Saturday, December 14, 2013

All Babies are a Blessing

We are having a luncheon today for the crisis pregnancy center that our church partners with, the Pregnancy Resource Center. We decided we wanted to love on these girls and applaud them for choosing life for their babies, even though they found themselves in difficult situations. We are giving each of them diapers, wipes and handmade baby blankets and letting them know that their babies are special. Each of the Mamas represented are fearfully and wonderfully made and each of their precious babies are, too.

So often these babies are seen as an accidental crisis instead of a divine creation. So often these Mamas are made to feel shame and guilt over the situation they find themselves in. That led me to think about Mary and what it must have been like for her. 

Pregnant, but unwed. 

Facing potential shame and ridicule.

Knowing she would birth the promised divine creation

while being treated as the first... 

"crisis pregnancy".

Mary was part of God's divine plan to ensure we would not suffer eternally for our sins. She would give birth to a baby, God in the flesh, who would grow in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. She sensed though the circumstances seemed difficult, the impact would be eternal. Could she possibly have known that her heart would feel as if it was being torn from her body as her sweet baby grew and became redemption for all humanity, though? 

A Mother's Heart

I stared at you the other night 
As so peacefully you slept,
With thoughts of another mommy
And the tears she must have wept.

Her newborn babe she held so close
As she whispered in His ear,
"You are this promised Jesus,"
And she wiped away a tear.

She watched Him grow in wisdom,
Found Him teaching those that taught,
She heard He fed five thousand,
As He healed all those that sought.

And all the while she waited,
For she sensed with a mother's heart
That sooner than she'd ever want
He must fulfill His part.

So it came to pass that final day
That she watched, as pain engulfed her,
For there He hung, her little boy,
Who had now become her Saviour.   

What Jesus did on the cross was necessary to restore us into a right relationship with the God who created us. He was born as a baby in a manger, but He died and was resurrected as our Saviour so that we could experience eternal life in heaven with the Father. May we never lose sight of this and may we always be ever mindful that every life is a divine creation and never an accidental crisis!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Santa in the Manger

We got a card the other day
A Christmas one, in fact, 
But it really was the strangest thing
And showed such little tact.

For laying in the manger
Was Santa, big as life,
Surrounded by some little elves
And Rudolph and his wife.

There was so much excitement
That the shepherd’s saw the glow
Of Rudolph’s bright and shining nose
Reflected on the snow.

So in they rushed to see him
Followed by the wise men three, 
Who came not bearing any gifts ~
Just some stockings and a tree.

They gathered round about him
To sing praises to his name;
A song about Saint Nicholas
And how he came to fame.

Then they handed him the lists they’d made
Of, oh, so many toys
That they were sure they would receive 
For being such good boys.

And sure enough he chuckled, 
While reaching in his bag, 
And placed in all their outstretched hands
A gift that bore a tag.

And on that tag was printed
A simple verse that read,
“Even though it’s Jesus’ birthday, 
Please take this gift instead.”

Then I realized they really did
Know Who this day was for
Though by every indication
They had just chosen to ignore.

And Jesus looked upon this scene, 
His eyes so filled with pain ~
They said this year’d be different
But they’d forgotten Him again.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Story of the Couch

I don't normally post pics of our furniture that is literally "coming apart at the seams", but the Lord used this piece of furniture to, once again, change my perspective and teach me something.  I was recently bemoaning the fact on FB that they truly don't make things like they used to and workmanship is so poor that furniture and appliances last a miniscule portion of the time that they used to last. This couch is 5-7 years old (my mind can't recall exactly) and it's matching counterpart hasn't fared much better. Since there is no money to replace them any time in the near OR distant future, I have resigned myself to this view. Ugh!! I don't have to have fancy, but I do struggle with exposed call me shallow! ;O)

I had a lot of people commiserate and share their own frustrations, whether it be furniture, washing machines or refrigerators. I had one lone friend share something with me, though, that stopped me in my tracks. My sweet friend, Jori, pointed out that couches in our house age in a way similar to dog years because of the number of people we have in and out on a daily and weekly basis. She said 5 years for us is like 20 years for most "normal" people. (Don't worry, I've already got the sign that acknowledges we know we are "special"! ;O) ) But I digress...

I realized, with Jori's help, that this couch DOES represent many, many individuals who have been in our home and sat on this couch. People who have stayed with us marvel at the revolving door of relationships that we encounter daily. This couch represents countless friends of our kids who like to come and hang out to laugh, watch movies or share their stories...whether our kids are here or not. It represents individuals who are broken, struggling with seeing themselves as having value and worth in the Lord's eyes. It represents hearts who have surrendered and left changed. It represents couples in love and just beginning their journey together as they work thru pre-marital counseling. It represents marriages that have struggled and sought counsel for restoration.

I remember huddling with my sweet friend on this couch as her husband itemized pages of sin in his own life, shattering their facade of a stable family unit. This couch cradled her as her world crumbled around her and we wondered what the future could possibly hold for them. In the months to come this couch held this same husband as he napped on many a Sunday afternoon, removed from his home for an extended period of intense counseling and restoration...broken because of the depth of his sin. The months were long, but the healing was real and we watched a miracle unfold before us in our friends and their marriage.

Oh the stories this couch could tell if only it could talk. Stories of pain and hurt...courage and determination...brokenness and and celebration. It's a couch that tells a story, not just of an industry that doesn't value workmanship that lasts, but of a God whose Word endures forever and is still changing hearts. It may not be the prettiest one out there, but it reminds me of a beauty that can only be found in God's economy of doing things. So if you come to our home and sit on our couch please know I won't apologize for its shabby appearance because, just like us, behind its outward appearance is something much more valuable!!!

Matthew 6:19-21

 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."