Wednesday, January 02, 2019

The Year Christmas Cards Got To Ol' Debra

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."   ... Zephaniah 3:17


So this past December, I felt the grace to give out just 5 Christmas cards. 

Yes, only 5. (Hey, I'm more shocked than you, but sometimes God likes to mix things up in my life to check that I'm paying attention and not going all rogue.)

Er hem.

Anyway, each card had money/checks in them and each represented joy and much grace. I felt no smidgen of burden digging for them inside my Christmas card bag, matching cards to envelopes, locating a pen, etc.

Nope, no burdens nor guilt anywhere, that is, until Everybody And Her Grandmother sent me Christmas cards. Sheesh! The mailman nearly needed a Santa Claus-like bag in which to carry them.

So. Many. Cards.  We'd not received this many since Twitter became a thing and weeks into this, the cards made me feel bad--like, bad, bad Debra bad. I dreaded lifting the mailbox lid lest I spy more red, green or white envelopes from friends to whom I'd not sent cards. 

(Don't tell anyone, but a couple times I looked at the cards down there and whispered, "Darn it.")

Oh my. But finally our merciful God, in His extreme wisdom and goodness, told me, "Knock it off, Debra. Just knock it off."


And somewhere within me I heard, "Receive. Just receive the love and kind words which came with these cards. Send New Year's cards later if you wish, but now? Just receive."

Hey, I enjoy a good receiving season as much as the next lady, but oh dear, they also show me the shoulder weights I cling to sometimes, unknowingly, the earning of Brownie points when God meant this, instead--

Receive the Holy Spirit.  (John 20:22)
Receive wisdom from our generous God.  (James 1:5)
Receive forgiveness. (1 John 1:9)
Receive God's gifts. (1 Peter 4:10)
Receive what you've asked for in His name. (John 16:24)
Receive God's incredible love. (1 John 3:1)

Some things we're to work for, yes (our food, our homes, our good health, etc.)

But things from that list, above? No. They're to be received. Accepted. Reached for with open hands, appreciated--then shared and flung all over our world in joy.

And now this new year? May I work or rest or receive when God tells me (even if it feels a bit odd). This faith walk is so moment-by-moment--Jesus is so moment-by-moment--and I'd want Him no other way.


And of course a huge thanks to those of you, my readers, who sent Tom and me such lovely Christmas cards, photos and letters! Truly, I appreciated them so much--that is--when I finally got God's 'just receive' message.  ツ

"In God's presence, the noise of everyday life will begin to diminish as you learn the sound of his voice, & the resonance of his spirit."... Neil Vermillion

“Gracious acceptance is an art - an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving.... Accepting another person's gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.” 
― Alexander McCall Smith, Love Over Scotland

“And there’s also ‘To him that hath shall be given.’ After all, you must have a capacity to receive, or even omnipotence can’t give. Perhaps your own passion temporarily destroys the capacity.” 
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

The truth does not twist and turn. It is direct, strong and straight up. And, oh yes, it will set you free!

The truth does not twist and turn. It is direct, strong and straight up. And, oh yes, it will set you free!

The truth does not twist and turn. It is direct, strong and straight up. And, oh yes, it will set yo**Another movie recommendation for you --Yay! Yesterday Tom and I finally watched Unbroken: Path To Redemption.  Loved it, but then, we knew we would since we, way back in 2014 went to the theater to see the first Unbroken film.
Yay! Tom and I finally watched Unbroken: Path to Redemption. Loved it as we knew we would, having seen the first Unbroken film in the theater in 2014.

I can recommend both of these films 100%. (The credits of this second film were fun, also, and how cool that Billy Graham's grandson portrayed him!)



Anonymous said...

Oh dear Debra. I hope I didn’t make you feel bad. Every year I think that I’m not going to send cards anymore, and then I remember the joy that I get in receiving them. I want to be able to give someone else that much joy, so I certainly hope I didn’t burden you. And you are right, sometimes God tells us just to receive and to be joyous in it. Wishing you a wonderful day my friend.
Many blessings, Betsy

Debra said...

Aww Betsy.... You didn't make me feel bad at all. Your card was the first to arrive (well, not counting the one from the Chewy pet company, heh) so that was before the bigtime card onslaught. :) Again, everything turned out well in the end. It was just a lesson I had to recall and you had a nice part in it--so thank-you much! And I also thank you for being thoughtful and sending such a pretty card and encouraging words.

Blessings, Debra

Terra said...

That was helpful to see all the Scripture about receiving, a good reminder. You included quotes from two of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis and Alexander McCall Smith.

Debra said...

Terra-- so glad you liked the scriptures! It's good to be reminded about receiving every once in awhile lest we forget its importance. I'd not heard of that second author--I'll have to look him up! Thanks for commenting.... Blessings, Debra

Pam said...

Receiving there's an idea. I'm not very good at that, and I think I need to dwell on the verses you've highlighted. Thank you, Debra. You always make me think, and that's a real good thing!

Debra said...

Thanks so much, Pam! I like to think that's why I'm here--to make people think and oh, to love God more. :) Thank-you for commenting so faithfully! Blessings, Debra