6 Days Till Christmas

The Lord had been preparing me for yesterday for a while. He spoke to my spirit that she was winding down.  From the outside, you couldn’t tell but those of us who knew her, could see. She was no longer on the road, she was content to be at home.

One of the things I will always remember about my mom was she told me Barack Obama was going to be president before he ever received the Democratic nomination. I remember thinking this woman is crazy. America is never going to elect an African American President.

An African American woman who was raised in a segregated South got to see Barack Obama become President of the United States. She grew up riding at the back of buses and not crossing the railroad tracks after dark. She got to experience God’s faithfulness.

The Lord allowed her children to gather around her and cater to her. He allowed her grandchildren to amuse the heck out of her. He gave her above all she could imagine or desire in a family.

I almost had 50 years with her. Nothing was funnier than both of us with our readers trying to see something or her laughing at my hot flashes cause she remembered them.

She taught me a lot about life. She taught me how to laugh. She lived what a strong woman looked like.

One of her favorite singers, Nina Simone summed it up.

7 Days Til Christmas

He  has caused me to rely on my life verse for real.

I lift my eyes to the hills
Where does my help come from
My help comes  from the Lord
The creator of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip
He who watches over you will not slumber
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
Will neither sleep not slumber

The Lord watches over you
The Lord is your shade at your right hand

The sun will not harm you by day
Nor the moon by night

The Lord will keep you from all harm
He will watch over your life
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forevermore

8 Days Till Christmas

Today’s present was great. I asked my mom what was the best Christmas present she ever received? One of my sisters was with me and liked the question. As my mother took a minute or two to think about it, my sister added “Was it a doll or a toy?”

My mother stopped thinking and said, “We didn’t get toys for Christmas.”

“You didn’t have a doll?” my sister asked.

“Only ones I made,” mom said. She went on to explain how she would put straw in a pop bottle and pretend it was a doll. My sister couldn’t wrap her mind around this.

For the next hour my mom told us a story she had told several times before, but this time it stuck. My mom’s family was so poor that they never celebrated Christmas the way most folks did. There was no tree or presents or idea of Santa Claus delivering goodies to everyone.

I asked my uncle, “What did y’all think of Santa Claus?”

He said, “Nothing, he wasn’t coming to our house.”

They would have a good meal and they were blessed to have that.

As a kid growing up, we had good Christmases (loved when I got my bike) and a few not so good Christmases. But we always had one. I love how God takes one thing and makes another.  He has taken her from no celebration with her first family to over celebration with her own children.

We laughed as we talked about my mom’s childhood and how hard it was.  I am amazed that she can find laughter in it.

There are amazing stories in your own family. Take time this holiday to chat with your older family members and hear them.

There are beautiful simple lives waiting to be explored.

10 Days Till Christmas

One of the presents I received this year was four days in the dark.

light bulb

What looked like a light storm came through our city one evening, lasted about 30 minutes. Ripped up the place.

The power went out on my street and it didn’t come back on for four days. We had a tree land on our roof.

Those four days in the dark gave me time to think about the God I serve. I mean why on earth was He leaving me, His faithful servant in the dark and no electricity in the middle of a Texas summer? What purpose could this serve?

It was a chance to get to know HIm better without the distraction of daily routines.

I am currently reading Knowing God by J.I. Packer. One of the principles I have gleaned from this reading is “those who know God have great contentment in God.” This contentment happens no matter what. This year, He allowed me to see if I had that type of contentment no matter what. Some moments I was cool. Some moments I was “Okay, Lord, fix this now!”

Packer’s argument was once you truly knew God nothing could disrupt your peace. He said people who truly knew God lived differently. They have something that the world can’t explain.

I want to live out that kind of faith.

I

11 Days Til Christmas

I have been fortunate enough this year to have moments of clarity. Moments where the Creator of the universe spoke to me through a situation and I learned something I was able to apply to my everyday life. Here is one from April:

Had a revelation as I was walking out of Target. A mother and her young son, about 3 or 4, were walking toward the door. She said “We are going to Target.” He was crying and yelling “No.” Even though he did not want to go, he was walking right beside her. He was steady crying, but stayed at her side.

Some days that is how my Christian walk is. God is taking me places and like the little kid, I am screaming and crying, but steady walking with Him. He promised He would never leave us or forsake us. He didn’t promise we would like everywhere He took us.

No matter how out of hand that child got at the Target, his mother didn’t leave him there. No matter how crazy my life gets, God doesn’t leave me there.

I am a visual learner, so I like it when He gives me visual lessons. He had drug me through some situations this year, but I could feel him tugging at me. He kept telling me, we are not going to stay here. (Amen!)

So wherever He is leading you, go. He is going with you.