December JoyDare



We are still trying to wrap our minds around the  miracle of a move and planning an addition.  Some days are easier than others.  Here is a fitting quote from today’s (in)courage blog post.   “At this point, you can’t see ‘normal’ in the rear view mirror even if you squinted hard to catch a glimpse.   And if you try to look back, to find the way back to ‘normal,’ to feel safe and familiar, you’ll wreck yourself, your surroundings, those you love and the miracle you’ve been given.”    With God’s grace and miraculous help, we keep looking forward in everything.


Here is a miraculous gift.  Where, you say?  Under the ground, out of our sight.  Peony eyes are sprouting, and come spring, they will robustly make their way up through the soil and leaves, quickly put on their greenery and begin the formation of a beautiful display.  But the toughest work for the peony, like most plants, is off season, out of sight, underground and preparing for the following season’s display.  That is where the root growth occurs, the anchoring, the thing that matters the most to carry it through the heat and droughts of the summer.  I love thinking about this miraculous gift this time of year because it makes me think of God, who sees our hearts.  All that we do in our marriages, homes and relationships both inside and outside our homes, neighborhoods, communities, work places, churches, etc.,  does not escape Him, whether it is hidden from view or most obvious.   When we so easily focus our physical eyes on the glitzy and outward beauty around us and the more obvious works and public figures, God not only sees beneath that, but wants us to, as well.  While it is natural to see and appreciate the outward things,  we miss so much if that’s all we see.   But if we pray, we have a Helper, who opens our eyes.  I love the old hymn, Open My Eyes that I May See:

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.


Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.


Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.



The third miraculous gift is that of my Savior, Jesus.  As this card from my pastor and his wife says, He is the gift that fits my heart precisely.  He fits all of our hearts with precision, if we let Him.  He is the only One who can see inside them and do a work on them.  What a miracle to have heart work done anytime we want or are willing; work of the most important kind.  He can soften it, shape it, redirect it, heal it when it’s broken, fortify it, comfort it, fill it with joy, but only when we’ve made that choice to make Him Lord of it.   He knows me better than I know myself, so I am thankful for this gift and invite Him in.  The first time, at age 9, was acknowledging Him as my Savior, who stooped to come down in the lowliest way to carry out a horrendous mission on this earth,  but the joy is in a daily acknowledging Him as risen and living Lord.  As the hymn says, “Take my heart, it is Thine own.  It shall be thy royal throne.”


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