And now it’s the 6th Day of Christmas
I just KNOW there were literal handfuls of you who were wondering where I’d gone, haha!
It was? I don’t know what it was? It was like Thanksgiving went straight into wild Christmas prep and baby countdown into marketing a production into Baking Day which led straight (and I mean straight) into having a baby which led into tech-week for the play and the amazing production that was Jesus, Mary and Joseph! which threw me headlong into a final shopping frenzy for Christmas and then a wonderful, sweeeeeeeet Christmas with my family which morphed straight into 3 crazy-fun and super-exhausting days with the most delightful grandbebes in the known universe and then suddenly, feeling a little bleh on Sunday (which was my rest day) to full-fledged fever-achy-miserable-moaning-and-groaning-shivering poor-me sickness of some sort.
Better today. How about YOU!?? Are you and your familias staying healthy?
Six Things I am thinking about on the 6th Day of Christmas (after all – this is my *thought – collage*)
Dave got me the Shauna Niequist book, Bread and Wine – A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes. I had borrowed it from the library and could not quit talking about it and now I have a copy I can read again and again and write notes in and underline for emphasis. It’s full of great quotes about the family table, eating together and food and it is just…delicious. Even as just a book, it heightens all my senses because of the words… And as I have written about food and meals together around convivial tables many times here at this very blog, always struggling to find the right/perfect words, it makes me happy that some one else has captured what I have experienced and felt and yet challenged me to embrace and pursue more of it – of the life around the table. She writes so beautifully, I wholeheartedly recommend it!
From my own “about page,” and you may quote me on this
“My true SOUL FOOD belief – breaking bread, enjoying even the humblest meal at a convivial table filled with love and laughter: The best meal you will ever eat. And may you have many of those in your lifetime!”
Dave and I are in a bit of a Christmas compromise. There is a big cast-party at our house this weekend and while it is bright and sunny and a fresh New Year almost is here, I would love the feeling of packing Christmas away for all fresh clean surfaces and new beginnings. Yet he, Mr Christmas, well, he would leave it all up until truly, the 12th Day of Christmas (Epiphany, January 6). In my post-sick weakened state, I figured I’d have to give in and let everything remain, but he got downstairs before me this morning and packed away the Christmas art work and Santa collection and most of the Nativity sets and the kid’s Christmas books and games and cleared surfaces and made room and though the outside lights will remain lit until Epiphany and two gorgeous trees and a greenery-laden bannister remain, things still look fresh and clean and I didn’t even have to do a thing. How sweet is that?
Anne Graham Lotz posted a blog yesterday called “2014: The Year of God’s Presence,” and that has just hit my heart with a breath of joyous, forward-leaning possibility.
2013 was a year of such stripping away. I am not really one of those people who can seem to comprehend that God loves him/her just because He is love, gives love and not because of what she/he does to earn it. Even though I know technically we are saved by grace and not our works, I still have the old “consider the ant and don’t be a sluggard” mantra playing in my mind at all times. Also that scary picture of Jesus cursing the tree that didn’t bear figs. I have always struggled with working my ever-loving behind off trying to force the fruit so I don’t get kicked out (or cursed for eternity, as it were). But the truth is, fruit comes cyclically, in seasons, and then the tree has to go dormant to prepare for the next season.
I asked God, somewhere near the beginning fo 2013, to give me a symbol of my life, some sort of motif that would help me understand the purpose of my very existence and He gave me the tree. A tree. A tree planted by the waters. And at the time it didn’t seem particularly exciting, but later in the year, when I found a note I had written to some one else at a time of despair in their life, I was encouraged by this passage from Job 14.7-9 that I had shared for them:
“At least there is hope for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail.
Its roots may grow old in the ground
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth shoots like a plant.”
And I can tell you that trying to remove a tree from your yard is hard work. I tried this summer with several seedlings that had self-planted and it was an ongoing battle. And that is how the devil should see me. At the scent of water…
God can make all things new. He can redeem any situation. Anything! What the enemy means for evil, God uses for good to accomplish His plan and His purpose. His ways are mysterious and too wonderful for me to comprehend. I don’t know how He will fix all the broken pieces or heal the bloody parts in the messiest parts of our lives, my life, but we have this hope –
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53.4-6 NKJV
My dog is old, going blind, losing her hearing and pretty arthritic, but when I give her the tiniest bit of attention, pet her and love on her, she leaps and twirls and wags her tail, acting just like a young pup. That is what a little time showing love can do – for anybody, really. We should all do it more for the people and pets in our lives, shouldn’t we?
I leave you with this, today’s verse-of-the-day from Bible Gateway (because it is so perfectly perfect):
This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 NIV
Good-bye, 2013. Thanks for the stripping away, for the renewal and growth of our familia – for the 3 beautiful new grandbebes, and for the time with my love. And now – for the new thing to spring up… :)