Unto her…

For my friend who just said, “I feel like I’m shopping to just put something in a bag.” I don’t remember writing this last year… I was trying to find something I wrote about Christmas cards and found this instead. 🙂

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Nativity

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given… Isaiah 9:6

“You have to decide… do you think God is a giver or a taker?” That was a question posed to thousands of women on September 15, 2012. And on that day, if I were to have answered honestly, I would have said taker. Despite all I had ever read about God, and all I had experienced of God, in the darkest recesses of my heart I believed the worst. I believed He was a taker. I just didn’t realize that’s what I believed.

And in truth, I continue to process that thought even now. Two and a half years later. That deep down irrational notion that God, who is the creator of all life, could be a taker of life. And that thinking brings me directly to the heart of Christmas today.

Yes, I’m brought to the inner chambers of God’s heart by the above verse I’ve heard…

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Slowing Down

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The past two weeks have been so busy. Running a hundred miles an hour while baking and decorating and working and mothering and the beat goes on. All you busy moms know what I’m talking about.

In fact, last week I almost ran someone off the road. Totally my fault. It was after my son’s holiday shop at school and I was driving us home. When I began to merge into the right lane, I heard a horn. There was a car and I didn’t see it!

Oh, I was mortified. And embarrassed. So I slowed down to let the vehicle pass. And I graciously accepted the indignant driver’s gestures and her look of scorn.

Then I apologized to my son. I told him I put us in harm’s way and I was sorry.

And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20

I would have chalked the incident up to busyness and fatigue if the rest of last week hadn’t happened. But now, I think God’s telling me something more…

First, the book I’m reading described a near collision. One driver ran a stop sign while another had to slam on her brakes and blow the horn. The offended driver was indignant as she yelled, “Didn’t she see me?!”

Then the following day, same thing happened to me. For I was overlooked. Unseen. Not just once, but twice.

I patiently waited at the photo center while the clerk threw her scissors down and exclaimed, “Damn it!” And as one minute turned to two, another customer joined me standing to my right rear. The line had formed, and I was in front.

When the clerk approached, though, she looked through  me into the eyes of the woman behind me. She made second first as she said, “Can I help you?”

I felt a bit indignant as I raised my hand. “Hello,” I called out, indicating my presence.

Funny thing is, the incident repeated an hour later when I entered the doctor’s office. I patiently stood a few feet behind the counter as the receptionist finished up a phone call. We smiled as we made eye contact and I waited some more. Then a man entered and stood to my right rear. Just like at the photo center.

However, the receptionist looked beyond me to him as she hung up. “Can I help you,” she said. I swear it was like I was invisible. Like she couldn’t even see me.

And I confess, I felt angry. Indignant. My insides cried out, “Can’t you see me?” Probably like the woman I nearly ran off the highway.

“Didn’t you see me?”

Thus, a pattern emerges. The clerk at the photo booth was so busy she couldn’t see straight. I was so busy in my thoughts I couldn’t see a car! Obviously, our lives are much too cluttered. Life full to the brim with distraction.

But today, at Christmas time, I comprehend what God’s been saying to me this past week. And it’s not just about my hectic schedule. No, it’s more about what I see.

Or don’t see.

He softly calls out…

“Pam, I’m right here. I’ve been standing here all along. Don’t you see me?” 

Sadly, I’d have to say no.

I’d have to answer my Lord that I didn’t see Him. Because truth is I’ve been much too busy and distracted by a hundred things. Baking and decorating and working and mothering. All you busy moms know what I’m talking about.

But you know what?

I’ve been put on pause. My son’s fever did that. Slowed down by sickness and I’m thankful for the speed bump. Because it’s allowed me to readjust my eyes… and my heart. And since I’ve had some time to refocus, I can see clearly now.

For I can see Him.

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Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. Exodus 14:13

With all my soul, I wish I could say God’s only message to me this day is about busyness and slowing down. But in truth there’s an underlying issue.

It has to do with my pride… and about being first. And acknowledgement. It all came to a head last night when my true heart appeared. When I felt mad with my husband, Jason.

I’d been working so hard and doing so much and he simply made a comment about something that was undone. Oh, I was hot. I simmered and stewed as my insides cried out,

“Don’t you see all I’ve done??”

I know. A bit dramatic. But I was looking for recognition. Appreciation. And when it wasn’t forthcoming, I felt a bit put out.

In the still of the night, though, my near collision came to mind. Because truth is I felt pretty good that day. Well, before my mishap, I did. For someone paid me a compliment earlier in the day.

I was acknowledged for something I did.

Truth? I liked it. And I reveled in her words. And so, it’s fitting I almost collided with someone three short hours later. Because my near collision brought me down a peg or two. High to low in a split second.

And so (big sigh), I know my pride has been driving me. Still. And my pride causes me to drive much too fast. But God has a word for me today about my driving skills.

He tells me to slow down. Because when I drive too fast, I just can’t see. At least not what He wants me to see…

https://pamandersonblog.com/?s=the+stable

Her Song

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This is where I spend so much of my time. I work here. I create here. I socialize here (media-wise). It’s my spot. That’s why there’s so many things on the mirror.

There’s phrases or Bible verses that move me…

There’s a picture of someone special who’s no longer here…

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There’s a card from my husband that makes me happy…

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Something from my son’s holiday shop at school…

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And then, there’s this…

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I just love the message of this. And it moves me today. It causes me to think before I open my mouth. Because really, do I have a song? Or do I just have an answer…

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3

Honestly, for so long I thought I had the answer. That’s why I opened my mouth. It’s reflected in my son here lately when I try to tell him something. He cuts me right off and says, “I know, I know.”

Amazing thing is He always knows.

Just like me. For once upon a time, I thought I knew it all. So I spoke it all.

Unfiltered…

This morning, though, I pause. And I contemplate God’s people who went before me. Like the children of Israel who were delivered from slavery. They saw God’s great power and believed. Then, they opened their mouths in song.

To God.

For Him.

About Him.

Praise.

They sang, “I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted.” (Exodus 15)

Then, there’s Mother Mary. She saw God’s great power when He filled her with His mercy and grace… fruit in her womb. And she was blessed for she believed. And like Israel, she opened her mouth in a hymn of praise.

To God.

For Him.

About Him.

Praise.

She sang, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

Then there’s me. For so long, I opened my mouth because I thought I knew something. But today, I pause.

I wonder… do I have an answer or a song? And if it’s simply an answer, then I think I should hush up. Because no one wants to hear a know-it-all, right?

Rather, people want to hear something lovely. Songs of redemption. And deliverance. An hymn of praise…

To God.

For Him.

About Him.

Praise.

That’s what people want to  hear. It’s what they need.

Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous ones; praise from the upright is beautiful. Praise the LORD with the lyre; make music to Him with a ten-stringed harp. Sing a new song to Him; play skillfully on the strings, with a joyful shout. Psalm 33:1-3

https://pamandersonblog.com/2013/12/14/hail-mary-full-of-grace/

Back Home

Instead, He told him, “Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.” Mark 6:19

I heard the above verse at church on Sunday. It was already starred and underlined in my Bible, though, from previous readings. Probably because I was away from home for so many years.

BUT… five years ago, God saw fit to return me to my hometown. My Nativity. And this past Sunday, the last portion really stood out. Report how He has had mercy on you.

Go and tell. Family. Neighbors. Those in my hometown. My friends. And so I shall.

Two years ago, I was seeking a Christmas heart. I set my course for Jesus and found Him. Or rather, He came to me. Right in my bedroom. It was January 31, 2014.

I’d been holding something from my past for much too long. Two incidents. Something I’d done and regretted. But God directed me to Jeremiah 31:20 and I knew in my heart of hearts He’d forgiven me. That was the day I was set free from my sin…

Therefore, My inner being yearns for him; I will truly have compassion on him. 

It’s there in “truly have compassion.” I looked it up and discovered it’s the ONLY place in the Bible where mercy is squared. Twice. Mercy + Mercy. For the two things I’d been carrying.

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See it… 7355 + 7355. Mercy plus Mercy.

That was the day I knew I was forgiven for my past. No doubt about it. And later in the day, God’s mercy was underscored for the doctor confirmed my pregnancy was viable.

There was a heartbeat. 

And honestly, I thought there’d be two heartbeats. Twins. Two for two.

Point being, God had great mercy on me. A sinner. That’s what Christmas is really about. And on Sunday, I heard Him say go and tell your people how I had mercy on you.

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Funny thing about Christmas this year… the above didn’t make the cut for decorating. I’d used it for years but never really saw what it said till a week ago.

“Friends are Christmas”

I was outraged when I saw it. I thought “I’m not putting this out! This is not the reason for the season!” However, after reading something I blogged two years ago, I think I’ve changed my mind. I’ve stepped down off my high horse…

Because though friends are not really Christmas, they should be part of it. Our family and friends should be important enough to share the good news with.

As we read in Mark 6, we should report to them how God had mercy on us. And mercy came down in the form of an infant. It’s what the nativity depicts. Mercy in a manger.

The most humble of beginnings…

Then her neighbors and relative heard that the Lord had shown her His great mercy, and they rejoiced with her. Luke 1:58

https://pamandersonblog.com/2013/12/12/josephs-nativity/

 

O, Little Town…

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I come from a small town and the above is a familiar site. Roads like this pepper my county. And because it’s Christmas time, I can’t help but think of another small town…

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past. Micah 5:2

What wondrous things come from small towns…

https://pamandersonblog.com/2013/12/06/o-little-town-of-bethlehem/

Christmas Heart revised…

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Some things change and some things don’t. Read mine and Levi’s Christmas tree antics from two years ago and it saddens me. However, this year was good! Smiles inside and out. Hot chocolate and cookies and music. And, I released some control. I let Levi pick our decorations.

Last night, though, story time repeated. It was past bedtime on a school night so I said No story for you! But, as I lay in bed my heart ached. I returned to Levi ten minutes later and read him that story.

Seems I found my Christmas heart sometime in the past couple of years…

https://pamandersonblog.com/2013/12/05/a-christmas-heart/

 

 

What Mary Knew

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45

I wrote this two years ago… within a month of writing it, I discovered I was pregnant. On December 26, 2013. Amazing. God made a promise and He kept it… even if I thought He wasn’t going to.

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This time two years ago, I was walking on air. I just finished writing out my life story and knew it was going to be published immediately. Also, I just knew I was going to have a baby. God was going to bless me with another child.

Through select passages of Scripture, and life events, I could feel it coming. And so, I voiced it. I spoke it. And I believed it. I told my husband, “I’m going to get pregnant.” And in going through my writings from that time, I can see I was reading the very passages I’m reading now.

I was in the book of Luke two years ago. And on December 6, 2011, I wrote out a verse encircled by a heart. To me, confirmation a baby was on the way…

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the…

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What Mary Said

“Let is Be” has been rolling around my brain. Caused me to look for this post from two years ago… see I was in search of a true Christmas heart at the time. May be sharing more posts from that time period. Jesus being the reason for the season. Peace to you…

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And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

Who doesn’t love the Beatles? Don’t most of us sing along with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison? When we hear those familiar tunes, don’t we all love to belt out the lyrics to “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” or “Twist and Shout,” or “Here Comes the Sun.” I do. When I hear them, I can’t help but join in.

And so, this morning’s revelation kind of stopped me in my tracks. Because today was the day I realized that the Beatles sang Scripture. And so, when millions of people sing along with Paul McCartney, they too, are singing Scripture. For “Let it Be” is biblical. It’s found in the book of Luke, chapter 1, verse 38. “Let it be…” And the words belonged to Mary. It’s what she…

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