Morning Moments

with Sandra Bivens Smith


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Christmas Day Reflections

Christmas Day.

That day of the year when all the excitement, anticipation, and expectation of the recent weeks comes to fruition.

Families and friends will gather.  Songs will be sung.  Stories will be told.  Gifts will be exchanged.  Meals will be shared.  Common family traditions, held each Christmas season to honor of the memories of Christmases past and to hold on to the hope of those that are to come.

Friends and family have left to go back to their homes and their own celebrations. With the last good-bye the voices and laughter are gone, replaced by an unwelcomed quiet.

The beautiful bows and wrappings lie crumpled on the floor.  The sink is piled with dishes.  Only a couple glasses and some used napkins remain on the table as a reminder of the meal that was lovingly prepared and excitedly enjoyed.  The Lady makes her way back to the kitchen, to the pots and pans waiting there for her.  She will stand at her sink and wash each one; almost with the same love as when she filled them with the makings of the meal she prepared just hours earlier.  And, as she does so, she reflects and remembers other years, other Christmas meals.  There are some tears but mostly smiles. More likely than not, a chuckle or two as she recalls a funny word or the antics of a child.

With the last pot scrubbed and put away and the dish towels hung to dry, she will look around, hoping to spot something more to do; not yet ready for her hands or her mind to be idle.  She is not ready for the total silence she knows is waiting for her – not yet.  Just as with the shopping, decorating, gift-wrapping and all the planning, this is part of her own Christmas Tradition.  It is a tradition handed down from her mother and her mother before her.  More than any of the traditions, this is the one most difficult to let go of, because it is the one that bonds her to her cherished memories of Christmases past.

But, as with all days, this one too must finally be allowed to end.  The Lady takes the stairs toward the world of sleep.  With her head resting on the pillow, she realizes, with some surprise, just how tired she is.  A few more moments of reflection lead her to offer up a prayer of praise and gratitude for her many blessings and a petition for her loved ones; especially those far away or for some other reason were missing from the celebration.

At last, though somewhat reluctantly, she gives in to the quiet and allows the sleep to come.  As her mind drifts into it’s slumber, one final thought remains – “will there be another”?

Merry Christmas 2018

Sandra


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Advent Study

PREPARING FOR ADVENT

For those of you who are in the Charlotte area: Heart2Heart Ministry is offering the Max Lucado Advent study “BECAUSE OF BETHLEHEM”.  The study is open to all women. See registration information below.

“No one expected God to come to this earth the way He did.  The One who made everything made Himself nothing.  He experienced hunger and thirst.  He went through the normal stages of human development.  He was taught to walk, stand and wash his face.  He was genuinely human.”

In the midst of your hectic Christmas season, Max Lucado urges you to remember these truths and to rekindle your connection to the Christ of Christmas.  To lay down your Christmas to do list and receive what Jesus has already done.  And to heal your heartache by embracing the God who is always near you, always for you, and always in you.

Because Of Bethlehem is a four session study designed to help us prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Study Group meets each Wednesday

Calvary Baptist Church – Fellowship Hall

10301 Harwood Ln, Charlotte, NC 28214

10:30 AM until Noon

CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE REGISTRATION FORM 

Heart2Heart Ministry is not a ministry of Calvary Baptist Church.   Our thanks to Calvary Baptist Church for making facilities available to us for this study.

November 28  Session 1:  God Has a Face
December 5     Session 2:  Worship Works Wonders
December 12   Session 3:  God Guides the Wise
December 19   Session 4:  Every Heart a Manger


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The Sparrow

This is not my typical post.  As a matter of fact, I debated whether to post it at all.  However, after much thought, I decided it was too good not to share.  It is my hope that my story brings a smile to your day.

There was quite a bit of excitement in the Smith house last night.  Somewhere around 8:00 PM our animals began going crazier (more so than usual).  Nala the cat was sitting by the dinning room window staring.  Maggie our Lharkie was walking around the house with her tail down in what is normally her “storm panic” mode.  And Bethoven, our Shih Tzu, well he was just being Tovey, we never know what he’s thinking!

I was in the kitchen and as I looked up I saw a dark blob of something on the dinning room blind.  At first glance I thought it was a giant moth.  (Let me pause here to tell you that hubby and I had just finished watching a Stephen King movie).  Anyway, I turned the light on and realized it was not a moth but what I thought was a bat!  At this point, I’m with Maggie, its time to panic!  Time to call in the troops – that would be my husband Avon.  Our conversation went something like this:

Me:  (calmly) “Honey, would you come here a minute?”

Him:  “Why, what do you need?”

Me:  (not so calmly) “Please, just come here!”

He comes into the kitchen and I show him the creature that has invaded our home.  He, being the brave one in our family, goes to take a closer look.  I continue to panic and I insist that he put on some gloves (I’m remembering the man who was bitten by a rat in the Stephen King movie).  Turns out it is not a bat or even a moth, it is a bird which has somehow found it’s way into our dinning room.

So now, what are we going to do?  We don’t want to hurt the thing, we just want it out.  We don’t have a net to catch it in but we can’t just let it stay.  We open the door, expecting the thing will just fly away – but no, doesn’t work that way.  Not to worry, my ever resourceful hubby has a plan.  He goes into his garage and comes back with an aluminum rod of some kind with a Wally-world bag tied to the end; we’re going to catch and release this poor bird.

The chase begins.  We sneak up on him with the bag, he flies to the living room; cat chases.  Again, hubby approaches with bag-on-a-pole in hand; bird flies, right past the open door and back to the dining room.  This time he perches on the light fixture, surely we can capture him there.  Not.  Back and forth – dinning room to living room, living room to kitchen, kitchen to …. you get the picture.  Nala the cat is getting more and more excited.  Maggie the Lharkie is getting more and more panicked.  Bethoven, he’s still just being Tovey, seemingly oblivious to it all.  And me?  This chase has been going on for well over thirty minutes so I’m getting concerned that either my husband, or that poor bird, or both, are going to fall out and then what will I do?

And so I prayed.  “Lord, Your word tells us that your eye is on the sparrow.  Please get this little sparrow out of my house”.  And then, just like that, it happened.  That little bird made one more round and then straight out the open door.

Was it my prayer that made him leave?  All I can say is this.  I don’t believe in coincidence.  I do believe in God.  I do believe in prayer.  I do believe in God’s word.  So, why shouldn’t I believe He answered my prayer?  The little birds feathers were all ruffled and I’m sure he was exhausted and afraid.  As he flew away I whispered another prayer “Lord, take care of your creature, he’s been through so much.”  I believe the Lord heard that prayer as well.

I joyfully leave you with this:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

Postscript:  At the time, the whole situation seemed quite serious but in hindsight, as I replay it all in my mind, it was really very comical.  Those heavy work gloves.  That plastic bag on the end of a pole.  Two old folks running around the house from room to room chasing a bird.  My greatest regret is that I didn’t think to get it all on video!

Until next time,

Sandra