Monday, December 16, 2013

Let us slow. Let us s-l-o-w. Let us s--l--o--w ...

Well, I did it! I self-declared Friday to be an official “S-l-o-w Day”. And celebrated it. And tho’ not all went according to plan, I’m so glad I did plan for it. I enjoyed it so much that I’m officially declaring it a new tradition. Tho’ I’ll likely try to coincide it with the first official snow day of the year - or will do it without one if we haven’t had one before - say … Dec 15 - as part of what made it so special is the otherwise ordinarily “so busy” time I specifically scheduled it for! 

Every single soul needs one now and then, and perhaps now more than ever, so I highly recommend it. Giving yourself the gift of a Slow Day before Christmas. 

I had two pals to “party” with. Kept my youngest home. It was pretty much a party day for her at school anyhow. And my oldest daughter joined us after school. Each of us donned matching super soft slippers I had found on sale – and brand new pajama pants I’d purchased specifically for this special occasion. Thanks to Bob’s Bucks I'd accumulated, I was able to get three pairs for aprx $10 – total! <insert a li’l happy dance in PJ pants here! ; ) > And together we enjoyed a “Girls Day In”. Justine baked cookies and created Christmas floats. … three low key (of course!) ingredients: hot chocolate, peppermint ice cream & whipped cream – preferably from in a can ; ) – and, from there you can get more creative if you want with such things as she did (ie. tiny marshmallows! : ). And – at some point, someone popped Polar Express into the dvd player and we became couch potatoes.

Oftentimes by now we would’ve had an official snow day and celebrated it instead in much the same low key but perhaps not quite so special way. But no snow days here so far this year : / We’ve had snow – just not properly timed so as to declare an official snow day. Tho’ for a special surprise mid-slow day, I did throw in a couple o' LUSH bath bomb snowballs – and - as you can imagine, they were well received ; ) Alexis went home with hers in hand and Justine just may hold onto hers until the first official snow day finally does arrive! 

Note: From this point forward some of what I share will pretty much be repeated from a previous post. Sorry. Just wanted to have it all together in on place.

And, on that slow day midway thru’ Advent, “it just so happened” that The Greatest Gift Advent devo was much about the difference between how The LORD and we look at and see things. And how the way we see things strangely affects us “from housekeeping to soul-keeping.”

I Samuel 16:7b (NIV) …The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Pretty convicting stuff for a perfectionist and precisely why I particularly appreciated some things Ann Voskamp pointed out. And with the understanding found in the passage above, perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me so much that in the “Upside Down” (relatively speaking) Kingdom of God, the Good King continually turns things “inside out” so to speak, to see the heart of a particular person. And that, it seems, essentially being the “why” behind why God raised up Abel instead of Cain, Jacob instead of Esau, Isaac instead of Ishmael, Moses instead of Aaron, David instead of Eliab, Sarah instead of Hagar, Leah instead of Rachel. Tamar. Hannah. Ruth. Rahab. etc. And that also, it seems, essentially being at least in in part, the reason He eventually raised up His Own Son, The Savior! Down here - upon this earth. And up on the cross. And - from the dead!

And when I stop here and now to ponder how my story fits into HIStory … well – it all gets pretty personal. Especially when I picture how dark, dirty and cold the stable must've been and consider how odd it seems that the Creator/KING OF KINGS & LORD of LORDS would choose, from all of creation, such a place to be the perfect place to make His presence known. Yet the better I get to know Him, the more I understand about the why behind where He chose to make His earthly debut - so perhaps it shouldn't surprise me so much that he would choose such a similar place - that being my heart – for essentially the same purpose. Nonetheless, I still can't help but wonder "Why!?" It is a profound Mystory of HIStory! Yet He, in that uniquely His “upside down and inside out” way of His, has somehow managed to transform my skeptical "Why?!" into the very reason why I celebrate Christmas.

And with all of the individual “inside out” stories woven consistently with what seems to me to be to quite possibly be a red thread (a strand of three cords perhaps?) into HIStory, I do believe I “see” an a-MaZiNg “tapestry of Grace" unfolding. Tho’ I can’t help but w*o.n*d.e*r … if, since that sinful snag snarled things so soon after “In the beginning …”, might the tapestry need to be turned "upside down" in order to put things into proper perspective and so to get the a-MazInG Grace-FULL effect - in the end?! 

All this on that day set aside, in part, to slow down so as to attempt to refrain from profaning, in the mundane, that which is meaningful and hallowed in what Ann Voskamp describes as "... the divine design of a day that unfolds with a grace that is not to be missed.” 

And I've been attempting to wrap words around it all pretty much ever since.

Mere coincidence? Or minute miracle?! I know what I believe. But will allow you to decide that for yourself ; )

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