there just one moment you can remember that defines Christmas for you?  I have a Christmas memory of my childhood, of waking one Christmas morning, getting up and it was just getting light- still mostly shadows. Our tree was in the hall, but the lights were off and I could only see a vague image there. The presents were just dark spots under the tree. I looked at the tree and, aware that there were no lights on in the house, thought I was the first one up; but there was a faint glow from the kitchen. I walked past the tree and toward that glow. I lived with my grandparents, and there was my grandfather sitting at the kitchen table, a candle lit, drinking coffee. I remember asking him why he was sitting in the dark with just the candle and him telling me that he was waiting for me to wake up. This little memory was just one moment in time; but as I remember it now, I realize he demonstrated his love for me in the best way he knew how.

Something else comes to me in remembering that moment. The light that announced Jesus’ arrival in Bethlehem was so much brighter than that little candle my grandfather lit in the kitchen.

He is waiting for us all to wake up. The world, like that tree, sits in darkness; can we not pass it up to go to the Light?

“…the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16

 

 

 

Keep on Keeping on…

The past few weeks have been a blur. Since the end of September actually. {don’t tell the family- they think I have it all together in my head and heart}

I reached a low spot this week. After the news of last week’s horrible events- see I can’t even write clearly- I spiraled right down to the bottom.

There have been many things happening around me and in my home and in my life in general, most have been “ok”. If you know me and I say “I’m ok” then you know that I am indeed “ok”.  A few things have been stressful in negative ways, in “not sure where this is going” ways, and in good ways. In my usual internal reaction to input overload I found myself in a “stall”.  

You know, like an airplane stalls; it goes up at a sharp ascent then suddenly the engine just sputters and stalls out and the plane plummets toward earth at ear shattering speed. If the pilot is good, and the plane is better, then it is possible to pull out of the stall thus avoiding the inevitable splat and end of life as one knows it.

For me, this was an internal stall while I still bought groceries, took the cleaning to the dry cleaners, bought Christmas presents, went shopping and out to lunch with friends, baby sat and pulled out the Christmas decorations and started decorating the house.

Notice I said “started”. That’s where the stall became noticeable. To me. I began to see what was happening and the plummet had begun. I became a slug mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Thoughts were spinning around in my head so fast I couldn’t connect. The low point came yesterday when one of my blogging group friends asked if I was doing ok. Honestly, I had to respond “no, actually I was not.” Coming to terms with what you are feeling when in that tailspin is the first step toward pulling out. {Thanks, Shannon}

Not long after that, as I was reading input on a FB group, more dear ones {these intuitive ladies- I love you all- you know who you are}  began sending me messages telling me they were praying – Ah, God gives good gifts! Lo and behold, another one spoke of memorizing Hebrews 10. Timely words. Indeed. My curiosity was piqued. I read it not because it was in my mind to memorize it too, but because it comes right before Hebrews 11, in which my go-to verses reside:

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country —a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16

When I start to spiral out of control these verses usually remind me that I don’t belong here and that there is something better waiting.  But, this time the Holy Spirit was whispering- read the one before. And I did, all because one friend remarked that she was memorizing this passage. (thanks, Donna)  Deep, down, in the middle of this passage, were the words that were written just for me in this moment in time: 

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36

Those few whispered words there in that chapter were all I needed. He provided. 

But wait! That’s not the end of this story! 

Today, another blog friend (bless you) posted on another group about One Word Buttons for our blogs free from Melanie at Only a Breath- http://www.onlyabreath.com/2012/12/theyre-here-free-one-word-blog-buttons/

and then from there I was taken to One Word 365- http://oneword365.com/about/  Where Alece asks folks to choose one word to focus on for the year. This is what she says: “One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live or what you want to achieve by the end of 2012(3). One word that you can focus on every day, all year long. It will take hard work, and will require intentionality and commitment. But if you let it, your word will shape you and your year. It will guide your decisions and help you grow. Discover the big impact one word can make.   One word.    365 days.”

And, that dear friends, is how I came to choose my one word:

Persevere

I end here with Paul’s words to the Philippians (3:12-14)- Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

So, in the coming year, when you see that I’m not quite myself, do me a favor, whisper this one word in my ear?

Persevere

What one word would you choose to propel you forward in 2013?