On December 26, I was reflecting on what a special day this has been over the years. In 2005, I announced my engagement to my family. They didn't take it well, to say the least, but it was a momentousness day for me doing something I was so afraid of. On the morning of December 26 in 2007, I felt Claire kicking in my womb for the first time. And on the same day in 2008, Claire began to crawl. I was packing our family suitcase for our trip to Solomons Island - from where I am currently writing as Claire snoozes - when Claire looked up from her play area, and crawled right over to me and began chewing on the suitcase. I called Scott, who put her back in her play area and filmed her crawling over to me again, as if she had been doing this forever :) It was a joyous moment... followed by some trepidation I admit! Isn't that always how it is with a joy-filled event? Anxiety quickly comes knocking, and we are faced with the choice of holding on to the joy, or giving way to the stress and worry.
That's how this short family trip has been for me. Claire is now crawling and just starting to eat mushy solids (is that an oxymoron?), and we just bought a hand mill to make some of my dinner plate into her dinner, and it isn't working at all. The contraption is either faulty or I'm not getting it. Finally, we just decided to feed her milk and fruit jars and figure this thing out another time, but it took 24 hours for me to relinquish frustration and choose joy.
In the psalms, David often says to himself "rejoice, oh my soul." Likewise, we sometimes need to out loud and on purpose say to ourselves "rejoice!" and remember all the wonderful deeds of the Lord in our lives and in history. I often begin my praise with Psalm 103 - "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, and forget not all of His benefits. Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with compassion... for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love toward those who fear Him. And as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." This quickly reminds me of who my God is, who it is that I serve and am loved by.
I encourage you to do the same today. Purposely call to mind the blessings that the Lord has bestowed on you and read about His goodness in the Bible. Then, when you are filled to overflow with His love and mercy, pray for your nation and your leaders, that they too would be led by their praise of the Lord. And pray for your military, that they would be righteous and safe from physical and spiritual harm. And pray for families, that they would humble themselves and love one another. And then pray for the Lord's guidance in your life - how is God calling you to make a difference in your community? Who can you take out for lunch and give encouragement to? Who can you say "I'm sorry" to and reconcile with in Jesus' name? How has the Lord blessed you and called you? Then share with us the results in the Comments below.