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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Five and a half years ago, I received a letter from my father’s mother claiming that my baptism was the ultimate act of disrespect towards my father.

From seventeen to twenty, I had no contact with that side of my family, until April of my freshman year I was asked to be the maid-of-honor of my aunt’s wedding.  A ceremony which incorporated Jewish and Scientology practices.  That day opened the door, my grandparents stopped me to say, “We really appreciate your being here.  This means a lot.”

My last year of undergrad, I called my grandmother and spoke of Jesus.   We discussed the anticipated Messiach and Jesus the Messiah.  A beautiful dialogue grew our respect and compassion for one another.  Truly, she had been forgiven in my heart as God already forgave her years ago.

Fast forward to the-day-after-Thanksgiving, where my family gathered to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday which she so happened to give birth to my father, a double birthday.  What a gift it must have been to give birth on your birthday!

My grandfather rose to toast his wife, “To my magical wife…may this not be our last,” as tears began to overflow, my aunt chimed in, “Glenn would you like to add anything?” “No, lets just eat.” See, this celebration may truly be our last.  My mother’s parents both passed away years ago, and now my father’s are struggling to hold on each day.  With several surgeries on his resume, my grandfather continues to battle cancer, and now my grandmother’s heart is just too large.

A medical issue: an enlarged heart.  But truly, it is what makes her “magical,” as her heart is dear and full of compassion and kindness.

The night included several conversations about spirituality, cooking, traveling, and desire.  But it also, served as another chance for God’s plan to be made known to my family.  My aunt, “Your dad tells me you want to have a retreat for troubled youth.”  My uncle, “You are a saint.”  My grandmother, “Thank you.”  They asked about the people I hope to minister to, they listened as I talked about anointing the individuals who attend, so that they leave with acknowledgement of their God-given purpose.  They asked what I say to keep someone from taking their lives.  They praised the patience it takes to work with kids with special needs.  I do not know how to tell my story without praising God.  I do not know how to pitch my retreat center without highlighting it as God’s ministry and intention for my life.  I do not know how to speak with a barren woman without speaking of God’s intent to provide care for all the orphans.

God was made known, as Jesus was the support, my Friend in conversation and my strength that kept me pushing on, despite the aching body.  No sickness can nor ever will keep me from glorifying God as King and writer of my life.  Praise be to Him.

I thank Him for answering my prayer and for allowing me to be the witness! May it continue as long as I have breath in my lungs.  For truly, we do not need eyes to see nor lips to speak, God can and will be known through whatever we have to offer Him!

 

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November 14, 2013

Today, sitting relaxed with my legs uncrossed, my head perfectly straight, and chin down, my entire being was captivated by the conversation stemming from this hair appointment.

Sam is 29, Christian and adores her sister.  During the holiday season, she shared, her and her sister visit four homes– their mother’s, their father’s, their stepfather’s, and now Sam’s boyfriend’s parents homes.  Although her mother and mother’s current boyfriend get along with both previous husbands, the celebrations remain separate.  Time off from work, the Christmas holiday is spent driving from one home to another, meeting everyone’s expectations–it is hard work for Sam and her sister.

Having a spiritually alive stylist is so refreshing while in the chair.

As we continued speaking back and forth, I stated, “Well I shouldn’t say this until I do more research, but I’m gonna say it anyways, I believe the difference between the cultures I have experienced abroad and America is that Love is defined partially by forgiveness in the other communities…When there is an argument here, a couple may call it quits, but in the Latin and Greek homes I encountered nothing was SOO important to ruin a family over” (paraphrased poorly).

Do we allow family tensions to distract us from the celebration of the birth of Christ? If we do, is it cultural or innate as human beings?

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