I am thankful:
~ for innocent children who aren’t afraid to ask the questions we all wonder. “Mama? What is piggy pudding? And why do they want it so bad?” “And what does pa-rum-pum-pum-pum MEAN?”
~ for a sweet night of fellowship with our Tyler Christian Fellowship elders, deacons, and wives. And for pumpkin bread pudding with warm salted caramel sauce.
~for the sweetest Christmas play at the school. Zoe and Gavin brilliantly executed their parts in “It Happened in the Country.” Gavin even had his first little solo and did a great job. I love seeing them so excited to share their hard work with us.
~ for GPS. Tyler is famous for its holiday traffic jams, and the GPS on my phone was able to pinpoint the trouble areas and reroute me. Even though it took me miles out of the way, it was undoubtedly faster than the direct route. I would still be sitting on Broadway…
~ for human Christmas party ping pong. I pinged and I ponged my way through five simultaneous Christmas parties at opposite ends of the elementary school. They had Christmas movies, toilet paper snowman building, cookie decorating, and pancakes in pajamas. The kids all had a ball and then that was that! They are all officially home for Christmas!
We are now enjoying lounging around, living room football, and binge-watching Disney plus. And we finished our puzzle. Sadly, Tatum and Bear ate 7 pieces, so we didn’t get the full victorious satisfaction.
~ for the dollar store. Love me some dollar store when it’s time to shop for Christmas stockings for 9 kids!
~ for the absolutely MOST DELICIOUS slow-cooked, fall off the bone, flavor-LICIOUS ribs on the planet. Drew, you are a BBQ ARTIST!!!!
~ for encouragement from the Lord: through His Word, His Voice, and His people. It brings such comfort to know that my Heavenly Father sees me and cares about every detail of my life, and that He is WORKING IN AND THROUGH every trial to refine me and make me more like Him. It’s so incredibly hard to stop trying to control everything. Even though my mind knows that I don’t have ANY POWER to control anything anyway, I still waste so much energy fighting for it. I can’t control Sawyer’s health, or whether or not his cancer will return. I can’t control what others think of me or whether or not they love and accept me. I can’t control my children’s choices or their relationship with the Lord. And sometimes that makes me feel so empty and powerless and just plain hopeless.
An empty vessel. Cracked and broken. The perfect vessel for the Lord to pour into and fill to overflowing. Every crack in me allows Jesus to shine through more. If I am empty, there’s more room for Him. I’m not trying to say that I just radiate Jesus everywhere I go. Or that I am moping around sad and hopeless. I’m just increasingly aware that God’s power shines through my weakness WHEN I LET HIM. I am more useful in my honest brokenness than I could ever dream to be in any artificial“I’ve-got-it-all-together-ness.”
My life feels kind of out of control. But that’s ok. Because my Perfect Father has a Perfect Plan for all the details. And I don’t have to know what’s next, because I know who’s in charge and I KNOW THE ENDING. The story will end with Jesus on the Throne and every knee bowed. Glorious.
We eagerly count down the days until Christmas, and those who are Christ-followers celebrate the birth of the Messiah. “Jesus IS the reason for the season.”
But it’s so much more.
Jesus is more than the baby in the manger. More than a miracle that wowed some shepherds in the middle of the night. HOPE was born. The REMEDY for our brokenness. FREEDOM for the captives. He came to walk among us, to turn religion on its head, and teach us what LOVE looks like.
So wherever you are in the midst of your Christmas busy-ness, MAKE SOME ROOM. As you shop in the madness of stores or fight your way through traffic, look around. See the exhausted checkout clerk. Or the frazzled mother dragging her kids out of the toy aisle. If you are breaking your back to get your baking done, your house spotless, and fretting about the relatives that you are not looking forward to seeing this year…take a deep breath and think about the families who will spend Christmas in the hospital or who would give ANYTHING for one more Christmas with their mom, or their dad, or their husband, or their child. Let’s ungrit our teeth and unclench our hearts and pour Jesus on each other instead. Spend more time than money. Give less stuff and more of ourselves. This Christmas might not be perfect, but it will never be this Christmas again.
Let’s love one another well this week. Merry CHRISTmas!
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”” (Luke 2:10-14)
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)