being careful about Who I am looking at

Thanksgiving is over and my family went back to Florida. I even miss the tiny dog my Mom dresses in people clothes. Ah well, Christmas is coming up and we are spending the great holiday in our new home for the first time. Yesterday we had a bit of snowfall and kept a fire going all night. The greatest part about living in the midwest? The seasons… and they are here. So now I am onto planning our Christmas holiday.

Chris’ parents live here, but they won’t be spending Christmas with us this year. They’re going out of town. So here we are, we are just getting to know neighbors and friends, but we don’t know them well enough to ask them to spend the holiday with us. What to do? I keep thinking about my PapPap, my grandpop who lost his wife last year and moved out of the home he shared with her for decades. He is going to be with family, thank the Lord. But what about all the grandpas who don’t have anyone to spend the day with? If no one were able to be with mine, I would drive the 6 hours to go get him and bring him here. No one should be without friends or family on Christmas. And since we have neither, and the elderly are on my heart, we are going to visit some grandmas and grandpas on Christmas day.

I was feeling sorry for myself to be completely transparent. This is our first year in a new place with everyone I know and love hundreds of miles away and days of driving each way. I was beginning to feel the sting of moving. It hit me for the first time that we don’t have anybody here for our first holiday season away from my home and my family. Chris and I decided that we were enough for each other and although our kids deserved friends and family, we will have a church family soon… I am trusting the Lord fully on that one. We are content with You, Lord. We are grateful that the 5 of us have each other. And we are so happy to have had the blessing of visitors for Turkey Day.

Once we lifted ourselves out of the pity pool, we began seeing all the opportunity the Lord is providing us this season. What a wonderful tradition to take our children to visit a giant house full of grandparents. Nursing Homes are pretty nice these days, and even if the one we visit isn’t, then even the better. Hopefully we can give as much joy in our company with them as they will to us.

It can be easy to see what’s missing from my life when my eyes are not completely 100% looking at my indwelling Lord. In this situation, Chris and I have had to spend the time turning to Him and hearing Him and knowing Him more in order to stop feeling sad for ourselves. The thing I am learning is that letting even a little negativity or darkness into the heart, it begins to spread into the eyesight and affects my judgement. The more I look at what I don’t have, the more I see what I don’t have. The Lord of the universe has made Himself a Bride and I am a piece of her. Christ has made me a royal priesthood and He lives in me so I always have His compass inside. How could I even claim sorrow for what I don’t have… it’s all so selfish.

I noticed the same darkness entering my heart when I looked at others. Sometimes really obnoxious words get under my skin and they don’t go away. It makes me feel bad when I am told information that does nothing but glorify human actions. Especially when the actions are not loving and gracious. A little darkness goes a long way. As soon as I see it, I see more. And before I know it, I am not looking at the Lord at all, but at everything else. I am struggling with that a little. I don’t want to see anything but Him in others, especially those who say they know Him. It’s so hard. It’s the hardest thing for me to do.

I have found that when I look at a person and try to see Christ in him or her, it’s not always easy. But then I look at Christ and if I look at Him and open my eyes, I can see all the people who love Him, in Him. I may not be able to see the Christ in others, but I can see all His people, even the greatest sinners, in Him. The ones who drive me crazy, glory hogs, even they are beautiful and humble when I look at them in Him.

Christmas is coming up and I am getting excited. I learned that I look at situations the same way I see people… I focus on the problems and fail to keep my eyes on Christ. Hopefully knowing this will help me to align myself with Him and I no longer fret and stress about problems, but laugh with joy at all the good things. He is all the good things. Thanks Jesus.

Have a wonderful week and thank you for reading!

Love,

Jackie

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2 thoughts on “being careful about Who I am looking at

  1. I love your transparency! It is what makes us real. 🙂

    We moved to our little rural town, hundreds of miles away from family and friends, seven years ago – just before Thanksgiving. Small town with families and friends that were connected by generations. Not easy. It can be hard to stay focused when our hearts are hundreds of miles away. It can also be easy to look at what others are doing/not doing and, because we are vulnerable, let the negative creep right in.

    Looks like you are heading in the right direction!

    • Thank you. It’s amazing how easily my nature creeps in and Christ is pushed aside. I love His gentle nudges. I am also grateful that we live in today’s technology age… I don’t know what I would do without the connection I find here and on support websites. I hope you have a really good week. Thank you for the sweet words of encouragement~ they are much appreciated!

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