The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me...
To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

Isaiah 61:1,2c,3 (New King James Version)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Where are you Christmas?

Going into this Holiday season, didn't exactly begin with what I had envisioned. People I truly care about were dealing with death, cancer, fatal health diagnosis, and just hurt. I myself was dealing with a relationship going through a time of change. To be completely honest, the holidays were something that I wanted to not happen. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas...all of it could just be boxed up and thrown away. I was ready to settle with just "everyday" ...well everyday. How do you celebrate when hurt? How do you "fa la la la la" when you just want to run away where no one knows you? Well, I guess I should of known, well before the Grinch settled into my cold heart, that the best place to start when your world feels like it is falling apart, is to your knees. I wish I could of said that my landing there was of my own will and heart, but it truly was the Holy Spirit making my knees go out and saying "HEY, remember me?"
So, where IS Christmas. I know for sure it's not there in the stuff I got on Black Friday, but it might of been mixed in among all the laughter and chit chat I had with my Mom as we browsed through WONDERFUL applique holiday sweaters (stay tuned for Christmas morning pictures, where the model will be wearing her very own). I doubt it's in the turkey Kevin and I cooked on Thanksgiving, but the flavor of laughter and joy was pouring from the loved ones around that table. I may also be willing to admit, that Christmas isn't in those sugar cookies I'll bake with Cheyenne this week...or my inability to "gift" ones that aren't quite right - but there is no doubt in my soul that those moments I spend covered in flour and sugar with the little girl that God has let me keep will have Christmas written all over it.
I know it sounds cheesy, and maybe a little cliche to write about the spirit of Christmas, but it's what I need right now. It's what those who I know who are hurting NEED right now. Jesus didn't just come to earth on Christmas day so many years ago just to forgive our sins. He came here to teach us how to live! To love one another and share that love. God also blessed us with relationships to cultivate and grow with the spirit of love, service, time, and experience. This is where Christmas is. Celebrate the blessings given to us my a gracious and loving God, but loving on those he puts in our lives. So, if that's demonstrated this year with Christmas cards, presents, sugar cookies, lights, and songs - then I am "fa la la ing" all the way through December. Christmas isn't a time to reflect on my blessings, it's a time to be a blessing. Through that, I'm sure I'll find Christmas this year.
Life is Good. God is Great.

"Teacher, which command in God's Law is the most important?"

Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."

Matthew 22:37-40 (The Message)

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