Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My (Big)(Fat)(White)Christmas

Christmas came in this year with a blizzard. Fortunately, LovelyDaughter and JD agreed to come over a couple of days early, so they got snowed in at our house instead of theirs. And a friend of ours who was coming for Christmas also came early and got snowed in here, so we were set.

(Many other families were not that fortunate. JD missed visits with his family because some of them were snowed in by the blizzard in Oklahoma City, and others were stuck in another town in Nebraska. I know he was enormously disappointed.)

FOOD: Christmas Eve I cooked a small turkey--I insisted that for once we had to have turkey, for me, because to me that says "HOLIDAY"-- with mashed potatoes, etc., and pumpkin pie. Christmas Day I cooked a ham, and did verenike with onion gravy, etc., with pecan pie for dessert.

EVENTS: Christmas Eve we played "In A Pickle," and then we put out our plates. In the morning I put out the gifts, covered by bandannas, and filled the stockings with pistachios and candy. When everyone got up, we sat around the table and the kids took turns uncovering the gifts that Hubby and I gave them, and emptying the socks. Then we moved over by the woodstove and the kids gave gifts to each other and to us. In the middle of it all, DrummerDude called (!) from Costa Rica where he is on Outreach with YWAM. (By the way, my little countdown calendar tells me he has been gone for 102 days and he'll be home in 39!)

After the gift excitement was over, we still had the excitement of the blizzard outside, and watching the snow dump and blow into huge drifts. We didn't get dug out until Monday afternoon.

And now here I am, two days later, all the snowbound guests gone home, looking at the piles of snow outside, and the gray, gray day. No, gray is not exactly the right word. I guess technically the day is white, white, white. White snow, white clouds, white sky, white everything. But it FEELS gray. And that makes ME feel gray.

But I'm trying to feel sunnier. I got on Facebook and I answered all but two of the dozen or so "requests" that I've been trying to ignore. I sent back doohickeys.

I did something today that I've been procrastinating for several weeks. And I'm finishing up a batch of homemade granola that I bought the ingredients for a month ago. And, amazingly, someone I haven't talked to for a very long time contacted me yesterday, and we are meeting this afternoon for a visit. She has no idea yet how much it means to me, and I'm sure I will feel a lot sunnier afterwards!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Change

So, I messed around with my blog a little and made it into a three column layout. Do you like it this way?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Bit of an Answer

Last night we received some tragic news. A friend of ours called and told us that his daughter (a couple years older than GuitarGeek, and newly married) was hit by a snow plow and killed.

Our hearts are grieved and aching for the pain our friends are feeling right now. What can you say? What can you do?

This kind of thing always rocks my theology. About the time I think I have God figured out, something happens and I don't know where to fit it into my picture.

Is this incident a total freak accident? If so, then where is the God who has all our days in his hands, and planned our lives before we were born, and has all the hairs of our head numbered?

Is this then something planned by God? If so, what kind of God plans for one of His children to be killed? And for others of His children to be put through the agony of grief?

So then is this really an attack of Satan-- a demonic action? If so, why? Why did God allow it? Where is the God spoken of in Psalm 91 where those who trust God are under His protection?

And what about the stories I've read of miraculous interventions and rescues, of people who inexplicably found themselves drawn to pray for someone and found later a tragedy had been averted? Why didn't God intervene in this case? Where were the people who were supposed to pray? Or weren't there any?

It all boils down, for me, to one question: Can I trust God? Is He trustworthy? Is my life truly in His hands, or do I need to look out for myself?

It's a real question, not just rhetoric. Because the answer affects the way I live my life. When something bad happens to me or my friends, what should we do? Fight the demonic forces that must be warring against us? Rebuke the evil? Accept it? Rest in God's perfect plan? Give thanks in ALL THINGS? Shrug and say "stuff happens"? Believe that All Things Work Together For Good?

If I can't find some sort of answer I can live with, then my heart becomes overwhelmed with fear. If it could happen to them, it could happen to us! And if God didn't protect them, how can I believe that He will protect us?

I don't know for sure. I know what I think, but that doesn't mean much unless it's really truly TRUE.

However, I know this:

Last night I prayed, asking God for SOMETHING, at least a bit of an answer, and this morning I pulled out Daily Light, a devotional book I haven't used in a while and found exactly that, a bit of an answer.

Look at these excerpts:

"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live-- God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life...

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also."

This then is a bit of an answer, and one of the messages of the Cross. There is hope. There is something more after this life, and it will be good. I suppose that's why the Apostle Paul said that the weight of the glory awaiting us is far greater than the weight of the affliction we suffer now.

Sometimes that's all the answer we get, but at least it's a bit of one.