Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Searching for the Perfect Holiday


We all look for it this time of year, right? You know, that Norman Rockwell picture of a holiday. The Thanksgiving table where everyone is seated, smiling and happy and actually thankful.

The holiday where no one is rude or mean or late or brings up past hurts or makes things awkward by slinking around like Boo Radley. The holiday where kids (and adults) behave and bathe and dress as they ought. The holiday where the food is all ready at the same time and tastes like it came straight from the kitchen of Emeril Lagasse.

"Bam!" That'd be a great holiday. :)

But the more holidays I experience, the more I realize that this image in my brain is nothing more than a fantasy. I can't control how other people behave or the humidity outside (for making meringue) or whether or not I get a flat tire on the way to where I'm going to celebrate.

And what's more, as I look back sometimes I'm grateful for the imperfections. Maybe not the rudeness or awkward bits (although, these moments can be comical in future reminiscences), but the holidays I remember most vividly are the ones when something goes awry.

Like the year my dad didn't realize how much extra time it would take the turkey to cook in his new smoker and we ended up finishing it in the oven for another couple of hours while all the rest of the food (and family, plus guests) were waiting to eat downstairs. (Dinner was about 4 hours late that year.)
Pumpkin soup on an open fire was Red Beard's and my favorite 
from last Thanksgiving at my Mum and Dad's.
Holidays, other than the decorations and extra people (and food), are really no different than every day life, because...
We still live in a fallen world and things are still going to get messed up from the way we want them to be. (And sometimes, with the extra people around, holidays will be even more messed up than regular days!) 
We are still not in charge.
Yet, more importantly, we still have our Heavenly Father to help us through it (the good and the bad). I can't help but remember the words to one of my favorite hymns:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

I pray that we would remember this holiday season to keep God's Word fresh in our hearts and freshly applied to our lives. 

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. ~Mrs. D.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kitty & The Move

Emerging from her carrier, Kitty cautiously took her first steps, trembling slightly, investigating the new apartment. She looked around, attempting to make sense of her surroundings.

It probably felt like Lewis Carroll was narrating her life: All the right stuff was there, it was just queer and out of place. I mean, from her perspective, even the windows had been moved!

That night, Kitty wouldn't leave our bed. She walked the perimeter of our bed and, with her paw, tapped Red Beard on the forehead whenever she heard a strange noise. At one point, she started licking his forehead. She also periodically knocked stuff off of our nightstands to get our attention. I don't think she laid down one time.

The next day, Kitty was determined not to be in a different room from her parents.

And that determination lasted the entire next week:

  • I would sit down for a minute to check email (or just to rest my feet), and Kitty would leap into my lap, immediately curling up to take a nap. 

  • I would walk from the living room to the bathroom, and she would trot right alongside me.
  • Red Beard would sit down to complete homework, and Kitty would sit on the stool beside him.
  • She wouldn't even eat without one of us standing there, beside her and her food dish.
She has relaxed a little bit now, but I share Kitty's story with you because I think it is a great illustration for our spiritual lives.

Remember recently when I talked about the fact that God likes us being outside of our comfort zones?

Well, Kitty has certainly been out of hers. And what was her response? Cling to her parents!!

When you or I are faced with changes or challenges in spiritual matters, we need to cling to our Heavenly Father. We need to find our rest and our comfort in Him. 

In fact, we should always be clinging to Him. In good times, in bad times, in seasons of change (and if your life is anything like mine, things are always changing!), the best thing we can do is cling to the Father.

He knows what you're going through and where your circumstances are headed. He is not interested in your comfort, He is interested in your spiritual growth. And no matter what you're going through...
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." -Phil. 1:6
If you seek true comfort or rest, cling to the Father. ~ Mrs. D.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Where Did the Weekend Go?

So... we moved this past weekend. To be honest, it was the smoothest move we've ever had (4 times in 5 years). We actually had plenty of help, and we had everything boxed and ready before our help even arrived.

It only took about 2 hours total. (One hour for my Dad and Red Beard--two peas in a pod--to move our sofa, bed, washer, and dryer; the other hour involved the whole crew.)

Everyone ate out afterwards, and Red Beard and I went to bed that night feeling pleased as punch with the status of things.

And then we woke up to box land. Reality check: Your work isn't through, folks!
Our New Kitchen...

Our Laundry Area (Complete with Several Loads of Dirty Laundry)

Our New Living Room

You know those mornings after you move...We ate cereal out of styrofoam cups (because I couldn't find the bowls or the countertop). The cat, still upset that her world was turned upside down, spent most of the day under the bed.

Thankfully my parents helped us that next day or we wouldn't be as settled as we were by the end of the day. We even got the Kindle hooked up to the T.V. so we could watch a movie on Amazon Prime.

Much better, no? Yes, it's in color... I was much happier at that moment.

Anyhoo, I thought I'd give a quick update. Hope everyone is doing well. ~Mrs. D.