Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mary Christmas

My mind has been consumed this year by thoughts of Mary. As a mom, a wife, as a woman, I cannot imagine how Mary must have felt when she was chosen to carry the Christ child! Our savior... her savior. How must she have felt knowing she was solely responsible to bring this baby into the world. How would I feel knowing my precious baby boy was going to save the lives of everyone who followed Him? How she must have felt knowing people would FOLLOW her son and be saved. The pride, but also the fear of knowing what the end would be. Giving birth knowing you would then watch him tortured and then killed. We try to remember what Christ did for us. How he wiped away our sins. How no matter where we are or what we're doing, God is with us. But those days Jesus walked the earth, he felt pain and sadness, happiness and hunger. He felt thirst and merriment. Do we ever stop and think about Mary? The sacrifice SHE gave to us. As a mom it breaks my heart imagining those days leading up to his crucifixion. How her heart must have broken. How her momma bear instincts must have been in over drive, but being unable to do anything because this is why He was born. This year, I am celebrating the birth of our Savior. But I am also celebrating Mary's greatest gift to the world. Her sacrifice. In the whole scheme of things it isn't like she had a choice right? I like to believe that even though she knew the ending, she knew what the greater outcome would be. Her son would save the world, with his death and resurrection. He gave up the crown for a cradle, for us. Read my renditions of each person on the night of Christ's birth.

Through the eyes of the donkey

Through the eyes of the innkeeper

Through the eyes of Joseph

Through the eyes of Mary

Through the eyes of Jesus

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. Remember.. it's not about the presents, it's about being present.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Grandma's table...

Most of you see a table, I see a legend, a piece of history. I see love and laughter, tears and sadness beginnings and endings. I see a member of my family. This is(was) my grandmother's table. We all grew up around it. Her children, her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I remember weekends staying with grandma and grandpa and having breakfast,lunch and dinner around this table. Grandma taught me how to play Crazy 8's and King's Corner, snap beans and grind walnuts around this table. The countless poker and cribbage games.
We had many a holiday and birthday meal around this table. The birthday cakes and horrible renditions of the birthday song this table heard over the years.
When I was a confused, scared and unmarried(but engaged) mother to be, I sat at this table and cried to my grandma that everyone was mad at me for being unmarried(but engaged) and pregnant. (only a slight hormonal over exaggeration) Grandma told me she loved me, and that it was all going to be ok, and I believed her and it was. This is the table we sat at when grandpa died. I sat by my uncle Pat while he fixed a hair dryer and talked about "finding" grandpa. I still remember the stoic look on his face. I believe every bit of history long forgotten and never forgotten are engrained in the wood. The hearts of the people that sat around it and talked and laughed and cried, are all still a part of it. I cherish this table and every time I see it in my dining room I can almost see grandma or grandpa sitting there at the head of the table, looking out the window. I will never see this as "just a table." I am so thankful it resides with me and can be passed on to her great(or even great great) grandchildren some day. The new memories we are creating around it will only add to it's charm and beauty, What a beautiful gift.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Forgiving a Monster?

Just needed to get this off my chest.

I recently saw an episode of a television show where a woman was raped. The horror she lived after the rape, the feelings she carried..all of it are real. I know the show has writers and actors, but the emotion, the terror, the pain, both emotional and physical that the character portrayed is something I have lived.

The episode I watched today, she was able to face her attacker and break him down in her mind from a big horrible monster, into the pathetic little man that he is. I never gave myself that opportunity.. My circumstances were different, way different, but the core issue is the same. She forgave him. She forgave him not for him.. but for herself. I remember that feeling.. I remember the day I was able to lift myself out of the shame, self blame and self pity of what happened to me, to stare him down in my mind and forgive him for what he did to me, for what he took from me as a 15 yr old child. The forgiveness set me free in so many ways. I can truly live a life knowing what true forgiveness means.. what it feels like to the very core of your gut.

Jesus does the same for us. I get it. He forgives.. even the monsters of the world, He forgives them.

Forgiveness isn't something that comes easily. It isn't always something that comes right away.. mine came at the age of 28.. when I was finally able to feel strong enough to face that demon and truly forgive what was done to me.

I am not really sure what this is going to accomplish, or who it will reach.. but for today, this is just for me. Forgiving someone for something they have done, whether it's done to or against you, is a true gift to yourself. I'm sure that Jesus cringes when we do wrong, but He loves us enough to forgive us. I loved myself enough to forgive someone else. That is the greatest gift I've ever given myself.