Shirley's Corner - Holiday Humility
"He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?". Micah 6:8 (Amplified Bible)
Already Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us...many are planning menus, counting silverware and trying to figure out where you can set up one more card table. Family and friends will be descending on you in just a few weeks and if you don't start planning now, none of the preparations will come together! After all, they will be expecting beautifully set tables,(with a centerpiece on each one) and all the usual dishes of vegetables, salads, stuffing, desserts and turkey and/or ham etc., etc., etc.... And so it begins--Trying to please and impress people will wear you out long before the day arrives especially if you tend toward perfectionism as some of us are prone to do.
This year let's make some changes before our enemy begins driving us into that whirlwind of "a Pinterist Thanksgiving and Christmas".
Let's decide early Who we are celebrating and inquire of Him how He wants to be loved and honored. This year let's put first things first.
"Easy for you to say, Shirley, you have already admitted in the last post all you do is show up at Cindy and Kenny's house with green beans." True, but this year I want to bring more than green beans. I want to bring enough love to cover everyone there. I want to be aware of what is going on behind the chaos, behind the noise of four generations all talking at once. I want to bring eyes that see beyond the surface and ears that really listen. I want to bring hope, encouragement, wisdom, laughter, and all the things that matter.
However, I cannot do any of this in my own strength, therefore, I need to start my own preparation for the holidays if I am really serious about making them "holy days", and I am.
- I am going to start each day alone with Him. He alone knows what needs to be emptied in my life and thrown away in order to be filled with Him. Maybe I am unconsciously hanging onto hurts that make me want to avoid certain individuals in order to protect my heart; Maybe I have judged others as boring, or tiresome and am unwilling to spend "my precious time" on them; Maybe I need to be reminded to esteem others higher than myself. I am not going to defend myself and I'm not leaving until He has finished speaking. I will agree with Him and repent. Repentance is a gift beyond any value we could assign to it.
- I am not going to be caught up in a "Sing-a-Long" of Christmas Carols. but I am going to mean every word. I am going to sing the music that honestly reveals what is in my heart. He is worthy to receive honest worship. It's the way we as His Church return the love He lavishes on us.
- I am going to offer sincere thankfulness each day, and I will address this to each Person of the Godhead individually acknowledging Each of Them for all the love they pour out on me daily, for momentous things and little things that mean the world to me.
- I will be presenting myself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord, which is my reasonable service and spiritual worship (Romans 12:1). In other words, (Shirley's Words) I will be obedient to every thing I hear The Holy Spirit whisper regardless of my preferences, my convenience or my cost. David of old said he would not offer his God that which cost him nothing.(2Samuel 24:24). It is not a "sacrifice" if it costs me nothing; it's my "leftovers".
- I will ask the Teacher to teach me the difference between "sufficient" and "lavish". I want everything to be done with excellence, but I don't want to spend all my time and energy on externals. I want to be rested enough this whole season to enable me to lavish that time and energy on the "divine appointments" He has planned for me. I want a mind free from lists and last-minute changes in order to concentrate on what is of importance flowing around me.
- I will pray before I commit to going here and there. I will resist the enemy who will try to wear me out body and soul. When he starts singing in my ear that I can't afford to "miss out" on everything that is going on, I will turn to him and say,"My Father said, "NO!". I will not let the holidays and others dictate my priorities. I refuse to be rushed and hurried into exhaustion .I will thoroughly enjoy whatever He plans.
- I will begin now to pray for the individual's Father puts on my heart. If they are not my favorites, I will pray for them in the spirit. Whether in English or my "Prayer Language", they will be prayed for. Many times, I find that if I pray first in the Spirit then in English, I pray much "smarter" than I am. I think I may be echoing and agreeing with what the Spirit prayed ahead of me using my tongue to make utterances I don't understand.
Come January, when all the decorations are put away and all the food has been eaten, I will continue to meet Him, to humble myself before Him and embrace all He has planned for 2016. After all, each day is a gift--we need to open it with joy and excitement!
"The End of Me"
With love from my chair at the Harvest Table,
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