Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Night Before the Night Before

'Twas two Nights before Christmas and downstairs in the house,
Daddy is editing and clicking his mouse.
Mommy is breathing deep, brow furrowed with care
In hopes that the render box soon would be there.
The daughter nestled all snug in her bead
While visions of Build-a-Bears danced in her head
And momma with her computer firm on her lap
and daddy's clock screaming no time for a nap
When in my brain there arouse such a clatter
Eyes sprang from the screen to see what was the matter
Away to Paul's words I flew like a flash
To lay down my worries with a loud CRASH
For just as the spring will melt the gray snow
You remind me of truths I already know
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear?
A verse that sings of how You are near.
With tapping toes to have it all done and quick
You whisper "Go give him a kiss between clicks"
For two days from now, we'll all talk of Who came
And sing all the songs, repeating Your name.
"Now give up your cares of last minute decisions!
Out lofty goals and perfection precision!
Out worries of planning ahead with faith small!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
I offered them up and freely they flew
My toe-tapping, nail-biting, and butterflies,too.
Then, as if twinkling, I smiled wide, aloof,
my shoulders lighter without burdens of proof
As I drew in my breath and was turning around
Down the Holy Spirit came with a bound
He was dressed in peace from his head to his foot
and with secrets in His eyes, He winked a "stay put"
A bag full of joys He had flung on his back
He knelt down beside me to reach in His sack.
He smiled as He offered the real Christmas story
Of Peace on Earth and time to give You glory.
Of presence that didn't come wrapped in a bow
Of good news beyond any well-written show
Of the silent night that lies underneath
all honking traffic and candy cane wreaths
Perfect desserts to fill up our bellies,
Santa's loud laugh and his bowl full of jelly.
A simple gift I can't stack on a shelf
And a story of love I can't keep to myself.
And closing my eyes and bowing my head
I was silent as that night to listen instead
I spoke not a word, let Your story work
Cringing at images of me as the jerk
And just like that baby in swaddling clothes
I can feel Your forgiveness and love as it grows
Then my chest rises and I sigh like a whistle
Guilt floating away like the down of a thistle
My lips parted to say with a faith beyond sight
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."
Philippians 4:6 (Msg)

"One of Jesus' names is Immanuel. It means God is with us. It's no wonder the angels told the shepherds,'Do not be afraid!' You lose your fear when God is near. God's presence trumps our panic." Rick Warren, The Purpose of Christmas

Just as You intended from the beginning, the service turned out to be an inspiration to many, even a fabulous 15 year old girl named Heather!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Tick, tick, six

"She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor." Proverbs 4:9

Lauren (crowned with flowers) Grace (mercy, beauty, or good will)

Every mother knows that ache of a fast-moving clock
but on the morning of her sixth birthday, it stops
as her life verse highlights the page.
a timeless thought, an intimate moment
captured on an ancient scroll
Solomon offering hand-me-down wisdom
from the man after Your own heart
a love for learning that surpasses
any physical beauty or earthly monarchy
beyond any temple he could conceive
or any lover he could woo with poetry
a simple request for wisdom
only to know You more
and all this before the Messiah gift
and the true meaning of Grace
long before her golden hair slithered in the wintry wind
long before those big blue eyes began to turn green like mine
long before her slippery smile and that machine-gun laugh
long before she fell asleep on his chest
toddled down the hall, played peek-a boo
and headed off the preschool
long before the days of sleepovers and bus rides
before she ever danced to the sound of her middle name
You chose to define, embody and tender it
to this paragon little girl of mine
whose wisdom leaves my mouth gaping
and whose beauty reminds me of everything You
everything Grace
in this fast-flying tick-tocking pace of motherhood
I come again to You like Solomon
a simple request for wisdom
crowned with a garland of grace
to help my -not so little anymore- girl live up to her name
and bring as much glory to You with the rest of her life
as joy she has brought to me these past six years
because in a blink of Your eye
she will be tick, tick sixty ...

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men
[and even six year old girls]." Titus 2:11