Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy New Year

Peace--joy--love---hope--I hope that all of these marked your Christmas celebration. This morning at church, a friend told me that her Christmas was amazing. When I asked why, she said that it was an answer to prayer. Naturally, when you hear that a Christmas was an answer to prayer, one immediately thinks that relationships were "uneventful" at the dinner table, that a relative could come home for Christmas or maybe a person who was very ill, had recovered. Instead, she said, "I was organized" and she laughed. "Okay," I responded, and gave a questioning look that asked for more of an explanation. Apparently, her devotions a few days prior to Christmas had been on personal discipline and she prayed to develop discipline to be organized. As she prepared for Christmas and realized that on Christmas Eve day all that she needed to do was done with time to rest, she realized that it was an answer to prayer. "This was the best Christmas," she said, "it affected everything else."

As we look at the new year, is there a prayer that we need to offer about and for ourselves that can "affect everything else"? For my friend it was personal discipline. Perhaps for you, it may be guidance for a decision, self-monitoring your communication, cultivating peace in your life script, extending grace to others or consciously embracing joy.

Whatever your prayer request,I hope that you will look back at this time next year and say, "It was the best year...amazing!"

Happy New Year. Marilyn



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! My tree is not yet decorated and it is okay. I'm determined to enjoy each day this coming week, without trying to make everything perfect! Let's give ourselves a break...love and laugh and see what the Lord reveals as we relax and rest in him. PEACE - JOY - LOVE

May God bring unexpected blessings to you this week. I'd love to hear about any and all you care to share. For me today, seeing my two grown children sincerely happy to see each other...hugging and cooking together as they arrived "home" for Christmas. Gift enough for me!

Merry Christmas!
Judy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Do you have any idea?

The winner of our drawing for posting a comment about extraordinary treasures is Martha! Martha, please send me your address so I can send you a book!

At a recent community Christmas concert, a quartet sang Mary Did You Know?* by Mark Lowry. The lyrics ask if Mary had any idea of what her Son Jesus would do when He grew to be a man. Did she know that he would heal the sick, give speech to the mute, give sight to the blind, calm a storm and ultimately deliver His people from their sins? At one point in the song, a most profound question is asked: Did Mary know that she was kissing the face of God? Do you have goose bumps as you ponder the significance of those words? I do.

As grandmothers, do we wonder about the hidden potential of our grandchildren? As we held our babies and stared at the wonderment of part of ourselves, can we even imagine who they might become? I don’t know who my grandchildren will become and what paths they will take, but I am challenged to pursue intentional prayer for them as they grow.

I pray that they will recognize the amazing creations that they are. As scripture says, they have been hand knit by God (Psalm 139).

I pray that they will come to a personal relationship with Jesus.

I am praying for myself-- that I will study my grandchildren so that I know how to pray to encourage them in their gifts and talents, to respond to their personalities, to be alert and aware to their thoughts and actions, and to provide as I can when needed, the right words to them.

I am praying Luke 2:52 for them—that they will grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.

I am praying for their parents to raise them with Biblical wisdom.

Jer. 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

We have no idea what God has in mind for them, but God has ideas and plans! Let’s cooperate with Him by praying that our grandchildren hear His voice and love Him with all their heart and mind. Won’t it an extraordinary treasure to look back and see how our prayers were part of their lives?

Praying with you,

Marilyn
www.marilynnutter.com

*This site has the lyrics to the song. http://www.wrensworld.com/marydiduknow.htm

Sunday, December 6, 2009

RELATIONSHIPS

Don't forget to comment about your extraordinary treasure (last week's blog --see below) after reading Judy's challenge to focus. Our prize drawing runs until Friday. Marilyn

Why do we need to simplify, prioritize, and literally come up for air and take a breath during the holidays? For me, one reason. Relationships! Those with our family, friends and God...and even my relationship with myself!

I was trying to think how I could do what I believe in so strongly, and profess to you, in the wake of all of life's stresses that seem especially rampant in my life right now. I wanted to make a simple list to help myself, and in doing so, I hope it is helpful for you. It seems we all need a restful retreat this holiday. That is present enough for me, how about you?

I wrote two weeks ago about "simplifying" and Marilyn wrote last week about looking for delightful and "extraordinary treasures." In our house, the annual jigsaw puzzle that sits on the card table during Thanksgiving and Christmas is a treaure for me...and since I'm all about relationships, it's a reason for us to sit together, talk, avoid TV, laugh and tell stores, with the common goal of the puzzle. No doubt striving to simplify the holidays as we look for, and expect, extraordinary treasures will be a gift we can give ourselves, so let's do exactly that.

Just how can we have gift-filled days between now and Christmas? Using "RELATIONSHIP" as an acronym, I'm challenging myself to consider the following and perhaps apply them...to be able to more fully enjoy this Christmas season! Let me hear from you in "how and where" these help you...

R - REALITY (accept it; not fight it)
E - ENVIRONMENT (enjoy the warmth of home, as well as the brisk walks outdoors)
L - LOVE (express love whenever possible each day)
A - APPRECIATE (appreciate and focus on what we do have, not what we don't)
T - TEACH (take opportunities to show how to live out our God-given priorities, rather than keeping up with the fleeting pressures of the world)
I - INDIVIDUALISM (enjoy being uniquely you...and I will too!)
O - OBSERVE (make time to observe the treasured traditions that make holidays special and families close)
N - NO (learn to say "no")
S - SILENCE (find some quiet and silence. Be filled up and be with the Lord)
H - HEART (listen to your "heart," and trust God-given instincts about what is important)
I - INITIATE (establish laughter and humor, rather than taking ourselves to seriously)
P - PRAISE (let's look for treasures within each day, and "pray" to not miss them. Then let's PRAISE!)

Too many goals to focus on each day, then just pick your top three!! Have a great week...
My best! Judy
http//www.judydippel.com/