"Maybe sometimes the miracle begins by growing not in bitterness but in faithfulness - because, for all its supposed sophistication, cynicism is simplistic.
In a fallen world, how profound is it to see the cracks?"
~ Ann Voskamp ~
It's the radicals of this world - it's us Jesus lovers - who need to actively look beyond the broken...who need to break wide open all of those cracks of messy and of madness so that His light can rush in and shine all over everything...
That's when the profound happens.
All it takes is looking in the mirror to find something broken and full of holes...
It's the looking beyond all of the that...and the getting out of the way of myself... where the miracle can be found.
...In my heart, first.
And then in the scales that continually seek to blind my eyes.
Expectation is a thief of Joy.
And fist-clenched agendas don't allow for any Jesus room.
Telling God how it is going to be never allows for Him who knows best to give His good gifts.
And thinking I know best never works out well for anyone...
Only by finding Joy in the small are we able to make our lives large.
And only by meeting Him right square in the middle of the mundane are we able to see His miracles.
|Sibling Love. Sharing Popcorn. Simple Joys.|
All the crazy. All the chaos. All the days of wondering if I am messing it all up all the time...
All full of miracles and of goodness and grace, if we but look for it.
|Happy Homemade Christmas.|
And it's by looking on the surface that makes us shallow.
It's not about the hype...
And it's surely not about all of the money that's been spent wrapped up under our trees.
|Now this.....THIS...might be what's it's about...|
The miracle surely came in the mundane that day so many years ago.
Who would have ever dreamed of a baby in a manger...
So maybe it can come during the washing of my dishes, too.
And during the diapering of my baby.
Maybe even through the breaking up of brother fights.
And through conversations raw and real with a loved one.
|Five brother boys. Reunited. Making Messes. Living Life.|
And maybe choosing to let him bake with you - and overlooking the epic mess you know will follow...
Maybe by being patient with the one zillionth question that is being asked. Again....
And maybe by greeting him with a kiss and a "welcome home" instead of a list of gripes and grumpy...
Maybe those are all little miracles in and of themselves, as well...
Maybe it's the single Mama bravely YouTube-ing "how to tie a bow tie" before her little man's Christmas concert. Or the single Daddy braiding hair. Maybe it's the couple who is about to implode who bravely reaches out for help. Willing to stoop low. Willing to make things work. And willing to make themselves humble before others. Letting Jesus shine through all their cracks...
Maybe these are the little miracles swirling all around us during these days of crazy and the moments of mundane.
These days of emptying self...
...of selfishness being refined.
...of humbling acceptance that He is needed all of the time.
Of knowing that He is God, and I am not.
And seeing afresh and anew that He daily bears our burdens.
He daily lavishes with good gifts.
Maybe by believing that God is - where we doubt that He could ever be - and maybe just by surrendering it all back over to Him is where the hope and the grace can all begin again. Right smack in the middle of seasons of dryness...of seasons where we have to look a little harder and trust a little more...
Maybe those seasons that are a little darker might even be the seasons where He finds most delight.
After all - in the darkest places are when we can see His light the brightest.
And isn't this the message of Christmas, anyway?
We are a mess. We will never save ourselves. We are broken.
And none of that matters...
Because, unto us a Child is born...and we are saved.
|Crayons. Broken and bleeding. And they are beautiful.|
Just like us.
"Christmas cannot be bought. It can only be found.
And you only really believe in Christmas when you really live it. When you light a dark world and the unexpected places with a brave flame of joy; when you warm the cold, hopeless places with the daring joy that God is with us, God is for us, God is in us; when you are a wick to light hope in the dark -- then you believe in Christmas."
~ Ann Voskamp ~
And His mercies are new every morning...