Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Memories 2006

This Christmas season was crazy at the Williams; one week before Christmas, Drew and I headed to the Northwest to visit family, friends, and a new baby! Minus a husband, who had to stay home and work, I embarked on a journey ... alone. A sense of dread crept into my thoughts weeks before I left as I worried about parenting alone for a whole week and taking the dreaded 4 hours long plane ride ... with a 2 year old. Bagged with a fully charged DVD player, Elmo videos, Benedryl, Thomas trains, candy canes, & infamous "puppy" -- I headed out on my faith flight. Our trip went smoothly, so smooth that only the hand of the Lord could have orchestrated it all. The Lord's promise to shelter me from the storm became very real as I arrived just hours after a major storm blackened Washington State .
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall
Isaiah 25:4
My faith journey to the NW made me long for Oregon pine trees, clean crisp air, snowy mountains, & coffee shop on every corner. I miss it! At that moment, as I was driving along I-5 towards the mountains -- Drew peacefully sleeping in back -- a still small voice reminded me of how simple the personhood of God is; often I try to add busyness and confusion to my perception of God which takes me away from the wonder and joy I find just abiding in His presence. This voyage, relieved holiday stress, allowing time for relaxing and enjoy the solitude of "God's country," as my father in-law enjoys saying. Watching the snow topped mountains of Rainer & Hood I thought on the verses in Mark 10:13-15 ? And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom God kingdom God like a child will not enter it at all." of belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the of
Oh, how I love to complicate God, put Him in a box, and form my little world around that iconic image! Thank you Lord for your Holy Spirit which brings me back to your simple truth - "I am the Way the Truth and the Life." When I read through the gospel's of Matthew, Mark & John I always find You, simple, in love with the "lost sheep" of the world, proclaiming truth & love to the most unlovely of people. Then, there is the cross, where you died for all the sins of the world, what indescribable love you have for mankind. I long for those who do not believe to seek after You for they will find a priceless, matchless, father who weeps tears for the missing and broken - - the Creator longs for the free will of His Creation to seek and find rest in His "righteous right hand."
There was one mishap on my trip - I arrived in Seattle 24 hours after a storm wiped out most of the power. The city was dark, people (including us) were waiting in line for hours just to get a McDonald's cheeseburger, Washingtonians were cranky and going through early caffeine withdrawals; Starbucks was without power, fights broke out in parking lots, gasoline was scarce, people couldn't get the essence of 4 way stops, traffic was at a standstill, and Christmas shopping took a backseat to the basic needs of people ? food, clothing, & warm shelter. We had flown into this mess "Why" I asked God? "For a joy filled adventure!" I did find great joy in the frigid temperature and breathtaking beauty. Drew and I loved every minute of the brisk air, hospitable friends and family, and joy filled 7 days in the Northwest.
I also love this adventure called LIFE, filled with trials and storms and peace and comfort, directing us back to the real purpose - - a life of service to the One who created us. I pray the New Year of 2007 brings with it focused intent, service to others, and intimacy with our Creator.

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