Friday, December 22, 2006

Yes Virginia, There is a God

This is quite possibly the best Christmas ever...and who would have thought. The blizzard of '06 has hit Denver and left us stranded with no flight until Christmas Eve. I was certainly a little bitter about it, but day after day my prayers have been answered and this is turning out to be one of my favorite Christmases ever. God is so gracious to us!
Some things never get old. Hearing Lincoln laugh about the same things over and over, building snowmen and baking Christmas cookies. How is it that I missed these things? At any rate-the blizzard left John and I miserably sitting at home wondering what to do and living out of the suitcases we've had packed for our trip for days. It would seem to be a waste of time being at home, nothing to do, nowhere to go.
But it turned out to be a wonderful blessing in disguise. John and I had a great time laughing, throwing snowballs, building a fort and a snowman affectionately named Frosty Schmidt.
Anyways, it's a great reminder of all the Christmas magic that floats around this time of year. That elusive, glittery stuff that only comes when you're not looking for it. To quote the Grinch:
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
It's so great how God used a horrible set of circumstances (the mess of the plane, being trapped, snowbound and cabin fever crazy) to make me realize how grateful I am for all the wonderful Christmas fun we get to have as a family.
Merriest of Merries to all....

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I am woman-Hear me...Snore?

What nail will you hang your day on? You must hang it on something every morning. Your agenda. Your priorities. Even sleep. or God's agenda.
These were the words of wisdom I recieved recently that changed the way I think about what I do.
I was never one of those "quiet time every day first thing in the morning" girls. That was too legalisitc for me. But when this point was brought up to me it really struck home. You see as women we are given the unique ability to single-handedly set the temperature in our home each day. When I come downstairs with a grumpy--"what can I be excited about today?" or "how many hours till my husband gets home?--let me kill the time" attitude (which is unfortunately, all too often I must admit), the thermostat slides down to a chill 40 degrees in the Schmidt house. But--when I take the extra few minutes to focus myself, remind myself that I am God's daughter, and I need to act like the beloved one I am--I hang my day on God's agenda--I focus my priorities and see the day as a gift--well then it's creeping up to a cozy 70 degrees in our abode.
It's great to be a woman! God really created us to be amazing. Maya Angelou said in the poem "Phenomenal Woman":
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

How exciting can it get? We all know we have some certain intangible power over the life of our household. We're the encouragers, the supporters, the thankful ones, the cheerfulness, the joy, the laughter, the lilt, the thrill, the hand holders, the help meets. We get to boost the spirits of our home. We are created to be phenomenal.
But I can assure you that if I choose to hang my day on anything less than the strength of God's word and intentions, (by choosing those extra 15 minutes of sleep--or just plain not trying--- whatever) my character is anything but phenomenal.
Oh to get to the point where it's no longer a struggle to choose this every single day---to get to the point where it comes naturally to me. It seems like something I'll never attain.
But I'm just one choice away at any moment from a warm day---or a cold one.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Good news of Great Joy that will be for ALL nations!

The Lord is come, Let earth recieve her KING
Let every heart prepare him room
And heaven and Nature SING!

If you miss the point this's not because you didn't hear it--it's because you weren't paying attention.
There's something about this idea of God choosing to come to the earth and in the humbe form of a baby...and then (as my pastor pointed out on Sunday) you'd think he would have appeared to the righteous, the leaders, the upper class...but he came to shepherds...the outcasts, because he wanted everyone to know it was for EVERYONE. And if he'd told the religious leaders--no one would have believed it.
On top of that he chose a 16 year old girl to get pregnant out of wedlock and introduce the king into the world. Then he was born in a stable of all places with absolutely nothing.
You can't make stuff like this up. And if anyone can hear this and think we serve a God who is redundant, sleeping, traditional, predictable, or even angry---they haven't listened. Because he chose to show himself in the least predictable, most humane way he knew how--a baby.
And if anyone has ever been around a baby you know that there is nothing they can do on their own...the God who can do everything-came to earth in human form-as a person who can't do one thing for himself, and shared in our weakness, relying totally on a 16 year old girl to care for him--all because he loves us tremendously and wanted to save us all!
Get your head around that....
and if your heart isn't shouting JOY right now....maybe you should check your pulse!