An Early Christmas Present

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Raining Cats and Dogs

Beauty, Gratitude

I love rain.

I sensed the air outside would greet me with cold winds as the outdoor temperature had chilled the steel doorknob by osmosis. As I swung the red, wooden frame wide open, the rugged door creaked with the sound of age, and the plastic curtains on the window screen rustled as it danced with the intruding draft.

The weather was unusually cold, probably not to the locals but only to the sun spoiled Californian. Standing there at the threshold, I contemplated my choice of attire having worn nothing fitting for warmth but a thinly gray sweater with flip-flops exposing my warm-blooded toes. Though insufficiently geared to walk the arctic corridors of the neighborhood streets, nevertheless, I dared let the puddles drown my feet.

I paused with veneration and absorbed the breadth of Mother Nature, immersed in her howling winds, showered in the songs of her tears, and gave homage of awestruck wonder to the Creator. It was as if the rain was as flowing garments from the very throne room of God. So I tread through the arts of God and man, the marvelous weather and the exquisite homes gracing the south side. The rain trickled the longing land and gently sprinkled my thirsty skin; and the air of redemption swept the atmosphere like thick clouds brushing a littered floor with its bristles of precipitation.

I feel fresh and clean.

The brisk walk in the rain is liken to that warm feeling of waking up to a crisp cold morning and fending off the iciness by snuggling up to a comfort blanket or fluffy-white pillow. The surrounding remains iced by the unforgiving cold while I lay content in the thawing bed. As I stroll through the rain, likewise, I fend off the wet with the shield of an umbrella. The earth around me gets drenched by the natural rainfall, and I witness it, feel it, though from a castle of safety, under the roof of the umbrella.

<deep sigh>

It is a delight every time.

Books for Free

Books

If you blog and you love to read, I would suggest checking out WaterBrook Multnomah’s new/revamped “Blogging for Books” website.  All you have to do is sign up for a free account, let them know who you are and what kinds of books interest you.  Then they give you a list of different books that you can choose to review.  They’ll send you your choice of book for free, and just ask that you blog about it.  For those of you who don’t blog you’re out of luck, since they require a blog address in order to set up the free account.  Be on the look out for a review of “Mere Churchianity” in the next month, as that’s my first pick.

Divinely Interrupted

Holy Spirit, Hospitality

Divinely Interrupted

As I made my way through the front door of my house, I glanced around at the familiar objects of my living room, and smiled.  Ahh, it was good to be home after a long morning of meetings, and I knew just what I needed to do to unwind–indulge in a little me time.  Excited by the prospect, I quickly gathered up my two dogs, and my favorite blanket and we snuggled into the couch for a much-deserved nap.  It wasn’t long till the harmonious melody of two French Bulldogs snoring lulled me contentedly to sleep.   We remained in this tranquil state for a blissful forty-five minutes.  Then, without warning, the peace was shattered by a forceful knock at the door.

I knew who it had to be.  Cringing slightly at the interruption, I threw back the blanket, pushed the dogs aside, and headed towards the door.  The second I opened the door, I was greeted by a blast of cold air to the face– a prompt reminder that fall was all-too-soon giving way to winter.  I was also greeted by the little voice of a lonely, bored six year old asking “can the dogs come out?”  With the wisdom of my years, I quickly informed my neighbor that it was too cold for the dogs to play outside today; my shivering male confirmed this fact.  But as I looked into the face of a dejected little girl who had just gotten her hopes dashed, the Holy Spirit gently nudged me.  Maybe this wasn’t an interruption after all.  Maybe it was an opportunity from God for me to spend some time showing a little girl from a single-parent home, that she is loved, and not an inconvenience.   Freshly convicted I quickly asked, “Why don’t you go ask your dad if you can help me bake some cookies instead?”  The former glow returned to her face in the form of a brilliant smile, and she dashed off to ask permission.

I barely had time to make sure I had the ingredients before she returned beaming.  We spent the rest of the afternoon making homemade chocolate-chip cookies.  While we baked, my little friend chatted incessantly as only a six year old girl can.  She informed me that she was a much better helper than my husband, and that she thought she’d like to be a chef when she grows up, because she’s good at making things.  As the cookies came out of the oven, we naturally had to sample a few.  My little friend smiled up at me with chocolate-stained lips, gave me a big hug, and said, “ You, and my dad, and my grandma make the best cookies.”  I gave her a plate-full of cookies to take home, and as the door closed behind her, I felt more refreshed than I had after my nap.  And I knew at that moment, she wasn’t the only one who needed a cookie-filled afternoon spent with good company.  Sometimes I forget that God sure knows how to use “interruptions.”  I am challenged to look for them in the future, and even welcome them as opportunities to bless others.