Magnified Wonder Guaranteed

Christmas is past, but the memories are imprinted on my brain like the home videos of my children throughout the years.

 Whenever I watch the video tapes of Christmas morning, my children didn’t run into the living room and grab their presents. They inched forward with wide eyes and gaping mouths as though they were in a dream.

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Colorfully-wrapped boxes, stacked like nursery blocks, surrounded a brightly-lit Christmas tree where sparkling ornaments dangled from pine-needle branches.

 A large stuffed animal or a bicycle parked beside the tree might as well have been Manna from Heaven.

Even stockings hung on chairs triggered awe as nimble fingers pulled out candy canes and tangerines.

Now that I’m an adult and my children are grown, I miss the Christmas magic that transforms a common room into Wonderland.

And yet, I expect Heaven will fill me with the same child-like wonder~~Only Magnified~~when I leave this earthly vessel and enter into God’s glorious presence.

Will my face glow in adoration? Will I be Son-struck by the nail-scarred hands of the Prince of Peace? Will I weep for joy the Lamb of God bore my sin and died for me? Will I raise my voice with angels and sing God’s praises?

Like the words from a song by Mercy Me…I Can Only Imagine.

20140103_115656However, I do know that God, who created and foreknew me, will conform me into the image of Christ, the first-born among many brethren. (Romans 8: 29)

My Spiritual Inheritance is more than a casual hope or wishful thinking. (Ephesians 1:14) I’m assured God’s Promise of eternal life is guaranteed.

My oldest son remembers a Christmas when he asked for the latest gaming system: a Nintendo 64. Oh, how his eyes shone as he unwrapped several Nintendo 64 video games.

However, store supply did not match consumer demand. There was no Nintendo 64 beneath the Christmas tree. No way to play the video games that day.

My son’s heart sank, but he trusted a mother’s promise that he’d receive the Nintendo 64. My son knew I loved him, and intended to keep my word. So my son felt assured he would receive his gift. And he did!

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As we head into a New Year, my prayer is that God will increase our faith to trust Him more even when circumstances and our wavering hearts try to persuade us otherwise.

Be assured, God is trustworthy. He intends to keep His promises!

So let us run the race with endurance and enter into God’s daily presence with the awestruck wonder and joy of a child on Christmas morning.

When It’s Enough

The woman passed away yesterday.

While I vacuumed pine needles off the floor, debated whether to take down the Christmas tree because it’s hard to let go of things we love.

The frail woman, though surrounded by loved ones had to let go.

One last breath, and her eternal soul flew into the arms of Jesus.

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While I, not knowing she was gone, stripped sheets off my guest bed,

And breathed in the lingering scent of my grown son who had returned to his own home.

I LOATHE goodbyes though my heart says, “We’ll be together again.”

When I heard the woman was “walking streets of gold,”

My heart was heavy.

Like it was on New Year’s Eve when I watched my grown son walk away into the airport.

I longed to run after him for one more hug.

Another chance to say I love you.

Even though we know how much we love each other.

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Driving home from the airport, I thought about the day before, when we put together a puzzle.

Holiday movies were background noise.

Bowls of half-eaten Chex Mix, and empty candy wrappers sat on the table.

My pants snug.

I placed the last piece into the jigsaw puzzle and declared, “It is finished!”

And a voice within me groaned, “ENOUGH!”

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As much as I love the holiday season … family, food, fun … I was ready for routine.

Perhaps the woman was ready.

As much as she loved her family and friends, wanted to celebrate life on Earth one more day,

Perhaps, she’d had “Enough!”

Enough of the endless

Physical pain, medical appointments, hospital visits.

Enough disappointment

As she hung to a thread of hope she’d be restored to good health.

Enough sorrow

To let go and leave behind….

Her favorite things and the precious people she loved.

And be with her Beloved Jesus,

Who “will wipe every tear from their eyes….no more death, mourning, crying or pain.” (Revelation 21:4)

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Today, my Christmas tree comes down.

It’s been up long enough.

I’ll wrap:

A newly-wed couple’s first hand-blown ornaments, faded with age.

Baby’s first Christmas,

A toddler’s photo glued to a felt star

Ceramic candy canes painted by children now grown and gone.

I’ll say goodbye and put them away until …

I was going to say, “Next Christmas.”

But who knows what a year from now brings.

I ONLY KNOW THAT I KNOW THERE’S A HEAVEN.

Connect

One day, I’ll be there with the woman,

I never met,

Whom I grew to love,

Because I prayed for her last year.

Together, we’ll be in HEAVEN

Where Saints meet and re-unite.

AND WE CAN NEVER, EVER, GET ENOUGH OF JESUS.

Homecoming

Announcement: Company is coming. Someone we haven’t seen in years is coming to spend the night.

Can’t wait to see him and reconnect our hearts.

Clear the calendar, plan a menu, purchase groceries, vacuum the house, put fresh sheets on the guest bed, and clean towels in the bathroom.

At last the sun sets, but it’s no ordinary day. Someone special is coming. He’ll be here at any moment.

Pumpkin pie bakes in the oven while the New England Pot Roast simmers in the crock pot. My mouth waters as I stir the Luau cocktail wieners bubbling on the stove.

As if there weren’t enough scents lingering in the air, I light the Evergreen scented candles on the mantle; the glow of their flickering flames emotes warmth and an invitation to relax. Husband turns on soft jazz while I turn on the front porch light, and ……

Wait at the kitchen window, searching for headlights to turn into the driveway. Heart flutters when the doorbell rings. He’s here!

Time is fleeting. We wave goodbye to Someone special and enter our home. Rooms feel empty, but hearts are full.

Announcement: I read the red-lettered words of Jesus in John 14:2, Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in MeIn My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

My heart flutters as I look out my window and search a clear blue sky. Someone Special is coming to take me home. I don’t know the hour, but I know HE will come, but first He must prepare a place for me.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself readyBlessed are the those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:7,9).

Meanwhile, we get ready and wait………………

 Resting on His promises, clinging to His Word: “I am coming quickly” (Rev. 22:20)