Oh I love to see Christmas come and I love to see Christmas go. It might have something to do with working in retail that makes me glad when the holidays leave. I had a wonderfully quiet day. My grandparents were on their way but had some problems in Virginia and have opted to stay there through the weekend. It was sad they didn't make it for Christmas, but since I have had the flu/cold for over a week it was nice to stay on the couch with the dogs all day and watch movies. That sounds pathetic, but when you work 7 days a week you'll take a day off whenever you can get it! Since I live in Georgia I even went out and washed my car to get a little fresh air. It was so nice outside which is partially why it never feels like Christmas here. But, when I watch the snow and ice on the news I'm glad I don't even own a shovel and can always run out if I need to. We get paid back in the summer though when it's 100 degrees every day for 2 months!
I was going to go see Marley and Me yesterday but was glad I opted not to when people sent me messages not to see it. Apparently they were the ones that I saw Eight Below with where the dogs died and Brenda almost died herself of dehydration. Marley apparently dies and all of those people know I can't handle animals dying. Really I can't handle it.
But it does remind me of a great story John Maxwell tells. He was driving down the road when the car in front of him opened the passenger door and going 55 mph pushed a gorgeous collie out the door. The dog slid across the pavement with a visibly broken leg bloody and bruised. But it's what happened next that amazed John Maxwell. The dog limped up and started after the car with his master in it. Though He slay me - I will follow.
Oh how I want to be that kind of Christian. When Satan drags me under the cars of life and pushes me to the ground going 55 miles an hour and leaves me for dead on the side of the road - that I would get up and find Him and trust Him to come get me and heal me and set me free. I'm so glad He came not only to rescue us from this life but to be with us through it. My very favorite name for God is Emmanuel - God with us. We are not alone.
To those of you who feel alone I hope you can feel the Lord wrap his arms of mercy and grace around you and whisper hope to you from His heart. This season is His gift to us of Himself but also a great reminder that He knows, he understands, he cares, and he loves you. Start the new year with renewed hope and trust and faith in Him. If you make no other resolutions for next year, make one to fall madly in love with the one who loves you more than anyone else ever could.
Lord, in the year ahead we're coming after You - wholeheartedly, unashamed, desperately we're seeking your heart and based on your Word, we're going to find it. We're going to stop saying we'll seek you with all our heart and actually do it. We'll push past excuses and put you first in all things. And we'll be different a year from today for making that committment to you. With ALL our hearts we thank you for coming as a little baby, living as a human being, and dying as our savior. And we love you for rising again and taking your rightful place in Heaven where you are interceeding for us and preparing a place for us. We can't wait to see you but until then we're living 100% for you from now on! Amen