When I want to veg-out on a Sunday afternoon, I can be found binge-watching the Hallmark Channel. The two-hour chick-flicks have pretty much the same format; pretty predictable. So why do we keep watching?
The stories are clean, warm and romantic. The families portrayed aren’t perfect. The couples aren’t bed-hoping. They are following their heart. They are stories of the human condition of wanting to be connected. They demonstrate both old and new love. And the sweetness both can bring. We the viewers are swept into these perfect worlds of falling in love. We get lost in the story hoping she chooses the right guy (there are always two).
Why do we keep watching? My guess is that most of us get caught up the freshness of new romance – the first phone call, the first date, the first kiss. The butterflies when caller id flashes Mr. Wonderful’s name. The courtship of the new romance. Every date you learn something new about him. Every date is a new experience. We like new beginnings.
In our own lives, there is something wonderfully comfortable about a long-term relationship. He knows me and loves me even after the bumps in the road and seeing me at my very worst. But if we are intentional, we can still find those extraordinary moments of connection. Those times when we look at our sweetheart and feel that thrill of what made us fall in love the first time. It takes effort sometimes to keep things fresh; to breakout from the routine and try something new. In doing so we create our own Hallmark moments.
We can never pray for our children enough. Next time you are sending your child off to school or some other activity and feel the need to cover them in prayer, perhaps this will help.
I like that this gives specific parts of their body. Is your teen beginning a new job and need to focus on instruction? Pray for their mind. Is your child starting a new school? Pray for their journey and where their feet will go. Are they going to meet new friends? May their words be encouraging.
The world is different than when we were young. It’s harder and there is more information and attitudes for our children to navigate. We need to be available for them to ask questions. Be there to guide them through as they mature.
When we can’t be with them, we can pray for them. God is always available and watching over.
Sunday evening it occurred to me that we would be going straight from Thanksgiving into Christmas. Like within a week. The first weekend in December my father and his wife are coming for their Christmas visit. Given that they will be staying with us and we will be hosting the entire family for a Christmas celebration I needed to make a list.
Actually, there are three lists. Groceries for Thanksgiving week, groceries for the week of their visit and the other “to dos” I want to make happen for it to be a wonderful time. By December 3rd my house will be completely decorated for the holiday and there will be cookies baked. That’s the goal that getting all the things on my list marked off will accomplish. Reviewing my plan and lists something was missing. Something was nagging at me that I needed to do. What was it?
The AHA moment hit when I laid my notebook and pencil down. As I let go of my plan, I realized I needed to be sure I took time to be grateful and enjoy the planning AND the doing. No matter how many things get marked off the list, my dad won’t care and my family won’t notice. It will be preparing my heart for the holiday and the time together that will be the most important thing to do.
Easter much like Christmas is a wonderfully holy time for believers. And like Christmas, I struggle to find the reverent feeling that aligns my heart and soul with the massive significance of the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Like Christmas, there are many preparations to be made for family and friends to come over. It’s too easy to be distracted.
Tomorrow is Thursday – the day of the last supper – can I merge my thoughts for our own family supper with that of the message of Christ on that last eve?
Friday is when he was crucified and died – Matthew 27. This lends itself to me having a quiet, reflective day. Or perhaps, I will fast something on Friday in order to remember the day’s events.
Saturday is tucked in the middle. Jesus was buried before the sun set on Friday and Saturday was the Sabbath by the Jewish people. There were guards posted at the tomb.
Sunday started early with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary going to the tomb to do the final burial preparations. From there the events began to unfold. There was the angel who told the women to not be afraid (we’ve heard that before), and the guards report to the chief priests (and they still didn’t recognized prophecy fulfilled).
Just as his birth marked a new time beginning, his resurrection marked another significant moment in time. We have one more moment we continue to wait for. It’s not a moment we will plan a holiday or family meal around. His return will be in power and glory and will stop time and complete His purpose.
So this is Holy week, how will you recognize and remember the profound change in human history Christ’s death and resurrection gave us?
I went to the grocery Tuesday (yes, two days before Thanksgiving). My primary purpose was to pick up the fresh turkey we had ordered. Admittedly, there were a few other items, but nothing major. As I walked in there were people exiting with heaping cart loads of groceries. The store was abuzz with shoppers. There was a hustling energy much like gift shopping on Christmas Eve. It made me wonder if Thanksgiving was a surprise to these shoppers much like Christmas is to those who shop the day before. Or instead of shopping early, they chose to just wait and risk the possibility that the cranberry sauce in a can might be sold out or the pumpkin spice might be gone. Just wondering.
Truly friends we have much to be thankful for in this life. We are rich in friends, family and opportunity. There probably will not be any shortage in the grocery you find yourself in tonight at 10 p.m. (there is always that one key ingredient that was forgotten).
Ok friends, I’ve been posting and you’ve been kind enough to read my writings for five years. As I read back through all the different posts some are more my favorites than others. Below is a list of some that stand out to me (in no particular order). Let me know what you think. Or go through the archives and pick your own favorite. I’d love to hear which one you liked.
And if you haven’t clicked on the follow button yet, please do. You won’t want to miss what’s coming. Besides, in this vast world of the internet, it’s encouraging to know my words aren’t just flying around aimlessly. They have friends to visit. Thanks.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year [the song is in your head now, isn’t it]. The mindset most people have around Thanksgiving and Christmas is something we should embrace all year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see people focused on being thankful, giving to those in need and spending time with family. These are activities that we need to put in play throughout the year.
How much different would your day be if you started, perhaps on your way to work, thinking about all the good in your life? You may come up with one thing or 20. Either way, thinking on such positive meaningful aspects of our life can only do one thing, warm our hearts and lift our spirits. I’m not suggesting the Pollyanna approach, you may have a delightful ride into work and get there only to find the same personnel issues, budgetary problems, or deadlines not being met. This state of mind isn’t meant to have us living in la-la land. It’s merely a manner by which we will approach our day and all that it holds both positive and negative.
What if those who post daily thankful messages in November do it in May (half way between)?
What if we worried as much about the homeless and hungry when they can’t escape the heat as when they can’t escape the cold?
How would this new mindset change ourselves? Our world?