Friday, December 23, 2011

Daily Dose: The Rich Home - Sharon Glasgow

See, I told you I would get better about this. :)

Today is full of distraction for me...we're packing to travel down to see our families this weekend. You may be thinking to yourself that a self-admitted control freak like myself must have everything under control. Well, you'd be wrong. When I pack I like to do it at least a day ahead of time. I like to write out the outfits that I plan to pack and put them in my duffle in the order in which I will wear them. That didn't happen this time. My week has been clouded with being tired and having a ton of other things to do. I barely finished the Christmas cards for my coworkers last night in my insomnia ridden wee hours.

When I started reading this devotional, I was tempted to just skim through it, smile and nod and then I would have done what I needed to, my mind would have been able to go back to what it was worrying over. That's not what my Heavenly Father wanted from me, it's never what He wants from me when I'm spending time with Him.

“Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions.” I Kings 10:1 (NKJ)

This is the first piece of scripture Sharon gives us to digest as she talks about the length of the trip the Queen took to seek knowledge about Solomons' God. Of course that nagging feeling that I knew exactly what she was talking about made me start to cringe. I thought to myself, "Ok God, I know...I'm not making the time I should with you." right as she came to her point about opening our Bibles and actually looking for the knowledge there.

Her second point sticks in my side. I'm the one visiting people this Christmas season, but what she's saying is that we shouldn't be worried about how clean and prepared we are for this weekend...we should be worried about showing people Christ, especially this time of year. With all my planning and need to set things out, am I showing people the love that runs my cup over? Sure, for Thanksgiving and many weekends, we open our home to our friends, we try to be there to listen, to talk or just to hang out...but what about right now with the crazyness we're experiencing right now planning this trip? My next question to myself is, "how do I change it?" I'm not sure...but I do know that God has given me a love to share, not to hide behind my human vices.

So, my prayer is a little different than the one at the end of the devotion. It goes something like this, "Abba, I'm a mess. You still love me and help me, like the gentle Father you are. Help me to show people that love through my actions and words this weekend. Let our families and friends see You more than us as we celebrate the greatest gift ever given, Christ. Help me remember that it's not about the food or anything else, but about that silent, holy night when a baby came to fulfill prophecy and save the world. "

Can I challenge you? Traveling or receiving travelers, can you just show love? Yes, make the mashed potatoes and candied yams...but remember the real reason you're making them.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Daily Dose - Room for Jesus - Micca Monda Campbell

Ok, before I start this Daily Dose, I'm going to warn may cry. Just saying.

I'm still reading my daily devotion through Proverbs 31 Ministries. You can sign up for it through their website.

So, as I read today, I look at the past posts I've made and I am pretty ashamed at the number of times I see the word busy. The great thing about God though? He starts working on you before you really know it and then you see something He put in to your day and get a lump in your throat.

Luke 2:7 is the scripture that inspired this particular devotion.

Put down your pen and book...and newspaper and let go of the mouse, just read for a minute. Micca recounts a story of her mother...and the first grandchild. Like many people I know, Micca's mom keeps baby Jesus out of the nativity until Christmas morning. Apparently this distressed her grandson. He asked where Jesus was and was told that Jesus did not come until Christmas. So, until that day, the little boy waited with anticipation for the Saviour. This child was excited to see the baby that many people have no room for...that people were too busy worrying about the census to make a space in a real room for Him at the time of His birth. Working with kids, I find that they teach me more about my relationship with God than most adults ever can. Micca goes on to talk about how the adults were all expecting to exchange presents and spend time together, while the first grandson...ran to the manger to see if Jesus had come...and there He was, a baby in a manger, just like God had promised, there sat the Messiah.

If a little boy can make room on Christmas morning and the days leading up to that fateful time, then can't I put aside my baking and doing and cards and wrapping, to anticipate my God? This should be a daily anticipation, filled with JOY! We sang Joy to the World yesterday with the kids, have you ever really thought about the lyrics? It's all about celebrating and receiving Christ. When you hear little kids sing this seems more like the joyful praise it should be.

Micca's closing prayer ends with "Welcome home Lord." I'm encouraged to make that a daily prayer.

So...can you make time today?

Getting to the end

Good afternoon my friends!

I have a couple blogs in the works, one is a request for a recipe, two are other recipes I LOVE and wanted to share and two are just...random. Yes, that is a lot of writing.

Today though, I need to just kind of relax and let my hair down. Do you mind? :)

So, this year, I've made some statements and promises and not kept them. I can get drafts going all I want, but if I don't stick to posting them...what's the point? I'll have my hands full this next week trying to get the Christmas gifts all done in the evening while working during the day.

Yesterday, the kids sang in the adult service during the second Gathering. It was AMAZING! I'm so proud of how well they did. They performed and they were just little stars! We had down to the 3-5 class, to show off how they do their worship. They stood up front, danced around and played their instruments. It was perfect really. The older kids smiled and sang with all their little hearts. We had a number of people come up and say how great the kids had done, I'm sure all the parents were just as proud as I was. There were a couple people that came up and asked if we could do that more than once a year at Christmas...but more often, to remind people that the kids are part of our church community...which happens to be in one of our statements of intention for the ministry. :) Had to share how amazing those kids are :)

Brian is working so hard. I'm so thankful for him. :) I'd go in to more...but you'd probably get bored. Just know that he is an amazing husband and wonderful friend ;)

I have some New Year resolutions. I'm going to be doing them and hopefully keeping up with them this time. :) A lot of paperwork to get done to make sure this is going to go off without a hitch. But, it's all possible.

So...that's the update for now. Keep an eye out for the recipes, yeah? They're tasty!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Things we stop doing as adults

I'm working on snacks for the 3 - 5 age group right now. I realized that when I was a kid, we had BOXES AND BOXES of raisins. I'm not saying that I don't eat them now, but I just remember asking my mom if I could have a snack and then being directed to the raisins. I have them in salads...and muffins...but I don't buy raisins just to snack on them...they go in things now.

Why do we stop eating raisins as adults? Is it the sticky bits left on our fingers? Is it our concern for being clean and not eating with our fingers? I watch 6 to 16 kids between the ages of 3 and 5 scarf down raisins, almost on a weekly basis. (Hey, they're small and still a really good snack when paired with water and ritz or cheese or something like that.) Now, there are the kids that don't like them, but I know a girl who can pack away two full packages if I let her.

Why do we also have such an issue eating with our fingers as adults? We're taught when we're little to use our fingers because the knife and fork are a little much for mom and dad to think of us using at that point. By the time you got to my class age, you probably have a soft plastic spoon and fork that you used...but still, old reliable is that finger and thumb combo. Why do we loose that as adults. I know people that are so concerned with being proper that they look down their nose at people enjoying good BBQ.

When did it become so wrong to enjoy getting a little messy? If you ask me, we all need to embrace that child inside us and go jump in some puddles without a care for the clothes we're wearing. Maybe grab a good handful of dirt...or pick up a rollie pollie! Come a little mess so much of a bad thing if you're experiencing life?

So...this went down a bunny trail I wasn't expecting.

We had our last volunteer meeting of the year today. 3 of our 30 or so volunteers showed up. The holidays have people all twisted up. This next year is going to mean a lot of change for the kid's ministry. We're rolling out some very important things. I'm drafting an email with the notes from the meeting and then sending a share link to the MindMeister map of the ministry as Brian and I see it. It's a little big.

Praying for a lot of things right now.