Romans 12:1-2

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Different Christmas

Two Christmases ago was different, we celebrated early with Oklahoma family and went to Albuquerque.  It was the first time all four cousins were together on Christmas.  Last Christmas was different, we celebrated early again and this time took Aunt with us to Albuquerque.

This year is really different.  It is the first year that both Mom and Dad aren't with us.  I don't remember the grief being this heavy the Christmas after Mom died.  But for the past two weeks, I haven't wanted to do anything Christmasy - or anything for that matter.  Do you know the feeling when just putting a load of clothes in the washer takes all the energy you've got?  Last Sunday at church God overwhelmed me with the sermon and reminded me that Christmas was all about Him coming to be with me. 

Emmanuel - God is with me and my spirit lifted some and some joy returned.  This week I've gotten emails from family that have reminded me..Emmanuel - God is with me and my spirit lifted some and some joy returned.  On Wednesday, I took a walk in the park letting the cold air numb my cheeks.  I have missed the walks that I don't take when I sub regularly.  My walks are where my heart prays and my soul breathes.  I came home just as the sky was starting to turn purple with the sun setting and I was reminded that Emmanuel - God is with me and my spirit lifted some and some joy returned.

Another day this week, I read this in a post at inCourage "Every year Emmanuel means something different. Life peels back more layers and we’re left standing raw until they heal. But God coming down to this gritty, dusty, land of the dying makes every difference in our hope for living. He is with us. He is in us. He is here."  The full post was called "When Everything is Different" and was very fitting to me.  I linked it for you to read if this Christmas is different for you.

Each year God speaks to me a new word (one of His names) that He is going to be for me in the coming year. (I know He is always all of His names, this is just a particularly meaningful one for the year).  2011 was Grace.  Normally, I know the name part way through January.  Could it be that this is the name already for 2012?  Emmanuel.  I think so - God is Emmanuel not only during the Christmas season, but always.

So, I think I'm ready now.  Yes, it will still be different, but I'm ready now to celebrate and enjoy and watch my children enjoy. 

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