Friday, December 05, 2008

Prepare Your Heart for a Great Christmas

I took Mia to see her eye doctor on Tuesday. She goes in for check-ups every six months to make sure that her rheumatoid arthritis hasn't gone to her eyes. I am very grateful to say that she continues to be fine, and the doctor doesn't think that she will need glasses until she's at least a teenager, and maybe not even then. While we were there, he told me an interesting story about another of his patients. She's about Mia's age, and when he saw her, he discovered all sorts of inflammation and even cataracts in her eyes. After seeing the state of her eyes, he recommended that she see a pediatric rheumatologist because that kind of damage is associated with JRA. The rheumatologist did indeed discover that she had JRA and that this little girl had been living in constant, chronic pain, because that's what she thought life was supposed to be like. Think on that for a moment. This little girl thought that every moment of her life was supposed to be filled with pain and accepted it as normal. With treatment, she now smiles and can have a normal life.

I couldn't stop thinking about her story when I got home. This little girl's suffering deeply touched me, and then it struck me: we live like that every day of our lives. We are children of God and yet we walk around with worry and stress burdening us, and we think that it's normal to feel this anxious. But it's not normal! Jesus said: in Matthew 11: 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." He invites us to allow him to carry our burdens, to turn them over to him so that we can experience the joy and peace that he wants for us. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. And I love the usage of the word cast. Remember that Peter was a fisherman, so when he says cast, he means like you throw out a fishing line. You are trying to throw it far away, and you use some muscle. Don't just lay down your worries, but cast them away. I struggle with this myself, so I'm inviting you to join me in this Christmas season to embrace the joy and peace that came with the Savior's birth, and to cast your worries away. Let's see what it's like to live the way God intended us to.

Prepare Your Heart for a Great Christmas by Maria Rodgers O'Rourke is a fantastic way to get ready mentally and spiritually for the Christmas season. The economy is in trouble, and so are most people's budgets. I know mine is, and it's making me stress about what should be a joyous holiday. O'Rourke provides a journal type book for getting my heart in the right place to celebrate Christ's birth. The book starts with Thanksgiving, works through the Thanksgiving season and then into New Year's Day and through Epiphany. Each day's entry has a verse from Scripture along with what the verse means for the season and for our hearts. There is a place to journal each day about what you're thankful for, intentions for the day, and a to-do list. What an amazing idea, and it's certainly helping me to focus on what really matters in this season.

The winner of Faking Grace was Chrissy Demmith. I'll be starting another contest on Monday, so come back then, and hopefully Mia will be helping me with a review this weekend.


Accounting said...

Obviously, I am very touch about your written experience in your blog,yes you are right that don't feel anxiety,worried and anything that can affect you because Jesus said that come to me and take a rest.
but you know if i feel like this all i need to do is listen to a music or do something that can get all those things and of course i did prayer.:)