Well, hey there! I wanted to share some love with you—plus, my favorite Christmas recipe.
So, I paused from munching on some Harry and David’s Dark Chocolate Moose Munch and sipping some Starbuck’s Christmas Blend to hang out with you for a bit. Thanks for pausing to join me for some Christmas java!
I’ve been wrapping gifts—actually, I’ve stuffed them into the crumpled gift bags I saved from last year!
And, girl, I’m loving Christmas songs by Kathy Troccoli and Michael O’Brien while I breathe in the warm cinnamon fragrance of the wassail simmering in the crockpot. Sister, it tastes as good as it smells.
I bet your world is full of holiday hustle about now, right? Christmas is just a few days away and your life may be crammed with parties and wrapping and baking and caroling and shopping and traveling… and… uh…. deep breath… and more wrapping and more baking and… okay, that’s enough!!
I need to stop and breathe. Do you? I mean, I – we — need to stop and breathe in the beauty, the meaning, the radical impact of Christmas. So, I wrote a simple prayer to center me, and maybe it will help you, too.
I’ve got an old mason jar tucked away in my jewelry chest. Some of my most precious possessions are inside.
Now, if you saw it,you may think the jar is full of dried up, tired, mismatched potpourri, all different shades of faded brown and gray— not very attractive! But I’ve been intentional about what I have put in this jar for the last 30 years.
To me, this old mason jar is beautiful.
Within the antique blue glass are the petals from the first roses Phil gave me on Valentine’s Day when we were dating. Mixed in with those are rose petals from my bridal bouquet along with petals from the roses he gave me on our first weddinganniversary. They are joined by petals from the dozen roses he brought me when our first son was born.
It happened when I was flying to Houston alone. The older I get, the less brave I feel flying alone.
I have to be on high alert, always listening and keeping completely aware of my surroundings. The airlines change gates and delay flights. And there I sit at a gate, alone and having to find a way to adapt. Girl, it is flat out draining.
I didn’t use to, but now I fight anxiety every time I fly alone. (Oh, in case you are a new reader, I am blind. That’s why flying alone is more challenging.)
When I landed in Dallas to change planes, an assistant from the airlines walked me to my gate. There I sat — eating some string cheese I had tucked in my backpack. As I waited, I sipped from my water bottle and prayed for bladder grace. (When you’re blind, you can’t just walk to the ladies room any old time you need to!)
“If you’re struggling with anxious thoughts, your Savior sees you.” That’s what my friend Suzie said, and I said, “Yes! Tell me more!”
And, she did. So, I invited her to coffee today because I want — need — to hear her encouragement and I know you do too. We can all let worry lead us to all the wrong places. So today, let’s put the worry behind us and the hope of Jesus before us – it will lead us to the peace we all need!
Pour your coffee, and I’ve saved you a seat, so pull up a chair. Lean back, relax — we’ll let Suzie Eller do the talking!
I wanted to make it all okay.
The problem is that it wasn’t okay.
I was doing all that I knew to do, and it wasn’t working. We were fighting together as a family, yet there was no formula. There was no set pattern to success. There wasn’t an “I’m out of here” option, because it was someone we loved.
One morning I tried to pray, but I couldn’t sit still long enough. My legs matched my anxious thoughts as I paced the carpet.