Thursday, December 20, 2012

Be in-joy!


Enjoy!  That’s what everyone hopes to do especially during the next week and a half.  Enjoy the Christmas season, enjoy the company of family, enjoy the food, enjoy watching classic Christmas movies and football games, and enjoy giving and receiving gifts. 

Enjoy is “to take pleasure in”…at least that’s a definition in!  But this Christmas I see enjoy a different way…to be in-joy.  To be in joy!

And joy is something we must choose.  Now more than ever the evil one, the thief, is trying to “steal, kill and destroy” our joy during the Christmas season which is to be a time to rejoice for our Savior’s birth.  Today in the midst of wars, poverty, hunger, broken lives, and broken hearts, now more than ever, we are offered the best gift of all.  It’s the gift of joy.  And the real meaning of joy was given to us 2000 years ago through Jesus, that tiny baby with little fingers and toes and eyes that would melt your heart.

So, this Christmas and the end of 2012,  I pray we will all choose to in-joy as we rejoice in God’ Promise and His gift to us.

Be in-joy!

Be in-joy…Emmanuel is here!

Be in-joy…Christ in us!

Be in-joy…He is our HOPE!


Merry Christmas!  May you be filled with comfort and joy.  He has come for us…the Messiah.  He was born to give us life!


This will be my last post until January 1.  I’m looking forward to some time with family and friends and time to prepare for a new year…of unknown possibilities and assured joys I will continue to hunt for…and challenge you to do the same!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

How can we be still and know God’s there?


How can I be still?  How can anyone be still when inside are roller coaster emotions that are whirling and making you sick to your stomach after hearing about a massacre? 

Why does there have to be reckless rampage in the heart?   A heart that’s so broken it can’t help but break others’.  Feelings of anger, rage, abandonment, helplessness, and hurt are feelings we all experience but some don’t have an ounce of hope to add to it.  Without that little bit of hope life becomes pitch black.

How can we be still and know that God is there?

It’s hard to be still when you’re asking so many questions and not even wanting to stop, be still and wait for the answers.  Why? Why? Why?    Our impatient selves want to answers NOW! 

“Be still and know that I am God.”      Psalm 46:10

Those words just keep echoing.

A friend of mine, who also disciples me, gave me these words of Truth in this order not too long ago and it made me really think about what it’s saying…what He’s saying. Right now.  May it do the same for you.  I encourage you to fill in the …. (blank) with your own thoughts so it will help you to be still in this crazy world.  Pause after each line; really reflect on what you just read... 


Be still and know that I am God...

Be still and know that I am...

Be still and know that I...

Be still and know that...

Be still and know...

Be still and...

Be still...



Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I AM…

…I am I AM.  I AM who restores, rebuilds, resurrects…rest in that promise.

Be still and know that I…

…I…love you.  My love is so impossible for you to totally grasp and understand while you live on this side of heaven. Remember…I love you so much I gave my life so I can have eternity with you…because I love you.

Be still and know that

Be still and know that

Be still and know

….Know that I know.  Know that I understand.  I really do.  Know my heart breaks with yours.  Know that I will never leave your side. 

Be still and

…breathe.  Breathe in My Presence.  Breathe in My peace.  Exhale fear. 

Be still

Period.  Be still.  It will give you strength.


…just be.

Be still and know that I am God.

I hope you’ll take the time to fill in those blanks for yourself and for Jesus.  And feel free to share them with readers by making a comment below on this post.



The Bible also says to “Give thanks always…”  even in times it’s hard to.  So, I will still give praise to HIM who continues to love us and hold us.


#1113  being able to hug and hold my son and daughter

#1114  the teachers and administrators at the schools my children attend

#1115  friend’s 10 month daughter now in stable condition after taken off a breathing machine! PTL!!!


#1116  the opportunity to pray deep for others who just can’t.

#1117  texting with a dear friend I don’t talk with often enough but can still cry out to each other when we’re in need.

#1118  striped letters that spell “JOY” hanging on our mirror


#1119  striped fuzzy socks to keep my feet warm


#1120  bright red and white striped wrapping paper…joy wrapping gifts to give.


#1121  colored sprinkles all over the table


#1122  icing cookies with friends

#1123  husband had a good “guy weekend” with his friends

#1124  making food art in kitchen with Libby




#1125  rescuing, digging up and replanting rose bushes

#1126  out to eat with friends at a *fancy restaurant* (fancy for Burlington, NC!)

#1127  a compliment from a friend that made me smile inside and out…“being a geriatric whisperer

Friday, December 14, 2012

weekend reflection


May your weekend be filled with simple reminders that refill and reveal the gifts of joy, hope and redemption…

Monday, December 10, 2012

Reminder: How small I am and how small he was


The Christmas holiday is in full swing.   We’re already getting Christmas greeting cards and pictures in the mail (we’ll be lucky to get ours out by Christmas!), the parking lots are crazy, all the Christmas parades are over with Santa and his wife wishing everyone a Merry Christmas as they ride off to help get the sled packed by Christmas Eve.

I do enjoy listening to the Christmas music on so many different radio stations and playing on our Pandora.   There’s a couple of songs that bring tears to my eyes every time I listen to them…and I hear them often because I give them a thumbs up on Pandora whenever I hear a different version.

I enjoy them because they put joy in me.  But they’re not the songs I usually hear on the secular radio stations singing how we’re to deck the hall with boughs of holly, jingle all the way, and have a holly, jolly Christmas. (although that is one of my favorites!)  I do think it’s pretty cool that secular radio stations are playing some classic Christmas songs about Jesus though!!

But there are certain songs that bring me joy deep within.  They remind me how small I am and how small HE was when HE came to save us.

”Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for them
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born                                                                   

Welcome to our world

When I get caught up in feeling overwhelmed with my to-do list I need to accomplish in the NEXT 14 DAYS, I need to stop and breathe.  Be still.  Purposely make a silent night…even a silent moment would be nice.  How small it makes me feel, though, when I think how stressed I can get with the holidays but then think of the weight Mary had to have had in the dark when she held that tiny Messiah in her arms the first time.  She held the weight of the world…yet the Light of the world.  She could probably hardly breathe.

Jesus became that breath from heaven she needed.  She whispered, “Breath of heaven hold me together. Help me be strong. Help me be. Help me.”

Jesus, Breath of heaven, help me.  Please help me to hear your still, small voice in this loud and crazy world this holy season.  When there are silent moments, help me to just be.  I want to cherish that gift…to just be in Your Presence. 

Inhale grace.  Exhale peace.  


Joys last week:

#1097  day with other moms at a book warehouse and out for lunch

#1098  gift held – Breath of Heaven


#1099  gift hung – the silver angel hanging on the little wreath.  I’ve never hung it there before and it’s always reflecting and mirroring the light all day long.  Reminds me that the Good News of Jesus arriving shines bright!! 

#1100  gift heard – son’s middle school band playing in the Christmas parade



#1101  being at Christmas parade with family and friends







#1102  daughter walking in parade with the troop



#1103  beautiful, sunny warm – 65* December day

#1104  driving through Christmas lights display at the retirement community with family



#1105  shrimp chowder

#1106  fun weekend with in-laws and niece


#1107  helping Feed the Hunger - packing meals for hungry children in 3rd world countries (more to come!)






#1108 going to see children’s production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” with daughter at the theater.

#1109 sitting beside the 93 year young man and his wife at the theater and hearing his story

#1110  song “Welcome to our world” by Amy Grant

#1111 song “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant

#1112  “{God} is before all things, and in him all thing hold together”  (Colossians 1:17)


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Something to ponder today…


Jesus prayed: “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”   John 17:13

Jesus was praying those words to his Father right before he was betrayed and taken away to be crucified…and right before he was going back Home.

Do you think Jesus was saying to his Father something similar to those words when he was about to leave heaven and enter this messy world, “Father, I am leaving to go now into the world so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”?

He enters this messy world in a messy stable to give us the full. measure. of. joy. 

Joy to the World!


Monday, December 3, 2012

So worth the wait!

It’s total silence.  The only lights on are the candles we put in the windows, the light inside our manger scene and the white lights entwined in the branches of the tree we cut down today standing in the sunroom.



It really feels like Christmas season now.  We cut down the tree and it’s decorated.  I’ve finished decorating the rest of the house…except we are still debating of whether or not to put our curb–find artificial tree, that’s falling apart, up in the playroom to cover it with all those homemade ornaments the kids made through the years.  We have the wreathes hanging from the windows and over the doorway.  We even just finished watching Polar Express as a family.

So now we just wait.


There’s hardly any time to wait!  We’re too busy writing lists, checking them off, decorating, wrapping gifts, baking and cooking and going to and throwing parties, trying to take time to enjoy the season, and all of that is added to the regular things we need to do all the time like laundry, afterschool activities, homework and chores.  The list goes on and on!  They can all be good things, but when we do them all, there’s not enough time to even think about waiting.

Or would this be your response… “ Wait?!  It’s more like hurry up and get here so all of this hustle and bustle and traffic and stress and dealing with scrooges will be over!”?  (I confess the thought of being that scrooge has been tempting a time or two.)  “Wait” is usually not the favorite word or action for most people.  Waiting is trying our patience.  Waiting can cause restlessness or anxiousness.  Waiting can be down-right nerve-wrecking.

But maybe waiting was originally designed to be a gift…not a burden. 

Wait is a gift of anticipation.  The Word tells us by faith, anticipate and wait for the blessing…which causes us to hope. (Galatians 5:5 AMP)

God doesn’t break his promises!   Anticipate the blessing!  Anticipate the gift!   Don’t you remember when you were a child and could hardly wait any longer until Christmas morning?!   Anticipation! Excitement! JOY!

We all wait the same amount of time every year for Christmas…whether it feels like a long or short wait.  That wait is to be a reminder of deep down anticipation, hope and joy of the gift of Jesus then, now and his final return.  

I’m praying we’ll have that feeling of joyful anticipation this advent season.  That we’ll have that excitement of waiting for that gift we’ve been wanting for for so long.

It’s so worth the wait!


Blessings this week:

#1081  White lights on the tree

#1082  doing tradition….our family going to the tree farm to cut down our tree




(can you see how big brother just loves to put his arm around little sister…hehehe)


#1083  the kiss with my husband as we’re surrounded by Christmas trees

#1084  son’s first basketball game

#1085  Holly Days with a friend

#1086  the joy in daughters face when she put on her first pair of glasses.  “I can see!”


#1087  got the house decorated

#1088  making cookies with daughter


#1089  singing Christmas hymns at church…including Joy to the World Unspeakable Joy

#1090  warm, sunny day…in December

#1091  the angel on the wreath shining bright

#1092  tangled string of lights (can also be a ‘hard to be thankful for’ joy when so hard to untangle!)


#1093  bright lights in the window on a dark night

#1094  celebrating a friend’s birthday with her

#1095  husband’s listening to and supporting me

#1096  wisdom, encouragement and prayers from friends