Sunday, December 22, 2013
The expectant hush.
This year, getting to that place has been a challenge. Adrain often says that relationships are like a bank account. You make deposits and you make withdrawals but you have to make sure there are enough deposits being made to balance the withdrawals. We've been given a mission field, and we love it... but lately we've had withdrawal after withdrawal with very few deposits. We realized too late, that we had been drained to nearly nothing and it was past time to reassess a few things and a few boundary lines. You can't really "give" when you've been bled dry. We have been left angry, hurt or frustrated on more than one occasion over this past month. We've been left on one hand, wanting to be brutally honest, yet on the other... wanting to be respectful and not damage the fragile remains of the relationships. Oh what a delicate balance.
Yesterday, we chose to step back in order to breathe again, and in the quiet of the day, the great Gift made it's presence known to our hearts. Jesus, with His tender voice and compassionate nature reminded us that we must love and forgive to the extent that we have been loved and forgiven by Him. We swallowed hard and laid down the things we couldn't change. The frustrations with people we couldn't change- people who don't seem to be capable of change. We laid down our expectations. Those expectations when left unmet, leave us wanting, and bitter, and so confused in our anger. The only thing that can be done is to let that go. So we let it all go....stretching our fingers out wide in front of us, palms up in desperate prayers for those hurting in our circle. I've heard it said that a person drowning in a stormy ocean can not reach for the rescue rope when they are clinging desperately to the side of sinking craft. The only way to survive is to let go of the thing sucking you down and put all of your faith into lurching toward that which can save you, both arms outstretched to grasp it.
We all deal with difficult situations or frustrating encounters with loved ones covered in sand paper that rub us the wrong way. And we have all probably thought, "Hey, this isn't the way the holiday is supposed to go!" But that's what messes us up in the first place- that expectation that it's going to be better this time.... or finally be different... or finally change, etc. That's a heavy load to carry and the only place a person carrying a load that size can get relief is by leaving it at the foot of the manger, knowing that the shadow of the cross and the love modeled and poured out for us there, is our lifeline. That is where our only saving power is found. That is where our bitterness turns into thankfulness. That is where anger melts away and love and forgiveness slip through the cracks of our hearts.
she was an angel- and did a lovely job both nights. I was taking photos and somehow flipped my manual focus button on at some point, so most of my shots didn't turn out. I'll show you them anyway. I made the same coconut chocolate tart from Thanksgiving, only we added a layer of my salted caramel sauce in between the coconut crust and the ganache. Oh my heaven. (I sprinkled pink sea salt on top too.) All of my greenery died so I did some reshuffling. The tree in a wood bowl is my favorite.)
As we prepare for this week, my man and I are focusing on the saving power that begins with a baby, born for our many sins. Born to die, born to rise from the grips of that death and born to save. We give you our heartfelt wishes for peace and the assurance that in whatever circumstance you are in right now... God sees you. Even you. He sees your joys and He sees your tears. He came for you and He would have come even if it had been for ONLY you.
Merry Christmas my friends.
John 3:30 "He must become greater; I must become less.”