Sunday, December 24, 2006

I don't know when I first questioned whether Santa was real or not, probably 2 or 3 grade. I was always the kind of kid that wanted to know, not what was possible, but what was allowed. Tell me the rules. I wanted to know what was true. For a kid, what is true is pretty black and white, something either is or is not true. I still think that is true but our real understanding of the big picture is limited, so some things can be true but not look it, and other things can look as true as gold and yet be false.

I understand now that there are layers beyond the one I can see and feel, touch. Santa really was a bishop in Turkey a long time ago and he really was a giver to the poor and children. He was a person, and the spirit he engenders is still with us today. I think that it is not untrue to say that he is alive in the sense of that spirit. But behind that is the overarching presence of Jesus, it is God to whom we are really giving the gift, and whose spirit motivates us to be generous, to help others. Santa was a man of God and I do think that if he were alive in the flesh he would no more want to stand in God's place in our hearts than would Mary or Moses or any other great figure in the history of this world that has known and loved the Lord.

God is not diminished by these figures, but we can become confused. I don't want my kids either feeling confused about whether Santa is real or not; that they can't see him, but there is some evidence of his presence, and feeling in the same way that God is someone they are told is real but they can't see him (in the same way we see other things). I had to find out later that truth is a difficult thing to pin down sometimes and not everything is as it appears. I don't know if they have the same need to pin things down as I did, my son probably does more than any other. How do we walk that line without sounding either confused, disingenuous or silly?

I think of it like this, take my blog as an example. If you read it, you have evidence I am here, stuff gets written, it tells stories of a persons life. I could be making it up, you would have to get to know me better in order to find out if I was the kind of person who makes up stories for fun or if I am reliable. You could just read my blog and enjoy it for what it is without looking any deeper. But if you wanted to know if I was real you would have to reach deeper, you'd have to reach out and contact me directly, get to know me on a personal level. Then you would know for sure that I was real and not just a computer generated program that simulates a person or a monkey whacking keys on a keyboard that happens to look like ablog, or whatever.

That's what God is like. You have a story about him but if you want to move beyond the story and know for sure, you have to get to know him personally. I think the most amazing thing about him is that he has made a promise to us that if we seek him we will be able to find him. Anyone who really wants to can get to know God. All you have to do is ask, really want it in your heart. He knows who is seeking him.

Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

That is a promise, I have heard people say I don't know of any promises in the bible directed to me personally. Anything you can take to your heart and make your own can be a promise. God operates on faith, or he operates toward us on our faith. Sometimes he acts sovereignly but other times, it is our faith that drives what he is able to do in our lives. It is like opening a door, a little or a lot, and letting him act in our lives, how much we trust and believe what he says.

I'm ok letting Santa be, but I want to make sure that I and my kids know that Jesus is what we are celebrating. I want to let the spirit of generosity and compassion trickle deep into me, let it take root and develop a solid grasp on my heart. That is God's grip, not Santa's, and I pray that this Christmas as I open the door ever wider he will grab hold of me and never let me go.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's almost Christmas

I have been so busy with new job, I am still here. We are almost ready, and basically broke. But we are still kicking! I think we will make it. The job is hard, very busy, I feel like my brain is cold molasses, and it is slowly warming up but I have to push to make it work fast enough. It is more of an effort than it was 10 years ago.
I think about Christmas, so much goes into the big day, but really, God is here all the time, Jesus doesn't just come that day, and I am so glad for that. It is nice to remember the one day, but really, it isn't just that one day, we can remember that he is here, all the time. It is not just an historic event and now it's done, like, say, the 4th of July or the Columbus day storm. He was there then, is here now and will always be with us. Beloved Lord!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Swong, into the swwwwongggg of things, it even sounds smooth.

So much better

I am feeling so much better. Zithromax is a wonderful thing, all except for what it does to your insides, if ya know what I mean. I am getting into the swong of the new job, but it was a rough start, mostly due to staffing problems the week I started. I don't mind so much that I had to fill in, I just felt huffy that they didn't even ask me if that was ok, or apologize for such a screwy first week. Noone likes being thrown to the lions.

On another note, my dearly departed husband is greatly missed. No he isn't dea, just MIA. He has to work 12 on 12 off, at this point, he works at night, to keep communications up at the power company while they get the power back on. We fared well, no damage, no outage, just a few brief flickers. It is cold this am, getting warmer,up to 38. It snowed briefly yesterday, while I was at work. Then it got sunny and melted. We have psycho weather here. The old saying, if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change applies.

I am sorry that I am just not going to get much done as far as Christmasy things this year, I am so very busy in the new job, it takes a lot of time and discipline to keep up with the basics, and I am having to train the kids to help more. I made cards to send but have only sent 3. I just haven't had time to address the rest. Maybe today??

Money is so tight, I am holding my breath hoping we stay afloat until I start getting regular checks in, they have a 3-4 week delay in paydays, which means I get paid the 28th for work week ending the 8th, and won't see my first full check until Jan 11, and that will be for work through the end of next week. They don't have direct deposit so I have to swing by the bank after work to deposit my check, just one more thing. But, it is good to know that I will be making more money, we are so behind in everything it isn't even funny.

The kids seem to be holding up ok, although they will be home now for 2 weeks all day long while I am at work. I can forsee some problems related to that. I had planned on having the second week of Christmas break off this year but with the new job it won't be possible or advisable. Maybe next year?? The story of my life.

I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a wealth of blessings in the new year, and a prayer that all would come to know God better and better each and everyday. He is our blessing, our blessed hope and our source of all that is good.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Oh, ow, my throat hurts, I feel like crap. I have bronchitis, and I feel cruddy. I hate being sick, but I hope antiiotics and rest will help. I think I pushed it too hard too soon after getting a cold, with the new job and all, but I didn't have much choice. Still, I want my throat to be not sore.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Some of my favorite songs and why I like them

Generally, things that touch me, touch me because they remind me of God. I love him more than anything or anyone in the world. That's ok, because loving him allows me to love others better. I have noticed that it is just easier to love people when you see something of God in them, and you respond to that part of them. We really are just loving God, as we love others. When we try and manufacture something, it just isn't the same, because it isn't as genuine. We are made to love him.

Passenger Seat, SheDaisy.
Life's so sweet in the passenger seat. When I look to my left, see his suntanned hands, his muddy river hair and his thousand acre plans, all shook up like a quarter in a can, ain't life sweet.

He is like that, when I see God, in my dreams and visions, he is farmer often, his hands are dirty and suntanned, he isn't very glamorous, but he is strong and he is kind, and he is sweet. I find that it just makes me think of him, he is down to earth, and we respond to him, not because he is so huge (he is) but because he is so accessible.

Annie's Song, John Denver
You fill up my senses....

He does exactly that, he fills the empty places within me, I can feel, taste, smell, hear, and in many ways see him, as he speaks to me, communicates to me, in the myriad of ways he does. I close my eyes, and I see him there, looking back at me, his mouth, his eyes, he is never far away. One day I was driving along a fallow, plowed field, I am like that field, he softens the soil, works into it what it needs to flourish, he digs his hands deep into the dirt, embraces it, and begins pouring into it what he wants to grow there. I may feel like nothing is happening, like I am just laying there, nascent, but when the time is right, whatever he has planted springs up and grows like wildfire. Life springs up sometimes almost instantaneously. Other times, the ocean, reminds me of how it is to be in his arms, he is so vast, and yet he cradles us, embraces us, it is like floating in the ocean, and he is the ocean. Other times, tall trees, looking up at them from the bases, they pierce the sky, remind me of him, how he pierces us to the very heart, with his love. Sunsets are another time I hear him. It is as if he is painting a picture just for me, in colors I love and shapes that I could never imagine. There are so many ways God is so very present, to not only my awakened spirits, but to my very senses. He surrounds me, upholds me and sings over me every moment of every day and I can go through life knowing this and reaching for him, embracing him.

Every Light in the House is on, Trace Adkins (Oh yeah, baby!)
the backyard's bright as the crack of dawn, the front walk looks like runway lights, kinda like noon in the middle of night....... if you look south you'll see a glow, that's me waiting at home each might to kiss you........

So like him, when I go my own way, he doesn't make it tough to find him, he puts out the searchlights, the kleig lamps, etc. He is waiting with open arms and kisses for me to get back. All I have to is look for the glow. God is not trying to hide from anyone who truly wants to find him, who is searching for him with all their heart. His heart is that we never feel like we are alone, that we know he is there. He loves us with abandon, there is no arrogance, no “you got what you deserved”, all he wants is to see us come home, where he is waiting with open arms. Take one step toward him and you'll see.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A new job

The nasty cold bug is making the rounds here at our house. I am fighting and I believe winning. I am starting a new job tuesday, I am a bit nervous. It pays as well as any nurse job I have had, in years, and it is in long term care. I will be working in an Alzheimer's unit, as a care manager. I have done this before, and I am able to handle the job, and this facility has a lot of perks other places I have been don't. My pay will literally triple what it is now. I am not thrilled about full time but we need the money. I have some flexibility with my hours, so I will not be tied to a certain schedule. My current job is fun and very easy going but it pays very low, comparitively, and the new house expenses have increased signicantly. I think that the kids can handle a few hours alone, not more than two each evening. I don't like the latchkey kid thing, but they are 12 and 13, we were much younger when we stayed home after school alone. If trouble brews, they can participate in after school activities that will fill the time some. All in all, I think it will go well and it gets us out of the immediate crunch we are in.