Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Hopeful New Year"

"Happy New Year"…it just rolls off the tongue. I guess I have never really thought about it much…it's just something you say this time of year. That is, until the last two Januarys, when it feels like the emptiest 3 words that can possibly be said.
I want to be happy. I really do. There are certainly moments that make me happy, although it seems more difficult than ever to really achieve such. Happiness is a feeling, based typically on circumstances. And while that is great, I want so much more. Because, quite frankly, my circumstances feel hard and are filled with the disappointment of plans and dreams that will never come true. Whether it's listening to Carson talk about how his dad won't be here to watch him graduate. Colby not sleeping through the night when he's at home vs. other people's houses, because "they have dads there to protect them." Or, Cooper asking who will take care of him and make him sandwiches, if I go to Heaven too. There are so many daily reminders of what is missing and what isn't right.

God does not promise us that we will be happy. In fact, he says quite the contrary. John 16:33 says,
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Joy…now that's what sustains and comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. When that relationship is there…no matter how broken it may seem, HIS spirit fills you with JOY and peace that is unexplainable. The kind of stuff that makes people scratch their heads and wonder how. It is NOT based on circumstances, and actually defies and breaks all the "rules" of the circumstantial. Trusting His plan EVEN when it makes no sense or goes against everything you could have wished for. Out of that springs HOPE. Not just any hope, but the Bible says we will even be filled with HOPE that's overflowing…regardless of how crappy things are all around us, IF we will just trust Him.

Romans 15:13

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

So, for 2015, I say "Hopeful New Year" instead of "Happy," because I really want to fix my eyes on so much more than what the world uses to measure happiness with. I love my boys and as I tucked them in, we prayed about what 2015 would hold for our family. Carson said, "surely, we will have a better year than 2014, mom." I don't know, but I pray that whatever it brings…I will be overflowing with HOPE and filled with Joy and Peace that can only come from Christ. I certainly wouldn't mind a few more "happy" moments too! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twas the Night Before Christmas

My heart is heavy tonight. Our first Christmas at home without Bunky here. It still does not feel real. I have tried desperately to focus on Christ and what His birth really means to ME. When I take my focus off of our situation and all that is so wrong about it, I can't help but rejoice at the miracle of Christmas.

So, even as I felt a depth of loneliness tonight in the midst of preparing for tomorrow, I was reminded that this is NOT my permanent situation. This is NOT my home. Here's my "mama's" take on an old classic Christmas story!

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house.
Only mama was stirring, and the quiet seemed loud.
Four stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
But the one that was missing, made the mantle seem bare.

Three boys were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While memories of the past, consumed mama’s head. 
Missing part of our family, and thinking of his laugh,
Made it hard for mama to sleep, or even to nap.

When one minute he was there and the next he was not,
This was never the plan, mama constantly thought.

The excitement of Christmas, so numbed with the pain,
of losing my love, whom I still call his name.
When what to my wondering mind would remain
The peace, hope, and love for which Jesus came. 

He spoke not a word, but went straight to His work,
Being born in a manger, without any perks.
This day will feel different, of that there’s no doubt,
But, this mama will remember and with JOY will shout...

Thank you Jesus, for holding my broken heart,
And sending your son to fulfill prophecy’s part.
For one day, this mama will see him again,
And what feels lonely now, YOU will gently tend.