From Toddler to Great Aunt and Beyond!! Faithfulness

img_7418I remember my first encounters with my great aunts when I was a kid. The main impression left on me was, “Wow! That lady is old!” I was probably 4 or 5 at the time. I looked up at my Great Uncle Raymond’s Wife. She seemed nice enough, but “how old is she?” was what ran through my mind. It’s easy to process a grandma and think of her as being old. That’s the way it should be. Grandma’s are meant to be old, soft, sweet, and the presenter of all kinds of goodies. But great aunts, they are hard to categorize in a young girls thoughts.

Last night we had the big celebration of Christmas for my husbands side. Somewhere near 40 people in our house, and once again toddlers, babies, and little ones were running through my house.  Every once and awhile one of these little ones would come in a face to face confrontation with me. I wondered to myself if their thoughts would mirror mine of decades ago.

I’ve tried hard not to look so old. “Rockstar” skinny jeans, T-shirt, tennis shoes, and dyed hair are weapons of my battle, but I’m pretty sure they are all masking the inevitable. “She is OLD”. That’s ok. Life is all about seasons, and I’m pretty happy about the season I’m in. No more diapers, toddler fits, and chasing little ones around a house that obviously isn’t child proof. But I also am getting glimpses of the other side of the hill. Sometimes it’s comforting and sometimes not so much. I’m where my parents were when I was newly married. Balancing out teenagers, aging parents, changing hormones, and my little eaglets flying the nest. Life can be full of joy one moment and anxiety the next.

We are on the doorstep of a new year. It’s a matter of hours before 2018 will be in the books and 2019 will begin to be written. “Where does this leave me and where will it lead me?” Are what I’ve been thinking about this morning.

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm‬ ‭100:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God is faithful. He was faithful to me in 2018 and will continue to be in 2019. His faithfulness continues throughout the generations. From the wide eyes of the toddler I was playing peekaboo with last night, to the teen who is in a constant battle with boredom and puppy love, to the young mother (my nieces) who probably left my house last night glad that they could strap their little ones in a car seat for a few minutes and “take a breather”, to my brothers- in-law and sisters-in-law who are battling new aches from places they didn’t know existed revealed to them in their mid life, to my mother-in-law and parents who have seen a lot and sit upon a mountain of experience and wisdom from the years, God is faithful through the generations. That is Rock I can sink my anchor in. No matter the season of life or the path my year may take, I can be assured He is with me and in Him I can truly have not only a Happy New Year, but a Blessed one as well!

Happy New Year! God’s Blessings on you!

The Day THAT You Were Born

As I look out my window

On this beautiful morn,

I think of what it was like

The day that You were born.

Was the air a little crisper?

Did the sky seem more blue?

Was the beauty in the sunrise more intense

As it rose in honor of You?

Did all of creation’s groaning stop

As it welcomed you that day?

A precious little baby

Who came to show us the way.

You came to look though human eyes

And touched with human hands.

To feel the pain that we all feel

To be God and yet a man.

You came to give the sacrifice,

The one that covers them all.

From the largest of all my sins

Down to the very small.

What gift can I give You?

How can I repay?

I have nothing but my life.

Take it all I pray.

As I look out my window

On this beautiful morn.

I worship Emmanuel, God with us.

And thank Him that He was born.

You Still Make My Heart Go Boom Boom

It may sound a little corny, but it’s true. After 26 years together, I can’t imagine a more perfect match for me than my sweet husband. It’s the little moments, like last night, when we stopped at a convenience store to get a couple of diet root-beers to drink during our evening out. I hop back in our blue Charger that he bought for me as an upgrade from all the SUV’s and minivans I’ve dutifully driven for the past 18 years or so raising 4 kids, and he has “our song” playing on the stereo. The one that was in our wedding 26 years ago. “Everything I Do” by Bryan Adams. (That’s going to date me. Lol).

At times I forget how much we have in common, Our music taste, our love for sushi, how we love to hold hands when we walk, etc. Then there’s those sparkly eyes. The first thing I noticed about him 26 years ago. They still sparkle whenever we catch each other’s glance. I’ve been one blessed girl. If there is one thing that I can say about our relationship it would be that I have been loved by him and I have been loved well. And that love has been a gift from God who has helped us to build our lives on Him together. A few more days and our 26th Anniversary will be marked. Thanks for doing life with me baby! You’re my dream come true, an answer to my prayers. I love you!

(Picture of us 26 years ago. A few days before we got married. He was such a hottie)

“Always Winter and Never Christmas”

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is one of my favorite books of all time. It is an allegory representing Satan as the Witch and Jesus as the Lion. In the book, a Witch has cast a spell (that the Lion eventually breaks)  leaving the land of Narnia in constant winter. Layer after layer of snow and ice have plagued the land for such a long time that few remember what it was like to see green grass and flowers. “It’s always winter and never Christmas.” Is a quote from the book and a song by Reliant K on their Christmas album called “In Like A Lion”. It has been rolling around in my head this morning. It’s hard to imagine a world that never changes seasons, staying cold and frozen. Growing up in my neck of the woods, it is even harder to imagine a cold winter with no Christmas. That’s all I’ve ever known. Summer ends, Fall comes in with changes of color and temperatures, winter is introduced with cold, short days. Christmas is celebrated and then it’s just a matter of a few short months and the thaw begins. Buds appear on the trees. Green returns in the grass, and wearing my Birkenstock sandals outside with no fear of cold toes becomes the normal chosen footwear for me, FREEDOM!! It’s funny what a little more time with your part of the world tilted toward the sun does for you.

That is how life is. Circumstances tend to bury us beneath icy and cold layer after layer of hurt, unforgiveness, hatred, bad choices, and more. We can find ourselves feeling like thawing out and seeing the beautiful in our lives will never come. “It’s always winter and never Christmas” may be the reality of our world, or so we think. Isaiah 9:2 talks about our world just as Christmas dawned on it. ” The people walking in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Jesus came on the scene 2000 years ago and gave us Christmas. The start of the great thaw and change of seasons in our hearts. Things that were layered with the solid ice of sin and heartache melt in His love. The hopelessness of darkness and fear is driven out by the warmth of His light.

That light began to shine and continued to go on and on touching all who have been willing to let it shine in their lives for centuries to come until now.

So this morning as I sit by my Christmas tree wrapped in a fuzzy throw blanket sipping on a hot cup of coffee. I’ve been reflecting on some ice cold areas in my own heart that still need a little light of the Son to shine on it. Things that I thought would always remain buried under the ice and snow of many years of disappointment are showing the tell tale sign of dripping melt from icicles on my heart. I no longer have to face the prospect of “always winter and never Christmas” because His light has shone on me resurrecting the hopes of a green spring with colorful flowers in situations that seemed to never change. The more I reflect on it all I do believe that it really is amazing what a little more time with your world tilted toward the Son will do for you. FREEDOM!!!

Seasons Change But There is a Constant

When the kids were little holiday planning was a little more tidy. Rich worked shift work so we picked a day when Rich was off and we knew we would have the whole day to play with the kids and enjoy them enjoying their new toys. It might be December 22nd when Santa would come to our house or maybe even the 19th depending on our schedule. Much to the dismay of my nephew who always got his toys on the 25th and couldn’t understand why my kids got them early. “Santa likes us better I guess.” Was my answer to that question one year as the cute little red head stood there with his mouth agape. Probably not the nicest thing to say, but it gave me a good laugh.

This year two of my four are married so we pick our time for different reasons as they have so many places they need to show up at and enjoy time with all the family God has blessed them with. I get it. I was a newlywed once too.

Things change. Some changes are welcomed and anticipated. Excitement and joy surrounds them. Others are forced on us like a tight pair of jeans after a Christmas Feast. They will go on one way or another and it will be uncomfortable until we adjust to them or lose some weight.

Maybe it’s just the time of my life, middle aged, though I choke at the thought of saying it. (I still feel like I’m in my 20’s in my heart) But everything is changing. I’ve enjoyed some of it, no more toddlers to chase and diapers to change. But some of it, not so much. It’s those changes that leaves me searching for a constant that doesn’t change. Something I can hook my anchor into and make sure I don’t drift too far away from the comfortable life I had built before the changes arrived.

Emmanuel , God with Us, you hear that a lot this time of year. It’s the very thing the Angel told Joseph when his comfortably planned life was fixing to be interrupted by the change of becoming the stand in Father for God’s Son. (Talk about pressure to perform). Matthew 1:22-23

But that very statement really is an anchor in a life shifted and altered by currents beyond our control. The birth of the baby Jesus we celebrate this time of year introduces us to something that is unchanging which is Him. Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. He is with us now as He was with us then on a dark night in Bethlehem so many years ago. He doesn’t leave us or forsake us when things get rearranged in our lives and what we had going looks nothing like the life we are going into. God with Us! What a comfort! What a joy! What a gift given so freely to us and celebrated this season no matter how different it may look from the last.