From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!!
May the love, joy, and peace that only Jesus can give be yours today, and the whole year through!
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!!
May the love, joy, and peace that only Jesus can give be yours today, and the whole year through!
If you want a picture to go along with that word, I can’t think of one that’s more appropriate than that of kids waiting for Christmas to arrive.
As a child, I remember my two younger brothers getting up VERY early on Christmas morning. At some point they’d come into my room, so excited to go downstairs and wake up my parents so we could open gifts (and eat candy from our stockings for a little pre-breakfast sugar high!)
As adults, I think we generally anticipate Christmas a little (or a lot?) less. We face more responsibilities. There are presents to buy, food to make, holiday events to attend, and Christmas parties to fit into an already busy schedule.
And while we’re never too old to get excited about gifts, Christmas becomes about a whole lot more. We treasure the joy others get when they open presents we’ve chosen just for them. Getting together and spending time with family becomes much more of a focus…though there’s still a lot of excitement about the candy and other good food!
All that to say that our anticipation level for Christmas can be fairly low at times. But in these last few days before Christmas, I hope we can slow down and really anticipate what’s to come. Let our whole focus not be the gifts or the food or the family celebrations as much as marking the significance of Christ’s birth.
I love the definition of
Thinking all the way back to the first Christmas, Joseph and Mary must have experienced incredible anticipation. Many of us can identify with anticipating a child’s birth. But what about a child that has been said to be the Messiah? One whose birth was foretold to both Joseph and Mary by angels! How exciting!!
Since long before then, though, God’s people had been waiting for a Savior. God told Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15 that the seed of the woman would
And just as our God is always faithful, so He provided His Son as that seed. The anticipation from the centuries before was brought to pass on a quiet night in Bethlehem.
In this last week before Christmas, let’s try to find a bit of the wonder and anticipation of the season. This message is for me. Me, with a few presents still to buy and wrap, a couple more parties to bake for, and a Christmas dinner to cook. Let me not get so caught up in the last minute details and preparations that I forget to marvel in the glory of the greatest gift ever given.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord….And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” ~Luke 2:10, 11, 13, 14
Thank you, Jesus, for coming to earth. This was the initiation of God’s plan for my redemption, the redemption of the whole world. Thank you, God, for the gift that was perfect and that only You could give.
I am solidly on the side of not starting Christmas preparations until Thanksgiving is over. My girls did manage to sneak in a little Christmas music on the car radio prior to Thanksgiving Day, but I did mildly protest!
Now you may be like my daughters, ready to start celebrating the Christmas season at the beginning of November, and that’s fine.
Regardless, Christmas preparations are now in full swing. This past weekend we got our live tree, decorated it, and are now asking Alexa to play us Christmas songs every morning. The wreath is on the door, and the advent calendar is hanging on the wall.
But I’m just not feeling it yet. I love the tree, and how cozy it makes our house feel. I’m happy that the stockings are hung. And I’m not in the throes of gift-buying madness or cookie-baking panic, either. I just don’t have that Christmas spirit.
We still have a while to get there, but if you’re like me, maybe one of the ways I’ve listed below will help us get our hearts ready for this Christmas season.
I just started Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story. Technically the book starts on December 1st. However, I know I’ll miss a couple of days somewhere in the month, so I started a few days early. Other activities like lighting advent candles or decorating a Jesse Tree can help get you in a Christmas frame of mind.
I shocked my girls earlier this week when I confessed that I’m not a big fan of Christmas hymns. They made me feel like I’ve been living a lie all these years, complimenting them on the Christmas piano pieces they’ve played in church or at recitals when I’m not a big fan of the songs, lol!
There are a few traditional hymns that I like, but I also really enjoy songs from Christmas cantatas that I’ve heard performed (an all-time favorite being Ten Thousand Hallelujahs. Here’s one of the songs.) The point is, find seasonal music that causes you to think about Jesus’ birth. (Christmas Grace is a new favorite of mine this year.) Add in a few fun Christmas tunes, too!
Yes, my like-to-be-organized self makes a list of who we’re buying gifts for, how much we plan to spend, and all that good stuff. But let’s go beyond that. Who can we bless this Christmas season? Is there a person you could help that can likely never return the favor? What about anonymous giving?
Whether we bake cookies, deliver a meal, or find a great deal on a gift we know someone will love, let’s get the focus off of ourselves. We truly receive a bigger blessing when we give rather than when we’re on the receiving end.
Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, with the kids or by yourself. Maybe a Hallmark Christmas movie will inspire you. As a family, listen to a Christmas-related audiobook or read one aloud yourself.
I like The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This Family Read-Aloud Christmas Treasury looks good, as does Home for Christmas: Stories for Old and Young. (I think Nikki recommended the second one.)
Go back to Luke 1 and read the history of Elisabeth and Mary. Go over to Matthew 1 to read about Joseph, and Matthew 2 for the story of the wise men. Meditate on the people and events that surrounded the birth of baby Jesus.
Want help getting started? Jesus came to earth to be born as a baby because of God’s great love for us. Because Jesus came to earth and submitted to God’s plan, our sins can be forgiven. You get the idea.
Once you have your list finished, read through it once a day.
Go to a play, a musical, a tree lighting, a parade, a big Christmas lights display, or a concert. There are likely all kinds of community events in your area centered around Christmas. See if the Christmas spirit is contagious!
The Christmas season is just getting underway, and I hope you’ll enjoy these next few weeks as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
[If you have children, check out these 5 Christmas Bible Verses to Teach Your Children and 10 Gifts from Jesus to Unwrap This Year: An Object Lesson for Our Children.]
For those of us who try to make gratefulness a priority all year long, this is a welcome season! It helps us focus on gratitude on a daily basis. It’s a time when even our culture encourages us to be thankful.
I recently read Psalm 103, and it’s a wonderful thanksgiving passage. Let’s look at the first six verses.
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Wow, what a list of benefits from our Lord! Forgiveness, healing, redemption, lovingkindness (so often undeserved, might I add), and good things to satisfy our mouth. (And won’t we have an abundance of those on Thanksgiving day!!) Verse two tells us not to forget all these benefits; remembering what God has done for us is important!
My mind has been drawn to God’s healing this week. My sister’s husband just lost his mother to cancer at a relatively young age. Our family and many others prayed for her for a long time, asking God to take away the cancer and heal her body.
God answered our prayer for healing, but not in the way we would have prescribed. A few days ago, He gave her a permanent healing, an everlasting relief from her pain. It’s another life circumstance that can make us want to doubt His goodness and providence. Yet we know that giving thanks in all things is part of His will for us. [I Thessalonians 5:18] And we trust in His plan to always do what is for our good and His glory.
In verses 10-12, we find a benefit that only God can give us, forgiveness of sins.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Mercy. That’s God’s compassion and forbearance raining down on us. It can’t even be measured. We could never in a million lifetimes have paid for our sin. Yet Jesus Christ took it all on Himself, and paid our penalty.
Verses 15-16 remind us of just how fast our lives go by.
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
Let’s be thankful for the time we have. We each get a certain number of years to flourish and prosper. But they’re short. And then, just like when a flower dies, we won’t be remembered long here. But each day we’re given, we can be doing what will matter when we’re gone as we love others, share our faith, and seek to bring glory to God.
Then verse 19 brings hope for our souls.
The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
I might be a little depressed these days if I thought all I had was this life here on earth. There’s lots of injustice, dishonesty, corruption, and plain ol’ evil. But we just read that God’s got a throne in heaven and that one day, He will reign over all. So whether or not politics goes our way or justice seems to be served, we can be thankful that all will one day be made right by the King of Kings.
The last verse of Psalm 103 brings us full circle.
Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.
Bless the Lord with me in this Thanksgiving season!!
On a personal note, I hope you and those you’re celebrating with have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We’re spending the week, just the four of us, in a cabin in the mountains near Pigeon Forge, TN. Our Thanksgiving meal will be courtesy of Cracker Barrel. (Not a first for us, for sure, even though some kids in one of my daughter’s classes told her that eating at Cracker Barrel doesn’t count as a real Thanksgiving meal, ha!! Don’t worry – one day soon, I’ll make all our Thanksgiving favorites at home!)
I’m very thankful for each one of you who takes the time to read this blog. May you recognize God’s goodness in your life, not only at Thanksgiving, but every day of the year!
During my morning Bible time, I usually read a chapter from Proverbs. A couple of months ago, I decided to be more focused in my reading. Every time I came to a verse that talked about a fool, I wrote it down in my journal. I wanted to see what it said a fool did – or didn’t do – so that I could hopefully avoid being one!
While I knew that Proverbs talked a lot about fools, I didn’t actually realize how much until I did this exercise. I found it helpful, and thought I would share some of what I found with you – since I’m sure you don’t want to be a fool either!
So here are five things to avoid if you want to be not foolish, but wise.
We get this first one right out of the gate, in Proverbs 1:7.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
This makes perfect sense. How can you avoid foolishness if you won’t listen to wisdom? Proverbs 1:22 says something similar.
“How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?”
Wise people recognize that there are many situations in life that they don’t know how to handle. God’s Word is our first resource in those cases. Beyond that, look for wise advice from other people. Hopefully your pastor could be a help here. In marriage or parenting, ask counsel from someone who’s ahead of you in the journey, and seems to be living in a Christ-like way.
It’s only the foolish who think they’ve got it all under control, and don’t want to glean wisdom from anyone else.
Later on, I’d like to write a post on the verses in Proverbs that talk about the fool’s mouth. But for now, here are a few examples.
“The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” Proverbs 15:2
I like the use of the word “poureth.” A fool’s mouth doesn’t just trickle out foolishness; it comes gushing out. And we know from Proverbs 18:7 that it’s not helpful words we’re talking about.
“A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.”
We all know that our tongue can get us in a world of trouble. Sometimes we can be wise just by keeping our mouth closed.
“A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” Proverbs 29:11
Don’t say everything you know. Before they speak, a wise person will ask themselves those famous questions, “Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?”
A fool wants to hang on to his sin.
“The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.” Proverbs 13:19
The foolish man hates to walk away from evil. He’s not willing to deny himself in order to overcome his sin. Proverbs 1:23 goes even further when it says,
“It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.”
He sins without regret or remorse, even finds pleasure in it. If we want to be wise, how tender our hearts need to be in asking the Holy Spirit to reveal sin in our lives. Then we can ask forgiveness, and seek God’s strength to overcome it.
In other words, get angry quickly.
“He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly…” Proverbs 14:17
Haven’t we all fallen into this trap? We lose our temper, and then we say or do something really stupid. It can be with a co-worker, our spouse, or one of our children. Proverbs 12:16 addresses this, too.
“A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.”
If everybody around you knows when you’re angry, it might be time to work on some self-control. (Preaching to myself here for sure!) We need the Holy Spirit’s help to have self-control, which I think we’d all agree is the mark of a wise person.
5. Be proud.
This kind of goes along with number one. If you refuse to accept instruction from others, you qualify as proud. But look what it says in Proverbs 14:16.
“A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.”
Wise people discern that there’s trouble ahead, and avoid it at all costs. But the fool thinks, “I’ve got this!” He’s arrogant and self-confident. His way is the best way. Proverbs 12:15 says,
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”
I love that we read in James 4:6 that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. A wise man knows he is weak, but goes to God for discernment and strength to overcome his weakness.
Maybe we can all take what I learned about a fool from Proverbs, and make decisions in our lives that will cause us to be wise!
A common conversation I find myself having with family and friends is about how quickly time is passing.
With the threat of Hurricane Florence recently, my husband and daughters were off of work and school for almost a week. Looking back at that week when it was over, my husband and I talked about what we did (and didn’t do!) with that unexpected “free” time. He shared with me this quote from legendary basketball coach John Wooden.
I’ve been thinking about that ever since. It’s so easy to just let a day go by without being intentional about how you spend it. We can purposely fill our hours with what’s important to us, or we can just let the day drift by with no purpose.
Obviously there are certain tasks that must be done. But even in those daily must-do’s, we can choose to focus on making the hours meaningful.
Here are seven ways we can work to create a masterpiece each day.
1. Remember that a masterpiece is made up of many small strokes. Here and there we have days with big, bold wins. You get a promotion at work, receive a random, heartfelt note of love and appreciation from your teenager, or finally meet a longstanding personal goal.
But most days are full of lots of little strokes. Things like rocking a baby to sleep, slipping a love note into your husband’s pocket, or lighting a candle while you clean up the kitchen after supper. Maybe you listened to a play-by-play account of your son’s school day, played Candy Land for half an hour, or wrote out a Bible verse to post on the refrigerator door.
None of these tasks seems like a big deal. But put them all together, and those little moments become the building blocks of a life well-lived.
2. Do your best at every task you undertake. Whether it’s making the bed, packing lunches, or washing the car, do the best you can at every thing you try. Colossians 3:23 says, “ And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men…”
I’m not a five-star chef nor the most efficient housekeeper, but I can get a healthy meal on the table and run that vacuum cleaner with the best of ’em!
3. Realize that God’s given you the skill to produce something beautiful. He gave you a spouse to encourage and made you the parent of your children. You are His creation and lovely in His sight. Yes, you will sin and fail, but He will forgive and restore.
You were created for a purpose. As long as you’re here on the earth, there is something meaningful God wants you to do.
4. Be kind. A masterpiece can be marred by ugly strokes. One day last week, I got angry when another car cut me off in traffic. I was frustrated and blew my horn – then hoped no one I knew was around because I was so embarrassed! I’m not saying there’s never a time to blow your horn, but I just let my frustration get the best of me.
We teach our children Ephesians 4: 28, and it sounds so simple. “And be ye kind one to another…” But I definitely need the Holy Spirit’s help to live that out every day.
5. Take time for God. It sounds so basic, but isn’t getting to know God better about the most important thing we can do today? Carve some time out of your day to find a truth about God to meditate on.
I’ve started using a daily audio Bible app on my phone so that I can hear the Bible read out loud. Since I’m already in the habit of listening to podcasts, this fits right in to my day. It’s just another way to take in God’s Word.
6. Use your time wisely. I don’t think this means every moment has to be full of stuff to do. It can be extremely life-giving to sit on the porch and watch the sunset. But surfing the Internet mindlessly or sitting in front of a television for hours can leave you feeling empty, knowing that you wasted time.
Just be intentional with the time you’ve been given. Ephesians 5:15-16 reminds us, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.“
7. Focus on right now. You can’t change the past. You can’t foretell the future. Set goals and make plans, but do what you need to do today to grow in your walk with God and show love to others.
God gives us a blank canvas each morning. Let’s fill it today with beautiful brush strokes, for His honor and glory.
Have you ever taken a personality test?
I hear a lot about them these days. Frequently, on podcasts I listen to, the host or guests will proudly proclaim that they’re an Enneagram 7 or an ENFP. And I’m certainly a fan of learning not only what personality type you are, but also the personality styles of those around you.
Better understanding our children’s personalities has guided my husband and I as we instruct and discipline them. We know that one daughter responds best to clear, direct communication. She doesn’t care about a gentle approach, nor does she have time for long-winded explanations.
While I’ve taken a personality test before, I didn’t need one to tell me that I’m an introvert. I enjoy being around people, but I recharge by having alone time. And when it comes to entering new social situations, I have to force myself out of my comfort zone.
Now, if you’re an extrovert, you may not relate to anything in this post, but perhaps it will give you insight into how the rest of us feel!
If we’re going to a social event, most of us realize that it will be more enjoyable if someone we know is going to be there. There’ll be someone to talk to, and we won’t awkwardly stand around looking lonely. And that’s all fine and good.
But sometimes good things happen when I’m a little uncomfortable.
Several months ago, I attended a wedding with my daughters. There was a fairly large crowd, and we knew some of the guests. When it came time for the sit-down dinner reception, my girls split off with friends, and I was on my own.
By the time I got my food from the buffet line, many of the tables were full. In the large room, I didn’t want to wander around looking for someone I knew in hopes that there was an empty seat at their table.
I spotted a table with a few empty chairs, and just sat down by myself. On impulse, I introduced myself to the lady on my left. She was a friend of the groom, was from out-of-state, and we ended up having the most interesting conversation!
This woman was an elementary school teacher (which I used to be). She also happened to be from the area where I attended college. We talked and talked about all kinds of things, and didn’t leave the table until it was time to say farewell to the newly married couple!
That whole experience was a blessing! It reminded me that I need to be more intentional about stepping out of my comfort zone. (By the way, this post is not at all intended to brag on myself! Most of the time I get so self-focused that I forget about trying to bless anyone else.)
Sometimes, if I know I’m going into a situation like that, I try to remember to pray and ask God to lead me to just the right person He would have me interact with. It might seem like a small request. However, I believe that God will put me in the path of someone I can fellowship with. Even when people I know are around, it can be a blessing to reach out and make a new friend.
So the next time we introverts head into a new social situation, let’s ask God to lead us in where to sit or who to talk to. This incident made me want to be more mindful of noticing someone who doesn’t seem to have anyone to talk to. Rather than focusing on my own pleasure, I can see if there’s a person nearby who could use some conversation.
You never know when you might make a new friend ~ and get a blessing for yourself in the process.
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” It reminds us that while someone else’s situation may look better than ours, that’s not necessarily the case.
Looking across the fence at someone else’s yard, we see only the positives. Their grass is healthy, lush, and green. We glance down at our yard, and notice the brown patches and weeds. In our own yard, we see only the negatives.
We see the mom with her well-behaved children, especially the teenage daughter who seems to adore her. (Okay, that’s what I notice these days, ha!) Her house is decorated, inside and out, in a Pinterest-perfect way. And not only does she homeschool her children, she also manages a non-profit, brings homemade desserts to every church potluck, has weekly date nights with her husband, and runs five miles a day!
Then we look at ourselves, breaking up fights between our children as we throw peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches into a plastic grocery bag for our kids’ school lunches. Dirty dishes are piled high in the sink as we herd everyone to the car. The laundry basket is overflowing, we’re driving to school in our pajamas, and the only exercise planned for today is scrubbing the shower.
We may think that other mother has it all together, but I can pretty much guarantee that’s not the case. Her life, from the outside, may look perfect, but she’s likely struggling, in some way, as we are.
I like how Emily P. Freeman takes the truth of this saying to another level. In her book, A Million Little Ways, she says “There are no greener grasses, only different lawns.”
I’ve previously written about comparison, and the dangers that come with it. Yet it’s good to be reminded that each of us is planted in a different place.
God has put each one of us in the exact situation with the specific set of circumstances He wants us to have. Do our foolish choices sometimes impact that? Yes. But God is bigger than our mistakes, and He can grow us exactly where we are.
When we’re tempted to think that someone else has an easier life, a more loving husband, or better-behaved children, chase those thoughts away. Don’t let comparison make you feel that others are so much better off than you are.
The opposite can be true as well. For example, we may look at a parent who has a disabled child and think, “How hard their life must be.” Yet God can give them the grace, peace, and joy they need to flourish in that relationship. They may experience far more blessings than we could even guess.
None of us can see from our current vantage point what God is doing in the lives of others. Just like He has a plan for us, He has a plan for them, too.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” ~Philippians 2:13
Instead of wanting someone else’s lawn, let’s accept ours. Let’s thank God for what we have, then set about to accomplish His purpose right we are.
Be content. Get so busy cultivating your own grass that you don’t have time to focus on how your neighbor’s grass is growing.
With God’s help, do the best you can in every area of your life. Then trust God to make your “lawn” all that He would have it to be, for His honor and glory.
While the actual summer season isn’t over yet, the way I refer to summer is. Our girls went back to school yesterday, one as a high school senior, the other a high school sophomore.
Like many moms, I was asked if I was ready for the kids to go back to school. The answer was no. It takes a couple of weeks for us to gear down at the end of a school year, but once we get into summer, I like it. I enjoy having the girls around at random times of the day, staying up late to watch a movie, sleeping in a bit, and not packing lunches.
But here we are. And routine is good. And by this time next week, we’ll be back in the swing of things, crazy as it’s likely to be.
Last year I found a little inspiration for the new school year in Isaiah. While I didn’t know that it had much of an impact on our children, they actually reminded me of it on Sunday night! The phrase I would remind my girls of at times as they headed off for school was “Walk in the light of the Lord.”
As I thought about what I wanted to keep fresh on our minds this year, I kept coming back to the word “focus.” According to the Oxford dictionary, focus means “the center of interest or activity.” From sports to academics to friendships, what do we want our lives to center on?
And, by the way, whether we’re involved in any back-to-school related things or not, our daily focus matters.
I chose a very familiar verse to challenge us.
“…Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” ~Matthew 6:33
That’s it. For our girls, for me, for all of us, seeking God’s will and His righteousness should guide us in every thing we do. If we focus on seeking God, our decisions, priorities, and relationships will fall into place.
Seeking God first means putting selfishness aside. It means patience when things move too slowly for our liking, because we trust that God is sovereign. We seek His glory, not our own, in our pursuits. And it’s valuing what matters in eternity rather than the temporary pleasures here.
If we’re seeking God’s kingdom, we want His will to be done above our ours. As Marian Jordan Ellis said here, seeking God’s kingdom means “passionately pursuing His agenda instead of our own.”
So as my girls go through their school year, I hope to keep that as our focus. May we start each day desiring to find His plan for the day and follow it. If our to-do list needs to go by the wayside so that we can spend time with a friend who’s hurting, so be it. If God’s timetable doesn’t match up with ours, let’s rest in His timing. Anything we can accomplish that brings glory to God and lasts for eternity will fall under that heading of seeking His kingdom first.
And I’m a day late, but now I’m off to make a sign to put on the door for my daughters to see as they leave each morning!
So remember last week’s post, the one about trusting God to orchestrate our days?
That published on Friday morning. The same Friday morning that we headed to the airport for a 7:40am flight to Chicago, where our family planned to spend a four-day weekend for our summer vacation.
We checked in with plenty of time to eat breakfast before we boarded the plane. We got settled in our seats, and all appeared to be well.
Until they deplaned us. There apparently was a leak in the cockpit, which, since it was raining, could lead to instruments in the control panel shorting out. Not good.
The captain gave periodic updates as we waited in the gate area, saying they’d found the leak, but were having difficulty sealing it. Then they weren’t able to maintain pressure in the cabin, another important concept when you’re tens of thousands of feet up in the air!
They finally canceled our flight just before noon, and we were able to get tickets for a 3:30pm flight. We left the airport to get lunch…and just as we got back to the parking garage, the “bad” news started coming in. The new flight was now delayed due to thunderstorms between us and Chicago. So back into the airport we went…and continued to be delayed.
We finally boarded the plane around 6:00pm. And yes, my husband noted the irony of the post I’d written, and the way our day unfolded. It was NOT how we would have orchestrated it…but what a great chance to live out the truth of what I’d written.
And, as always, there are lessons to be learned.
Here’s five of them.
How many situations do we face every day that we can’t control? Another person’s reaction, the weather, the traffic, how quickly the checkout line moves…the list goes on and on.
Every one of these situations is a chance to recognize God’s sovereignty, and to submit to whatever He has willed for us in that moment.
Here’s a short list from last Friday.
~They deplaned us quickly on learning there was a problem with the aircraft. There was no sitting on the plane for a long period of time.
~We all kept fairly good attitudes throughout the long day.
~We were traveling with teenagers, not toddlers. Trying to entertain little ones for all those hours would have been a struggle!
~Our girls showed us the Game Pigeon app, which let the four of us play Crazy 8s together on our phones while we waited.
~We were upgraded on our afternoon flight, so had more spacious seats, and free Direct TV for the flight.
One passenger in particular was venting his frustration over the delay to the gate agent. My husband remarked to me, “Does anyone think the pilot or these airline employees got up this morning hoping that this flight would be canceled?” No way. They were as eager as we were for everything to go as scheduled. But it didn’t. And there was nothing they could do to get that plane in the air any faster than what they were already doing.
If you’ve never visited the Charleston airport, let’s just say that it’s small. Not a lot to entertain yourself with if you’re stuck there for awhile.
However, on one of our strolls through the terminal, our 15-year-old and I walked through a store looking at what they had for sale. She grabbed a joke book from the shelf, and began reading jokes aloud. Admittedly, we’d been up since around 4:30am, so were a bit on the tired side and easily entertained. Regardless, the jokes made us laugh, and left us a little bit happier.
I can’t tell you what purpose God had in delaying our travel plans by ten hours. As far as we know, there was no life-changing impact on people around us. I can’t say that we avoided some major catastrophe.
The bottom line is that hanging out at the Charleston airport is just what God had for us that day. So my best option was to make the choice to trust His plan, and move on to the next thing.
All of this being said, maybe I should be more careful what I post about the next time we plan to leave town!!