Comfort and Joy

December 1, 2008 at 12:20 am 1 comment

The Week: It’s been a restful week–a lot going on, but finding the joy and balance.

Today: The Hub wanted me to get the door and window areas primed so we can paint, get trim reinstalled, and get the front room tree up.  Anyone driving by who can see in has seen a mess!  But, it’s all coming together slowly, as grace allows us to work on it.  We are trying to get rid of a lot in the process as we go.  Much needed after 15 yrs of accumulating.

Tasks: The boys helped me plow through the toy room today.  Man!  You literally could not get in there.  It was filled with so many broken bits and pieces…they’ve “cleaned their room” for a year now by throwing EVERYTHING in there.  I found at least six socks.  Feels good to see them finally willing to pare down and go through stuff.  I kept raking the pile to them with my feet and giving them time goals.

The Hub finished lights on the shrubs and things are starting to look like Christmas.  The kids want the lights on the roof, but all that depends on time and weather.  We should have done it last month, but had way too much going on then.

Tonight, I enjoyed working on some Christmas cards while the kids watched the release of the TV Movie Tinkerbell by Disney.

Reading: We are nearing the end of The Hobbit.  It’s been fun to follow Bilbo Baggin’s journey and I will miss him and his adventures.  He is not an adventuresome Hobbit, but when duty called, and he was forcibly urged, he proved himself, and to others, that he had it in him.

The Week:  Tomorrow is the return to “normal”.  Am I ready for it?  In a way.  But, sometimes I think I need more time with my kids to teach them things they need to know, and I’ve enjoyed having them home.

On my mind, carols/devotion: The phrase “comfort and joy” from “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.  It’s not a cheerful song really.  And I like that about it.  It a real song.  “God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay, remember Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day, to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray, oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, oh! Tidings of comfort and joy!”

Not just joy and singing and happiness, and forced smiles because it is the season to be happy…”Jesus has come!” but also a season that acknowledges our battles and fears–all that goes on with human-ness.

Not just the promise of JOY, but of COMFORT AND JOY.

I like that pairing.  I’m holding onto those united together in my own life and heart this year.

Also, the line “Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art, dear desire of every nation…”

He is not just a Saviour born to cheerful people, but to those confused, in odd circumstances, those surprised, fearful…to all of them He came, both settling hearts, and stirring them up, all at the same time.  Not a visit of peaceful habitation only, but a guest who expected something.  A demanding, compelling, life-changing presence, shaking up the lives and hearts of all who entertained Him, creating great adventure as he came, and comes.  our “strength and consolation…hope”.

Christmas.  Not just for the happy.  Not just a surface holiday smiles filled with false hope.  No!  IT is a precious and tender story that calls us to look at a confused girl, a likely sometimes angry fiance, weary travelers, far from home, wandering to take care of business in dire circumstances in uncomfortable transportation.  Nine month virgin pregnant on a donkey to pay taxes–both very confused with the impending reality of it all. It just doesn’t get much worse than all that.

Chaos, crowds, hassle, strings, fears, need…they were all there that first Christmas.  So, don’t put pressure on yourself that I don’t think God puts there.  God does not us to lay down life to experience Christmas.  He asks us to surrender to Him, as Mary did, wherever we are, whatever He is asking of us–to fully enter our own journeys, diving in, trusting Him, leaning on Him, relying on Him.  In all that, experiencing the smile of God and resultant deep and abiding joy.  Joy not made of thin or shiny tinsel or festive holiday or thin expectation.  Joy… made of fire and heat and journey and adventure, with the One who takes us through. A snowman who makes it through the fire with no fear.  That’s who we can be in Him.

And, we worship.

I worship.

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Entry filed under: Everyday.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Pages tagged "festive"  |  December 1, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    […] bookmarks tagged festive Comfort and Joy saved by 10 others     sakuragirlhottieme bookmarked on 12/01/08 | […]

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ME: “MAGGIE”

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Sifting the joy from the mundane:

recording, photographing, learning, creating.

I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.

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Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)

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"We shall not waste our time in looking for extraordinary experiences in our life, but live by pure faith, ever watchful and ready for His coming by doing our day-to-day duties with extraordinary love and devotion." ~Mother Teresa

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"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come. We have only today. Let us begin." ~Mother Teresa

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A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in it's vicinity freshen into smiles. --Washington Irving

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When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. -Harriet Beecher Stowe

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