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I am struck anew this Christmas with the profound words in Isaiah 11:1. They read like this, “Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot……..”
We have 5 freshly made stumps hanging around on our property due to some Ash borer that took out strong trees. Stumps aren’t really pretty…..they are dead as dead can be but scripture uses that metaphor to tell us that something great is going to come forth from the deadness. It is just so profound to me.
There are times in my heart where I feel only deadness; I wonder how anything beautiful can burst forth but as I press into that Scripture specifically it gives me hope!
So, in the season of giving and merriment where can you have faith for situations that look like dead, lifeless stumps? Maybe it’s the brokenness of your family or some relationship you hold in your hand that you wish was different? He comes to our hearts and asks us to open them up wide to ALL that HE wants to do in us thru the process of the shoot becoming a tree.
I was busy preparing for a big Christmas party last week and I stopped in my tracks at the wonder of my daughter and her creativity. This little tree probably has had 6 homes in our house this Christmas. This particular morning as I was sitting to have quiet before the rush of serving our party my eyes happened upon the tree once more in the most unlikely places (on the floor in a corner of our sunroom) and these precious little gifts caught my misty eyes. I am so grateful the Lord gave me eyes to slow and look at the world thru my daughters eyes! How can I have more love and joy today by simple heart decisions? This is a tree in all it’s beauty, radiating Jesus in many ways. ‘Out of a stump will grow a young shoot’. Today let HIM have your ‘stump’ because you could be the gift to someone who needs a gift!
Often at Christmas time I view ‘Peace On Earth’, that little phrase in the olde Christmas carol with some cynicism. How can we sing about ‘Peace On Earth’ when there really is hate on a broader level, when there is broken feelings with people I love? This year there has been a fresh perspective, a new understanding, that ‘though the wrongs won’t be righted today or tomorrow’ I can in a small way bring ‘Peace On Earth’ in my domain, to my sphere of influence.
It comes with me praying before the Lord and asking Him what He wants me to take on, who He wants me to reach out to? It comes with a soul awareness that as I align my heart to His I can bring ‘Peace On Earth’ to my children, to the people I rub shoulders with.
Often in the chaos, the externals are not peaceful but my soul can be at a place of deep peace because the ‘Prince of Peace’ Isaiah 9:6 is with me. And I am learning on those days and in those moments when I am in turmoil that it is an invitation to me from HIM to bring the anxiousness, the questions, and the longings to him.
One day when I was in an anxious funk, I told my kids I needed 30 minutes of quiet and this is what my Kate prepared for my quiet. It was such a moment of servitude from her even though they are solid wood. 🙂 It brought a beautiful peace to my soul!
When I sat down at the computer to find pictures to put in this post, I found this picture, taken by one of my sons. I think it fits so perfectly on this topic! If your world feels a little like this picture…..it’s an invitation from HIM to you…….to quiet your uneasy heart before HIM!
My baby, Will, 2 years old set up the nativity this week with all our stuffed animals. Joseph was the goat, Mary was the sheepy, and gorilla was the baby. He had flying cows as stars. And he was happiest, eyes twinkling when he started with his treasured blankie as the platform.
The moment was so scared and all I could was weep as he narrated the story for me. At one point when he was placing the wise men, a dolphin and penguin he shouted, “NO ROOM”. And isn’t that just like us, that the more we let ‘other voices’ crowd things in our heart our peaces vanishes. God touched me in a deep place in my soul this week as he narrated the story for me.
I am so grateful for many things, the ‘Prince of Peace’ constantly with me in this day. And when I have ‘NO ROOM’ he proposes an invitation to my heart and I can always come to him the ‘God of Peace’. I Thessalonians 5:23
P.S. One final picture. We celebrated big this past weekend in DC. My husband turns 50 this week. He is such a gift to me!
I hope your Saturday was profitable and that your OK with the things that didn’t get done. I don’t know how it happens but my kitchen seems to always end up being messier then I want way to late on a Saturday night. I had to fight hard at not having the ‘grouchies’ tonight as I was cleaning up from too much soup, creamed eggs, rice krispy treats, spinach artichoke dip and jello salad.
If your planning a menu for Chirstmas and want a festive addition here is this recipe. It is so simple to make and so pretty HOWEVER it does require some time, I only plan to make it on days where I am in the kitchen all day.
Christmas Jello Salad
2 – 3 oz (small) boxes of raspberry gelatin
(When I did this recipe with 6 goblets, for the first layer of red I only used half of the small box of raspberry gelatin, which is 3 Tbsp to 3/4 cup of water. And then I topped the layers with the remainder of that box, you will notice the bowl did not have a top layer of color).
2 – 3 oz (small) boxes of lime gelatin
2 – 3 oz (small) boxes of lemon gelatin (I only used 1 box when I did the jello salad in the goblets)
1 cup whipping cream, UNWHIPPED
4 oz cream cheese, soft
4 tbsp sugar
boiling water – You need 1 & 1/2 cups for each small box of jello. A quick way to get it to cool down quickly is use 1 cup of boiling water and add ice cubes or cold water for the remaining 1/2 cup of water. That way you don’t run the risk of the jello being too hot when you pour it over your chilled layer. I have made this before where the layer that was chilling was not chilled long enough and then when I poured the hot gelatin over top of it, it did weird things.
I used 6 goblets or you could you an approx dish size of 9X9.
Dissolve your first small gelatin box (your color choice) with 1 1/2 cups hot water. Pour into your dish. Let chill for 30 minutes. Dissolve second box in same about of water. Chill for 30 minutes. Dissolve box of lemon gelatin in 1 cup boiling water (you don’t use the full amount of water). Beat 2 oz of cream cheese with 2 Tbsp sugar. Add lemon jello mixture; beat. Pour in 1/2 cup of whipping cream, un-whipped. Stir together and pour over layer. (When I used the 6 goblets for this recipe I halved the small box of lemon gelatin -3 TBSP is half the box of jello to 1/2 cup boiling water but kept all the other ingredients the same).
Repeat until you have the desired layers you would like. You could keep going 🙂
Cheers to a restful Sunday!
I was listening to Max Lucado today and just struck with his profound wisdom. I share these words in hope you will be able to process the truth in these spoken words this Christmas season!
“We ALL need a King,
We ALL need a Saviour,
We need a King who runs our world,
We need a Saviour who washes away our sin,
If you don’t have a King it’s all up to you. Consequently YOUR world spirals out of control cause you
think you have to control it all and you end up never doing that and that creates anxiety and fear.
If you don’t have a Saviour then you live with guilt. You either become a legalist or you become defeated.
You were never intended to compensate for your sin.”
I do need a King who runs my world and I do need a Saviour who washes away my sin. So thankful for the gift of Jesus!