Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

It's 10:00 PM, I've slept a total of about 2 hours in the past 40 hours, and I'm here in Port Coquitlam for Christmas. After pulling an all-nighter, (last minute preparations and keeping an eye on the weather), Marty drove me to the airport at 3:30 AM. My flight to Calgary was supposed to go out at 6:00 AM. I sat on the plane for an hour before they announced the flight was cancelled at 9:30 AM. After spending hours (and I do mean being on hold listening to absolutely terrible elevator music for HOURS and HOURS today) on hold with both WestJet and AirCanada, I have a flight to Calgary at 9:00 AM on Boxing Day.

This will be the first Christmas I spend away from all my immediate family. Not that it will be bad being here and seeing the kids open their presents, but I will really miss being with my brother on Christmas day and having Christmas dinner with him, my aunt and our cousins.

Even though I was dead tired today, hungry, had a headache, was stressed out and disappointed, I was reminded when I got home and checked my email that today was merely an inconvenience, not a problem. A real problem is a four year old girl getting hit by a truck while out sledding on Christmas Eve day - oh dear God, please be with her family and give them a Christmas miracle, I beg of You. And forgive me for being so selfish and worried about mere inconveniences.

There are so many real problems in the world and I am so incredibly blessed... my family is all healthy and safe, I will hopefully get to visit my brother for a few days, everyone here is excited to have me for Christmas (despite the HOURS of driving they did today in terrible weather conditions... God bless them!). I pray for all those so much less fortunate than myself... oh God, have mercy on them, redeem their terrible situations, give them hope and peace and joy and strength and comfort this Christmas season and thank You that You are bigger than the most annoying inconveniences and the most devastating problems. Oh Jesus, I entrust this whole world to Your care this Christmas Eve. God bless us every one.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

He Got Me...

It always amazes me, how when I take even a moment to listen, God gets me. While working on the last week of Bible study homework tonight, I read: "Pray that you might be an example from which the people you care about can see God's unlimited patience." Oh, You got me, God.

Lately, I have been so impatient, annoyed, frustrated, and irritated by Marty, Layni, stupid politicians etc. Of course, the person I feel worst about is Layni. Even Jolie noted the other day, "Watch out, Layni. Janis is a hard-ass!" Is it because I'm struggling with depression and I take it out on others? Is it because my standards are too high? I get so annoyed and frustrated by laziness, for example. When Marty wants Jolie or me to do all the work for him - why can't you do it yourself? It's YOUR responsibility! We'd be happy to help, the operative word being HELP. Or Layni does the bare minimum and only with constant nagging from us... when it comes to school, Tae Kwon Do, chores - everything! Don't you care about anything? Don't you want to do well? Do you always have to talk back, whine, complain, argue about every little thing? I just want her to be a good person and do well in life. Or am I being too hard on an almost-eight year old? Too demanding? Whatever my problem is, I need to learn to relax and to be more patient and loving and gracious. Maybe I need more medication ;) I definitely need to lighten up and laugh more. I need to encourage instead of nag, to be an example of unlimited patience... and I know that's only possible by the Holy Spirit in me... and me allowing Jesus to shine through me. I want everyone, but especially the people I love and especially the little ones entrusted to my care, to see and experience the love of God in their lives through me.

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends... And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

- 1 Corinthians 13

Oh Lord, help me to love like You, especially the people I love the most! Help me to be patient when people annoy me; help me to be kind especially when I'm irritated; help me to not be arrogant, thinking I always know best; help me not to be rude even when Layni is talking back and giving attitude; help me not to always insist on my own way, even when I'm convinced my way is best; help me not to be so irritable!; help me not to be resentful; help me to believe the best about people - to see the best in them; help me to hope for the best instead of worrying and despairing about the worst case scenario; help me to endure when I'm weary and at the end of my resources. Oh Lord, give me wisdom to know when I need to push and when I need to let go, when I need to be lenient and when I need to enforce the rules, when I need to laugh at the situation or when I need to take a break and calm myself down. Give me wisdom in my words and actions, fill my find with loving thoughts... help me to love like You, because Your way is always best. Oh Lord, I want to be a blessing, an encouragement, not a discouragement. Teach me how to communicate effectively with Marty and Layni especially. Oh Lord, You know my heart, the good and the bad... I pray Psalm 51 - Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me... You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart... Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me... sustain in me a willing spirit... The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."