Inspirational Musings

Remember. Be Present.

I pulled up to the mailbox yesterday and opened the door. For a split second I imagined a small box from West Virginia with homemade deer jerky and a handwritten note from my Uncle Arnold. It was always around this time of year that a box would mysteriously appear in the mail. It was such a simple gesture, but so special.

As I pulled the stack of bills out of the mailbox, instead, tears fell down my cheeks. While we are spending our first Christmas here on earth without Uncle Arnold, he is spending his first one in heaven. I know he has the better view, but he left quite a hole here on earth.

Some of my fondest summer memories as a teenager involved my uncle. My grandparents took us with them to a campground in West Virginia for several weeks during the summers and we always ended up hanging out with Uncle Arnold and Aunt Phyllis. We spent countless hours playing basketball, goofing off in the woods, and relaxing in hammocks by the creek. To this day, when I get stressed, I can close my eyes and hear the serene babbling of that creek and feel the peaceful motion of those hammocks. I’m pretty sure heaven will be a lot like that special place.

Christmas time is such a complicated season. It’s the time we celebrate Jesus and all he did for us by becoming a sinless human on this earth.  But it is also a time for family; and in some cases, family evokes a lot of different and hard emotions.

As we celebrate this season, tears of sadness may come and we may feel the urge to retreat from life. We may find ourselves getting lost in the overwhelming emotions of missing those who are already gone or even pre-mourning those who are aging or absent in our lives. But we need to remember that the most important gift we can give to those we love is the power of presence. We need to be present; physically and emotionally.

It’s okay to remember our special loved ones. As a matter of fact, I have typed most of this through blurry tears as I remember my special Uncle. But as we remember, let’s make sure we let others into our world and that we are present with the ones we can still hug and hold. We have old memories that can be cherished, but we also have new memories that need to be made. Let’s make room for them all.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: … a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” Ecc. 3:1, 4

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Inspirational Musings

Yaya, Close Eyes!

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Yaya and Daniel

We were privileged to have my parents join us at 11:00 service at church today. Daniel, my silly and busy two year old, was standing in the chair between my parents holding their hands during the singing. He was dancing and smiling, just having the time of his life. Then the pastor began to pray; Daniel got quiet and still. As the pastor paused towards the end of his prayer, the back half of the church heard, “YAYA! CLOSE EYES!” David and I couldn’t stop the laughter; and the look on my mom’s face was priceless. She had opened her eyes to check on Daniel during the prayer and he called her out in front of everyone! It was so hilarious

As usual, this made me think a little deeper. Daniel is watching us and he is learning the right and wrong way to do things. He may not understand what prayer is, but he understands that it is a time where he needs to be still, quiet and keep his eyes closed. He has seen us do it enough that he is now learning to recognize prayer other places and not just at meals.

Moral of the story: Our children are watching. What are we teaching them? Will they see enough faith to recognize unbelief? Will they hear enough truth to recognize the lies? Will they see enough hope that they grow a heart for the lost? Let’s lead them well and point them to Jesus in all that we do.

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.”                   Luke 11:33 NIV