When Christmas Comes

Christmas comes, whether we’re ready or not.

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I hope the speedy approach of the holiday hasn’t frazzled you. If so, may the  “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, …guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7

This holiday season has been a struggle in our family. After a long illness and some heart issues, we thought Mom was no longer able to remain on her own. I was going to care for her. I made myself willing and available, even if it meant I had to pause my work.

Love sometimes requires sacrifices and hers would be as great as mine. Since Dad died, she has wanted to remain independent and she has, to a large degree. But with the decline of her health, we had come to realize she could no longer remain in her small second-story apartment. Alone.

I wasn’t ready for any of this. I was busily dashing to and fro, chasing that perfect gift for each name on my list.

But Christmas comes, ready or not.

If the list was never finished, my family would understand. Some changes are not to be missed. I had a feeling this would be one of them.

But something happened to interrupt our best-laid plans—something completely unexpected.

I was on my way to my weekly bookkeeping job, where I intended to turn in my letter of resignation. But, my heart wasn’t in it. That still, small voice was whispering and I felt uneasy, as though something was off, but what? So, I prayed, “Father, if this is not right, make it plain to me. Help me do the right thing.”

I had just pulled in to the bank to make my client’s weekly deposit when the phone rang. My brother was on the phone. He’d just taken Mom for her weekly doctor visit when he was going to ask the doctor about moving her. But, he didn’t end up asking, because her heart rate had normalized. She was showing signs of renewed strength, and the infection she’d suffered for almost three months was finally responding well to the daily IV antibiotics.

Because of this new development, my brother felt that it would be best to let her remain where she is.

. . . [Pause to Breathe].

God had delivered a miracle to us. He had healed her most dire health issues and strengthened her will.

We are still guardedly watching her, but for now, she’s rejoicing and feels that this is the best Christmas gift anyone could give her. A Christmas Miracle.

Published on http://www.InspiredPrompt.com

A Bowl of Lemons

lemons-368914_1280What comes to mind as you look at this photo?

Most of us think of the saying, “When life hands you a bowl of lemons…”

What does that mean? Sometimes life is tough, bitter, sour to the taste. So what do you prefer to do with a bowl of lemons? beverage-1030150_1280

Many of us will do this⇒⇒⇒

Be sure you have plenty of sugar on hand, (honey, or other sweetener). You’re going to need it.

When I was in first grade, we lived in San Diego. A lemon tree grew in our back yard. I’ll never forget sitting in the car on the street, the day we arrived at this rental home. The song on the radio–Lemon tree, very pretty…

It was a small, but very pretty tree. The blossoms smelled amazing. The lemons were large and beautiful. But you can’t really bite into them, unless you’re one of those who really love the sour taste. Is your mouth reacting to a memory right now? Mine is!Funny man Discharged

So, back to life and its situations. Sometimes things don’t go well. Sometimes it really does seem that you’ve been handed a bowlful of lemons. Less than perfect. What you do with what you’ve been given says a lot about your character. If you smile and make the best of it, you’re adding the sweetener to the bitter, sour taste and making it more palatable. (That’s my dad in the photo–being very silly–but looks like he might’ve taken a bite out of a lemon.)

They say it’s good for you to drink a cup of warm water with lemon every morning. Adds a bit of zest to your life, energizes you, and keeps you regular. It could even help keep your weight down. Now that’s making the best of it, isn’t it?

I prefer to make lemon cream pie with all those lemons, which doesn’t help keep the weight down, but it puts a definite smile on my face. I am one who will take an occasional bite of a lemon. I love the sour taste.

tea-with-lemon-783352_1280Whatever your preference, make the best of what you’ve been given. Put on a smile when you don’t feel like it. People will marvel at your strength and be encouraged by your attitude. It’s like mixing up a big pitcher of lemonade and sharing it with your friends. You’ll feel better, too.

Save

Save

The Glory of Life

2f111-shutterstock_85609522Outside my window, the maple trees are putting on a show of brilliant colors. Their last hurrah. Winter comes close on the heels of Autumn here.

There are things about each season I love. And things I don’t like so much–no need to talk about those. I love the cooler temperatures of Autumn. The crisp air of a Fall morning is energizing. The smell of the burnishing leaves, their crunch beneath my feet, all add to the season’s ambiance.

As the trees shed their leafy cover, gaps open up, and the bright sunlight spills through the windows, lighting up our rooms. Thus, revealing summer’s deposits of dust and cobwebs. Oops! Fall cleaning scheduled.

Autumn is especially poignant for me this year, as a dear friend prepares to make her final journey. I remember the Spring of her life, when as a bubbly cheerleader, she spread joy and sunlight wherever she went.

SeventiesChoir
We were so pastel…so…70’s…

I was a few years older, but we lived on the same street and attended the same high school. Later, we were both members of the same church youth group, and youth choir. At my wedding, she told me I was beautiful, and we (my husband and I) were like movie stars. It was all very romantic. She couldn’t wait for her day to come.

It did, several years later, when she married her best friend, another of our youth group and youth choir members. Still bubbly and outgoing, she had added a college degree and looked forward to a career in teaching. Soon she had a home classroom filled with three beautiful daughters. Blessed daughters, to have such a mother, who gave herself to their raising and training.

As she prepares to leave this life, her legacy of love and compassion lights our memories and warms our hearts. We’ll miss her, oh my, yes. But her light will never go out. As Fall’s glory fades into Winter’s chill, hope survives. Spring will come!

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. –2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV

OX253EDR6R