Christmas 2015

  It's Christmas morning and as a mom I couldn't be happier. With my sons both being grown, 27 and 21 years of age, it is a rare time when I have them both under my roof at the same time. For the first time in a long time I went to sleep last night with my sons both under my roof. It's a small thing, but the older I get the more I realize that it is the small things that most often matter.

  The Griego clan had a wonderful Christmas Eve last night. We laughed, we ate, we opened our gifts to each other and we just enjoyed time together. In this hectic world it's often difficult to find time to just be together. I am very thankful for this Christmas. Everyone loved their gifts and it was fun opening them but another thing I have learned in life is that stuff really doesn't matter. I would gladly burn every last bit of the stuff accumulated over the years to see the ones I love most well and content, safe and joyful. It's the people that matter. Like Paul I have learned to rejoice in plenty and in little. God has abundantly blessed us, with a warm safe roof over our heads, with enough to enjoy some of the finer things in life and with love, much love, but I can recall times where there was none of these things.

 As a youngster I once walked the streets of Baltimore, with blistered feet and no home to rest in. As a child I have lived with the bare minimums and very few "things" to call my own. I have sold my blood to purchase food. I have been very hungry. It is good to remember these times, and to reflect on the blessings God has given.

 As I sit here this Christmas morning, reflecting on the wonder of it all, I rejoice in knowing that there is always an end to a period of waiting. The world waited for a very long time for the promised One to come, waited in darkness and sin, waited such a long time that I imagine folks began to think that they had somehow misunderstood the promise (and many did). But He came, that first Christmas morning, came to humble settings, came as a tiny babe, came to save a lost and suffering world. I do not know what you are waiting for now, perhaps you are waiting on a loved one to get better, perhaps you are waiting on a time when you don't have to struggle so hard to make ends meet, maybe you are waiting on love, waiting on that person that you hope to spend your life with, the truth of the matter is most of us are waiting for something. When you belong to Christ, when you are His, you can know with assurance that there will always be an end time to your waiting. God is at work, and His work is always amazing. So keep praying for the thing you yearn for, and rest in the knowledge that in His time He will bring about even more than what you hope and long for.

 I have been so very blessed this year, I am blessed with a wonderful family. A family that understands loyalty and grace. I happen to have three of the most wondrous men in my life daily and am very proud of them all. We have had some tough times, but these times have strengthened our bond and taught us much about what is truly important. I am so very thankful.

  This Christmas season we saw the launch of a new church, Mosaic Church, and we as a family have begun to see some positive change in the many things we have been praying for. For all these things I am most truly grateful.

  Yesterday we got to watch our son's silly service dog sporting her new sweater, and I got to watch my sons open their gifts from my husband and I.  I got to watch my eldest veteran son hand my younger son a special coin, and tell him that he has everything in him that he will need to be Infantry should he choose to do so, and also told him to just consider it carefully, very carefully.

  I enjoyed sitting around the table with the ones I love most, eating the Christmas Eve feast, laughing and talking and remembering old times long past.

 This morning I was blessed to wake up in a house with both my sons present, and made a nice breakfast for everyone. For me it just doesn't get any better than this.

 I got to watch my granddog running around in her new sweater.

 I am very thankful for this 2015 Christmas.

 


On Wings of Eagles

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
 
 What is it to wait upon the Lord?
What are you waiting for? Think deeply on this? What are you really waiting for? Are you waiting for the next bad thing to happen? Are you waiting on life to give you a break? .........What are you really waiting for?
 
 When we pray what are we praying for? For an end to trials? For an end to pain? What is our agenda? I have discovered that I often have an agenda when I pray. And more importantly I have sadly discovered that often my prayers do not reveal a satisfaction in God, nor a trust in His character, but a dissatisfaction with Him and a fear of what might happen next.

 When I give in to fear, or to anger, I am crying out with a loud voice that His grace is not sufficient, that His purposes in my life are not right. When I pray for things to change, plead for Him to do what I want done right now, I am saying that the place where He has me is not the right place.

 As Christians we were made to soar like eagles. Above the fear, above the worry, above the sorrow and sin and destruction. Regardless of what may be going on, we are to know our God and to trust that all that He brings into our life is right and is as it should be. It has a purpose. He has not promised us an easy life here on this earth, but if we pray to really know Him, pray to really trust Him, pray to be more like Him, we will soar above it all. Even our tears, and our suffering will not drag us down.

 He lives brothers and sisters!

"“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord”.   Psalm 27:14

“Be of good courage.”  Alas, how can one be so when all sense and feeling dishearten the mind and deject the soul?  Lively frames in duty, sweet enlargements of heart, heavenly transports of joy, delightful ecstasies of faith, rapturous tastes of love, all, all  like Noah’s dove have taken their flight; and I fear says the drooping soul, never, never more to return.  Truly like Hezekiah, “I mourn as a dove, mine eyes fail with looking upward: O Lord I am oppressed, undertake for me,” Isaiah 38:14. 

Still, saith the Comforter by his word, “Be of good courage”.  Remember thy calling.  It is to live by faith, honour thy Lord, and be obedient to his word.  Thou hast the sentence of death in thyself that thou should not trust in thyself lest thy heart depart from thy Lord.  Not frames and feelings, but God’s love and promises in Christ to sinners are the foundation of hope.  These are abundantly sufficient to inspire the soul with courage, yea, with good courage to go on in the ways of the Lord. 

Steadfast faith cleaves to Jesus, abides by the truth, and perseveres in dutiful obedience.  Shall these ever be suspended for want of lively frames and joyful feelings?  How would this prove that we walk by faith and that our eye is single to Christ’s glory?    Nay, we should then only serve him according to the changes of sense and passion rather than by the uniform, consistent obedience of faith. 

The Lord’s word is our rule of duty; his promises are our support.  His grace is sufficient for us; his strength is made perfect in our weakness.  If our hearts are weak that we cannot run with eagerness the ways of God’s commandments as we desire, so much more reason have we to wait on the Lord for “the times of refreshing from his presence”.  For “he giveth power to the faint and to them that have no might he increaseth strength” Isaiah 40:29.

“Wait I say on the Lord.”  David repeats the command with a holy fervour to his own soul and others.  God has promised: expect fulfillment. Here is the exercise of faith: trust in the Lord Christ for what we stand in need of; of hope, expecting to receive all from him; of patience, waiting continually upon him. 

Most precious promise! “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles they shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40: 31."

by William Mason

http://www.rcnz.org/meditation.html
 
How do we wait upon the Lord?

 In this busy world we are conditioned to believe that doing nothing is a bad thing. To sit quietly and simply listen, to simply be, is not encouraged in our society and yet it is a wonderful method of learning to wait upon the Lord.
 Our spirits today are loud, they shout and scream a lot. This often hinders our prayers. We stop for brief moments and pour out our request, our petitions, we beg God to change our situations and then we jump up and do everything in our power to fix whatever situation we are in. We do not do a lot of waiting. I am very guilty of this.
 
 Let us sit before Him, be silent before Him, He knows our situations, He knows the desires of our heart, He knows our suffering. Let us focus on who He is, let our fervent work be spent in knowing Him more, in seeing Him more clearly, in being more like Him. That is where we will find the miracles we seek.





Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalms 27:14


Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see [it].
Psalms 37:34


Say not thou, I will recompense evil; [but] wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
Proverbs 20:22