It was truly personality altering to be out and about with my family last week and not speak! My sister Sharon kept saying, “I must admit it’s really odd not having Rachel talk at all!” It’s true, I was on complete vocal rest until my speaking engagement at 5:30.
All day I wrote on small pieces of paper. “Be sure to use the backs of these papers too, Rach” My sister Barb instructed.
While out and about we went to a few stores and restaurants, I typed into my phone, then held my phone out so the clerk was forced to read it: “Hi, I’m trying not to use my voice today! SO…I’d like to order the beet salad, no cheese!” This method worked like a charm!
I know how to protect my voice and I recognize when to plug my phone in because it reads “low battery.” Whereas people don’t come with a low battery warning nor can we always discern from the outside the condition of a person’s heart. So we must handle with care.
I haven’t really felt up to my normal walking each day but I decorated my tree already. Don’t judge! It’s when I had the help of my husband and while I was house bound. As I unwrapped the ornaments and carefully placed them on the Christmas tree, I thought, Christmas is just around the corner. WOW! Another year coming to a close.
I do love Christmas time and I really love my tree because I like to sit up in the loft area with the tree lights on and sip on a cup of tea. I had a photo taken by my tree last year. A sweet friend and beautiful young photographer took it. I visited with her in my loft and we hung out. She had come straight from a photo shoot of a family in our neighborhood.
Anyway, as we caught up on life, her face altered a moment, she stopped her comments and the conversation abruptly, “Hang on a second, I’ll be right back, you just hold still.” She then stood up. “Stay exactly the way you are! I want to grab my camera out of my bag on your kitchen counter.” She was back in a JIFFY! She lovingly instructed, “Just tell me a bit more about what your day was like, I’m listening. Keep talking!”
She snapped a few photos and this is one of my favorites, not because it’s great of me. I mean, it’s okay, but because of the Christmas memory of tea time with a friend that is attached to it. I was listening to her and she was listening to me, until she bolted out of the room, of course. It was a treasured time together.
Do you have people in your lives that look at their phone when you are talking to them or look past you instead of giving you eye contact? It’s like they’re on the look out for someone else instead of being present? This Christmas tree and tea moment wasn’t at all like that, completely the opposite I assure you. She handled me with care. I hope I handled her with care too.
I love to sit beside the tree. Today as I sit here a great sadness wanted to sneak up and grab me. I don’t know whether it’s the sickness, being worn out, missing loved ones or what? Maybe its all of the above, the good ole’ SUPER-SIZED combo!
But I’ve been praying for those whom the Christmas season can be rough. I reached down and located some promise cards with verses on them. I like to steep myself in the word of God the way a tea bag steeps in hot water. Let me share a few promises with you from those which settled my ruffled heart today:
- God will fight for you:
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. Isaiah 64:4
- God will give you strength:
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:28-29
- God is slow to anger:
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
- God is faithful to all His promises:
What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. Isaiah 46:11b
- God will not withhold any good thing:
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11
I hope these few promises help you.
Just one more piece of my heart to share here. It is unsolicited advice. Be kind. In this holiday season it seems natural and even common advice, but I mean it. Just be kind.
Understand that some may be hurting in ways that you can’t perceive from the outside. Remember you can’t see the low battery warning across anyone’s forehead nor are you able to carry the right stethoscope to hear the ache within their heart.
But the Spirit can help you with this so choose to be kind and be aware of others. Who knows, perhaps you’ll be able to encourage someone with one of the promises of God listed above. My prayer for you and for those around you this season is that you will experience the God who increases the power of the weak.
Even if you/they seem down… you/they are NOT OUT! But remember, Handle with care!