If medical expenses and life in general is sapping your ability to be a major gift-giver, take heart – and give it back! Yes, it isn’t too late to lavish your family and friends, and even members of your medical team, with gifts. How?
One of the best gifts I’ve ever given (for me to give and others to receive) was to each member of a church choir that I conducted several years ago. On a festively-colored piece of paper that I rolled up and tied with a ribbon, I hand-wrote my thanks to them for all their service, fellowship and friendship throughout the year. I also added a few lines about what it was about each of them that made them so very special to the choir and to me. The hours I spent doing this helped me focus on the human gifts that God bestows and the appreciation we often forget to express in the busy-ness of our lives.
Just a suggestion for you. If you are cash-strapped and unable to buy and give, think about expressing your love and thanks to those close to you. Write it up, wrap it up, and give it as a precious gift you eagerly extend.
That’s exactly what it is!
Joy and peace,
When we enter a darkened room, what do we do? Turn on a light. There’s an often complicated set of actions that takes place “behind the scenes” that we probably don’t think about – switches and wiring and lamps and bulbs. The important thing is that the light goes on and we proceed without hurting ourselves (or something we might run into).
I think of prayer much like turning on a light. There is all sorts of theology I could probably consider, and certainly there can be elaborate prayers and postures that accompany them. But the important thing is my reaching for God in prayer and letting the light illuminate me, my world, and my prayer intentions.
So simple. So vital.
This third week of Advent, think of the light that comes on each time you pray. Think of the simplicity of being able to “just be” with God. And let the glow surround you, nourish you, lead you.
Wow, I am behind. Behind in decorating, doing, and all else having to do with the holidays. Too soon this Season, I’m feeling that bone-deep fatigue that comes with lupus, anemia (just found out about that), and activity. Steer me clear of the furniture section of the stores! I’m a goner if I come within a few feet of a recliner!
There’s so much I still want to/have to do. Cards. Shopping. Rearranging. Trimming the tree. I feel a nap coming on.
Of course, for even the most able-bodied person, doing it all and perfectly is probably not possible. But for us, we lupies and others who have chronic illness and pain that wears us down. Well, with two weeks to go before Christmas, there are probably already many things that will be left undone.
And, I’ve decided in the wisdom that comes with lupus et al., that’s okay.
Keeping in touch with friends far and near can happen at anytime of the year – and probably at a more meaningful level.
Even the smallest creche can be a great addition to home, and provide that sense of the Season that we need.
Cooking, cleaning, rearranging to accommodate guests or a tree? Well, whatever can be done is just right!
And as for shopping, instead of fighting the mall traffic or spending countless hours cyber-buying, do only what you can and then let your body and budget rest.
This time of year is about so much more than running ourselves into the ground. No, it’s about lifting ourselves and our fatigued spirits up – up to Him, the spirit of Christmas, and the absolute wonder of how much He loves us, no matter how much we can or cannot do.
I like to drive with music on. A CD or a radio station – doesn’t matter as long as the music is good. But when I really want to benefit from the power and inspiration of music, I don’t do anything at all. I just sit, listen, and let the music in.
Good music can heal hurts, flow over us like refreshing water, and take us to favorite memories – or sad ones that are precious all the same. But so often, we listen only in passing, making music part of our daily background. That’s fine, I suppose, at times.
But to benefit from all music has to offer, I’ll pause. Pick a favorite song. And play in all-else stillness.
Let your song in today, a gift for your heart and soul.