Iron Sharpens Iron at the Family Table

Coming back following holidays left my mind tired yet full. This thought rose above others tonight…

Sometimes, it’s difficult to be with family after a long absence.

Well, duh, Captain Obvious. 🙄

It’s also difficult to leave them when time draws nigh.

Also pretty much a well duh statement. 😏

There are the numerous delights and countless challenges alike to our spirits in coming together after extended months apart.

You’re no longer a child and your tendency is to attempt earnestly to prove it, all to varying degrees of success.

For, there is also the something of being in their midst that pulls you back to that place of littleness compared to the elders in your life.

In my particular case, there’s a lot of shadows to that former existence, some areas stepped into tentatively, others not at all.

Apprehension can seize my soul if I don’t take care to surrender it to His hand.

Now, forgiveness has been flowing in abundance among us for decades now, and, yet, must still rise up to be met again in entering into one another’s presence.

Past is not swept under any rugs, by any means, but, in looking back, love softens the edges of the pain.

Hearts don’t necessarily forget all the twinges, but they do connect afresh through the knowledge Christ makes all things new.

Including each other.

And, then, we get to share that newness of being. What a wonder that is!

Thoughts fly back and forth across the table. Struggles are examined in a different light, growth is noted, wisdom imparted.

Each moment, both the tender and the hard, threads itself to the ever-changing tapestry of our existence, tethering us tighter together.

Iron sharpening iron sounds sort of scary at first glance, but, how it shows itself in our lives can be incredible.

Home can be a great place to see this at work, for you get to surprise each other with what God’s given us to bring to the table.

You get to witness the learning you each have done and become that safe place to reach across said table with it.

It may not exactly feel like light family fun at times, yet these times the Lord affords us to deepen our walks, both with Him and with one another, are vital.

Hence, the observation at the beginning.

Difficult to be there, difficult to leave…

But, this truth I hold fast to to keep me going:

God grants us fond memories to soothe the bittersweet and carry us through to the next day we meet.

In Him, we are never truly apart.

I hope your Thanksgiving was a blessed one, dear friends. May we ever seek those iron sharpening situations, whether by family, by friends, or both.

Gratefully His

I have had many a lofty thought rolling around in this old brain lately.

Lots going on in this world to inspire a lot of pondering, to say the least.

Yet, I find the moment of putting pen to paper…oy, showing my age here- 😏

I should say, putting fingers to keys- everything I think ought to be said vanishes like a puff of wind.

Therefore, I will leave aside all more ambitious thoughts and adhere instead to what I feel He wants me to say as we gear up to a busy and bountiful week.

I just want to say how grateful I am to be His.

The idea the Lord of this vast universe takes note of a humble speck like me is absolutely…

Astonishing. Just, well, astonishing!

May I never cease to be in awe of this fact!

The grace He bestowed on us through Christ’s death and resurrection is absolutely the most beautiful truth in this life.

That He has allowed me to partake of it overwhelms my heart.

I am grateful for the people He’s planted next to me to share in that truth, the love He graciously pours out through them, the dear, growing, learning, amazing children He entrusts to my hand.

For blessed forgiveness, both the opportunity to extend it as well as to receive it.

For the incredible miracle that is simply redeeming the time.

For second chances.

And forthieth. 🙂

Because, boy, do I need them!

Furthermore, I am grateful for this welcoming place of fellowship and you wonderful folks who share in this pursuit of the written word with me…

As well as in pursuit of His word with me!

So, in this spirit of gratitude, I say thanks-for writing your terrific and terrifically challenging posts.

Thanks also for reading mine. ☺

May your Thanksgiving be joyful, surrounded by His love and goodness.

Prayers and blessings to you, dear friends!

We’re Missing the Point

There are moments in our lives where we really think we’ve got it all together.

Thoughts are threading nicely, dreams are dovetailing with reality.

Plans meet in a beautiful, purposeful way, blossoming out before our wondering eyes.

It is in these moments we are at what we see as the veritable heights of humanity.

The pinnacle of delight in our own achievements…

And the most vulnerable- if we forget to acknowledge the Giver of these good things.

Beyond just a flippant throwaway grace over dinner. 😉

Now, comfortable doesn’t have to be bad. Comfortable is something we each of us quite naturally crave.

In my special needs family, it can be extremely important on any given day! 🙂

Yet, I don’t really think it’s the chief aim of the Christian life.

Because, when we’re overly comfortable, we as humans are prone to neglect gratitude.

Far too prone.

Abundance was a hallmark of my previous church existence. We all of us were expected to have it or thirst for it.

Abundance isn’t evil, of course.

Jesus did say, after all, He came to give us life and life more abundantly.

But, then, consider that the word “abundant” can have several interpretations.

Some temporal, as my old church clung to.

Some eternal-that which I now tend to believe Jesus was really referring to.

Abundance in the former defintion, again, is not necessarily wrong in of itself.

In fact, it can be amazing, but in it often comes the danger of falling into a dismaying forgetfulness.

Of the life prior to it, of the lives in the shadow of it, of the promise of abundant life to come.

Most of all, of the Lord who benevolently pours it all out.

We may start out with a hearty “Thank you, Jesus!” but, without taking care, that thankfulness tends to fade.

We begin thinking somehow we did it all, that something in our infinitesimal efforts is what caused these blessings to be.

Pride slips in, entitlement soon follows, and, sadly thereafter, enters in a sour dissatisfaction with the current level of abundance.

There comes in a stingy sort of fear that what we do have can be snatched, that only in anxious grasping as at an old blanket can we hold on to it.

That only in further chasing down can there be a return to the brief time on the mountain top.

We stumble through screaming for our rights, but we lose all sense of righteousness in the process.

When triumph comes, we tend to say, “Look at what I did!” with nary but a cursory glance at He who equips us.

But, when struggle comes in, when life looks a little less rosy?

Ah, then we recall Him! Typically, either to vent anger or to beg favors.

And, in all that fruitless scramble, we tragically miss the point of living for Christ altogether, reducing Him to a kind of slot machine we love when all is overflowing, but resent when our land isn’t so plentiful.

Oh, this should not be so, friends!

To cheapen this gracious gift of the Christian life to a lot of “what-about-me’s” just cheats our hearts and souls in the end.

Of the joy of the Lord that is born in the thick of the come what may.

Of the love of God that sees beyond the temporary trappings of this world to the eternal hope of heaven.

Of the blessed truth that sheds light on the struggling we might not otherwise notice in our state of abundance.

Points we really don’t want to miss in the midst of “having it all together”.

Prayers and blessings, dear friends! May we seek ever after gratitude for all He gives us, especially the gift of eternal life.