merry CHRISTmas. It is So Much Bigger Than That.

We counted down the days until Christmas and I realize that it so so much bigger than that. Since the fall of man, believers hoped and counted down to the birth of the Messiah.

I have held a newborn to my cheek. It is not something easily forgotten. A parent cherishes the first moment of laying their eyes on their precious child and the touch of their skin is believing in miracles. And I know that Mary and Joseph were favored and blessed among humans because Mary carried God in her womb and she looked upon his face and she cared for his infant body.

Today is Christmas, but it is so much more than that. I LOVE the magic of first stepping into the living room, carols playing, a fire burning, stockings overflowing. Breakfast will be set out and will be much too much for the three of us to eat: quiche, donuts, fruit, sausage balls, cinnamon rolls, orange juice, and coffee. Presents will finally be opened. I can not wait to play with Madison’s new gifts with her! We will feast for lunch and then open more presents. Then we will gather with family and smile and hug, feast some more, and gather on the best day of the year. But this celebration is all a remembrance. This birthday is of my God. Immanuel. God is with us.

I was lost, and sick, blind, poor, and had no hope. But now I am found, and perfect, and rich, and a child of God. Christmas is everything!

Merry CHRISTmas!

 

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Twas the Night Before Everything

It’s modern day.  Things are different now.  That’s what we always think.  A baby being born of a virgin?  The guiding star in the sky?  A boy raised a carpenter that heals the sick and makes the blind to see?  A death on a cross that takes away all my sins?  Are we children?  Are we supposed to believe in miracles?

Christmas Eve.  Is tomorrow a fairy tale for children?  Is it only about the presents and the stockings and the here and the now?  If Christmas is not real, then this life that I live is meaningless.

Where do you get your morals?  You choose what is right for you?  What about a serial killer?  Oh, they don’t get to decide.  What about terrorists?  You get to decide until it brings harm to someone else?  Then I am only in this for me.  Then it is survival of the fittest.  That is what the Nazis believed.  What about the leper?  When they were the outcast, Jesus said that they had meaning.  What about the children that culture said had not earned their status, Jesus said that we are to be like them.  When some religions drink kool aid and commit suicide together and some religions sacrifice babies, they can’t all be right.  Because, mine at least, says that is wrong.

Christmas is the day that my God became man and was born on this earth to make all the wrongs in the world right.  Jesus was born because he loves me and he loves you.  He is the only god that does that, the only god that says, it is not about what you do but what I do for you.  There is no other religion where god loves me like that!  He is my hope, he is my peace!  Why do people try to convince me otherwise?!  What if it is you that is missing out?  Do you have this peace?  Is Christmas bigger for you?  To me, Christmas is everything!  Without Christmas, I have nothing!

But, it is Christmas Eve.  The celebration has been building up for a month.  Tomorrow we are going to wake with wonder in our hearts, tomorrow the whole day is spent in merriment.  Tomorrow we remember the most important birthday in the history of time, God was born!  There is hope, there is an answer, there is relief, we are saved!  There are miracles!  Life is worth living because tomorrow is Christmas!

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Lacking Spirit?

Don’t feel festive? Not really in the mood? Good! Because it’s not about you! It’s not about me. Christmas is about Jesus.

Feeling stressed? Still have a lot to do? Baking. Cleaning. Wrapping. Does it not seem like fun right now? Good! Because it is not about fun! It’s about service. If you are busy, be thankful.

Maybe you are alone? Maybe you are lonely? Good! Because you can focus. Be alone with God! What a blessing!

Jesus is calling out. He has invited you to his birthday party! Don’t feel happy at the moment? Do something for Jesus. Busy? Serve Jesus. Alone? No you aren’t. He is there with you. Embrace the last few moments. Merry CHRISTmas!

 

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The Poetry of Love

God.

Holy.  Almighty.

Saving.  Redeeming.  Healing.

Born in a manger.

Jesus.

Is there anyone that is good at everything?  Who can say they are a gold medal olympian, a top model, famous chef, adoring parent, loving spouse, domestic goddess, star student, classical musician, decorated soldier, theologian, humanitarian, billionaire businessman, and award winning artist?  Even the Renaissance man falls short.  No one can be everything.  No human.

Our worldly competitions are nothing for God.  Athlete.  He is all powerful.  Theologian.  He has all knowledge and wisdom.  Businessman.  All resources are at his disposal.  Artist.  He formed this very earth and these very bodies that we can only mimic.  He knows everything and he can do anything.

Who is a match for God?  Why do I daily doubt him?  Why do I think that I know better than him?  That guy, the one that is perfect at everything loves me with perfect love.  He has an amazing plan for joining my life to his and using his power for my good.  Let him!  If Christians would really realize what Christmas means, this world would be turned upside down!  The God of the entire universe did everything to save us!  Accept it!  This Christmas, receive the best gift ever given, Jesus.

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Staring at My Family

Because I have him,
My heart beats.

Because she calls me “Mommy,”
My heart beats.

The Christmas tree that captivates,
Parties, Carols, Presents, and festive dinners.

Thank God for the gifts he gave me,
and my heart that beats.

 

 

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Zuzu’s Petals

Desperate Jimmy Stewart runs down the bridge, I grasp my heart, he has my complete attention. It is coming, my favorite part of the movie, so much emotion. He cries out to God, “I want to live again!” The snow begins to fall and he finds Zuzu’s petals in his pocket. I love the scene so much that my heart swells. It is ok that his bills aren’t paid. It doesn’t matter that he is headed to jail. He doesn’t care anymore that his dreams never came true, he never traveled the world, and he never became a millionaire. He has his life back. He has his wife, his children. He has his God.

Just a few more days until Christmas. It is coming as quickly as the movie playing and my favorite scene approaching. In the blink of an eye, I will be holding my heart and fighting back the emotion. I will sit and watch Madison explore her stocking. She will finally open the gifts her Daddy and I planned and purchased for her. James will open and love his gifts. As if that wasn’t enough, there are gifts wrapped for me also that must be opened. James will get me what I asked for. Madison will give me something she bought at “The Christmas Shoppe” at school that I will treasure forever no matter what it is. The day will be, well, Christmas. It doesn’t get any better than that.

But today, I love today. I sit and stare at the Christmas tree. The presents are wrapped and under the tree. There is a twinkle radiating out of everyone. The movie is playing, my favorite part is almost here. It doesn’t matter what hasn’t been accomplished in my life, it doesn’t matter what regrets I have, it wouldn’t even matter if I was headed to jail, today I remember Jesus gave me my life. I have my husband and my daughter. Today, life is wonderful. Merry CHRISTmas!!!

 

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I QUIT!

How did I get here?!  No.  No.  I mean it the opposite way that the phrase is often used. How did I get here?  I look at my past, I look at my dreams, my realities, my accomplishments and I wonder:  How do I have this peace?  This is it.  This is life.  This day that I am living, it is absolutely, overwhelmingly amazing!

Yes, there are things that I want in life.  I want a swimming pool.  Like, I really want a swimming pool.  My girl and I would roll out of bed on the weekends and hit the pool and stay until it was time to go to bed.  First thing after school, we would be in the pool.  Play date?  Wanna swim?  Birthday party?  Swim party.  Guests coming over?  Bring your suits.  What are my plans for the day?  The pool.  Yeah, it would get its use.  So, there are things that I want in life, but, ummm…would that pool bring me ultimate peace and joy?  Nah.  Not at all.  I have things so great now, one more great thing would just be that, one more great thing.

So, how can I say, “I have arrived.” ???  It is because I have FINALLY realized that there is nothing, I mean NOTHING, NO THING that will ever give me peace.  What will?  What will bring me peace?  What will give me daily contentment?  What will make me love my family when they are being…well, not lovable?  What will make me want to serve others when it brings me sacrifice?  What brings me contentment when my life is in chaos?  Why is it not that big of a deal when I don’t fit in?  Only one thing…not thing, one person can ever fulfill.

So, If you know me, you might laugh.  Ummm…Did Caroline write this?  I AM OH SO FAR FROM PERFECT!  But, I honestly daily realize, and if I ponder for just a moment, I know:  I’ve got it!  Don’t waste your time trying to convince me otherwise.  I have been hurt and somehow it is ok.  I have not known the answer and somehow it doesn’t worry me.  I have seen the world and said, “Yeah, no thanks.”

How?  Because it is not me.  I quit!!!  Jesus took over and I’m not looking back!