Friday, December 31, 2010

What Were They Thinking? Rerun

It was just another ordinary work day. An ordinary Wednesday morning. I walked across the same parking lot as I do on every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. As I walked toward the building, many other people were making their way in the same direction as I. I looked upon the faces and wondered what was going through their minds.

Were they thinking, as I often do, about just making it through today?

Were they thinking of the rest of the days activities and what must be accomplished once they leave this building later today? Ball practice, band practice, tutoring, something for dinner, a couple of loads of laundry, homework, church, AWANAS, answering emails, returning telephone calls, etc, etc, etc.

And then I thought to myself :
Do they ever wonder why we do these same things every day?
Do they wonder why we are here?
Do they get bored with the cycle of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. ? Nothing really changing except for the seasons, which themselves repeat too.
Do they ever wonder why we do this over and over and over? Do they think beyond the day at hand looking for the purpose of living in it?

My question for you is - Why ARE we here? Why do we keep repeating Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc?

I know the “Christian” answer. Most of you are thinking what we have always been taught, “We are here to glorify God.” And we are.

But more specifically, more personally, I am here to make a difference. So are you.

Jesus made a difference.

Contrary to the way I often live, I am not here to just merely survive to the end of the day, falling into bed totally exhausted. I am sad to say, often exhausted from running through a day totally void of eternal meaning. Useless Exhaustion. Exhaustion that accomplished nothing for the Kingdom.

I am here to make a difference. I am here so that He can make a difference.

As long as there is new life being birthed into this world, I have a purpose. You have a purpose.

That purpose? To make a difference in someone’s life. To move someone’s day from the “blah” level to the glimmer of hope level.

I can do that. You can do that.


Think of some ways you can make a difference in the every day and post your ideas for us to read. It would be wonderful to have a toolbox full of ideas on hand ready to bless someone else in our experiences “Beyond Sunday Morning”.

God, I have a purpose. You are my purpose. Others experiencing You is my purpose. It is not enough to simply survive through each day, retreating into my home at the end of it, shutting the rest of the world out like they don’t exist. Surviving in relation to this subject is not really a positive word is it? You want us to thrive, not just survive. Thrive on the life and vitality that You bring into us. We have such a gift to give, such hope to share, such a difference to make, even if only to just one. Father, don’t just show me, knock me down with opportunities to make a real difference in the lives of those around me. Then YOU WILL BE GLORIFIED. Survival is not enough. Surviving leaves me with nothing left to give the ones I meet. I need to THRIVE, so that I have extra hope to share with the hearts void of Hope itself. I don’t want this to be a prayer that ends at the end of this post, Holy Spirit, bring it to the forefront of my thoughts, readily upon my mind and heart. Use me, Jesus, to accomplish your will.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Piece of the Worm - Rerun

Have you ever looked into a nest of baby birds? Baby birds, in my opinion, are some of the ugliest, yet most precious creatures. They’re practically bald, their eyes aren’t open, their bodies are clumsy. If they try to move in the nest, they just fall over because their legs won’t hold them. What happens when they sense you near the nest? This is the precious part – they lift their heavy heads and throw them back as far as they can prying that mouth, which is enormous in comparison to the rest of their bodies, open as wide as they can. They’ve been waiting for momma to come back to the nest with food for them. They wait for their piece of the worm. The sad thing is they can easily mistake any noise for momma’s arrival. They can’t see who or what is really there.

If I am not connected with Jesus as closely as I need to be, its easy to open myself up to whatever life or people want to “feed me”, just like those little birds. My eyes, much like theirs, aren’t open to everything that is going on around me, so I can’t discern who it is that brings me food. Is it my Father, or is it someone else?

Listen to what God says – I love this verse:

     “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” Psalms 81:10

He’s got everything we need to fill us, and he wants to. He says “open your mouth wide and I will fill it”. Often we let everything else fill us up, so much that we have no appetite when He arrives with our nourishment, our worm. He has the perfect food for us, He knows just what we need to survive, yet we settle for the first thing to arrive to the nest, which is normally junk. It has no lasting significance. That momma bird knows exactly what to bring them, and I love to watch it happen. It amazes me how she brings little pieces of a worm to them and just drops it right in their mouths. It’s just what they need and before you know it, a day or two goes by, and they have grown and look totally different. They grow out of that awkwardness and are able to stand and hop around, and soon, they learn to fly.

Lord I pray for my friends and family as well as myself today that we would throw our heads back and open our mouths only for You. When we sense you near, I pray that we open our mouths wide in total abandon for what You have for us. I pray, God, that we would close our mouths to anything that is not what You want to fill us and wait for You to bring us “our piece of the worm”, exactly what we need to grow more today. If we keep that up, soon we will be able to hop around the nest stretching our wings, in anticipation of You teaching us to fly.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Inside Out - Rerun

While listening to music today, I heard the lyrics from Phillips, Craig, and Dean’s “From the Inside Out”. As the words asked God to consume me from the inside out, the meaning of the lyrics struck my heart deeply. I do want Him to consume me, but thinking about Him doing so from the inside out, just amazed me.

Quickly the image of our usual phrase “inside out” came to my mind and I thought about how embarrassing it is to put on a piece of clothing inside out and wearing it that way by mistake. We’ve all done it at least once if we're honest. I recall a day a few years ago when one of my coworkers, and I won’t name which one (I value my earthly life!) came to work fuming at the rest of us for not telling her that she had worn her uniform pants inside out the entire previous day. Truth was, none of us noticed, but once she was home, she noticed and she was mortified! Rest assured, had we noticed, we would have had a great deal of pleasure at her expense. She loves to laugh and always makes the rest of us laugh.

When speaking of issues of the heart though, how embarrassed, ashamed, and humbled I would be if I had to go through one day with myself turned inside out. There are things inside me that no one knows and if I were turned inside out, those things would no longer be hidden. The entire world could see my hurts, pains, fears. There is jealousy, pride, criticism. What if they saw all of the thoughts within my mind? I would not be proud of what would be on display. I’m sure the seams would be jagged, and the tag would be sticking straight out revealing my faults and weaknesses written on its surface. What I am made of would be listed there just like the 100% cotton is listed on the tag of the T shirt I’m currently lounging in.

What about you, if you were turned inside out, what would be revealed? What can we change about what people would see? What would your tag say? What is your fabric made of?

Speaking of the writing on the tag, what else is listed on a tag besides the size? Go ahead, check your tag and see, I know you want to! At the end of the list of the type of fabrics the garment is made of, it says some form of:

“See Reverse For Care”.

And always on the other side of that tag are the instructions for caring for the garment, cleaning the garment. Often it even says, gentle cycle only.

That’s the hope, that although we might be turned inside out with all of our faults, failures, and weaknesses in plain sight, He includes instructions on caring for us. Instructions for cleaning us. Instructions for ironing out our wrinkles. Sometimes the instructions say, wash inside out. He had our care planned out from the beginning:

“… Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27

God, wash me from the inside out. Cleanse me from within Lord. I cringe to think of what people would see if my heart was turned inside out. I pray that amongst all of the bad things others would see, that they would also see much love woven in and around my heart. They would see threads of You making up the fabric of my being. I call upon You, God, to give me more love so that your love within me would crowd out my shortcomings, leaving only room for You. Jesus, thank you, for pouring out your blood to cleanse me, wash me. Iron out my wrinkles day by day so that I might be that radiant bride without stain or wrinkle, or any other blemish. Holy and blameless. I know God that You would not call me to this if it were not possible and I trust you to launder me one day at a time.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

From A Second Grader's Journal - Rerun

While driving in the car one evening this week, Brenna was reading parts of her school journal to me. During this past school year, the teacher would write a topic or question on the board every day for the students to journal about. They have been adding to it all year and were able to bring them home at the end of the school year. I would like to share with you Brenna’s entry from September 9, 2009. I wish you could actually see it in her second grade style penmanship; it makes it all the more sweet.

September 9, 2009

Would you rather be a tree or a flower? Why?

I would want to be a tree because a tree is stroger. (her spelling!)

When she was reading this to me in the car, she read “Would you rather be a tree or a flower?” Before she could finish reading the rest of the entry, I interrupted her, “which one did you pick?” I was surprised at her answer. Since she is very much a girl, I expected her to say a flower because she thinks they are so pretty. Even dandelions and those little white flowers that bloom in clover, no flower is a weed to her! In the summer there’s always a collection lying on the kitchen counter courtesy of her and her sister, McKayla.

Although her answer wasn’t what I first expected, it made me proud when she gave her reasoning behind it.

Because a tree is stronger.

Flowers are beautiful, they truly are. I love them. (hint to Todd if he’s reading this!) They can brighten your day, they smell wonderful, they light up a room- but flowers fade. They are only pretty for a short while and then they wilt, they whither, and then the petals lose their color and they fall off and dry up. They’re fragile in a storm and get blown right off the vine. A tree is not so fleeting. Many live for hundreds of years. They are stable. They are stronger, withstanding so much more. Everyone may be drawn to the beauty of a bloom, but when summer heats up, they seek relief under the shade of a tree.

       Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17: 7-8

I don’t know about you, but I think Brenna was on to something here. I would much rather be a tree, strong and yielding fruit for the long haul, than a flower only pretty for a season. If I grow my roots near His living water, my leaves will be green and lush, offering comfort or shade to those around me who have been exposed to the heat of this world. I won’t have to fear when life heats things up around me or when I am faced with a drought. His streams of living water will be what I need to sustain me through it all.

God, your creation and how You use them to explain things to us in Your word is so alive to me. I can see your handprints all around me. I am so thankful that You are Sovereign, yet gentle enough to teach me something profound through something as simple as my child’s school journal. Her answer was only one sentence, yet You used it to speak volumes to me. Father plant me by your water, draw my roots closer to drink from your stream. Make me beautiful from within so that I may bear fruit for Your glory, no matter what season of life I am in.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Best and Worst - A Rerun

One day this week, I drove Brenna to school. Don't worry, I'm not picking favorites, McKayla chose to ride the bus anyway - go figure! Brenna had a project that we needed to get to the school in once piece, so I decided the bus wasn't a safe option for our little mouse and cheese made from clay. I remember toting a project to school a time or two and being a nervous wreck that it would get destroyed before I ever descended the steps of the school bus. Busses and projects are a dangerous combination!

After dropping her off, I stopped at the local country store to get my morning jolt of caffeine and saccharin. As I paid the clerk, she spoke the usual empty small talk that we all do while handing me my change.

"You have a good day."

My normal reply to this statement is probably the same as yours, but this particular day, something came out of my mouth, that wasn't from me, because, frankly, I'm not that wise! It left me thinking about the meaning of the statement as I walked to my car and drove off into the wild blue yonder of the working world.

My normal response on any given day would have been the empty "You too," but not this day. Without thought, I said -

"I'm gonna make the best of it!"

"Ok?" she replied, sounding a little uncertain.

"'Cause if I don't - it will make the WORST of me."

How true that is. If I don't make the best of my circumstances and situations and choose to live in them as God would have me to, the worst of me comes to the surface. Once that happens, it's all down hill from there. It greatly affects my perspective and focus on things around me that I cannot control. I cannot control the attitudes and reactions of others, but I can control whether or not I participate or assume that same attitude. That is not the "me" I want them to see.

As you face this day, I am not going to tell you to simply "Have a good day!" I challenge you to make the best of it, so that it doesn't "make the worst of you."

How do we do that?

By taking every thought captive as they present themselves. Just because I think it, doesn't mean I have to say it or do it. Make that thought obedient to Christ before you ever act on it. This is what we are instructed to do in 2 Corinthians 10:5 "we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ".

Why do it this way? Bend an ear with me to another verse, 2 Corinthians 4:5 NLT.

"You see, we don't go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are servants for Jesus'sake."

My responses, attitudes, and reactions are going to preach something to the people I encounter daily. I no longer preach about myself, I am preaching with my life for Jesus' sake, not my own. I am sending a bigger message to others than only the surface conversation or comments. My reactions and attitudes are a clear example of just how much power Jesus has in my life. If they don't see that light inside me switched to "ON", they will assume that He is not really a source of power and strength. I may not have spoken a lie with my tongue, but I have told a lie with my life and left that person with no hope for herself.

It really is about more than our everday situations, it's about making the best of them so that people see that He is real, He is still working, He still applies, He is still relevant. He is not outdated.



Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Rerun!

You know how your favorite TV shows sometimes are a rerun? I decided to take advantage of the rerun idea for the next few days so that I can spend more time with my family, so stay tuned for some great reruns from past posts. If you have one that comes to mind that you think warrants being "reran", let me know and I just may post it again.

Today's rerun is from the post entitled "Blowing Bubbles", enjoy your re-read!

How long has it been since you went out and just blew some bubbles? It relaxes me for some reason. I was thinking about blowing bubbles yesterday and how I can see God in even those. The solution is on the little wand, but without air breathed into it, it does nothing. It's just like me, I can accomplish nothing without Him breathing into me. What's fascinating is that one gentle breath scan send several bubbles floating off that wand at the same time. They are all a little different in size and they all travel to different places. Some burst and land right in from of me and some go several feet. Some even get caught in the breeze and I never see where they land. That's what happens when I let Him breathe himself into me. That very breath from His lungs is in each of those bubbles of my life and at some point, whether near or far, each one will burst and His breath will be able to touch someone else. I may never know it or see it happen, but I do know that eventually each one will pop and the contents will be spilled out.

That brings up a question. How closely do we watch what we allow to breathe into us? If every bubble will eventually pop, what message is floating out there to reach someone else?

I think Jesus would have liked to blow bubbles if they had been around! I say that because of John 20:21-22

"Jesus therefore saidto them again, 'Peace be with you; as the Father has sent me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them 'Receive the Holy Spirit'."

How awesome is that!?! He breathed upon those 12 men gathered that day and look how far their bubbles have traveled, they have touched you and me.

O Lord, I invite you to breathe your Spirit in me today and I welcome the bubbles of my life to leave that little wand and go where ever you send them.

How 'bout blowing some bubbles today?

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Simpler Times

As I drove home from work last night, I noticed a home that had Christmas lights, but not the same ones as everyone else. One solitary shrub in their front yard was all dressed up in lights, but instead of the mini lights like the rest of us, these were the old fashioned lights with the great big bulbs. My heart was instantly transported back to childhood at the sight of those lights and my heart longed for simpler times.

Times when we as kids just enjoyed the season without the worries and the fuss. One year I specifically remember a certain red suited visitor arriving at our home. The funny thing was, my sister, April, and I were in our room doing what we did most often, fighting, when Santa knocked on our front door. I was shocked to find out that 1- he had an oversized “elf” with him and 2- that he knew we were fighting. Although my sister and I deserved this little Christmas “scare” to make us walk a tighter line, I think Momma actually planned it because of my little brother, who was giving her a run for her money, if you know what I mean!

By the time the visit was all said and done, I think Santa had to invest in a new beard, because my brother had been sure to get his candy cane all in his white fluffiness. I remember sitting there looking at the mess he was creating and thinking, “Momma is going to whip you!”

Simpler times.

Then there were the Christmases with our itty bitty Christmas tree…..

Momma sat it atop the coffee table to make it look bigger and it was all the same to us.

Simpler times.

While I drove on, I contemplated just what was simpler about those times. As my mind went through the pages of my family’s history, I realized that really nothing was simpler. It was just simpler for me. Momma and Daddy still had the same worries and concerns as parents of us as we do for our children. They still struggled in the everyday. Oh yes, the world seems a meaner place now, I won’t deny that, but I think the thought of life being simpler then came from my lack of worry or fear. I certainly think that my parents would say even today, if you asked them, that those days weren’t so simple.

We all can experience simpler times when we allow faith to take over instead of logic. That’s what was so much simpler then, I trusted my parents for everything and had no question about the tomorrows.

How much simpler could our lives be if that is how we lived every day? Trusting God completely for everything without question about tomorrow. Without trying to “figure things out”. Just living for Him. Trusting completely in His character.

The eyes I see in those pictures from our childhood look different than the eyes I see staring back at me in later pictures. It seems that sparkle of trust is not quite as bright and that is something I want to work on.

Matthew 18:4 -
Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

We don't have to have it all figured out, we don't have to try.  We have to be humble enough to let go and let Him do things His way.

What about the sparkle of trust in your eyes? Is it still there?

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Monday, December 20, 2010

And His Name Will Be Called......

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Wonderful Counselor. Wonderful in the original meaning is “miracle or marvelous thing”. He is our Counselor who is a marvelous miracle. Why do we seek a Counselor? To give us wisdom advice, direction, guidance. Wonderful Counselor.

That’s who He is.

Mighty God. Mighty meaning strong, valiant, champion, and I personally love this one – GIANT. He is my GIANT CHAMPION.

That’s who He is.

Eternal Father. Perpetual is used to describe eternal. Perpetual means continuous without interruption. He is your Father, and that can never be interrupted. No matter how busy He is, when His child calls, His role as Father is what is most important to Him. Eternal Father.

That’s who He is.

Prince of Peace. Prince comes from the word "sar" which is defined as a head person, a captain, a chief, a ruler. He is the Head Person, the Ruler of Peace.

That’s who He is.

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace. Isaiah 9:7

Lean in real close, let me whisper something to you……

Your Father without interruption is a Giant Champion, a Marvelous Counselor, and is in charge of all peace. And there will be NO END to the increase of His authority. Your Daddy will always be in charge, yet always has time for you. He is all those things and will always be, but you are what’s near to His heart. He may be in charge of alot, but His eyes are on His little girl.

That’s who He is.

And He belongs to you.

At the end of a long day, it is you that He is excited to see.

Last week's winner from the comments on "Strong Enough to Be Weak" was April Tinsman.  Congratulations and Enjoy!  If you didn't read her comment, you must - considering the subject!

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Finished. Done. Finito!

“I’m done!”

Words we don’t perceive as joyous coming from someone else in regards to her Christmas shopping when we still have much to do. Those words usually prompt me to look at that person with disgust and disdain and jealousy. Just being honest!

Well – you can look at me that way this year! Because I – am - done. Finished. Done. Finito! Yes, me. Never in my life have I been able to say that, especially as of last week when I finished my shopping, but this year, I can.

Don’t hate me - it probably will never happen again.

The sad thing is, I don’t have that sense of relief that I thought I would. Isn’t that strange? I don’t know how many years I have said, “I’m going to get my shopping done early so I can sit back and enjoy the season,” only to fall short of that goal. Oddly though, even though I am finished early, I haven’t been able to “sit back and enjoy the season”. That’s because enjoying the season doesn’t happen sitting back, as we think, it happens within my heart, whether the shopping is finished or not. My perspective is what affects my enjoyment of the season.

Even though I am “finished”, there are always ideas going through my mind about something I could add to a gift or someone else I “should pick up a little something for”. So, really, I guess it’s never really finished until I run out of time and Christmas day arrives.

“It is finished”, exciting words to hear about your Christmas shopping, but there is oh so much more meaning to hear them from the mouth of our Savior.

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” and He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.

Notice the exclamation point. That’s not mine, it’s His.


Really Finished.





And there is nothing more you or I can do to make what He did for us more complete.

Not striving.

Not rushing.

Not planning.


Nothing can make what He did for you and for me more complete, the perfect Lamb can not be made more perfect. Without sin or blemish, He was completely whole, that’s why what He did on that cross can be completely finished.

And the affects have lasted more than 2000 years without being added to.

What a marvelous thought.

My Precious Jesus, the exclamation point in that verse tells me that You must have cried out those words with such passion and emotion and with all of the strength left within Your beaten body. It tells me that you endured much to reach that “finish line”. I know how loudly I want to shout to the world when I complete a difficult task, so I cannot imagine the feelings or sense of accomplishment that must have forced those words from your lips and heart when I think of all that you really did “finish”. How exhausted your spirit must have been, I know that my sin alone was more than enough to exhaust You, Jesus. You had a job to do and I am so thankful that You saw it through to completion.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Strong Enough to Be Weak

I saw three different friends cry today for three different reasons. Just like Truvy in Steel Magnolias, I have strong philosophy that nobody cries alone in my presence, so when I see the tears well up in the bottoms of someone’s eyes, there’s no stopping mine, and I cried today too. As many of you know, tears are something I have always tried to hold back, but fail HUGELY at, so this crying thing is an interesting topic to me.

What disturbs me more than seeing someone cry is to see what we do when we cry. We get angry at ourselves for crying. We go to a room alone so that no one sees us, or if someone does happen to get a glimpse of our tears, we quickly tell them that we’re ok. When the first tear falls, we begin apologizing for it. It’s at those times when we are hurting so terribly, when we need the support of people who love us that we turn and go the opposite direction from hearts that ache for us and with us.

What was sad today was that I know each of these 3 friends well, wanted to reach out and hug them as they cried, but for some reason I didn’t feel comfortable doing that.


Why do we hide our tears?

Why do we apologize for them?

Why do we try to be tough?

Why do we say we are OK, when obviously we aren’t?

Why do we hide ourselves from others so they won’t know?

Why do we keep one another an arm’s distance away?

Have we been so deceived to see tears and emotions as weakness?

If that is the case, let me tell you about somebody who is the strongest person I know. He withstood ridicule, public disgrace, physical pain, mocking, questioning of authority, sweat drops of blood, yet ……

Jesus wept. John 11:35

He wept at the death of His friend Lazarus.

He wept over the city of Jerusalem in Luke 19:41. He wept because they just didn’t see Him or accept Him for who He was. The book of Hebrews describes Jesus this way:
In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.

If our Savior, being God in the flesh, was “a man of sorrows acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3), I think it’s ok if we cry.

But why don’t we think its ok?

Did you know that He cares so much about you that He stores your tears in a bottle?

He does, Psalms 56:8 says so.

I didn’t feel comfortable reaching out to my friends today because knowing they despise breaking down in front of someone, I didn’t want to make them cry more, but I have felt all day that I made the wrong choice. Jesus wept for those who were hurting and I want to be like Him, even if it requires me to weep.

I don’t think He intended us to always weep alone or He wouldn’t have written Romans 12:15 weep with those who weep.

I covet your input about why you don’t like to cry. I’m doing some soul searching on this and am interested in your perspective. In appreciation, I will give away another copy of Unafraid by Francine Rivers to someone who posts a comment about why they don't like to cry.

Jesus, thank You for showing me today that it’s ok to cry. Father, I pray for your people that we would be strong enough to cry on someone else’s shoulder. Strong enough to be weak before one another. Give us hearts that are willing to weep for those who weep. Father I pray for the courage and boldness to reach out to those who are hurting and defy the “logic” going on in my mind in those moments. I pray that in the future, I will just listen to the voice of Your Spirit in my heart. I want to be Your hands and feet.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Remember the good ole’ days when you unwrapped your presents, opened the box, and could actually get the toy out of the container in less than an hour without calling in the National Guard and Special Forces?

Simpler, might I say, simpler.

Things have changed much in the toy marketing world. Now the toys are arranged “just so” in the packaging to be more eye catching, keeping them in just the right position to capture the imagination of the little eyes dreaming over the package. I’m sure there are many reasons things are packaged as they are, I know the world is not the same as it used to be, but surely, the whole purpose behind this toy packaging is NOT to just watch me go absolutely insane.

Is it just me or is this a little over the top?

The girls have gotten things in the past that took either Todd or myself a good 15 minutes or longer to extricate from all of the twist ties, rubber bands, stitching, plastic braces, etc. On Christmas morning, when it’s way too early and you’ve had way too little sleep, this is not an easily accomplished task.

Can a girl get an amen??

Here’s a cute little song by Sara Groves called “Toy Packaging”, have a listen and see if you can identify, I know I sure cracked up when I heard this!

Christmas Lights PBL - Sara Groves ~ Toy Packaging from robogeek on Vimeo.

That’s how Christmas morning was until I took some advice from a wise mommy, and after she gave me this gem of information, I felt, oh so ridiculous not thinking of it myself. Get ready – this is a monumental, yet DUH piece of advice!!

Several days before Christmas I take the all toys out of the boxes, and remove everything I can ahead of time, and then slip it back into the box so that they can just pull them out on Christmas morning.

Duh, I said to myself, duh, but what a difference it made! Yes, there are some things that you have to leave intact, but most of those ridiculous twisty ties that make your fingers feel like they will bleed, can be taken care of ahead of time. Works for me!

Extrication. You can’t go into this feat half-heartedly. You must be on a mission to get to the gift itself and this mission is not for the faint of heart. As you seek the next step to removing the gift from its package, you must remember that deep down inside, the joy that the gift will bring will be worth all of the diligence, all of the seeking, all of the “figuring out”.

So will your faith.

There will be those things in life that will seem to “tie down” your journey with God until you figure out how to free yourself from them. Just when you think you’ve got everything loosened up and removed, you’ll find some sneaky little twisty tie that still holds you back, and it might take a lot of prayer, soul searching, and scripture searching to figure out how to be free from it, but my friend, it will be worth it. Keep seeking Him, The Gift. Keep your faith as you strip away the things holding you back from experiencing the fullness of The Gift of life with Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Keep untwisting, snipping, cutting whatever it takes to get to where He wants you to be.

And don’t let that toy packaging drive you nuts this Christmas!

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Testify Tuesday

It's Testify Tuesday again...and, as always, this is your chance to testify about what you've seen God doing. What has He taught you that has made you see Christmas differently this year? What has He whispered to your soul lately? I would love to hear from you today.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Monday, December 13, 2010


And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.”
Matthew 2:35

Those were the words of the angel, Gabriel, to Mary. The power of the Most High would overshadow her and as a result of His overshadowing, she would birth Jesus. A virgin birth. A birth impossible without the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Did you know the same is possible for us? That is, if we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and allow His power to move within us. If we allow the power of God to overshadow us, we, when surrendered to His power, birth Jesus into this world everyday.

Did you realize that?

We can birth Jesus into the lives of people through our words, our actions, our gifts, our abilities, even through our difficult situations.

Not only was Mary given the opportunity to birth the Savior into the world, but in a sense, we are given that opportunity with each moment of our lives. The Holy Spirit is always there waiting for the permission to speak to us, speak through us, and direct us on our paths as we come into contact with other people.

And you shall call his name Jesus.

Jesus at your workplace.

Jesus at the grocery store.

Jesus at the very busy, insanely crazy toy store during this Christmas shopping season (even if someone runs into you with their shopping cart).

Jesus at the post office.

Jesus to your kids.

Jesus to your husband.

Jesus to that person who may be a little “different” than you.

Let’s read those words again:

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.”
Matthew 2:35

Will you let the Holy Spirit come upon you? Will you allow the power of the Most High to overshadow you today? Will the Son of God be born through you to the people you meet today?

Will you be overshadowed?

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Friday, December 10, 2010

An Empty Place

Anytime a member of our household is not at home, especially for the night, it’s like there is an empty place inside of my heart placed there by their absence. We go on with life as usual, doing whatever chores are necessary, running errands, laundry, etc., but that “incompleteness” lingers with me no matter what I do until they come home.

It is especially strange at bedtime. I try to tell myself it’s no big deal, but it’s in those moments when my children aren’t with me that I am overwhelmed with the both the gift and responsibility God has entrusted to me in parenting two little lives. Two little lives, that truthfully aren’t mine, they are His, and He is letting me mold them. It’s in those moments that my prayers for them become more fierce, more serious, I pray for their safety, for their protection, prayers just keep flowing from my mouth. Many things race through my mind, but ultimately I have to choose to trust God with them, for they were His before they ever came into my life. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not the only time I pray for them, but when they aren’t in their beds, aren’t at my side, that’s when I am most reminded of this task God has given me, and the praying can’t be stopped.

My home just feels empty without them here.

Even if my mind turns to their beautiful faces during my work day/their school day, my heart aches. I can envision their smiles and laughter in my thoughts, and I can barely stand not being with them at that very moment.

I guess it’s a momma’s instinct.

I wonder what Heaven was like for God while Jesus wasn’t there?

I heard a song yesterday that spoke to me. The title of the song was Christmas Morning written and sung by Shannon Wexelberg on her Christmas album entitled Love Came For Me (great CD if you’re looking for some Christmas tunes). I want to share a portion of the lyrics with you:

On Christmas morning
Was there a tear
Upon Your holy face?
Love was the story
Your Son came near
To a sinful place
And as the angels sang
Glories from on high
You saw an empty place
Your Son not at Your side
On Christmas morning
I wonder, did You cry?

On Christmas morning
Was there an ache
For all that He would face?
Love was the story
A manger now
A cross soon in its place
You saw the crown of thorns
And His bloodstained brow
The price for all our sin
Just a baby now
On Christmas morning
The day Your love came down

God’s Son was not “home” with Him while He was here on this earth, and He had to entrust that Son’s well being, within the body of a helpless infant, to one of us. A frail, mere human, and He trusted His Son to Joseph and Mary’s care.

I wonder if Heaven felt “empty” while Jesus was gone?

I wonder if God’s heart ached because Jesus was not at His side as He always had been?

Precious one, His heart aches for you to be with Him just as much.

Thank You, God, for sharing Him with us for those 33 years. I cannot imagine the joy you must have felt when He took His place at Your right hand upon His return to Heaven. Words cannot describe the gift that You gave us on that Christmas morning, a gift that we don’t yet fully understand I’m sure. You gave that gift anyway, even though we couldn’t fully appreciate it. You are a good, loving, kind, and merciful King, who just happens to be my Abba Daddy. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

VERY Wise Men

We talked about the wise men yesterday and how they listened to God’s instruction. Today let’s talk a little more about these “wise” men, I would venture to even say VERY wise men.

You can read about the Wise Men, also called Magi, in Matthew 2. They arrive in Jerusalem with one question, “Where is He?”. They had studied the Scriptures and the skies and knew that a star would come forth from Jacob (Numbers 24:17) and when they saw that star, they began a very long journey following it.

They followed the star for thousands of miles to meet this Christ child and to see Him with their own eyes. The hot desert days and cool desert nights must have made them weary travelers at times, but they kept seeking Him. The brightness of that star surely was mesmerizing to them since studying the stars was their way of life. They knew this was no ordinary star, and kept following.

They sought Him until they found Him.

They knew they were getting close to the King of the Jews when they arrived in Jerusalem which was just north of Bethlehem, and they began to ask the question “Where is He?” Since the magi were calling Him the King of the Jews, Herod got a little suspicious of the situation and called together his “wise men”, the chief priests and the scribes, who were responsible for translating the sacred books and interpreting difficult scriptures. They advised King Herod that the Scriptures said the child would be born in Bethlehem.

The Wise Men head toward Bethlehem and the star leads the way again….

Until it came and stood over where the Child was. Matthew 2:9

The magi were beside themselves when they saw the star stand still, the verses say they rejoiced exceedingly. They rejoiced more than enough! Let's put it this way, you would have already had to shush them if they were your children, telling them "Okay okay, calm down." Exceedingly!

And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him…”

Did you catch that? They fell down and worshipped a CHILD. Adults flat on their faces at the feet of a little child, less than two years old, worshiping that Child. Have you ever seen that happen? Oh sure, we goo and gaa and play peek a boo with little ones and we love to gaze upon them because they’re so cute. Their sweet little fat fingers and stubby little toes - we just have to touch ‘em. But this was more than their eye being caught by the Child’s cuteness. They fell down and worshiped. They worshiped a person who by His stature and position at the time seemed incapable of providing an answer to the world’s problems.

But that in itself is the wonderful part of this scripture - they fell down and worshiped Him, not because of a prayer that He could answer, a disease that He could heal, a mountain He could move.


They fell down and worshiped just because of who He was.

When He was so small it seemed He had nothing to offer, they worshiped.

They worshiped a toddler, 100% fully God and 100% human, just because of who He was. He hadn’t died for anyone’s sin yet, He hadn’t healed a blind man yet, He hadn’t raised the dead yet. He was still in diapers and He was worshiped.

VERY Wise Men.

Jesus, oh that we would get to this special place in our journey with You, that we fall down and worship You not because of something You have done, something You can do, or because of something we need, but simply because of who You are. May we seek more OF You instead of more FROM You.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Would I Have Listened?

We’ve been talking about interesting things from the Christmas story over the past several days and one thing about the story has been floating back and forth in my mind.

The Wise Men – what if they hadn’t listened?

To God I mean.

What if they hadn’t listened to God’s direction and had heeded King Herod’s direction instead?

King Herod wanted nothing of this “Messiah” who was to be “King of the Jews”, because that threatened his very position. However, he acted as if he was “interested” shall we say, and secretly (the NASB says) ascertained when the star appeared so that he could deduce just how old this Child was so that he could take matters in his own hands.

And that he did.

He had all baby boys ages 2 and under murdered just to be sure he covered all of his bases. Scholars differ on their opinions of just how many babies King Herod had murdered in an effort to kill our King Jesus but the numbers ranged between 20 and 200 babies.

All innocent.

Yet Herod was not successful.

Because the Magi listened to God.

They listened to a God they could not see instead of a ruler that they could see.

Would I have done the same?

It’s so much easier to believe and trust in someone who we can see, touch, and physically hear than to by faith listen to God, but faith is what pleases God according to Hebrews 11:6. Faith or Tangible? Hmmm, it’s a little hard sometimes.

Listening to God totally changed the direction of the Wise Men. Matthew 1:12 says they departed for their own country by another way. Sometimes following God’s instruction will totally change our direction, sometimes opposite of the direction of those we can see, touch, and physically hear, that is why it is so important to know Him, His Word, and His voice. If we don’t, we’ll be going the wrong way on a one way street and wondering why we are crashing all of the time.

Would I have listened?

Or would I have dismissed the dream and God’s direction because of direction from someone right in front of me?

What about you?

This may seem silly to you, but when I think of the Wise Men climbing up on their camels, bidding goodbye to Joseph, Mary, and King Jesus at the end of their visit, I kind of chuckle inside. Can’t you just picture them steering their camels in the opposite direction of Herod’s castle, and as the camel strut along, discussing amongst themselves, “We got you Herod! And you actually thought we would come back and tell you where this baby was???!” as they laughed on their Merry Christmas way home.

Just a thought.

By the way the winner of last week's drawing for the book Unafraid by Francine Rivers was Julia Meyer. Congrats, my friend! I hope you enjoy.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Waiting .....

I cannot imagine what life must have been like for the people of Israel. It was prophesied to them that a Messiah would come to save them for many years before it actually happened. They waited and waited and waited.

And then waited some more.

Then they hoped and hoped and hoped.

And hoped some more.

How discouraging life must have been. They had been promised something and put their hope in something and saw nothing happen for a very long time. Can you picture going through everyday life with the everyday problems they faced - financial struggles, family struggles, illnesses, death, oppression, desperation, depression, fears, anxieties, government mismanagement and even cruelty – going through all of those things and at the end of the day your hope rested in the saying that had been passed down through the generations ---

A Messiah WILL come……

As the struggles mount, I’m sure the resolve of many began to fade, but they tried to remain faithful and repeated, almost pleading –

A Messiah will COME……

For some, I’m sure the anticipation and pleading became more of a question than a statment -

A Messiah will come???

For over 700 years the people of Israel had been taught that this Messiah, this Savior would come. Isaiah had told them in Isaiah 19:20 “It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.” They hung their hope on the prophecy of a Savior. Their mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, as far back as they could remember, had been saying this, but WHEN?

Can you imagine how hopeless some days must have been for them? God was silent. I know that our days sometimes seem hopeless, and the Messiah HAS ALREADY COME! We don’t have to wonder if our hope was in vain, it wasn’t.

I can identify with their waiting in my own little selfish, minuscule way. He did teach me something through their waiting today. Being in ministry is difficult, not only is this blog the way I attempt to minister to others for God, but my husband is in full time ministry as well. There have been many times when I or we have asked God to show us SOMETHING, just SOMETHING, to keep us going, to sustain us, so I cannot imagine going years and years with God being silent. Sometimes you just want to give up. I was talking to my husband tonight about my blog and ministry in general and how sometimes serving in ministry can be so frustrating and I said to him something like this –

“I know God has so much more in mind than what it(this blog) is…. I know because He has shown me things that I know were from Him… But- it’s just stuck. Sometimes I wonder Why did He even show me anything because the waiting is so difficult?”

And I got the answer as soon as I asked the question –

Because You asked Me to. He showed me things because I asked Him to, because I had whined wanting to know what He had in mind, and now I’m complaining about waiting. What do I have to complain about – it’s not like it’s gonna be 700 years.

For God though, as 2 Peter 3:8 puts it “do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

I know the Messiah was sure worth the wait, so I’m sure anything else He has planned will be too, and it will be at “just the right time”. Just as the fulfilling of the promise of a Savior to His people hundreds of years later.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:6

And we get to celebrate His birthday in a few weeks. What a priviledge.
Other than His return, what do you find yourself waiting for?

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Blessed Is She....

Well, how’s the homework coming? I think my husband is campaigning for teacher’s pet since he was sure to comment on yesterday’s post. I think he has been cheating though, because some of what he said, I had planned on using in a later post. If I had mentioned it in passing or written it somewhere, I would be getting a little skeptical about now.

But today, I want to tell you about a little treasure I discovered in Luke chapter 1. I know, that wasn’t part of your homework, but I went back a little further to read and found a little nugget to share with my sisters.

In Luke chapter 1, the angel visits Mary to reveal to her what God had in mind. The angel, Gabriel, bursts onto the scene with these words, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was terrified at first, but Gabriel reassured her saying, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.” Then the angel shared with her some pretty unimaginable things. He told her that she would birth the Messiah into the world. This child would reign forever, His Kingdom having no end. Even though most of what he shared with her seemed illogical to her, Mary was willing to be His servant.

During his visit with her, Gabriel also shared with Mary that her relative, Elizabeth was with child as well and that “Nothing is impossible with God.”

What was Mary’s response?

“May it be to me as you have said.”

She didn’t say what I hear myself often say, “Why would He pick me?” or “I don’t deserve His love” or “Favored? I wouldn't quite put it that way.” She didn’t argue the points, she accepted Gabriel’s words with “May it be to me as you have said.” Just that simple.

In other words, let what you said about me be truth, even the "favored" part.

After Gabriel left her, Mary hurried to visit Elizabeth. Elizabeth throws open the door and greets her with much excitement, she was filled with the Holy Spirit and began blessing Mary. Here’s the nugget I was telling you about – verse 45:

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!

My precious sisters, do you believe what the Lord has said to you? No, maybe Gabriel hasn’t visited you, but He says MUCH to you within the pages of His book. Do you believe what He has said to you?

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished…

Why would he lie to you? When we don’t believe what God says about us, in essence, that is what we are telling Him. We are saying He is wrong, that what He is saying is incorrect. He wouldn’t lie to you, He can’t. Believe what He says about you. Sometimes that just comes down to a simple choice. Am I going to believe Him or not? Believing is not a feeling, so don’t be tripped up by that. If anyone could have thought God was just blowing smoke, Mary sure had reason to, what the angel said was so "out there", it was hard to believe.

Now, if you don’t know what He says about you, you better get your shovel and start treasuring hunting through those pages, because there are diamonds awaiting your discovery.

Lord you are a God who finds favor and I believe that. I believe that you find favor with the wonderful women reading today. Holy Spirit tell her, show her how much she is favored. Show her places of unbelief, help her know the difference between a belief and a feeling. May her passion for you begin to grow and be fanned into flame by taking your words off the pages of your Book and tucking them in her heart, choosing to believe what they say about her. I am so in love with You, Jesus, and I want her to share that love as well.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pondering Treasures

Since December 2nd is already upon us, I want us to take the time today, before things get crazy in the season, to actually read the Christmas story. I wonder how many Christmases have passed us by without our eyes ever falling upon the words of this blessed story? I know that I have been guilty of failing to take the time to read the story the way God tells it, relying on someone else telling the story instead. I don’t want that to be the case this year.

As I sat listening to Pastor Andy Stanley on a video several days ago, he said this, “Sometimes we read the story and miss the message.” I regret to say, I’m afraid we do that more often than we would like to admit. So today – you have a little homework assignment! (Just look at is a being young and back in school again!)

Your homework today, “class”, has 3 parts:
  1.  I would like for you to read the Christmas story. You can find it in Luke chapter 2, which is the story we are most familiar with, and the story is also told in Matthew chapter 1, starting in verse 18. You can read one or both stories, it’s up to you. I know many of you read my blog from a place other than home, so if you don’t have a Bible with you, there are some great websites you can visit where you can look up the passage and read right from your computer. Check out or . These websites will even allow you to choose the version you like to read.
  2. The second part of your assignment is don’t read the story and miss the message.  What do I mean by that? I mean don’t just skim through the story because it’s familiar. Pay attention to the words and place yourself in the story, imagine the emotions of the characters, and as you do, see what God reveals to you.
  3. “Share with the rest of the class” something that captured your attention, seemed new, fresh to you in a comment at the end of today’s post. Besides having a moment with the Father in His Word, which is a great reward with lasting value, there is a reward in store for your “sharing with the class”! Everyone who posts a comment will be registered to win a copy of Unafraid by Francine Rivers. Unafraid is an awesome Christian fiction story characterizing Mary. This story takes you right into what life as the mother of Jesus must have been like. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will appreciate things about Mary that you probably never thought about. I read this book a few years ago and my mind always drifts back to it, especially during the Christmas season. I think you will love it.

If you don’t know how to comment, I have step by step instructions for you. Click on the “Comments?” link at the upper left of this page. Please don’t be afraid, if you can log on to the internet, you can post a comment, its really not hard.

Now, I will turn in my “homework”, and you can grade me if you want!

As I read the story again, several things jumped out, and I will probably share them with you over the next several days, but verse 19, in Luke 2, grabbed me. In verse 16, these shepherds show up after Mary had given birth. When they saw with their own eyes confirmation of what the angel told them while they were in the fields, the shepherds told everyone around them about their encounter with the angel. They shared the details with them that the angel had spoken, which they observed to be exactly true. All who heard their story were amazed at the shepherd’s story….. then you get to verse 19:

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

She just took it all in. She treasured up those moments as she listened to the shepherds and others talking around her. I wonder if it was because she knew there would be days before her that she would need to dig into these treasures to make it through one more day. Our God is so good, so perfect, so flawless, not only did He build up the faith of the shepherds and the others through the words of His angel, but when the story was retold, He provided Mary treasures for her heart. He was tucking those things away deep inside her heart for the difficult days ahead.

I need to take time to “treasure” more, so that I can “ponder” on His goodness more. Think about a treasure chest, it has a lock on it, so that no one can steal the treasure inside. She locked those moments securely inside her heart. Then she pondered. The original tense that this word “pondering” was written in means that it was a continuous and repetitive action. She didn’t just think about it once, Mary must have went back to this part of the story over and over in her heart and mind. Had it not been treasured, she would not have had it to ponder.

That “class”, is what I learned in my homework today!

Looking forward to hearing what you have learned from the words of the Master Teacher! Don’t read the story and miss the message. I will announce the winner of Unafraid on Tuesday of next week, and I’m tellin’ ya, you will love this book!

Author of the Christmas Story, how blessed we are to have the birthday of your Son recorded in black and white for us to read. I pray you enlighten the hearts and minds of my “classmates” and dazzle them with a nugget of this story that they have never noticed before. Father I know how faithful You are and am excited to see what You can teach me through the readers that I love so much. By the way, tell Mary how much I appreciate her for mothering my Savior.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

O' Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree

My family and I decorated our Christmas tree over the weekend, and for once, my blood did not boil at any point in the decorating process. Notice – I said for once, which would lead you to believe that my blood HAS boiled while decorating the tree before. Every time the blood boiling occurs during the tree decorating, my mind drifts to those movies we all watch. You know, the ones that make us feel all warm and cozy inside as the characters put up and decorate their Christmas trees in such familial bliss that it brings tears to our eyes. We wonder why our experience can’t be the same. Before you start beating yourself and your family up, for your past Christmas experiences, let me remind you – those families aren’t REAL! They are characters with scripted lines and movements. All that was free, had nothing to do with today’s post, just threw it in there for your extra reading pleasure! ;)

Back to the Christmas Tree –

Aren’t they just pitiful looking when you pull them out of the box, all mashed and mangled? It takes some time to separate the branches, fluff them up, get them all in the right place, put the tree in the stand. OOOH, positioning the tree in the stand, reminds me of a certain blood boiling moment involving my mom, my brother, the Christmas tree, and some duct tape. I believe I’ll not reveal the rest of said story, lest I be excommunicated from my family!

You have to check the lights. Can I just say, God, please bless the person who invented pre-lit trees? Wonderful. Then, once it’s standing, and somewhat resembles the tree, the fun part begins. The garland is draped and swaged across the branches. The star is placed at the very tip top. The ornaments are hung with care, one by one, in just the right place. You work until you can step back and admire the beauty of the tree. As I look at mine now, the lights bring out the sparkle in some of the ornaments, their glitter shining at me across the room. The star at the top is brilliant with its light, and many of the ornaments have a story behind them. An ornament celebrating Our First Christmas Together, Baby’s First Christmas Booties for each of my daughters, an ornament from Disney World, ornaments the girls have made, ornaments special friends have given me, and there are some ornaments hanging on my tree for no other reason than their beauty.

I love to just sit and admire it.

We’re kind of like a Christmas tree. We aren’t in perfect shape when God drags us out of where we were, but He knows the time and effort He puts into us will be worth it if we will allow Him the opportunity. When given permission, He begins unfolding every branch one by one, positioning each to the place He has in mind, He places us on a firm foundation, His Word, so that we don’t topple. He lights us with His love, and once we plug into those little offerings of His love, that star He places atop us is brilliant, shining to people from a distance. As we shine, He begins to decorate us, draping us with the garland of His blood and the righteousness it purchased. We sparkle with the glitter of His touch. He hangs each ornament, many of which have a story from our life to adorn us. Some of those stories weren’t easy to endure, but what came from them just wouldn’t be right on any other tree, it fits perfectly where He hangs it. He can make something beautiful to adorn you from even those things you consider bad. Yes, He hangs some as simple gifts to you and some He hangs for no reason other than the beauty of watching you with it.

And He loves to sit and admire you.

Not just at Christmas, every day.

I hope you know how much He loves you.

I will rejoice greatly in the LORD,
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Isaiah 61:10

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