Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Ponderings

Merry Christmas from the Brown's!
Taylor, Collin, Kristen & Rick
Christmas 2011

It's been a while since I've updated this site. Over the past couple of months I've had a few comments about my silence on this page. Frankly, it surprised me that anyone checks it for new updates... and it made me feel good!

Time sure does get away from us, doesn't it? We've been incredibly busy over the last 12 months, and I have neglected writing. Perhaps I'll make that one of my New Year's Resolutions for make the time to enjoy writing. Wait, I forgot.  I don't set New Year's Resolutions -  I have a strict policy against those pesky little promises to self that always leave me feeling like a loser.

Oh, speaking of New Year's Resolutions, here's something for my dad. 
He loves Calvin & Hobbes.

2011 has been packed full of fun highlights. God has blessed us and without a doubt, I credit HIM for all of it. My sometimes melancholy nature steps up and I wonder why we've escaped tragedy this past year when so many of our friends and acquaintances have experienced dark days. Fairness certainly doesn't show up in real-life scenarios.  I'm reminded of a scripture that my Grandad lived by, and as such, left as part of his legacy.
"When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required." Luke 12:48
This makes me think about the way God helps those who are hurting. Those of us who have able resources, even just a little bit, must step up to the plate. We are the way God is going to help our neighbor, our friend in the next town, a child in another country. No one summed this concept up any better than Rich Stearns in his book "The Hole in Our Gospel."
If you are looking for a (non)New Year's Resolution, I highly recommend reading this book.

In thinking about my past year, I see learning moments scattered about.  Places I've been and things I've seen and heard. And up close, I can't see anything except the emotions of those moments. I see the thrill, the sadness, the boredom, the frustration, the elation. Words from a Sunday School teacher,  themes from the books I read. People I admired have been doing for others, ahead of themselves. Stories of love, inspiration, and remembrance shared at the funerals I've attended.

All these moments have been colliding together in a kaleidoscope of lessons over the year. I've been seeing the blurry colors and shifting patterns of those moments. And yes, it's been beautiful. But now it's coming into focus for me. There has been a common theme that God seems to have been teaching me.

Intentional living.
Something I've lacked. Something I've admired in others. Something I'd like to have more of.

You know what I'm talking about. How many times do we see someone in need and have a GREAT idea to help them out. But then the moment passes and we get busy with the other things that we need to do. Tasks at work, laundry at home, even responsibilities at church. Well, you've probably already learned this lesson. But for me, I'm just now seeing it.

I'm never at a loss of ideas. When I know of someone in need, the thoughts of how I might help literally pour out of my conscience. But then they never get acted upon because I'm just not INTENTIONAL. 

Being intentional about following through could make a huge difference in the world. Who do I think GAVE me that thought of how I could help out? Could it be God? I pray and ask God to help someone in need...a thought comes to my mind of something I could do... and then SPLAT! I let it drop. Because I'm not intentional.

Back to the scripture that Granddad lived - I've been given SO much.  I've been entrusted with SO much. This season of my life has been blessed. What do I think God expects of me in return? The kaleidoscope journey of the last year comes into focus and I know the answer.

I will live the answer.

With God's help, I will become more intentional with others. I will follow through with the actions that I know could make a difference.

Holy Moly, that sounds like a New Year's Resolution.  Nooooo, it can't be! Because as Calvin says in the cartoon above "I'm perfect the way I am!"

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