r e m a i n

Soooo my on-Christmas-break self has been really lazy, and not doing much at all. I’ve had day after day to blog about this break and what God has been doing in my life and in my heart and how great it has been to see cousins, friends, aunts, and uncles, and watch so much friends with my mom. My mom and I spent so many nights relaxing on the couch that even she felt lazy– which never happens. Rest is a good thing, and such a change of pace from being a study zombie at school, but too much rest and I turn into a sloth. Anyways. I started blogging about Christmas on Christmas morning, and then saved it as a draft. But Christmas was so sweet, and I want to blog about it. For about a week straight, we went back and fourth from Courtney’s house to my house, for dinners and family get-togethers and we even all went to see What a Wonderful Life at the State Theater downtown. Such a packed Christmas schedule, but such a filling time. We ended the week in Lansing with my moms side of the family and I didn’t want the night to be over.

Since then, I’ve been soaking up time with Katy and Lillian and my mom. Katy seemed to sleepover just about every other night, and I also got to spend two nights having my younger cousin Carlee here. Cole left after Christmas but I think I saw him everyday of break until he left. For New Years Eve, I spent it with the best– Lillian & Ben, her dear friend Jessica & her boyfriend, and Katy & Lo. We popped champagne and drank it with pomegranate seeds and danced all night at Kilkenny’s with a short break to skip three blocks down to see the cherry drop. We had crowns and boas and I was the only one who brought my noisemaker downtown.

Now my favorite thing about the new year– our one-words. At church on Sunday, my mom & Katy & Lillian & Ben & I all sat first floor balcony. My favorite thing is when everyone comes to church, and we all meet. Different cars and people and we all meet and worship by each other. It was Lill’s first time there and I was so happy she joined! Pastor Rick talked about having one word to focus on for the new year– one word to pray through, to grow with, to let it center us. Imagine the growth that would come from focusing on one word! And this way we can all talk about our words and hold each other accountable for spiritual growth over the next year. Love it. My word is going to be remain, to remain in Him, as vine and branches. To remain in him all day long, not only during a morning prayer or a devotional or at church, but all day, even during class and even when I’m stressed. Even then. To remain in Him.

Now for Jesus and Christmastime.The Christmas story. Things I have grabbed from it this year.

Jesus told Mary (and Joseph) that Mary would conceive and give birth to a son. Crazy scenario and unexpected. They were thrown-off of any prior plans they had for their marriage. The angel told both of them “Do not be afraid”. How many times do you think God wants to tell me not to be afraid, when unexpected things happen or uncertainty looms so great. We are called to trust his words. Like Mary and Joseph both did. And from their trust came Jesus, prince of peace and wonderful counselor.

There was no room at the inn for Jesus. Sometimes it may feel that my heart and brain are so full of things that do not matter as much as Him, but they seem to take up so much space. On my busiest days, on my stressed-out days in PT school, is there always abundant room for Jesus? How can I make more room in my heart for Him? I know that studying and learning can take up so much space. This has always been a constant concept and thought for me. Make room, and let Jesus live and remain in your heart.

Our pastor told us that Jesus wasn’t just born in a random stable, but in a specific area, at the bottom of the watchtower of the flock, where shepards used to stand at the top of the tower and look out for lambs in labor to take the baby lamb and wrap it in cloths to keep them pure and white for sacrifices of sins. And so when Jesus was born, that is why he took the place of these lambs. And that God cares about the details of everything including the details of our lives. And we are right where we are specifically supposed to be. Comfort in that. God cares. I gave a card to my cousin Casey this Christmas about having more patches than holes in our inner tubes. And that is what Jesus and prayer and God and the Holy Spirit and friends and laughter and grace all are, is patches for holes in the inner tube. (And patches just because, without any holes). Love this truth.

Ending Christmas break filled from family, rested and relaxed, eager for my next trimester, and so grateful for Jesus and every little way I see and feel Him everywhere.

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