Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Time for Everything

A Good Morning on this last morning of the year 2010! I finally had a pretty good night's sleep, with only being awake for one hour during the night rather than the usual two. I feel compelled today to make the most of this year's last day.

This week my mind has been really reflective of the timing of events, the purposes of situations and the unfolding of events that have occured in this last year. I sit here with tea in hand and turned to King Solomon's observations of life in Ecclesiastes 3. The general observation being that there is a right time to everthing. Verses 1-8 are about the time for different experiences and God's timing is perfect. The key to peace with God is to accept and trust His timing. That's so much easier to write down though than to put into action I find.

A Time to be born. Over the Christmas holidays I've marveled at God's perfect timing in sending Jesus in the form of a baby; to be born in only a manger, a most humble birth. God knew that our hearts would soften and rejoice with a babe so much more than if he'd sent Jesus as a powerful warrior or a rich King. I marvel at the process of pregnancy, how each stage is timed to give form and life to a baby. Although I have to admit it feeling a bit impatient for His timing in bringing this baby forth. I'm thankful that we will be welcoming a baby into our home in the beginning of the new year. I'm filled with a sense of renewed purpose and hope to start the year off right.

A Time to Die. A Time to Mourn. As I'm filled with joy over hearing of new births to come in the near future my heart also aches for those who are now dealing with death. Friends of ours from the community will be laying a daughter to rest in a couple of days. God chose this time to take her home, and no matter how expected or prepared they may have been for it, I can still imagine the deep sense of loss and heartche that would come with losing one's child. We may think there is an injustice in beginning a new year in mourning; in dealing with death. The bible says though Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.Matt5. It's difficult to imagine being blessed through the time of mourning. I've found though in my own time of grief that when we suffer in the Lord's presence He reveals so much more of His love and mercy. We can learn to savor his love so much deeper through suffering and grief than when life is always happy and joyful.
There are so many people in our community, church, and family members who are dealing with diseases; an uncertainty surrounds us in not knowing how long these loved ones will remain. Today my deepest prayer is that God will bless His people that are caught in suffering with comfort, hope and endurance for the process.

"The tears...
streamed down, and
I let them flow as freely as they would,
making of them a pillow for my heart.
On them it rested."
-St. Augustine

I wish you all a happy New Year. May you find purpose in all arising situations. Remember that God's timing is always perfect even beyond our understanding. May your year be filled with times of birth, to plant, to build up, to laugh, to dance, to embrace, and especially always finding the time to love. When God calls you to hard times, take time and call for Him.

love and prayers,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Where Are You, Christmas?

Thats been the question of my life during the month of December. I have to admit that I've been keeping to myself, struggling to keep my hormonal emotions at bay, allowing the busyness of holiday preparations stress me out and having a bit of a pity party most days. These have led me to be a grumpy wife, an impatient mother, leaving out my devotions, tired, sore and sick of being pregnant. A long ways away from the Proverbs 31 woman! In the midst of this I wonder where is the joy of Christmas? Now I really don't write these words to find sympathy but to admit my feelings to myself and realize that I have that God does give me the strength to change the person I've been lately. I was having a particularly bad day last week and finally heeded to the call to sit down and listen to His word.The words on the pages I flipped to were in red and said to me:

'And he said unto me "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me' 2Cor 12:9

Now my days and personality didn't miraculously change after this. I realized though that even in a bad day not everything is a waste, that God's grace can use my weaknesses to reveal his strength. I admit that I cant do it all on my own energy and that I do have limitations in my life right now; it is crucial for me to rely on His strength. Some days I feel so burdened by carrying a baby, like it just in the way. And then I'm humbled in the thought that resources of my body and soul are being used by God to knit together another life and that little one is growing stonger each day. I am feeling weak in pregnancy but God is preparing to reveal His strength in bringing forth a baby.

I imagine Mary must have gained much strength from the Lord to travel on a donkey at the end of pregnancy and to face the fear of giving birth not only the for the first time but also in an unknown place. Thinking of her makes my situation seem so trivial.

So have I found Christmas? Its certainly not in the gifts, food and preparations. Although I usually find pleasure in those things, I just don't have the energy for the full extent of it all. Finding Christmas is starting each day anew, praying for strength, energy, patience and faith for the day and resting in CHRISTmas! That beyond the materialism and busyness, Christmas is always there and unchanging, inviting us to share in the miracle and celebration of a baby; God's perfect strength and glory in a weak, helpless baby.

Below are photos of some of our December moments!

Praying that we all find peace and joy in the coming of Christmas,