I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly basis. It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together. We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
This month has started to take on its own theme - unintentionally on my part. The theme topic of GIFTS has started to develop.
This week's idea started with reading Libby's blog post. You can read it here. I loved Libby's appreciation of the small moments - the routines - the ordinary. That got me thinking about Christmas and all its worldly glamour, trappings, and hyperbole. The explosion of stuff. Why have we done that to this season? It started out as simple as it gets. The ordinary Mary and Joseph, no fancy room at the inn, simple cloths to wrap Him in, a wooden manger, shepherd visitors. No fanfare, no trumpets, no glitter, no orchestra. Just a baby born to humble, flawed humans. Since I was inspired to write this by Libby, I must share one of her favorite things...Charlie Brown. The philosophy of simplicity in a cartoon...
I started to think about the small, simple things that I love....
- the first cup of coffee of the day
- when Ben, my dog, curls up in the crook of my folded legs while I read on the couch
- a scented candle
- holding my husband's hand
- sitting outside for a meal
- the sun on my face
- sleeping in
- a hot shower
- oatmeal with berries and walnuts
- conversation with friends
- texts from my daughters
- encouragement from my parents
- a walk
- the first glimpse of perennials in the spring
- birds at the feeder
- the first snow (and snow day!)
- a letter or card in the mail
- a bite of delicious chocolate
- listening to an audio book on my way to school
- reading aloud to my students
- a fire in the fireplace
- laughing until it hurts
- the last page of an amazing book
- singing "Silent Night" at church on Christmas Eve
After a tragedy, I often hear people longing for the ordinary day. The routine. The simple and small things. I wondered what Jesus would answer if asked what His favorite moments with us are. Would they be the ones when we won an award? Graduated from college? Landed a job? Perhaps. Or would they be the times when we spent a quiet prayer time with Him? Asked Him what we could do for a stranger or friend in His name? Bent down on one knee to talk to a lonely child? Served a meal? Quietly shared the gospel with someone who needed it? Took care of someone sick or needy? Invited someone to church? Simply communed with Him without any distractions? Probably.
I could keep going, but I'll leave you with Kristin Chenoweth's "Happiness" from the Charlie Brown Christmas 50th Anniversary Special, and may you appreciate the small and simple gifts this December!