Among the trash bags filled with wrapping paper and Internet searches for leftover ham recipes, a different air hangs around the house. A deflated sense of Now What.
Two days ago the mood was wonder — what is in those boxes beneath the tree. Anticipation — anything could happen. Longing — Come, thou long-expected Jesus.
And come He did. In squeals and sparkles and over-stuffed stockings. In carols and cookies and cups of cocoa. In Legos and love and logs on the fire.
He has come.
He is here.
And it’s this part we forget to prepare for.
It reminds me of the first night home with our brand-new baby boy. After years of longing and aching and empty arms followed by months of maternity clothes and nursery prep and name debating, he was here. I’d read all the books but still didn’t really know what to do. So we took turns sitting by the crib watching him breath. Slowly you make adjustments and settle into a new kind of life. But one not ever the same. Because he is here.
Three decades after his birth, the question would be asked, “What shall I do with Jesus?”
It’s worth considering your answer today.
We waited. He came. Now what?
New toys will be old news before the calendar page is turned. But the magic of Christmas need not wear off.
Like Mary, we would do well to keep all these things in our heart and ponder them.
Because the baby came. But He has not left. He never will.
So as we return to “normal” — Back to work. Back to laundry. Back to non-reindeer songs on the radio. — my heart holds fast to the baby in the manger. May the celebration of his coming become an invitation to meet with him every day.
He has come.
He is here.
“Mom, What’s your favorite food?” He was in kindergarten and filling out a “Get to Know You” worksheet. As a self-admitted food addict, I found it a profound question, because the truth is my favorite food is “whatever is in front of me.” After a few moments he announced, “I know what your favorite is, Mom. Bread.”
There’s something both filling and fulfilling about eating bread. Knowing the process of rest and rising. Of chemistry at work between living yeast and all the rest that combine through the heat of the fire into perfectly warm chewiness.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray for Daily Bread. Just enough for the moment. The perfect portion of provision. We are not meant to overstuff today for tomorrow’s needs. Eat a big dinner tonight, and you’ll still need dinner tomorrow.
Daily bread. Today enough for today. Remembering yesterday He gave me enough for yesterday. Faith that tomorrow will bring enough for tomorrow.
Even more, faith that God doesn’t deal in day-old bread. The bread delivered today is no mistake. Even if it’s hard and crusty — tough to chew — full of seeds that stick in my teeth.
Through Isaiah, God told his people, “Though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your Teacher will not hide Himself and your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:19-21)
The warm and soft bread is my favorite. But when the Daily Bread comes in another form — even the Bread of Adversity, even then will I eat. And find satisfaction in the deliverer — The Bread of Life himself.
Then one day you realize you were feeling like a shell of a human being because you were molting.
The new skin is tender. The legs shaky. The next steps undetermined.
But the shell is discarded.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Just this past weekend I tried on a pair of shoes — super cute and very well-priced. But no matter which size I tried on, they just wouldn’t fit my foot. I wanted to make them fit. (Did I mention they were super cute?!) I even walked around the store a bit to try to convince myself they might stop pinching in all the wrong places.
Unfortunately, no matter what I did, they felt, as physiologist Georgia Shaffer says, all kinds of “awkwardness.”
I think that’s just a perfect word to explain how it feels when we let others or ourselves direct any change in our lives. People mean well most of the time. And the suggested change can even be a good thing. Way more pros than cons on the legal pad.
But something about it just doesn’t sit right. It doesn’t fit. It’s awkward.
But God-appointed change, even if scary and hard and long-suffering, puts our souls at peace.
On this Think About It Thursday, here is your assignment:
- How Can I Take Better Care of Myself? Do a journal entry, a blog post, meditate on it, make a list.
- Choose one to focus on for this follow-up question… What is one way I can do this one thing better this week?
- DO IT!
- Tell me about it in the comments section below. (If you blog about it, include your link.)
- (optional) Read my reflections on the question of the week below.
I feed dogs. I feed the cat. I feed the fish. I feed my family.
I wash clothes. I sweep floors. I pack lunches. I kiss boo-boos.
But what do I do for me??
- Read books that make me happy
- Take long showers
- Drink more water
- Stop weighing myself every day
- Spend time with people who make me smile
- Take lots of photographs
- Keep up with my Gratitude List, which keeps me living in the moment
- Breathe deeply
- Eat more veggies
- Coach … the buzz this gives me is awesome!
- Give myself time to ask — and respond to — more questions like these.
- Sing to the radio
What one thing can I do better this week? Plan & execute a walking photo tour. Take some time, and my camera, and see what I can see. (Watch for the results in a coming blog.)
P.S. I’m blogging my weight-loss journey under the category “40 Pounds of Purpose” … if you want each new entry emailed to you, please subscribe using the link on the right of this page. You’ll also be able to read an archive of entries over time right HERE.