Category Archives: Christmas Countdown 2019

For auld lang syne, my dears <3

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Happy last day of 2019!

What is your tradition or mood as we wind up a year? 

Are you all about the celebration of the New Year…or are you more interested in the reflection on the old one…or a lovely mix of both?

I find this week between Christmas and New Years to be one of looking back seeking insight as to how things went down and a sense of expectancy and hope for what lies ahead and a crazy zest to purge and clean and organize. 

While my soul-self would be content to drag this year’s journals off to some quiet retreat place, my heart and body are preparing to spend some last minute memory-making with family and friends. 

So basically…today is like every other day in my life…torn between my love of people and my need to refuel in places of solitude and quiet. 

We have miles to go before we sleep so I am just going to take a minute to thank each of you who make this trek with me throughout my daily ponderings. 

Thank you to anyone who has taken a minute to send me a note or tell me in passing that you read this. 

You keep me going. 

Thanks to my sweet family who tell me they read it and don’t ever make me feel like I shared too much or too little. They are my tribe and I love them so much, but often I love selfishly and they are so kind and forgiving <3

Thanks to my friends who faithfully like and share and don’t hold back in friendship for fear I will post about them. You know who you are and you mean the world to me <3

Thanks to my Declare Sista’s who encourage me in the professional aspect of this calling and help me understand that what I do is really a thing and not just a figment of my imagination. Your Marco Polo’s and texts and prayers are manna from heaven <3

Thanks be to God for the way He speaks to me and then holds my hands while I type so what comes out is something to you that He would like to say through someone like me. 

Thanks for the freedom I have to post my thoughts and thanks for grace when I don’t do it well. 

Thanks be to God for the year that has passed and the ways He has worked and thanks be to Him for the days yet to come. 

I pray a blessing over each of you – over your homes and your families and your lives. 

I pray that you know deep down in the farthest reaches of your hearts and minds and souls the love of Christ for you. 

Happy New Year! 

Christmas Countdown 2019….Day 24

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Good Christmas Eve to you!

As I type, I can see the word count at the end of our journey and we are at 12,000 plus words and yet this morning I struggle to form any cohesive thoughts as I finished reading the Easter story while I drank my coffee from a Christmas mug and thought back over this Advent season spent with you. 

My throat is constricted tight as hot tears fill my eyes. 

I read about the angels this morning and I wonder if they were some of the same ones who sang the night He was born. 

These angels who were there when the Holy Spirit busted open the grave and were filled with awe and wonder to see Him emerge. 

The ones who hung around in the garden waiting for people to wander back to tend His broken and dead body and leave filled with mind-numbing amazement that He was gone. 

Were they the ones who had ministered to Him after the temptations in the desert? Did they rest around Him as He slept in the boat? Did they attend His parents when this young family fled to Egypt and were they wrapped tight around Him when He would slip through angry mobs? 

I wonder if it was with great restraint that they kept from filling the skies with their hallelujahs over this surprise ending of final victory just days after having to have turned their heads away as God turned His back on His Son for us.

I think about the disciples and wonder about Peter and the way he was kicking myself for denying Christ and yet was compelled to run with all his might to see if what the women had said was true. 

I think of the women, fixers we are you know, always ready to get all the things together and do what needs to be done for our people. There they were with spices and wraps and such to prepare the perfect burial and yet robbed of the corpse needed to complete the project. 

I think of the men headed home who shake their heads at this goober of a guy who hasn’t even heard about Jesus and as they explain it to this ignorant man, He explains all of Scripture to them so that their hearts burn within them and they get to share the first communion with their Savior. 

I think of His followers huddling in a room and all of a sudden He is there and eating fish and then disappearing and how they followed Him out to where He finally ascends to heaven and how they went back to Jerusalem rejoicing and telling everyone and it is because of them that we can know. 

This Christ of Christmas is alive. 

This story of beginning that we celebrate is the story of hope and restoration and a promise of His return. 

He came and He is coming again. 

Rejoice and be filled with great joy. 

Emmanuel is God WITH us.

The Word of God made His dwelling among us.

There are no other words needed.

<3

Christmas Countdown 2019….Day 23

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Distracted? Why, yes…yes I am just a little bit.

We have the first of our two youngest home and we have been enjoying being with him and doing family and friend things while also tying up all the loose ends and so this morning instead of doing this post first thing, I got a hair cut and met John for coffee and ran half of the last zillion errands. 

But I did read Luke 23 and what I notice is the way the ones who wanted to get rid of Jesus waited until they could sway the crowd in their favor. 

I notice how Herod was only interested in Him for entertainment value and Pilate didn’t want to make some kind of decision that would be a negative mark on his political record. 

I notice how Jesus never had an agenda and the people who really understood who He is and why He came didn’t have one either. 

They, like He, are focused on a kingdom that is not of this world. 

It’s not political or popular or designed to make us happy and feel good about ourselves. 

It is a kingdom that saves us one by one when we realize how unworthy we are and yet He came to make a way for us to be with Him forever. 

I am so deeply grateful and I will spend every last breath here proclaiming that He alone is worthy of all glory and honor and praise and yet…He came for the likes of one such as me <3 

Countdown to Christmas 2019….Day 22

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Fourth Sunday of Advent and in that regard I will share four things:

#1

Luke 22 is so rich and full of Jesus final days on earth that my heart is overflowing. We attended St. Paul’s Lutheran service this morning and the message and communion time were beautiful reminders of Christ’s love for us. 

I was struck this morning by three separate references to pray. 

In verse 31 and 32 Jesus declares His awareness that Peter is going to betray Him and assures Peter of constant intercession for him so that his faith will not fail and WHEN he turns back, he will strengthen others who are weak and tempted to quit. 

In verse 43, when Jesus is growing weak an angel strengthens Him and then He prays more fervently for what lies ahead for Him and in verse 44 He urges the sleepy disciples to pray so that they can be strong. 

I pray for healing, I pray for relationships, I pray for wisdom, I pray for discernment. I pray for things to work out and go well for me and for those I love. 

But do I pray to not fall into temptation? Do I pray to be strong? Do I pray for my weary faith to hold on and not fail? Do I pray this fervently for others? 

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#2

Yesterday we got to go feed the reindeer again. 

I think reindeer are the cutest and most charming of animals and I suggested the kids get one for Caroline as a pet. 

Rachel said that was fine as long as it lived at Lola and Papi’s house. 

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#3

I have been eating Christmas cookies for breakfast. 

I am not bothered at all by this. They are made of grain and eggs so I feel I am eating a fairly well balanced diet to get me through. 

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#4

John is home. 

The migration of birds homeward is in motion.

Let the festivities begin. 

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Countdown to Christmas 2019….Day 21

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Our reading today does not match well with the mood of our final days leading up to Christmas Even and Christmas Day. 

There is much description of the persecution and turmoil and natural disasters, the wars and signs of the end times that stand in stark contrast to our brightly lit homes and wrapping paper and counters strewn with pictures of people we love adorning cards with messages of hope and peace and blessing. 

But a quick glance at a news feed reveals the reality of the conflict in nature and in mankind that is growing with an intensity that should wake us up. 

We are not the ones who should be shaking our heads and asking pitifully what the world is coming to. 

We know what it is coming to. 

It is coming the end and then the Beginning.

Jesus says our job is to be alert and praying that we will be found faithful when it all comes crashing down. 

The joy we feel over His birth is magnified because we know His birth signifies the reaching down of God to save us from our sin and from our selves. 

That this life it temporal and yet in it, we are building for eternity with Him. 

His promise is to return and so we wait and as we wait we proclaim His truth. 

What better season to do it than this one right here, right now <3