The recipe cards are spread across my countertops. Piles of potatoes fill my pantry and bowls of cranberries are stacked in the refrigerator.
Let the preparing begin!
Grandma’s gourmet mashed potatoes (a top-secret recipe), Aunt’s famous green bean casserole and a roasted turkey trimmed will all the special touches, oh the fragrance of this Holiday! But the one thing that fills each plate and sustains each heart is the growing gratitude of love.
We gather with those we love, regardless of politics and religion. Those on our left and on our right have walked with us, cried with us, laughed with us and stood with us. Friends or Family, both are connections of love that have carried us through this year. There may be pain mingled in, maybe a few offenses but there is also love.
As you gather around the table this week, I pray you not only savor the fragrance of the feast but you feast on the bounty of love as well.
*Don’t forget ~ The Women of Christmas giveaway! Read all about it here. The winner will be announced on Friday!!
Join us next Sunday for the first Chapter!
We are a little late this year. Thanksgiving is really next week. For real. I usually pull out our Thankful Tree just as the calendar moves to November, but not this year. I got swallowed up in the list of homework assignments, school activities, new recipes, church activities, interesting blog posts, great books, laundry piles, dish piles, dog “piles”, season premiers and season finales, research for that book proposal, …. I could go on, but I won’t.
I was somewhere between carpool line and the grocery store when they swooped over head. The stunning shadows caught my eyes. It was a pause of wonder as they glided past. To this gaggle the hustle of the parking lot was nothing more than a gust ruffling dead leaves. The wave of their shadow across my face caused me ponder and I stopped and noticed.
The brilliant color of fall has now begun giving way to the deep work of winter. This transition is a work of gratitude. A season to notice the bounty of this year’s work. We have much to take notice of, much to be grateful for; this year’s harvest will become next year’s planting. And that, is the deep work of winter. Take notice gratefully, for here is where you begin.
I am gathering with a brave group of writers over at Kate Motaung’s today. We meet every Friday around one word. It’s beautiful, it’s crazy fun and I am always inspired, encouraged, and challenged. Come with me, won’t you?
Today please welcome Melissa Sharpe! She is visiting all the way from Toronto, Canada. One day, many months ago in the middle of a hallway between writing sessions she challenged me to dig deep and pursue whole-hearted faith. She is an encourager all the way down to her absolutely cute shoes. Her tangible and authentic walk with the Lord inspires me every day and I know she’ll encourage you too!
Never Too Late
Spicy aromas wafted through the crack in the door as my cold chapped hand pushed it open. Hot brewed goodness saturated the air. I anticipated my delicious first sip and the belly warmth that would follow. Bright colours contrasted with low dim lighting creating an engaging atmosphere. Other hot beverage connoisseurs mingled about, some sitting on their lonesome, others in lively and animated conversations. The environment was one of camaraderie and all measures of comfort to delight the senses.
My eyes roamed the large display case, my reflection bouncing off the smooth shiny glass. Delectable treats of all shapes and sizes were stacked in neat little rows. Sparkly sugar tops and sweet creamy glazes covered scones, muffins, and all matter of baked goods. Though tempting, my conquest was one hidden within the depths of a well-known large red cup. I was greeted by a bright smile with golden blonde hair. My detailed order floated from my mouth to her awaiting ears. As I slid my debit card into the flashing reader, I lifted my head and asked, “Is it too late to make that extra hot?”
A woman, with pretty eyes and jet black hair swept back into a tight knot, stood just steps behind the glass counter retrieving a freshly brewed treat for another patron. After hearing my hurried request, she lifted her eyes to meet mine. With one hand raised in the air she looked at me and replied, “It’s never too late.”
Within a few moments my paper cup of deliciousness was securely in my hand, extra hot. Stepping back out of the door on route to my car, I pondered the quick reaction and weighty words of the woman behind the counter.
No Beloved, it’s never too late…
The burning bush I encountered that moment lingered long into the days that followed. How very much like the character of the God I love- this Heavenly Father of mine- to linger weighty words in my wayward soul. Those words simmered and brewed just like the fresh coffee I was anticipating. No child, it’s never too late.
It’s never too late to ask for forgiveness.
It’s never too late to forgive.
It’s never too late to find Him. Never too late to open the door.
It’s never too late to follow Him. Never too late to lead another to Him.
It’s never too late to find your purpose. Never too late to heed your calling.
It’s never too late to love. It’s never too late to love again.
Beloved, It’s never too late. Until it’s too late. And then, when it’s too late, you’ll wish you had more time.
We have been given all the time allotted to us. That time was set so long ago when every hair on our head was counted, every moment was measured. What we do with the time is the gift. What we do with the time is what matters.
How easy it is for us to take time for granted. There seems to exist seasons in our lives when we wish the time away, praying for the next season to come. On the opposite end of the spectrum there exists seasons that we wish to stretch out and we hold them with tightly grasped hands. We fight against time attempting to erase its presence, yet we beg and plead for more time when we feel it has been cut short. It appears that we are trying to play a game with time but naive to the reality that time always wins.
Because the Author of all time and eternity has already won.
How very easily we buy the lie that there is always tomorrow. Tomorrow will wait for us, and all that is holding us back from experiencing every measure of freedom to be found in Jesus can wait until then. It can all wait until tomorrow.
But let us be honest with ourselves. Tomorrow is never really tomorrow, but really an undetermined amount time in the recesses of our minds. Our tomorrow is not truly a fleeting twenty-four hours, but can be a stretched out twenty-four days. Or twenty-four years. And then we stand upon the Scriptures reciting that we need not worry about tomorrow because today has enough troubles of its own.
This is true. Oh, so very true. I mustn’t worry about things that I do not know of yet. I mustn’t worry over issues that have yet to arise. So I will stand upon the time I have been given and know that it’s never too late… to give it to God and walk in the fullness of Christ today.
As long as we have breath to breathe, hands to raise, and a soul to submit unto the Author of all time and eternity, it’s never too late to seize the moment and take captive all thoughts to Christ. All thoughts, like the one you’re thinking right now… that burden that you’ve got burning. The embers of that burden continue to spark and grow though you believe the flames with pitter out… tomorrow.
But don’t wait until tomorrow to do what you are capable of today. Though we think we are incapable, the truth is that we are not. We are God-capable for we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength… today.
Today I can ask for forgiveness.
Today I can forgive.
Today I can find Him. Today I can open the door.
Today I can follow Him. Today I can lead another to Him.
Today I can find my purpose. Today I can heed to my calling.
Today I can love. Today I can love again.
Father, today. Today is yours. I have made it mine for far too long. Help me to hand it over with open hands and a gaping heart. Amen.
Melissa resides in London, Ontario with her techie husband Matthew and their two young daughters Avery and Rachel who often make her feel like she is parenting herself.
Self-described as ‘the wayward child’, Melissa uses life experiences and witty storytelling to passionately convey God’s love in action making it relatable to everyday life. She is often travelling for speaking and teaching at conferences and workshops. Currently working on her first book and writing an online blog, Melissa shares her thoughts, struggles and insights on having an intimate relationship with Christ. You can find Melissa on her website where she blogs about life and faith. Elizabethshouse.ca
This is my story. This is my testimony.
I once was burried behind walls of faith FOR a God I believed in but perhaps didn’t fully trust. I could “play church” with the best of them, knowing the right lingo to say at just the right moment; I could do all the moves so no one would question the storm raging inside.
Then I became quite adept at ignoring the storm myself, this shame storm of not quite measuring up to be worthy of God’s love.
Well, guess what? That all crumbled.
We serve a God who loves you because you are His creation. No façade of faith can distract Him. No activity or behavior can hold His gaze, He simply wants you.
I’d love to share with you how God got my attention. Come join me over at Counting My Blessings, Deb Wolfe and I are talking about the difference between a faith FOR God and a faith WITH God.
Happy Sunday to you! One week has come to a close and another is just beginning. An endbeginning.
The chilled and frosty air has surrounded us here and from the sounds of it, most of there too. It’s a frigid reminder that this year is approaching the end. These cycles of seasons are harmonious don’t you think?
As the color bleeds to pure white and I savor all the flavors of Thanksgiving (especially an appropriately named coffee bean from a certain Green-sometimes- Red-aproned Barista); I also look forward to Christmas. The twinkling lights, the Bell ringers, the lists and the paper cuts, even the late night baking frenzies – they all fill treasured memories of Christmas past. But this Christmas, more than fancied traditions, I want to really see the gift that Angels heralded.
I want to behold Him.
Will you join me? This advent I will be reading through Liz Curtis Higgs’ book : The Women of Christmas. She leads us to the foot of Messiah’s manger through the lives of three women; Elizabeth, Mary and Anna.
“Christmas is so much more than a Holiday.” “It’s a season for reflection, for preparation, for renewal.”*
Every week I will be posting on 1 or 2 chapters from her book and would be absolutely delighted to have you join me in this discovery! So much so that we’re having a little give-away!
Each new email subscriber between now and November 28 will be entered into a drawing for a hardback copy of The Women of Christmas!
Just enter your email address into the box to the right at the top of the page. Simple and sweet. Not only are you entered to win – you get my posts delivered right to your inbox! (Don’t you just love early presents!)
If you just can’t wait and want to get your own copy, here are the links!
I would be absolutely delighted to share this journey with you ~ sipping coffee and sharing the awesome discovery in Heaven’s greatest gift! New subscriber or life long friend – no matter the mess, the lingering to-do’s, please come with me!
Next Noel Night will be Sunday, November 30. Spread the Cheer!
*Liz Curtis Higgs, The Women of Christmas (pg:4)