Monday, November 21, 2011

Shut Up and Pray

HolySpirit has been whispering a theme to me for the past few weeks. His words came nicely the first time, "Talk less. Pray more." WisdomWords spoken through a Titus2 leader that hovered over my heart and seemed tangible enough for me to chew on. Simple statements speak volumes to me, and God knows me best.

I was frustrated. Tired. Worn out. Life was not being fair and I wanted people to know it. I didn't desire to spill all the beans, just enough to make me feel better.

When I didn't exactly heed those words in full embrace, HolySpirit was kind enough to deliver them again with a bit more punch, "SHUT UP and PRAY!" And sometimes simple statements have to be backed up with strength [because] God knows me best.

Do I think my God to be rude and lacking in love to say 'shut up' to me? Absolutely not. Quite the contrary, I know Him well enough by now to understand His intent. He loves me too much to [not] shout a declarative statement of safety. Wouldn't I shout at my child about to run into a street, all in the name of protection? Absolutely.

My God is protecting me while at the same time teaching me. That is what a [good] parent does.

Evening, morning and at noon will I utter my complaint and moan and sigh and He will hear my voice. ~ Psalm 55:17

Monday, November 7, 2011

Christmas and Coffee Cups

October 31, 2011. Christmas Cheer Day. Buffalo Wild Wings. Lunch. Family. Christmas Conversation.

"What's the one thing you absolutely do not want to miss out on this Christmas season?", came the question.

She answered first, "Host a women's party (like a cookie swap)."

"Attend a candle lit Christmas Eve service", daughter chimed in next, and then snuck in a second request, "and have Luke 2 read Christmas morning like Grandpa used to do."

I paused long. One thing. ONE thing? Several options ran through my mind: The Nutcracker Ballet. Hunting for light-adorned neighborhoods. Baking cookies. Making ornaments. All memories from past Christmases. Each sounded good and could stand true, but none settled as the ONE.

Moments. Moments matter greatly to me. Individual snapshots of time that, when strung together, create a montage of one's life. BINGO!

"I don't want to let one day go by of this Christmas season without experiencing at least one moment of Christmas in that day."

Seven days have passed.

The [red] Starbucks ornament hangs from my rearview mirror.
Christmas music fills my iPod.
The sounds of Holiday and Crystal Lewis accompany me wherever I drive.
Christmas boxes are unpacked.
Walls are splashed with muted golds, greens and reds--the color theme inspired by our Christmas Cheer Day trip to Decorator's Warehouse ["60,000 sq. ft. of Christmas"].
Sounds of the Season music channel is our new daytime favorite for Christmas classics.
The magic of The Polar Express is already experienced. "I believe. I believe. I believe ... this is yours."
Twinkle lights hang on green branches.

and ...

Christmas coffee mugs have replaced the year-round staples.

A lover of order in my home, I cannot have odd-man-out dishes ... unless I'm purposely muti-coloring for theme. If one of a pair breaks, the second goes in the trash too. Evens. No odds. It is my little quirk.

... except when it comes to Christmas cups.

This is the only time you'll find one-offs in my cupboard. Each mug represents a piece of my heart. A memory. A person. A moment. Even a character of HolySpirit I was being taught that year; hence the 'joy' mugs, my 2011 favorites.

"Coffee is my favorite!", I say with the same enthusiasm of Buddy the Elf referring to smiling.

The cup I use each morning means something to me, and during the Christmas season it is no different. For two months I daily choose a Christmas cup for what it represents.

This morning I grabbed the long, thin one encircled with twinkle lights, and a cute-as-a-button stocking on the backside that you can't see in this photo. It reminded me of the very thing that I did not want to miss: a day without experiencing something Christmassy.

"It only happens once a year", the cup reads.

"Remember this moment", my heart instructs me.

To many, it is insignificant. A Christmas coffee cup is a moment. Really?

Yes. Really.

Each time I hold a particular cup, I'm reminded of who, of when, of where, and my heart smiles. And let's not forget that magical reason I'm holding the cup in the first place. Coffee!  Any walk down Memory Lane is more delicious with the black elixir.

Yes. It is a moment. And moments matter to me.

Let me encourage you this season not to miss the moments. Because they can "happen once a year" or "just once".