Archives for posts with tag: Newyear

A baby changes everything. Whether a teenage girl who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, a couple anxious to start a new family, a woman who has been battling infertility only to discover she has finally conceived, or wide open hearts that learn their adoption request has been granted, I think we can all agree that a baby can profoundly change everything we think we know about life.

It’s Christmastime so naturally the story of Jesus’ birth is on my heart. It’s a beautiful story and one that over two thousand years later, we are still talking about and celebrating. But what if baby Jesus was born in today’s time? What would He be born into?

The same exact things he was born into thousands of years ago; times racked with unthinkable violence and horror, every evil injustice you can imagine, mixed with unhealthy doses of rebellion and sin. A time where everyone was a part of the problem. Everyone suffered in the problem but no one could fully solve the problem.

But mercy…

Graham Greene writes: “You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.” Imagine what it must be like for God; watching the lives He created with His very hands and breath unfold so…off course…of His original and indescribably creative plan.

As an artist, if a painting of mine goes south, my first instinct is to quit and walk away in utter disgust. Only reluctantly will I come back to start the creative process over nonetheless disappointed and annoyed by the time and effort wasted. Lucky for us, I’m not God! Thank God, He is fixed on His purpose and perspective of us and has everlasting faith in our God-given potential for rebirth.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22-23

God knew that generation after generation would cry out for the shalom of His kingdom. How could He, once and for all, affect a rebirth within each of us in an all-encompassing yet, non-confrontational way?

His primary objective was to overcome evil in the world and redeem His creation. What merciful strategy could He possibly come up with that would hold power above all power, yet soften the most hardened of hearts? What would cause the proud to lower their stubborn guards and the humble to raise their reserved voices? What would make us feel vulnerable, yet find us righteously covered at the same time? How in the world could God show a strong arm of discipline over everything He created yet, still be known as an adoring and loving father?

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

But grace…

In a world desperate for an honorable example of authority and power, God chose weakness. He chose to wrap Himself in a baby, not a divine being but a human being.

Emmanuel, God with us. Even as a totally dependent infant lying in a manger, God managed to turn all notions of power upside down. The birth of Jesus should always remind us of the radicalness of God’s love for us and the extent He is willing to go to, to save each of us from our own humanity.

A baby changed EVERYTHING! A tiny bundle of love and light so perfect in every way, including the way he was delivered; by purity and innocence. Jesus was the world’s very first Christmas gift. Not a gift that could ever be purchased, but one that would end up purchasing us.

With reverence, we focus on the resurrection of Jesus, but do we contemplate the meaning of His birth with the same devotion? Christmas marks the day so much was born. The baby was awake and within an instant, everything changed!

With Him our freedom was born. Our hope was delivered, our peace was released, our faith was formed, our grace was sent, our mercy was provided, and our restoration was created. His authority birthed our redemption because our adoption was always emminant. Our inheritance became a birthright to live under the highest and most beautiful name; Jesus. Love incarnate…and in His name, your every oppression shall cease. Everything good about this world was born the day Heaven came down.

But Jesus…

I heard something yesterday and it took me a minute to wrap my head and heart around it’s truth: The angels that proclaimed the birth of Jesus to the shepherds keeping watch in their fields are eternal beings. They are still alive…and they are the very same beings that are actively proclaiming YOUR rebirth at the foot of God’s throne, right now! I mean…come on! It’s just so stunning to even imagine, right?

So go ahead and own your imperfect record…but then accept God’s invitation to let it die. According to His word, every ounce of it will be used for His glory. It’s not only the gospel of salvation but it also points directly to God’s goodness in our every day lives. Cultivate peace within by living in awareness of that and of the non-refundable gift of His unwavering love and devotion.

Christmas; the most holy night where all of creation was holding it’s breath for Jesus’ first cry. When the silence of that Bethlehem night was broken by that precious sound, it meant more than just life; it meant life eternal was born. The instant Jesus took His first breath, He inhaled and then exhaled Love, freely offering a new genesis for each one of our lives.

But Love…

It epitomizes God. It captures the climate of His kingdom. But it doesn’t stop there, it also explains why we were created and how we are to live; as living and breathing revelations of His heart.

In the new year, what if we all made one resolution to not blend in with a critical and destructive world? What would happen if we lived fully in the knowing that our words and actions have the power to reflect the healing hope and redeeming promises of Jesus? His birth awakens the expectation of that certainty, also known as hope. It awakens the restoration of all things and that promise stands firmer than firm.

Jesus is proof that God is the most unselfishly genius, indulgently gracious and deliberately contemplative gift giver. All that God has done is worth celebrating! It’s a gift worth giving and one to wholeheartedly receive! Jesus: the gift worthy of rearranging everything in order to prepare Him room to fully enlighten us to the knowledge that He’s awake and was born to come alive within each of our hearts.

But God.

Merry Christmas to all! Wishing you so much love and peace in the beautiful New Genesis of 2020! May each and every day of it be inspired by the generous work of Christmas and with a singing heart, eager to fulfill every hope God has ever held. God bless us, everyone. ❤️

*Written with gratitude and in loving remembrance of the gift of those that have gone before us, and holding those that are waiting to see them again in my heart and prayers.

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Jeezy

Can I get an amen?! Here I sit three days after Christmas feeling like I’ve been hit by a 18-wheeler that ripped through the air by a cat 5 hurricane named Adulting. Bam! Right between the eyes! Every inch of my 52 year old body hurts. Shout out to all my fellow magic makers because Christmas isn’t for sissies. It ain’t easy trying to be who your not. It leaves you looking like this: a tired, wo-out hagamuffin, shufflin’ around in your new fuzzy socks trying to figure out what the heck just happened. Christmas, that’s what! Life just happened! 

Christmas and everything that comes with it: all the decorating, all the cleaning, all the shopping, all the cooking, all the baking, all the gift wrapping…and delivering, all the weaving of magicalness. I won’t even get into all the other normal life stuff but I will say, it’s all still right there, relentlessly coming for you. Nonetheless, Christmas is my favorite time of year and my home, my happy place. That’s where all the goodness happens. Life is chaotically beautiful. So much so that I’ve decided to enjoy the awesomeness that surrounds me for one more day. I’m your mid-life version of the mom party animal, still celebrating the birth of the one from whom all my blessings flow. I feel pretty confident that I’m the last woman sitting while every other super woman is 15 steps ahead of me, on to the next thing and plans already deployed for festive new year celebrations. I’m cool with it, I’ll catch up tomorrow…

Today, I’m enjoying this worn out robe that babies have spit up on and that has recently wrapped them in mom hugs, doubling as a snot rag to wipe all kinds of tears away. I’m just going to sit and embrace the big and beautiful mess that directly points to my big and beautiful family. I quietly pinch myself for the peace of mind of having my kids under my roof for the first time in a long time. I’m even thankful and only slightly annoyed by the visiting grankitten that is sharpening her claws on the back of my uber cool vintage couch because it means I have a place for my family and friends to comfortably relax together. I’m thankful there wasn’t a mass family walkout around here because of my Christmas gift buying decree: “if you don’t order your own gifts off amazon and have them shipped directly to my front door in a timely manner then you will receive only a check from Santamom.” Looking back, I’m amazed I didn’t get fired! 

I’m thankful for the gift of this funny coffee mug because it means that I have children who get me and love me despite my cornball sense of humor. I’m thankful for the tiny feet that kicked me in the face all night, rendering a peaceful night of rest for one of us while the other feels…well…comatose. Today, I’ll take it because I can. I’m thankful for the coffee that fills this cup with liquid life support and a slow dripped excuse to not move too quickly. I’m thankful for the Motrin I’m going to get to take and the hot water that I, at some point today, promise to bathe in. I would soak in said bath with my new lavender and tea leaf bath bomb but said face kicker and her Barbie tribe already and unabashedly enjoyed that when I turned my back.  I’m thankful that she is innocent enough to think that what is mine, is hers.

As I sit here partying by myself in the wee hours of the morning with my new coffee cup, I can see the sun coming up, reminding me that the Good Lord has afforded me yet another opportunity to hit the reset button and try again. 

I can see the priceless nativity my mom gave me when I became a real grown up. It’s a reminder of what a gift she has always been to me. It’s a reminder of all my blessings. 

I can see the 26 brass angels she passed down to me this year and that now adorn my mantle. They are a reminder to keep my eyes focused on the hope of heaven. They remind me that we will one day again see the ones we have lost and know they will never be taken from us again. 

In my kitchen I see the 42 nutcrackers my twins have collected with each Christmas and it reminds me of stretching and growth. That every season of time, good and bad, is to be cherished because it brings you one step closer to who you were originally created to be.

 I can see 8 stockings hung by the chimney with care, one for each of the biggest loves I have ever known. They remind me of God’s generous promise of abundance; there is always something more in store when it comes to love. 

I can see all the ornaments my grown children hand crafted while in elementary school hanging on the tree….again. My all time favorite? A tiny manger fashioned from tin foil with baby Jesus made from a rolled up Kleenex complete with two eyes and smile dotted in with a purple magic marker. This is a 28 year standing reminder of Love, itself. How Love incarnate came down to save us all from ourselves with a love that eclipses the richness of all other loves. A love so brilliant in color, yet never blinding or overbearing. A love with the generosity of the ocean and the ferocity of a thunderstorm. A love that is as cunning as a warrior yet as gentle as a whisper.  A love that encompasses the joy and gladness of sunshine and the humility of a 30 mile walk down a dirt road. A love that reclines, laughs and eats with friends one minute and nails itself to a cross on our behalf, the next. 

You can learn a great deal about someone and their nature in the way they love, why they love and what they love. Be assured that God loves you with a love that is always in action. Always pursuing, searching, molding, mending, protecting and planning for His most treasured possession, you. I pray this New Year, amidst all the busyness, you take a bit of time to fully receive that gift. Despite any feeble attempt you make at being everything to everyone from a place of love, Jesus reminds us that He already has that covered so no need to beat yourself up if you didn’t perfectly deliver, or think of everything….or if you aggressively played dirty in the family Dirty Santa game, like me. (sorry fam) No worries, friend. You aren’t Jesus, but Jesus got you! This makes me so happy that I’m just gonna sit here and continue to celebrate for one more day. I would add a shot of Baileys to my coffee but it’s waaaay over there, in the cabinet that is 6 steps away. 

Soon enough, and if you haven’t already, we magic weavers get the joy of pulling Christmas down and packing it all up. I’ll do it with a heart of happiness, remembering all the laughter and love shared with old friends, new neighbors and cherished family members. Remembering that with each item, there is a blessing attached to a memory held dear, as well as, a new one created. I’ll do it with hope in my heart that I will get the blessing of doing it all again next year. I’ll do it without complaining, remembering what a gift it is to just have a home.

So for 2019, I choose to be a bit more mindful about how difficult it must be to be Jesus to a world that loves to complain. How it must make His precious heart ache to be constantly misunderstood and chastised by a world who doubts the goodness of your intentions; a world that sometimes doesn’t always notice the love you freely give and the cost associated. To a world that rejects your healing love while fighting over who is worthy enough to receive it. To a world that refuses to embrace your grace and share your humble mercy with others. I’d imagine, it ain’t easy being Jesus. 

I pray the new year finds us all intent in doing our part to change the hurting world. I hope we all think twice about complaining about stuff that doesn’t really matter and are more intentional with words of praise and affirmation. A place where we look at each other as God looks at us – each of us as His child who is cherished, sacred and adored. I pray we can forgive others and have eyes to see them as their best. I hope our attitudes shift from one of only trudging through life to one of excitement and anticipation of the wonderful plans He has for us. I pray we learn to approach His throne of grace with boldness in prayer for one another. 

I pray that we believe what He has promised, to love us like He said He would and to uphold us no matter what. I pray we remember that He promises to give us victory over all our enemies. I pray we live in gratitude for the promise that grants us full forgiveness of our guilty sins. I pray we don’t weeble-wobble on these promises as if they are too fragile to hold us all up.  I pray we will firmly plant ourselves in and on them, confident that God is as good as His word. I pray we will be a people that rise up and shine on, knowing that it is God’s light that empowers the light within each of us. 

Thats my focus for 2019, to live to please only Him. Because every time I try to please everyone else, I exhaust myself completely and end up looking like this hot mess right here. I’m gonna do Polly and let Jesus do Jesus, through me.  Thank you Jesus for paying the price, taking on my burdens and for always coming to my rescue. I thank you for my wacky and overflowing cup. I love you so much. 

I lift up the ones who are walking thru this life without their child, parent, friend, or partner. I pray 2019 brings an abundance of peace and healing to your heart. I pray Gods truth and love will overwhelm your weary soul. I pray you never lose faith in God.

I pray everyone has a happy, safe and prosperous new year full of too many blessings to count. Here’s to living life to the fullest! I pray all this all for His glory. B304A7AB-65E2-4105-91BA-95BFF2CDFDE1