Where Would You Like To Go?

December 10, 2013

While She Sleeps

Her energy seems to be boundless during the day.  Her imagination runs wild and free...I sit and watch and wonder fills me. She is curious about everything and the connections she makes between Bible stories, Disney Jr shows, Malagasy words, and Bible verses would surely bring a smile to anyone's face. I think about what I whisper to her as much as I can remember to..."God's plans for you are perfect Ryleigh, He desires to do amazing things through your life."  I wonder what those plans will entail for this bright eyed & always giggling toddler.

A normal day of that much energy has it's fair share of seeing the things she "gets" from her momma - the emotional breakdowns, the tantrums over seemingly insignificant things, and that stubborn pride that holds fast to what she thinks is right even in the midst of being told she's wrong.  Its when those moments start piling up that I start counting down to her nap time or bed time...waiting out the hours or minutes that are left until there will be a certain stillness in our home again.  That time where the questions of "why momma?" will be silenced at least for a little while.

The funny thing is that once she's asleep, I miss her.  No matter how much I wanted her to be in bed thirty minutes before, I miss knowing what's going on in that little brain of hers.  I miss the constant hugs, kisses, and "I love yous" or in her case it is always "I miss yous".  I am filled with the memory of how she runs to me and buries her head into my side telling me how much she has missed me even if I was only out of the room for a moment.

While she sleeps, I tend to reflect over my shortcomings inside that particular day.  I wonder about if it really matters if I pick her up or not while I'm pregnant and that maybe I should have said "yes" just that one time.  I think about the times that I disciplined her out of my own frustrations and lack of patience instead of out of Mercy & Grace.  I wonder what any other mom would think if they saw what she ate for lunch that day.  I think back to the words & tone of voice I used when talking to her daddy - wonder if I'm showing her what our marriage is supposed to be a reflection of.

That reflection time is often turned into cries of prayer out to my Father - that He would grant me His wisdom in raising that peaceful sleeping girl.  I pray for forgiveness of when I point her away from His cross and towards the world.  I beg for my insecurities and my misguided words to all be put through His holy sifter before reaching her ears and her eyes.  I ask that He be glorified through me and that He be glorified through her.

It's pretty amazing how rested I can feel when she wakes - almost as if I have forgotten how tiring it all can be...it may not take long to remember but gratefully, thankfully, I have His ever equipping Spirit right there inside of me.

December 8, 2013

Love Came Down

 The Advent season has looked differently throughout my life.  Growing up, there were times that my church would do specific things on Sundays, reflections, lighting of candles...my family had various things throughout the years that we did to focus on the Christ story of Christmas...and now that I have a family of my own, I've been ever seeking how to incorporate the Gift of Christmas into our everyday lives - even with a 2 year old.

This year, I found Truth in the Tinsel via a Facebook link and we are loving it.  It's short, simple, to the point, and fun to do.  I believe it's something we can do for several years because it would be easier to go deeper as Ryleigh gets older.

While I obviously want to raise Ryleigh to understand the Gospel in all of it's entirety and desire to use every opportunity to point her towards Christ...I too desire to understand the Gospel in all of it's entirety and to know that I am seeking Him in a daily walk and not just in certain seasons.  As an early Christmas gift, my parents gave me the book "The Greatest Gift" by Ann Voscamp.  If you read my blog you've seen her name pop up on here once or twice...or thirty times.  The gift the Lord has given her in putting thoughts down on paper is simply that...a gift.

As I have been reading through this daily devotional for the days leading up to the celebration of Christ's birth - I have been humbled, stilled, and overwhelmed.  His story truly is magnificent - isn't it?  For the plan to have begun, to have been put into motion with the creation of everything we see...it is beautiful.  His story that is interwoven through every letter of the Old Testament...realizing that, taking it all in - how can you hurry through it?  How can you not stop and be still to take in the enormity that is Christ?

Love itself came down to us - on a night in Bethlehem...however Love itself is't to be celebrated or recognized on one day a year - or even on one day every week.  He is bigger than that - even as a babe...He is Love.  He is God.  He's more than a duty to read through the Christmas story before digging into the gifts, He's more than saying "Remember the Reason for the Season", He's more than fighting all those "Happy Holidays" people and saying "Merry Christmas" back to them with an exasperated look in your eye.  He is Jesus.  He was the long awaited Savior of an entire people who didn't even realize He would be the Savior of the entire world.

We hear the story and wonder how the people back then didn't "get it".  How could they have missed the greatest birth in all of history?  How could they not connect all the prophesies to have seen Him for Who He is - Love come down??  I wonder how much we fall into the same delusions.  Just a baby.  Not enough time.  The Saving Grace doesn't look quite like what we pictured.  Dutiful. Law abiding. Church attending. Carol singing. Love missing...don't miss out this year.  Don't let these beautiful days leading up to the celebration be filled with anything but the anticipation of our Savior being born.  Celebrate daily, rejoice every moment, seek out the Gift of today, and share it with those who He has placed around you.

Praise Him that Love. Came. Down.