Watching For God With Us

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Sometimes my Mom and I discuss spiritual things. One of the things she has held onto despite the Alzheimers is her faith. It doesn’t waver. Yesterday she told me God was in the House.

Today we discussed our relationship with Jesus, and she said she was afraid some people don’t acknowledge him – she didn’t use those exact words, but that is what she meant. She then said, ”Jesus is here somewhere.” I acknowledged that he was indeed in the very room with us. She went on to talk about how he is closer than we think. I imagine that somewhere locked in her memories is the worry about her loved ones that aren’t Christians; the one’s that aren’t watching for him.

Even when we know he lives in our hearts, we need to watch for him to show up in our lives. We get caught up in our everyday living, and we don’t take the time to sit down with him. We don’t take the time to realize that he is here somewhere, closer than we imagine. He is standing ready to engage with us, to show us that he is with us.

Advent is a time to watch for him. Long ago the people of Israel watched for the king. The Shepherds followed the star to find him. One day he will come to earth again to reign and the Holy Word tells us to keep an eye out, watching for his return.

Between that first coming and the second coming that we anticipate there is also the daily watching for him to show up in our life. He shows up in big and small ways. He shows up in the middle of cancer treatments, when the budget is stretched thin, when we’re exhausted and overwhelmed, when we see the ultrasound of a new baby, or at the dinner table; he shows up when we don’t even notice that he is there.

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:27-28)

For me, he showed up yesterday evening in a visit from my parents. It’s easy for me to be focused on my to do list. I knew my husband would be gone yesterday evening, and so I had planned a quiet evening to write. To be honest, I was struggling with this week’s Advent theme of watching. I wasn’t exactly sure what direction to go, so I felt the need for some quiet time to gather my thoughts. But, the phone rang, and it was my father saying he thought they’d come over for a while.

I didn’t want to be ungracious or make them feel unwelcome. Part of the reason I live next door to them is to be their support as we navigate living with Alzheimers. I realize that bringing my mom over for a visit is one of the ways I can support my parents. I want to make sure I am willing to put them at the top of my to-do list when needed. I want to gather memories of time spent with them. So they came, and we sat in the living room with the Christmas lights and the fake fire on the TV, music playing softly and had a great visit. It was peaceful and restful and more beneficial to me than my original plans.

If I had been more concerned with my plans than watching for how Jesus wanted to show up, I would have missed out on an opportunity to be blessed and be a blessing in return. How are you watching for Jesus to show up in your life – are you aware that he is here somewhere – in the very room with us?

There is nothing this side of heaven that is more important than our relationship with Jesus – he is by definition Immanuel, God with us. During this season of Advent, we watch for him. Look around you and see how he is showing up in your life. As my mom said “God is in the house.”

Watching in grace,

Teresa

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Today’s post is 2nd in an Advent series, one for each week of Advent.  Wait, Watch, Prepare and Praise. For all four weeks in the series you can click on each title:

Waiting On Pure Delight (week 1)

Watching For God With Us (Week 2, this weeks)

Preparing To Make Him Room (week 3)

 Praising his coming. (week 4)

 

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Standing In Grace

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Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access through faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5 NIV

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May we find God’s peace today for all our needs.  The world may be swirling around us in all directions, but he is still our hope and his grace is sufficient for all that we need. He stands ready to pour all his love into our hearts.

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Thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your Grace.  We rely on you today to meet our needs and to sustain us.  You are our hope of glory.

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Standing in Grace,

Teresa

Really, It’s Not About Me (except today, it might be), But, All Is Bright!

Disclaimer:  Keepin’ it real, y’all. An update post of sorts since I’ve been pretty absent lately.  The Christmas spirit has been a slow start for me and You may be subjected to a small pity party, but it does end on a bright note!  Also, I mention Rod Stewart and Jesus both in this post. I think they would be okay with that. 

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Rod Stewart is crooning I’ll Have A Blue Christmas in my ear and the dish suds is getting to the point that the dishes better be done soon or we’ll have to have fresh water.  If only I’d done them last night instead of going to Dollar General.  Because mixing dinner dishes with breakfast dishes makes double the “toil and trouble”.

Going to Dollar General (I live in a really small town and it’s a good place to get gift wrapping supplies) was a good thing though, because finally, it was beginning to feel like Christmas.  Nothing like buying empty gift boxes to get you in that Christmas spirit. But then,

I had breakfast dishes to do (at lunch time) because I woke up with a short stab of pain in my head and then felt a little heavy armed and a slight (very slight) numbing sensation in my face.  So, I called my parents to come sit with me awhile just to make sure I was really okay (I’m really not a hypochondriac).  I seem to be okay because we checked my blood pressure and it was close to normal (I am self-diagnosing a pinched nerve, or sinus issues, or more than likely, just plain ole stress) and then I was hungry, hence the breakfast for all of us and the extra dishes. Followed by,

A mishap with the bathroom sink.  I left my Mom (who has Alzheimer’s) in the bathroom with the water running, forgetting that she has trouble turning the facet off.  A few minutes later when she hadn’t appeared and I realized the water was still running I walked in to see the faucet skewed sideways and water running down the counter, over the cabinet front, onto the floor.  Quite a nice puddle.  Yep, she still has her strength, apparently, as the faucet was sideways and is now lose, but still seems to function without leaks.  And, my bathroom floor needed a good mopping anyway.  I was a little frazzled by this turn of events, but tried to reassure her it wasn’t her fault. Lately,

I’ve been way stressed.  Like waking up crying stressed.  Like I want to hibernate from the world stressed. For no apparent, specific reason, but just life in general catching up with me, the depression that lingers longer this time of year and some nagging health related things I need to share with my Doctor when I finally dig my head out of the sand and let him start drawing blood.  But first,

We have to get through Rocky’s Cataract surgery (December 17) and my having to navigate big city traffic on the interstate (my nemesis) since he is having surgery in Louisville. We have known for several months that this was coming soon, but when he saw his Doctor last week she went ahead and scheduled now, during the most ‘hap, happiest season of all,” so that is added to the stress to do list.

Then there is my computer which is in for a check-up as we speak. The prognosis is not good.  Rocky’s also needs some TLC so we are both functioning on a very slow computer, which is nothing to complain about really, in light of more important things.

I am also still playing musical tables at my house and currently have a floater table. She spent two nights ago in the Music room and last night in the Living room.  she is a leggy, restless one that table.  I waffle between sending her away or finding her a place all her own.  Except, therein lies the rub.  We are short on space. I kind of like having her around though due to my inherited thing with tables,  so here we are,

Living in a space with too much furniture and feeling somewhat unorganized which has not been good for my state of mind.  If I have too many things  begging for my attention at once, or too many decisions to be made, I freeze and can’t function. Which is why,

Today, for a little while, everything caught up with me and it did feel like it was about me.  I resisted the urge to cry and started the dish water instead.  Then, after a few moments of searching for the Christmas CD’s, I soaped and rinsed dishes as Rod sang to me.  So, now that I’m armed with clean dishes, my gift boxes and Rod, I think I’ll usher Christmas in quietly, giving myself permission to do no more or no less than I feel up to. Because, as Rod just reminded me, it’a really all about,

“Silent Night, Holy night, All is calm, all is Bright.  Round yon’ virgin, mother and child, Holy Infant, so tender and mild.  Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.”  (click the words to hear Rod sing.)

Holy Infant, tender, peace.  This is all I need to remember.  When the dishes are dirty, when the sink floods, when my computer crashes, when I have to battle traffic, when my head hurts, when my spirit is crushed, when I’m pulled too many directions, when I am chest deep in chaos and the breathing is shallow and the world is closing in, I just close my eyes, breathe in the silent night and remember the Holy Infant.  His tenderness brings peace.

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Peace in the Grace,

Teresa