Friday, December 27, 2013

I Wasn't Ready For It

God once said, “Let light shine out of the darkness!” And this is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts to let us know that his own divine greatness is seen in the face of Christ.
—2 Corinthians 4:6
I wasn’t ready for it.  I hadn’t dusted or vacuumed. Or prepared my prepare-ahead-of-time dishes.  I hadn’t decorated—I hadn’t bedecked every flat surface with my snowman collection.  My tree was barely up (barely being the operative word). No skirt wrapped around its base.  And worse—no tree-topper crowned its pinnacle!
I wasn’t ready for it.
I didn’t expect family members to come this soon. Family members were on their way. And time was ticking. And…I can’t, Lord.  I can’t do it all. Show me what to let go of and give me peace no matter what unfolds. Help me to focus on what really matters and enjoy every moment.
I wasn’t ready for it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Christmas Coat

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ
Ephesians 4:11-12

I spotted it when pulling my winter clothes from my cedar chest—the minuscule red coat trimmed in white.  Would this fit Layla? I wondered, as I examined the aged garment I wore when I was six months old.

I knew I had to try.

I placed the freshly-laundered cloak on the bed and then my squirmy six month-old granddaughter on top. With no more than a slight struggle, I maneuvered her chubby arms into the sleeves and crowned her with the rosy hood, its fuzzy white edging encircling her cherubic face like a halo. I tightened the hood strings and lifted her up for the final reveal.

The hand-me-down Christmas coat was a picture-perfect fit!

I love hand-me-downs—and don’t mind wearing them.  I remember, as a kid, sporting hand-me-downs from my older cousins and thinking I was “cool” just like them. And then there was my mother’s wedding dress. It too was a perfect fit.  Hand-me-downs saved me money, yes. But it was more than that.  Wearing them meant wearing a part of the giver.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Smile! It's free!

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.
Proverbs 15:30 

I was ready to pitch it in the trash along with all the other junk mail. But just as I picked it up, the words from the advertisement billowed, “Smile!  It’s free!”
Immediately I recalled an incident from earlier in the week. My student had pointed to my employee badge, “I like that picture.”
“Yeah, you’re smiling.  You should do that more often.”
Ouch! Was it true that I rarely wore a smile? What keeps me from smiling?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Planning Committee

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
—Psalm 32:8 

Today was the big day for him.  I knew he had to be nervous.  At least I was – when I was observed by my administrator.  “I’ll pray for you,” I called through my colleague's classroom door.
“I hope I don’t need prayers!” he replied with a chuckle.
“I take all the prayers I can get,” I returned with a smile.  But on the inside I kept thinking about how differently we view prayer.
What I consider a vital part of Plan A is Plan B for others.  But it hasn’t always been that way for me.  How many times have I excluded God from the planning committee only to have to call Him in for the clean-up?