• See the beauty woven into the fabric of life • Hope is like drops of dew amidst fragile strands shining in the light • Outward fragility can belie strength and purpose • When sticky situations rear up, hold on to what is good and kind • Dishonesty builds tangled webs of deceit • Nurture that which builds lasting relationships and overcomes storms • Attend to tremors and shakings signaling significant arrivals • If caught unaware, we run headlong into that which can trap us • Know there is still purpose when we are dusty and spent • Recognizing our smallness builds humility and empathy • The spider’s mountain is still a mountain • We are nourished as we are being formed • Be one who draws others to receive healing • When ragged and torn, turn to God who makes us new
– From “Reflections from the Everyday” Charlotte-Anne Allen
On a silent night Near the little town of Bethlehem, While shepherds watched their flocks, There came something wonderful upon a midnight clear.
The shepherds heard angels on high. Hark! These herald angels were singing Hallelujah and Joy to the world!
Away in the manger What child is this we see?! Jesus Christ! This baby born in a stable! We are still astonished. What a holy night that was!
He was the promised star, come out of Jacob. A gift from God. Now what is the gift we can bring? The three kings were wise men who recognized who Jesus was. The little drummer boy knew the greatest of gifts.
Mary did you know what was to come, You who gave yourself to God and cared for this boy child? God rest all people, merry gentlemen and joyful ones. Hear tidings of comfort and joy! Jesus loves us.
“Sit with me! Stay with me just a little longer, please!” Similar plaints of a sleepy child at bedtime speak of need and trust… and a hope of delaying sleep and reluctance to acknowledge the day’s end.
While we often treasure quiet time alone, there is also within us an appreciation and a need of another’s comforting presence, isn’t there?!
“Come on in. Stay a while,” others may say. Spending time with family, friends, and new acquaintances can have many benefits. Shared experiences and interests often bring us together, whether through enjoyment or trials. Spending time together can bring a sense of security, unity, and mutual understanding… especially when we face changes or prepare for a different future than that expected or hoped for.
There is a bonding and strengthening, both in times of loss and of celebration, when someone thinks of us and shares their time and presence. It cheers the heart and turns our eyes toward our Creator God.
All this and more seems to open my heart and understanding to God Himself, to realize His great love and the sacrifice He made to come among us, His children. God offered us His very presence, a Light among us, and invited us to join Him!… How wonderfully amazing is that?!
Through the simple willingness of Mary, Jesus Christ (God’s Son) entered the word to live among us and with us… and to bring us hope and new life.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
As God came to be with us, didn’t He also open the door for us to come to Him? In coming to God, as we believe in Him, we receive the promise that He will be with us always. I love that we were not left as lonely lost children when earthly Jesus moved back to His heavenly quarters. God’s full presence continued through the Holy Spirit, and He is still with us. *
Wherever we are in life today, may we find comfort and joy in God’s presence. May we come as a little child, remembering the gift of the child and resting with the One who understands and loves us. God be with us.
• Joy and peace sound out from the heart • Words and actions will peal far and wide • A soft voice, like a carillon, sooths, calms, and brings enjoyment • A welcome call for meals announces care and fellowship • What we choose to consume in life brings nourishment or illness • Unexpected announcements bring excitement or dread • Be vigilant and heed warning signals when they come • The tolling of bells draws attention to our own mortality • Guard your senses and cling to faith to drive away harmful impulses • Welcome joyful messengers both great and small • Simple hands and strong cords are each of great value • Victory celebrations and shouts of triumph lift spirits • God’s calm strength rings out to all nations • The ringing bell herds us back to the Shepherd
from “Reflections from the Everyday” Charlotte-Anne Allen
What a welcome southern invitation bringing thoughts of warmth, good company, and honest labor! Settling down with a cool drink of water and comfortable companionship lifts one’s spirits. After a long but satisfying day of work, I look forward to sitting and relaxing for a while. Don’t you, too?
I find that it’s harder to get to sleep at night if I haven’t given myself some time to just sit and find refreshment in some simple enjoyable things. Easy time talking with a family member is appreciated, as well as some time alone. I look forward to a nice quiet spot by myself where I can read or write, spend some time in thought, pray, and do other things which I enjoy.
What are some things that refresh you after a long or busy day or week? Those of us who are caregivers may be especially challenged to create moments to refresh yourselves. Seeking ways to pause, if only for brief breaks, will do much for our frame of mind and our ability to do our best with a positive attitude.
This reminds me that even Jesus was intentional about creating those times. As he was traveling with his disciples, they stopped at a well and Jesus sent the disciples off to town to buy some food. He sat down by the well, tired and thirsty, seeking refreshment and welcoming the pause.
Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. John 4:6
I remember my childhood days of warm summer evenings playing outside with my brothers and neighborhood friends. I hear again the sounds of occasional passing cars, televisions, and our laughs and shouts, as our parents sat and talked after finishing the day’s chores… drinking from that well that comes from God. I remember times when we gathered with my family around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and enjoying each other. I’m thankful for those times and for opportunities to create them now, to pause and be refreshed.
May you be blessed this week as you rest in your travels and sit down by the well. Prayers for refreshment and renewal, quiet times of rest, and comfortable companionship!