Expect the Unexpected

“No one has ever seen or heard…never so much as imagined…what God has arranged for those who love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9 The Message

The holiday is gone but this Jesus, this miracle of a baby’s birth is with us all forever.  God in his infinite love desired a relationship with us.  How blessed we are to have a loving God who is always there with us no matter what life circumstances throw our way.

Christmas can be somewhat chaotic at times.  It is the season where activity can make us lose track of why we celebrate, whose love and birth we celebrate.  I tried to tone down my to-do list this year, even though I had many coming to share Christmas with us.  I realized that letting go of a lot of my holiday habits was really a blessing.  Preparing meals together, sharing some of the chores, making lots of time for fun, allowed all of us to concentrate on doing the things we like to do best.  It was a great time of building relationships.

God’s love and gift of his son held special meaning for us this year.  We as a family were blessed with a new baby in 2011, for Mark and me a new granddaughter.  Her birth was surrounded by a lot of prayer from our family and friends.  We thank God for the blessing that Madelynn is in our lives.  We thank God for establishing a bond of love between us, our children and our grandchildren.  This is a bond that can’t be broken.  This bond of love is life sustaining, whole and holy.

My favorite thing to do was spend quiet time with Madelynn.  We rocked a lot.  I’m grateful for my old rocking chair.  We read books even though she is only 3 months old.  If I read softly and looked her in the eye, she responded like she was taking it all in.  Did she understand the words?  Probably not but, she knows she is loved. My favorite children’s book this Christmas was “Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You, by Nancy Tillman.  It was a favorite of Madelynn’s too.  I like to believe when she heard the words she felt God’s love surround her.  I did!

“You are my angel, my darling, my star…and my love will find you, wherever you are.
I wanted you more than you ever will know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go.
It’s high as you wish it.  It’s quick as an elf.  You’ll never outgrow it…it stretches itself!
So climb any mountain…climb up to the sky!  My love will find you.  My love can fly!
Make a big splash!  Go out on a limb!  My love will find you.  My love can swim!
It never gets lost, never fades, never ends…if you’re working…or playing…or sitting with friends.
You can dance ‘til you’re dizzy…paint ‘til you’re blue…There’s no place, not one, that my love can’t find you.
And if someday you’re lonely, or someday you’re sad, or you strike out at baseball, or think you’ve been bad…just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.  That’s me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.
In the green of the grass…in the smell of the sea…in the clouds floating by…at the top of a tree…in the sound crickets make at the end of the day…”you are loved.  You are loved.  You are loved,” they all say.
My love is so high, and so wide and so deep, it’s always right there, even when you’re asleep.
So hold your head high and don’t be afraid… to march to the front of your own parade.
If you’re still my small babe or you’re all the way grown, my promise to you is you’re never alone.”

Read a children’s book every now and then and expect the unexpected!  May you know deep in your heart that God’s love is with you wherever you go or in whatever circumstances you find yourself, in 2012.

Father God,
You know our hearts.  Teach us daily to turn over our lives and thoughts to you.  Put the desire in our hearts to rest in you.  Whisper to us in that gentle whisper.  Fill us with the faith and peace we will need to bring Jesus to a wounded world.  We thank you for each morning filled with new possibilities, for all those we know and love. Thank you for teaching us to expect the unexpected and all the new people you will bring into our life.  Your love is the joy and surprise in our lives. Amen

Lois Autterson

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