Sunday, December 22, 2013

The expectant hush.


I wait for it each year.  That point in time, where the to-do list is shoved aside and my expectations get examined and then carefully packed away, with the quiet acceptance of the here and now.  I wait to find that expectant hush, where worship and celebration meet in a glorious union, and all of the cares, worries and frivolities of the season begin to finally melt away.

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.

(And now because I probably won't blog again until next week, I wanted to leave you with a few photos of the past week.  We got some snow for a day.  It's nearly all gone now.  Rained away.  So sad.  Ava danced in a gorgeous old theatre- 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.”


22 comments:

  1. So well said. So true. We must forgive...and keep forgiving. And keep forgetting our expectations so as not to be habitually disappointed. He is all the gift we need. He is the only gift we really have to give. Merry Christmas!!

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  2. Ive I've learned in life to forgive but that is what Jesus did for me but I don't have to forget. I have let some very close family members and friends go in the past year because of their lack of respect for me. I respect me first. I am not a throw rug that can be walked over, I am a person with feelings and a true desire to love and care for others. Sasha we dont have to keep people in our lives that constantly draining all of our good leaving none for others. I have had a wonderful year of letting go the anger, accepting that they will not change and knowing I have no rights to expect such change, forgiving without their apology, and first and foremost respecting myself. I make the decision who gets what from me and how much. I'm no longer drained and my anxiety has decreased significantly. They will find another to leach off of. Pray for them. Have a very Merry Christmas. Your pictures are beautiful.

    Many Blessings,
    Jessica


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  3. Ive I've learned in life to forgive but that is what Jesus did for me but I don't have to forget. I have let some very close family members and friends go in the past year because of their lack of respect for me. I respect me first. I am not a throw rug that can be walked over, I am a person with feelings and a true desire to love and care for others. Sasha we dont have to keep people in our lives that constantly draining all of our good leaving none for others. I have had a wonderful year of letting go the anger, accepting that they will not change and knowing I have no rights to expect such change, forgiving without their apology, and first and foremost respecting myself. I make the decision who gets what from me and how much. I'm no longer drained and my anxiety has decreased significantly. They will find another to leach off of. Pray for them. Have a very Merry Christmas. Your pictures are beautiful.

    Many Blessings,
    Jessica


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  4. I think I've reached the "expectant hush" stage too, but am disappointed that I've barely opened my bible all month, despite all my good intentions! Thanks for the reminder, and wishing you and your family a joyous Christmas.

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  5. What is a field mission?
    You and your family have a great Christmas and as you said keeping Him in your heart first you will see joy?

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  6. What a wonderful post.
    Praying you have a wonderful Christmas, Sash.
    I often remember the words spoken to me by an evangelist, "we forgive people because they are wrong."
    So simple but true.
    Love to you.

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  7. Sasha,
    This is just lovely. And EVER so timely for me. I DO believe you read my mind SO OFTEN! Blessings to you and your family!
    Staci from PA

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  8. Wow...and I was coming over from Instagram for that tart! and you just blessed my socks off! Thank you for this timely message of encouragement and hope. Not sure how I found you, but I'll be following in every media outlet I can. Look forward to knowing you better! Merry Christmas!!

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  9. Hope you have a lovely holiday with your family. Continued blessings in the new year.

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  11. Lovely... every word, every coconut flake, snow flake, flittering ballet step. Just Lovely!

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  12. I love when you blog your heart out.
    It's about the stuff that really matters.

    Praying for you and Adrain as you serve where God has you planted in this season. Praying for your hearts to be encouraged and strengthened by Jesus.
    Praying for those you are loving and serving…that they will have softened hearts to know that Jesus is their only help, their only hope, their only rescue.

    Merry Christmas, Sasha!
    xoxo

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  13. And MERRY CHRISTMAS to you my friend. Wishing you ALL there a relaxing and joyous holiday. Beautifully written and thanks for the reminders. ~hugs~

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  14. Merry Christmas Sasha! I think I've been following you for several years and I appreciate your raw honesty and your faith that is unwavering. Love the photos of your tiny dancer...thank you for sharing.

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  15. oh sweet girl...remember when i said you should write a book?...........


    merry christmas my friend

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  16. May you and Adrain be refilled and refreashed as you focus on that precious Babe, born to free us and redeem us. Hallelujah!
    Love came down.

    Merry Christmas, Sasha!

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  17. i completely relate. merry christmas, my sweet friend. may our hearts be free of our preoccupations and instead occupied with HIM!

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  18. beautifully written...and totally from the most deepest part of your soul~I felt it.....and just what I needed to read/hear.....I will think of you as my family enjoys your beautiful garland gracing the boughs of our tree...a definite reminder of who we are worshipping....

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  19. Yes, you should write a book, no doubt it would be a best seller. What a beautiful post and full of such truth. I have had one such experience this year with forgiving someone that has not and probably never will ask forgiveness. But, what freedom I experienced when I forgave and let go of the anger, bitterness and resentment that had built up in me. Praying you and yours were able to experience the fullness of His birth and the peace that only HE can give. Blessings and hugs!

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  20. I am just catching up on your blog today and had to comment on this touching post. Your last few words spoke to me "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.". It's hard not to feel insignificant sometimes among some amazing women I know...and this is just a lovely reminder of what I do know deep down inside. Thank you :) p.s. Can't wait to see and read about the wedding!

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  21. Shame on me, I haven't been a regular visitor lately but remember 2x in the past two days that I should check it out. To read your written words about relationships being like bank accounts really hit home as I've talked with two friends over the past week about this. We've all felt as our friendship bank account was running low with a particular friend that we've been reaching out to over the past few years. I had mentioned the other day that the bank account was low and I was tired of constantly reaching out and calm the waves that she stirs up amongst the group. Shame on me, I do know better! In Matthew we learn, "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:22 We must love others as ourselves. Thank you for this reminder!! I now understand WHY I felt the urge to check your blog over the past two days. The gentle hand of our Lord was wanting me to be reminded of how life should be lived. Thank you!

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