Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Tree on Jasper Street

I was sitting the other night rather enjoying my Christmas decor in my living room.
The fireplace was burning, my Nativity scene was in tack for the moment ( no grand boys yet to kidnap baby Jesus ) I must say all I needed was some snow which by the way I am praying for to make it Christmas card perfect. At that moment I was taking back in time to a place long forgotten in my memory. I just love it when God brings those memories back. I like to call them a kiss on the cheek memory. Growing up for me was not a easy task nor always a good one, so I have ask Jesus to replace the bad memories with good ones, ones long forgotten or should I say over shadowed by the more difficult ones and He has done that several times. This trip back in time was no exception.
I was taken back to a time when Mom and myself lived in a apartment, which in its self was not the norm. We normally lived with someone,mostly my grandmother until she died. My older brother had just come home from Vietnam or was coming home ,I really don't recall, that would have make me about 4 0r 5 years old. Any way, I recall Mama spending hours on that Christmas tree. It was real and she hung those big old bulbs one strand at a time,carefully putting them just in the right place. She then hung the balls the same way and I remember just watching in amazement as it came together. Then came the ice sickles, one at a time, it seem like it took forever for her to get done with. Do you know how many ice sickles there are in those packs? It felt like a million.But after several HOURS she finally hung the last one.Then she did something I have never saw her do again and I myself have never tried to duplicate it. She took with such love and precise care and cupped angel hair around each one of those big ole lights on that tree that seem to stretch to the ceiling. When she had completed that the lights gave off a warm glow that I can honestly say have never seen again.On any other tree I have seen sense. By this time every small child had gathered at the outside of the window and was looking with amazement. That tree was beautiful masterpiece created by my Mom, by this time the front door was open and kids just starting coming inside to take a look at it. I remember now all the ohs and awes and I think my Mom even smiled. I did not get to help her that year decorated the tree and don't know why,she normally let me put those ice sickles on, but I am kinda glad she didn't. I don't know if I would have recall all those details if I had helped and not just watched. So as I sit and look at my Christmas tree that by no comparison holds a light to that tree on Jasper Street. is is pretty just the same, and I am really glad I put it up. Because I saw that excited ment in Cole,Jonah,and Judah's eye when they saw it for the first time,much like the the excitement I recall seeing in those neighbor kids eyes when they came in and looked at that tree my Mom decorated that year. How excited and proud I was, and as that memory fades away hopefully to recall again another time, it fades with my Mom Turing her head oh so slightly my way and smiling.
Wow what a great kiss on the cheek. Thanks Jesus.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Choice

I was on my way home last week and I passed a house on Old Orangeburg road that was Griswald decked out for CHRISTmas. I could not help but think Wow they sure are in the spirit. It is not even Thanksgiving yet. But as I passed the house it hit me.CHRISTmas is almost here again. Is time racing past me like a whirlwind. It seem just a few weeks ago I was teaching Cole and Johah how to swim, now it is cold and CHRISTmas is popping up every where.
At work we have a increased of depression that happens around the Holiday, most people are worried about money and with all good reason, others are just wishing it will be over soon.
All this has caused me to stop and think a bit. It has been a long time that I have enjoyed the season. Daddy died 2 months before CHRISTmas in 2005, and that pretty much tugged on the heart strings, then the next CHRISTmas mama was gone, then the next one after that we lost Kenny, so all in all for me it has been 3 CHRISTmas's that have had a sad overtone to it.
Well frankly I am sick and tired of being Sad. Satan has done a great job of robbing us of the joy not only in our everyday life's, but also in our loss'
We have pulled away from the reason we even celebrate this time year by allowing the worry and and losses to cloud our thoughts and our hearts.
I heard a Pastor say once that everything we experience we choose how we will allow it to affect us. Satan may cause some problems but not without Gods permission to do so, and I feel that God then looks at us and waits for us to CHOOSE HIM.
Satan says you have no money to buy gifts Jesus says choose me I am the gift.
Satan says you are having a hard time and you can not enjoy life anymore and Jesus says my yoke is easy and my burdens are light if you chose me.
Satan says your heart is sad and things will never be the same Jesus says I make all things new choose me.
But for most of us we Choose to be worried, and sad and depressed and just wish that this time of year will go away. Where would we be if it had never come?That thought is to fearful to even think about.
How guilty I am that I have fallen into the trap that Satan has so cunningly set to make me less effective as Christians by using my on emotions against me.
Well for me this season I am packing up my gloomies and putting them in a box under my tree 'For real' if you come to my house you will find a box under my tree that will say on it gloomies.
I am going to pull out my tree and all my decor and heck I may even buy some more ( dont tell Neil ) I am going to the parade all three of them even if I have to go alone. I will be breaking out my CHRISTmas CD's and I will put a song in my heart. I am going to be with my family the ones that I can and I will tell them how much I love them and how much Jesus loves them. I mailing CHRISTmas cards even to those I dont like :):):)
I am going to watch Charlie Brown, and all those movies that make me laugh.
I am sure there will be times this will get hard but I owe it to Christ to show the joy of my salvation, and how thankful I am that we even have this season. I know that I can never repay Him for what he has done for me but I can put my best foot forward for Him. I am going to ask Him everyday to remove any sadness from my heart and to help me focus on the season.
I love you Mom and Dad and Kenny.but this year it wont be about you, you will be celebrating a birthday in heaven and I bet that will be a great party, one that I will get to see first hand one day, but for me this time this year I CHOOSE Jesus.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Counting my Blessings

A few weeks ago as we sat down to eat dinner, my dear husband was forced to say the blessing.
This is something he is doing more and more lately, to his defense, but normally it is I. This night I had already stuffed something in my mouth and my words would not form so I relented and squeezed his hand and he followed the cue and stepped right up to the plate and said the blessing. One thing I have noticed with him is that no matter when or when or what, he always thanks God for our blessings.
Now I am thankful for the many things that God has blessed me with, but like most people unless it is something big, I tend to over look the little things that warms my heart each day. I so often fail to thank my Lord and Savior for the smaller things that are relevant to me.
So today I am including a active prayer in my blog on the things that warms my heart each day that God has blessed me with.

Lord forgive me for allowing the world to demand so much of my attention that I take my eyes off of you, and forgive me for minimizing the blessings in my life that are not on a bigger scale.
Thank you for for the way I feel when Olivia smiles at me and all you see is squinted eyes and gums, or when my grand boys call my name with excitement. Thank you that I can see, touch, and smell the beauty of this world around me, the way that my breath catches the early morning air and I am reminded that you gave me breath and you are the only one that can take it away.
I am awed to feel the rain on my face but more than that I love to close my eyes and feel the wind blow, for that reminds me that even though I can not see you or touch you right now, you are still there.
I love to smell coffee brewing and that feeling I get after the first sip in the morning, that makes me feel warm in my tummy.
I am touched when I hear children playing in the distance and it reminds me of some of my founder childhood memories. You are slowly erasing the bad ones and replacing them with the good ones, the ones I had long forgotten.
For naps and blankets to curl up in and warm fuzzes on my feet.
For fleeing moments with those that I love, and how when that time comes to a end, how thankful I was to have a few minutes of their day, for neither one of us may not have tomorrow left to share on earth , and Daddy I dont ever wont to forget that fact.
For fireplaces and warm beaches and music Lord, how I do love me some music and may my heart sing a joyful noise unto you for now and forever more.
For the times when my sister and I go and do crazy things and we laugh, so often more at ourselves than others, it gives me a good feeling inside.For big people in little cars that for some reasonthat just cracks me up.
For times that I get the giggles at all the wrong moments and for the big ole belly laughs that brings me to tears.
Thank you sweet Lord for the memories that I hold dear to my heart, and the tears of pain and joy that you personally keep in a special store house.
For the way it makes me feel when I am at home and Neil burst in and calls me "woman of the house '' I cant help but good inside when I hear that.
Lord thank you that through all my failures as a parent my children respect me, and I feel a sense of pride at the respect they show me and I pray that you will bless them for this respect and make their lives long ones as your word promises it will do.
Holy Daddy I could sit all day and think of the small things that touch me in so many ways, but once again the demands of my day are at hand, and I must go,but I wonted to thank you for these things that warm my heart, I am sorry it has taken me so long. Continue to bless this servant of yours and bless those that take a few minutes from their day to read this public display worship and praise.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to your name O Most High. To declare your lovingkindness in the morning and your faithfulness every night. Psm 92:1-2

In your name Jesus