Friday, December 30, 2005

Leaving the tree up all year long.

I know it's been a while - holidays, plus ton's of thoughts that I have yet to fully process... so little by little I'm sure they will find their way up here. This is one of those weeks where I would take a vacation from my own head if I could!

First, I'm not sure who all reads Mike Cope's blog... but his post from yesterday has just added to the 20 thoughts in my head. Good stuff. Always is.

The holiday season this year has been incredibly unique. We spent time with family that we rarely get to spend time with, and that was important and special. I find myself slowing down a bit more and yearning to have that quality time with those I haven't been around as much in the past. It's a nice place to get to, emotionally.

We have been incredibly blessed this year with the generosity of others. Overwhelmingly so. I can remember when on the mission field in Ecuador, having a conversation with a dear friend and mentor who was having a large house built in the country. Everything about the house was not her, and not her character of humilty and service. She really struggled with it, even as she was excited about the benefits it would bring their family in their efforts to serve others. It made an impression on me then, as part of the struggle was unfathomable to me. "Just be happy!", I thought. I understand more and more though now.
There is an unworthiness that comes with rich blessing. An uncomfortable unworthiness. Partially it is a worry about being judged - and being afraid whoever would judge you would be right! But even more so, it is the internal realization that you are out of your league when it comes to "deserving" whatever you've been given. You just can't even justify it yourself. For whatever reason, we just feel more comfortable, more competent to have "earned" things. Less "indebted" maybe.
I shared this with a friend last night... and shared some thoughts on Paul's learning to be content with "much" or "little" - and realizing that both are equal struggles more than I realized in the past.
In the conversation, she pointed out how sometimes material blessings serve as a physical reminder of the same emotions we should have about the daily gift of our salvation. I don't know why it hit me so clearly.. the way she said it, compiled with the obvious emotion of what I was expressing about a material blessing... but it hit, and it was right. Every day I get to be excited and rejoice!

Rejoice that my name is written in heaven... every single day.

Rejoice that mercy is BRAND NEW every single day for me.

Rejoice that every single day, I am way out of my league. I am lavishly blessed by One I can never repay. And I was His enemy when He gave me the gift in the first place.

That manger baby, this Holiday, family, gifts, generosity... all serve to play out in an earthly manner the Spiritual reality we get to live in every day.

How I long for that spirit of anticipation that filled me as a child waiting for Christmas morning to dwell in me every morning as a child of His!


Carrie said...

Ok....whoever this wise friend is you talked with yesterday...thank her for me because I was feeling the same way about being so blessed this holiday when I didn't see a lot of light there! I always see his blessings but looking at it they way she pointed out gives me such clarity! And I love onions by the way...that is Marcy and Theresa who don't....I just don't like to be funky like them that's ya

Brenda said...

I too read Mike's blog yesterday and found those bullet points very interesting that he pointed out from the book. Although, I'll be quite honest, that's probably not a book I'll rush out to buy right now and read. Maybe that's why the anger issue hit me today especially hard. You never know, it's all a little blurry! But it did put so many good thoughts in my head as he always does.
I have so many thoughts about the way you worded your thoughts today that I don't even think I can put them down. You know when that little light bulb goes off and you want to say "Yes...that's it" Ahhhh.....I had to read through that several times because I want to grasp the reality of that in my heart and own it and live it. Thank you for sharing that piece of your conversation.

Theresa said...

I love onions!!! I just couldn't eat them when I was pregnant. Which I'm not anymore... so it doesn't matter now. Oi! :o)

(sorry... just felt I needed to toss that in.) :o)

Love you, girls!

Rick said...

Thanks for the suggestion. Mike's blog is always good. I forget to check on it. But I don't forget yours. :-)