Sunday, December 28, 2008

Inside These Walls

A quiet Sunday afternoon of reflection. Christmas was only three short days ago, and 362 days until we do it again. The tree still stands in the corner calling attention to all who enter, yet for some reason, already the sparkle from the lights is fading. It is barren of gifts that only a short time ago overflowed at its base. The ornaments no longer overlook brightly coloured paper and bows, boxes and gift bags, The much anticipated day of celebration has come and gone. I want to hold on to every moment. I want to remember every exclamation of delight. I want to relive the feelings of warmth and love that flooded my heart.

So many treasured gifts. Gifts that spoke of being known. No random purchases. Each parcel chosen with the knowledge of the recipient. Not all necessarily worth much monetarily, but as precious as gold to me. I just want to unwrap a few with you…gifts that brought me to tears this Christmas.

My nephew gave me this gift. The picture doesn’t begin to do it justice. A circle of hearts speak of unending love. But, what made me catch my breath were the words etched in gold, “Come Fly With Me”. If you are new to my blog than you don’t know how God extended that invitation to me in June. The Lord called me to step outside my comfort zone, embrace my fears and fly with Him. It was the most incredible journey and definitely the highlight of 2008. A journey I would have never in my wildest dreams envisioned last January, nor one I could have ever imagined having the courage to follow, yet God called me and I obeyed. This bracelet will serve as a constant reminder that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

My parents had these old photographs enlarged and framed. One is of my sister and I as toddlers and the other is my son as a little guy with his first set of golf clubs. The memories these pictures stir within me have my eyes filling with tears again as I type this now. My sister and I had been born so prematurely (25 weeks) that the Dr’s gave no hope for either of our survival, yet this picture speaks of life and answered prayer. Not only did God spare our lives, but here is the next generation in answer to yet another prayer. Heritage. Legacy. Family.

Oh how I wanted this star before Christmas. It is meant to hang outside and is pre-lit. With the uncertainty of my husbands job and all the purchases that needed to be made before Christmas, I left this star in the store the day I found it. It was a difficult abandoning. I wanted this to be mounted outside by our front door and left up all year as a reminder of the star that announced Christ’s arrival. I wanted it to proclaim that Christ can be found in our ‘stable‘. I wanted it to direct others who are lost and alone to the warmth and welcome of Christ in our home. Well, my husband heard that longing and I pray that unsaved friends and family will follow this star and like the Wisemen of old, seek Christ until they find Him.

Thankful for friends who satisfy my heart with good things :o) Dark chocolate orange balls….Decaf coffee! Mmm, Mmm, Good! Indulging in a little pleasure after the holidays.

I saw this originally back in the summer. I’m a teacup gal, and when I read the verse on this teapot and saw the significance of this visual, I really wanted it! In case you can’t see it the verse on the teapot says, “May the God of all Hope, fill you with Joy and Peace”. The teapot is “Hope” and the cup and saucers are “Joy” and “Peace”. Oh, how I long to be filled with His hope, His joy and His peace. If only it was as easy as drinking it in, and yet He longs for us to allow these fruits of His Spirit to pour over us and fill us. I think I will be using these teacups often, and pray that my cup overflows with His presence.

In keeping with the “peace” theme, I received this necklace so unexpectedly. A key in my mailbox announced a parcel was waiting. In excitement the wrapping was removed before I even made the journey home. Kleenex was called for as tears freely ran. This is so much more than a necklace. This is the story of a friendship God designed and breathed life into this past year. A gift that was presented back in the Spring that continues to fill my life with unspeakable delight. Who says friendships can’t last across miles. This friendship defies borders. We are not American and Canadian, although our birth certificates may say such. We are citizens of heaven, sisters in the Lord, and joint-heirs with Jesus. She is sister of my heart.

“There is no greater thing than the love between a Mother and her son”. Don’t you just love it when your children, in their own quiet way, express their love to you? My son gave me this figurine and I’m so thankful for the love he and I share. He has always been and will forever be my “Chum”. Like no other he is sensitive to when I need a cuddle or word of encouragement. He’s quick with a hug or a silly remark that ignites laughter. My greatest joy is knowing that He walks with the Lord.

Those who know me at all know that I have a “Princess” theme. After struggling with insecurity for years, the Lord brought me to a place of realizing who I am in Him. I’m a child of the King. Not only am I a “Princess” in God’s eyes, but I am a “Princess” in my Daddy’s eyes. Point of Grace have recently recorded a song…a song sung by a daughter to her Daddy. In it the lyrics say, “There’s nothing better than being your girl, And if I am your Princess, than Daddy, you’re king of my world.” My Daddy is king of my world. He’s the first man I ever loved and the first man who adored me. Now at 83 I treasure each Christmas we spend together. What makes this Bible so special? Well, it’s from my Daddy and the inscription inside is written with the hand of an 83 year old. A hand that often held mine. A hand that still holds my heart and all my love. A gift from a king to his princess.

The last gift I will share with you today came from my husband. It truly speaks for itself. I’ve yet to read it without crying. This is what is written behind and within the word, “Home”.

“If these walls could speak of things that they have seen…of things that they remember well…Stories of love, gatherings of Family and Friends…laughter. If these rooms could talk they would share joyful tales of sunsets at dinner…of children playing hide and seek. If these windows panes were eyes, they would have seen it all…Each tear, each sigh, each hug and every smile. Every dream there is to live. If this house could show you the lives that take part within these walls…It would display unconditional love, unforgettable memories, unending moments forever tucked away…That’s what these walls would say.”

Sharing just a glimpse inside these walls over the holidays.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, that's a walk beneath your tree! What treasured gifts. And those cups and teapot? How about "peace" and "Joy" sitting down for a sip soon? I've really been thinking that we need a bloggers weekend somewhere...a time in 2009 when several of us could gather at the beach or the mountains for a girls and Jesus weekend. If we all can't do "She Speaks" we should really consider another option, perhaps a more financially reduced one.

Then we could all sit around and do what bloggers do. Talk and talk and talk, face to face this time.

My gifts were less sentimental this year, but still very much appreciated. My tree is still up; I just couldn't put it down quite yet with the little ones, perhaps even with this big one! There's something about a tree that warms a room...a heart, don't you think?

Love u~elaine

Lynn Cowell said...

You have some VERY thoughtful people in your life! Those gifts certainly were hand picked and will give you many precious thoughts as the year goes by!

Happy New Year!

Julie said...

This was a beautiful look into your home and your Christmas....


Runner Mom said...

What precious gifts! I think that the Bible your Daddy gave you is my favorite. What a treasure! All of the gifts are beautiful--loving that necklace from Elaine! She is so sweet!

My tree is still standing, and I don't plan on taking it down until next weekend! I love the warmth it exudes in my home!

Read Elaine's comments--a blogger get together would be awesome. I'm not sure about the She Speaks conf. yet--my budget was cut again at church! Y'all keep me posted! A beach getaway would be so much fun!

Family game night tonight! Enjoy your Sunday evening, sweet friend!
Love you,

Melinda said...

Lovely gifts and a precious look at the hearts behind them! I smiled at your beautiful gift from Elaine, because, well, did you know that it was through a comment on Lysa TerKeurst's blog about She Speaks that lead me to you? And did you know that it was your post about your friendship with Elaine, after that conference, that lead me to my own cyber-friendship with her?

Your words have lead me to two gifts this year for which I'm very thankful.

Our God...isn't He something?


Tammy said...

You were truly blessed this Christmas. I loved the gift from your parents.

My sister gave me a picture of the home that we grew up in,it brought tears to my eyes.

Our parents of been gone now for over 5 years,so that gift was special.

Come visit again,

Catherine said...

So many beautiful gifts from the heart.

Zoe said...

Your gifts are a lovely reflection of you my friend! With each one we get to see a small part of who you really are.
Thanks for sharing. And thanks for all the great names you posted on my blog. Girlfriend you are amazing!

Yolanda said...

More than a glimpse, how about an overflow.

Lovely Joy, just like you are, and may our hearts continue to beat for the One who causes LIFE to flow!


On Purpose said...

I am praying for You this morning!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Oh, you have me crying! That's all I can say for now!

Love ya,

Michelle said...

What wonderful gifts you received, I remember that star so well and told Robert all about it, now I have a photo to show him too! It will look beautiful on our home next Christmas :)

Tracy said...

What beautiful, heartfelt gifts! No wonder your heart so overflows! Thank you for sharing those precious gifts and particularly the significance of each. Your grateful heart touches mine today. May the Lord continue to bless you throughout the year to come.

Jami @ livelaughlove5 said...

Hi Joy - I just read over at Nichole's that you are going in for test results and I want to let you know that I'm praying for you right now. May you feel the peace of God and get good results!!

God bless you Joy!

Susan said...

I enjoyed visiting your blog. I loved the peace for the journey necklace. The word journey has had brand new meaning to me in 2008. Blessings.

Laura said...

Oh, Joy. Thank you so much for inviting me into your Christmas. How special it was.You are blessed with some very special people in your life.

May 2009 hold some sweet surprises.


My Army Brats and Me said...

Praying for you. Let me know how you are. I have my chemo treatment on Wed. I hope to hear from you soon.

Beth E. said...

I hopped over to your blog from Elaine's. I have always been so blessed by your comments on her blog. You have such a way with words, and it is so very evident that you love the Lord!

Thank you for sharing your Christmas with us. You certainly received some wonderful gifts! I especially enjoyed the sentiment behind them.

I just wanted to let you know that you are a blessing to me...even though we don't know one another! :o)

an ordinary Saffa girl said...

What a special post! You are surrounded by people that love you.

May our Lord continue to bless you in 2009, have a happy and healthy new year!