Do you remember the first time that you “adulted” Christmas? You know – that first Christmas when you carefully curated “real” gifts for everyone on your list without your parents doing the shopping (or the buying) for you. The first year that I lived on my own, I had filled my car with presents for everyone that I loved. I was so proud to have chosen something special for each one of my family members. I was so full of anticipation just imagining everyone’s reactions as they tore through the wrappings. Read more
It’s the start of the holiday season (unless you hung your Christmas lights before Halloween, in which case you are in full swing). Families are gathering. Friends are reconnecting. News is being shared.
Not all of it is good.
I don’t mean to be the “Debbie Downer” to your holiday season. It’s just that yesterday brought news of another young life lost. Another family is shattered and forever altered. And we know that others are facing difficult news during what is “supposed” to be the happiest time of the year. Families won’t be able to put food on the table because ends just don’t meet. Other families – particularly those dealing with California’s wildfires – won’t be able to put food on the table because there is no table. Families in Florida are still sifting through the debris of Hurricane Michael wondering where their table has floated off to and more poignantly – does anyone remember us?
That is the big question we all ask when we are facing our worst days.
Does anyone remember me?
I can answer that question with great confidence – YES! Not just anyone. The One who remembers me and you and everyone is God the Father who created each of us in His own image. The One is God the Son who emptied himself of his full divinity in order to live among us and to sacrifice himself so that we may spend eternity with God. The One is God the Holy Spirit who fills each one of us bringing comfort and peace during difficult times.
Let’s take a moment to remember each other. Share your prayer requests. Say a prayer. Know that each one of our prayers are heard by a loving God.
Father, we thank you for all of the blessings that You continue to provide even in our darkest times. We praise You in good times and bad. we ask that you send your Holy Spirit to fill each one of us during this holiday season. We need the strength, comfort, and peace that only You can provide. We need reassurance that You remember us during our times of need. We pray that your healing touch will be felt by all of those who are struggling at this time. We pray this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Chaos is a funny thing. Sometimes it overwhelms me. The cacophony consumes me. Other times, it swirls about me perfectly choreographed so that it comes ever close but never actually touches me. Like a Square Dance caller who yells “Swing Left” at the precise moment when “swing right” would have all the madness crash into me.
(Don’t tell me you didn’t Square Dance in junior high. It’s an American right of passage. Or at least, I thought.) Read more
Have you ever been faced with a scary or confusing situation and didn’t have the words to deal with it? There was one evening when the girls were very young that their Mimi babysat. When I picked them up to go home, I noticed that the television was set to The Exorcist. Shame on me for not asking the girls how they felt about what they might have seen, but kudos to Megan who at the wise-old age of four had the courage to open up the conversation. Her simple question exposed her confusion and fright, “Mommy, do devils eat little girls?” My response came too quickly to have been my own, as I blurted, “Not if you have Jesus in your heart.” That evening, we modified the words of our bedtime prayer from “deliver us from evil” to “deliver us from the devil.” Read more
Raise your hand if you played in the rain as a kid? We did – all the time. In fact, my parents encouraged it. Can’t say whether it was the allure of not having to bother with bath time at the end of the day or the fact that it was cheaper than a “slip-n-slide” that made kicking us out the door so appealing. Or, maybe, it’s just the way they did things back then.
The last time that I recall voluntarily heading out into the rain was the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. It was one of those soft, southern rains that sprout up on summer afternoons. No pomp and circumstance of thunder and lightning. No cold front to steal the warm air. I can’t recall what we talked about, but I can remember strolling around the neighborhood and splashing through puddles with my daddy.
Despite it’s questionable PR campaign, I love the sights, sounds, and smells of summer storms. The flash of lightning against an inky sky. A crack of thunder just a little louder than anticipated. Read more
Time is such a funny thing. Not sure about you, but I couldn’t wait for time when I was younger. I wanted to do everything before its time.
Then time speeds up. Where’d it go? We find ways to turn back the hands of time. How can we get it back? There’s not enough of it.
There is one phase of adulthood when time shifts – when you have children of your own. Read more
When tragedy strikes, it becomes a line of demarcation. Like the rings in the trunk of a tree, each misfortune leaves a permanent mark on our souls. There is “before” and “after.” Time marches to a different cadence in the Land of After. The calendar ticks off “should have beens,” “could have beens,” and “would have beens.” The calendar in the Land of After chronicles time with “milestones” and “firsts” nonexistent in the Land of Before. Read more