Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Christmas Star

This month, Jeff and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. The day Lizzie and I put up our Christmas tree, I thought about longevity as she placed the star on top of the tree. Jeff and I bought that star in New York City the year we got married 30 years ago. That first year, our tree was not much bigger than the star. The star towered above it, threatening to topple it over from its weight. 

As the years went by, our trees got bigger, and our star topped each tree every Christmas. After a while, it lost it's specialness. It was always there, a lot like our marriage...commonplace and easily taken for granted. 

One year, we plugged the star in, and nothing happened. No lights. I don't remember what else was going on that year, but we put the star aside and replaced it with another tree-topper. We didn't throw it away, but it wasn't important enough to work at fixing. Christmas came and went that year, and the star spent the holiday in its box. 
The next season came, and I expressed my sadness over the star. I didn't want some other topper, I wanted our star. Jeff saw how much it meant to me, and he fixed it. He had to somehow attach it to a short string of lights that plugged in to the tree's light system. I don't know exactly what he did, but by the time Lizzie and I had the rest of the tree trimmed, he came in with our star and plugged it in. All the extra lights made it shine even more brightly than ever!

Our marriage is very similar to our star. It's been there, constant, for 30 years. There have been a few seasons that we've ignored it, taken it for granted,
left it in the box. There was a time we almost threw the box in the trash. But when we realize how much we mean to each other and are willing to do the work, it shines more brightly than ever before. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Night that Christmas Became Christmas

The Night That Christmas Became Christmas
by Ann Dunlap

The music and the madness
And the merriment of Christmas
Is so different than the dawning
Of Christmas long ago.
There was silence, there was stillness,
As the Savior came upon us
The night that Christmas became Christmas long ago.
The presents and the purchases
And the pageantry of Christmas
Leave an emptiness,
A longing in my soul.
For the wonder and the worship
And the winsomeness of Christmas,
Like there was the night that Christmas
Became Christmas long ago.
Oh be still, my soul, and listen
As the Heavens tell the story,
And creation shows
For all the world to know!
Hallelujah! Hail! Hosannah!
For Immanuel drew nigh,
The night that Christmas became
Christmas long ago.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A new hurdle...

Last week I had a routine mammogram. I wonder how many stories start out with those very same words? Anyway, I had actually forgotten about the mammogram until I received a call from their office today while I was at work. It seems that something "showed up" in my left breast. Some irregular, focal, dense, yada yada and some other words...the scheduler lost me after "something showed up". So I have "additional tests" scheduled for next week, and I am absolutely not supposed to worry about this at all. Obviously the scheduler doesn't know me. As much as I would prefer not to worry, it is physically impossible. I was born to a worrier. It's in my DNA. My track record stinks for health issues. I've already had thyroid cancer, and they say that women who have had thyroid cancer are much more likely to develop a second type of cancer within ten years.

Of course it doesn't help that this is coming at a time spiritual disconnect and relational turmoil with those with whom we were in fellowship. I want to trust God. I've had big talk over how easy it was to trust God in the past with all the other stuff. Maybe once I know for sure what's going on, the trust will happen. That saying from a dear old saint in CA rings true - "you don't need the ticket till it's time to get on the train."

I've been following the story of Kara Tippetts, author of The Hardest Peace, fairly closely. I want to have her courage and faith. I want to be around for a long time, especially in Lizzie's life. She needs me, and I love that. I want to meet that need well into her adulthood. And anyway, I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and never have to face the "additional tests" anyway...