the meaning of Christmas home.
I generally make my list early in December ... with the caveat that they will materialize by
New Year's Eve. So far ... I haven't been let down or disappointed.
Everything about this Christmas is different. And plans keep changing on a daily basis. For real,
I thought I had already experienced all of the disjointed, dysfunctional holidays one could imagine. Looks like there are a few more of them lurking around in ole Santa's bag.
Yesterday I realized that I hadn't made my list yet ... and I was running out of time. It's important to allow enough time ... because generally my list is made up of things that aren't clearly defined ... or exactly easy.
It's ok. God assures me time and time again that He's up to the challenge!
So all through the morning I pondered the possibilities. After quite a bit of brainstorming, I came up with several things that seemed appropriate for this season.
For weeks, I had been planning to attend a different church on this particular Sunday. There was a very special Christmas service planned ... it was going to be quite a production ... with lots of fabulous music. And I really thought it was where I wanted to be. God had
something else in mind.
We missed our time at Grace last week due to the ice storm. It's very unsettling to Jessi & Donald to have their routines disrupted that way. And I knew that the idea of going to a "different" church ... even though it's one that is very Jessi-friendly ... was going to cause them some disappointment.
On the way to pick them up, I decided ... or maybe God decided for me ... that rather than let them down somehow ... the thing to do was to go on to Grace ... and forgo the special Christmas service.
As I settled in my seat, I decided to put my Christmas list on paper. I opened my journal and wrote the following 3 things:
~ a little awe & wonder
~ a change of heart
~ an overwhelming of hope & healing
I chuckled as I wrote them out like that ... thinking ... there you go, God ... sure hope it's not too much to ask this year.
The service started. Del wasn't there. It was shared that he had a very special baptism that morning ... a grandson in Texas. I had to smile. Obviously, I am not the only one who puts BIG things on their list.
So today the music and the message were going to be provided by two young men ... who always amaze me with their passion & purpose ... because I remember them as boys struggling to find their way.
There was no BIG production. Or fancy backdrops. Or anything like that. As a matter of fact, at times, the worship music faltered a little and it wasn't always easy to sing along. That's what happens when there worship is led from the heart ... and not practiced over and over until it's perfect.
It was real ... and genuine ... and exactly what my heart needed to prepare it for the rest of the day ... the rest of the season.
Then came the message. Drew speaks to us from time to time ... when Del's not around. He is always sharing a truth that is working on his own heart.
He opened with a simple prayer ... that he asked us all to pray individually ...
Show me something new, Lord.
I sighed. And prayed right along with him ... the something new prayer. Then my heart whispered ... Show me you are near.
Drew fidgeted a little there on the platform. He's always a little nervous ... until he gets started ... then the good stuff just comes pouring out.
Taste The Wonder
That's what he said he was going to talk about this morning. I sat up a little straighter so I wouldn't miss anything.
There was something up on the screen ... as he continued to speak. It said something about the "Awh and wonder". I had to smile ... as I did a double-take. No way it actually said that ... it had only been minutes since I wrote those very words down.
,.. and the whisper came ... "Seriously, MaryJane, how much time did you really think I would need?!?"
Life has a way of beating the awe and wonder out of us. That's what Drew said ... and he's right. He went on to say that God did not intend for us to be spectators in our own lives. Drew had a lot of powerful things to share. (It's worth a listen ... Taste The Wonder)
Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Taste ... means here .. and now. Living in the moment.
Living in the moment is somewhere God has been leading me throughout this year of changes & transitions. Woven into Drew's message were the themes of a changed heart ... that bears the fruit ... that comes from ... TASTING ... the goodness of God.
It was very cool. God tapped into my "awe & wonder" idea ... it was His way of letting me know He was near ... showing off a little with the whole answered prayer thing.
Drew was on a roll. Overwhelmed, he said. It's one thing to be right ... it's another thing to be overwhelmed.
His words ... took my breath away.
God does what He's got to do .. to interrupt our lives ... so that we may SEE the awe of Him.
"A little awe & wonder, MaryJane?!?" chuckled my best friend God, Creator of the Universe affectionately. "Get ready ... for something new!"
(c) December 2013