Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Gift


One never knows when they'll make an appearance. Like uninvited strangers in the night, they invade your life and come unexpectedly, disrupting the calm, abolishing tranquility; painful reminders of things you'd thought you had left far behind. 

One such invader met me at the door of my heart last night. It caught me off guard, and it's been on my mind on and off ever since. But this morning as I stood in church, surrounded by hundreds of voices lifted in chorus of praise, I thought about the memories. The deep, dark times in my past that I fumbled for the smallest flame to illuminate my path. And I saw in every flashback, every memory, every nightmare and hellish reality: There was a shadow not my own. A hand upon my shoulder. Arms wrapped around me. A whisper in my heart. Tears shed, sorrows shared. Love. The presence of Another; the extent of whose comfort I can not begin to describe. Praise God I came to know this One early in life!

My dear brothers and sisters, our Father is so faithful! I don't say this as a "pat" answer to the problems, complexities, and horrors of this life. I say it because it's true. I've been there. I've not had a tragic life. But there have been tragedies in my life. There have been hard times. I know there will be more. But He is closer everyday. His presence is so dearly felt; His joy, His peace, the contentment He brings. The love I feel from Him and towards Him... It overflows more and more! I can't imagine how much still sweeter He will become and it thrills me to no end! 
I want you to know that you can HAVE this! You can know this peace, this joy and this love. Were it that I might have the ability to gift wrap it and send it to you this Christmas! Because if there was anything I could do for you, anything in the world I could give, it would not be a winning lottery ticket. If wouldn't be the next Apple product. It probably wouldn't even be on your wish list. This I would give first and most joyously! 
Look for Him! He is not hiding from you. Pray that He will open your eyes and that You will see Him. He does love you, and ever so much! 

This season of giving, I will pray that you know the peace, joy, love and comfort of our Father in the midst of whatever it is you are facing! 
Pursue Him. Fall in love with Him as I have. There's nothing on earth that compares to knowing Him. Receive the best gift of Emmanuel, God with us. Because He is the ONE gift you'll never tire of. The ONE gift that truly keeps giving. He is priceless.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I Am Here

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. 

I listen to the ticking of the clock joining in the symphony of eight little ones resting peacefully on their cots. 

This is my life these days. It isn't glamor, it's not a rock show (except when little hands decide rocks look cool airborne), and it isn't all bliss. It's tying those shoes for the millionth time, holding the tearful child, cleaning up the mess from the one who somehow managed to spill both a cup of hot (warm) chocolate and a cup of milk on herself in the same day (she must be related to me!).

But it's where God has me. And here I am content, here I am blessed. 

Editing has also taken up much of my time at home as I am coming out of the busiest season in my photography business to date. 

While it has its perks, being self-employed for me usually amounts to kicking myself in the pants to become motivated when I don't feel like sitting at the computer for another hour during crunch time. 

But it's where God has me. And here I am content, here I am blessed. 

Don't get me wrong, I love what I do!  The little tantrums and boogie noses and accidents are often followed by the sweetest hugs, cutest notes, and sincerest apologies. The hours of editing are rewarded with the happy tears of a client, the making of new friendships and building up of old ones, and the satisfaction of a job well done, among many other things. 

I challenge you to do what I am doing in this quiet moment: 

Appreciate the little things. There are little blessings all around you. Find them, take joy in them, thank God for them. Laugh at your little failings (awkward moments, anyone?) and allow yourself the grace God extends to you. In doing so you extend to others the freedom to do the same. 
Take delight in where God has placed you and seek fulfillment and contentment in Him. The rewards of a life content in His will are priceless! 

It may not be glamorous, it may not be great in the eyes of the world. But it's where God has me. And here I am content, here I am blessed. 

Chatter brought to you by Victoria Christine <3