Archives for posts with tag: scripture

Wreath InsideChristmas is wonderful, exciting and sacred — and emotional, stressful and draining.

May I offer something that I hope will help?

A few years ago I put together a tiny little devotional that’s designed to be read just before Christmas, when it seems everything is crashing in. And I’d like you and your friends to have it.

Please print as many copies as you’d like. Share it with anyone who could use a little encouragement or a brief moment of peace.

This is designed to be printed (double sided) on two standard pieces of copy paper. Just fold in the middle. Simple.

If you have trouble downloading this, just email me and I’ll send the file.

I pray you’ll enjoy the gift and that it will help you welcome this holy season.

Blessings,

Marketta

See that little spot in the lower left of this page that asks for your email? I’d love it if you’d add yours there, and I’ll send you an email each time I post something new here. Then, just click here to download the devotional: 2012Christmas devotional

IMG_9027IMG_9014For almost two years I talked to the boys about the Great Salt Plains in Oklahoma — how we would leave the trees and hills of Tulsa and trade them for the red dirt and flat, fertile plains to the west.

I described to them how you can watch a thunder storm careen across the sky for miles without buildings and lights spoiling the view and how, when we got to the salt plains, we would see the white stretch out all the way to the horizon.

Still, when the dirt road ended and we passed through the gate, they weren’t sure what to make if all that salt. It was overwhelming.

We brought out our borrowed shovel and began to dig shallow holes. We poured water down the sides and caught glimpses of sparkling crystals. The boys filled one plastic cup with treasures and started on another while I looked at their smudged faces and their shoes caked with mud and salt. Our tires were white. The knees of Jessie’s black jeans were white.

Everything was white because there was an abundance of salt. Not a salt shaker full, acres and acres full.
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The Christian scriptures tell us that people of faith are to be light and salt in this world, and in all these years that I’ve been reading that verse, I’ve pictured salt on my dinner table. I’ve thought about salt’s importance in preserving and seasoning, but I’ve visualized it as small and scarce. I forgot that it fills oceans and seas and mines — even a portion of the plains in my home state.

I forgot that there is plenty of salt for purity, for sharing the flavor of compassion and grace. If we want, the salt that was once used to bind people in an unbreakable covenant of friendship could overflow on our tables and in our lives.

And the light that shines in darkness? The symbol of God’s love and hope? It’s plentiful, too, year after year after year.

That changes things for me. It shifts my thinking and my fears.

Unlimited love. Hope. Purity. Healing. Grace.

And suddenly, like the boys, I’m overwhelmed.

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And… the winners are…

  • Tammy Riedl
  • Tanya Herrold
  • Laurie Salko
  • Julie Hartley

Congratulations everyone! I forgot to have you tell me if you wanted pink or blue, so slip me a note please.

 

Christmas is wonderful, exciting and sacred — and emotional, stressful and draining.

May I offer something that I hope will help?

I’ve put together a tiny little devotional that’s designed to be read just before Christmas, when it seems everything is crashing in. And I’d like you and your friends to have it.

Please print as many copies as you’d like. Share it with anyone who could use a little encouragement or a brief moment of peace.

This is designed to be printed (double sided) on two standard pieces of copy paper. Just fold in the middle. Simple.

If you have trouble downloading this, just email me and I’ll send the file.

I pray you’ll enjoy the gift and this holy season.

Blessings,

Marketta

Download here: 2012Christmas devotional

It’s not often that I knowingly cross paths with people who have run multiple marathons. I’m not a runner myself, or even an occasional jogger, so it was just by chance that I was introduced recently to a man who had run 19 marathons.

I’ve always figured that casual runners respected the endurance of those who run marathons the same way I look up to gifted poets. And I figured that anyone passionate enough to complete multiple marathons would be the kind of person who insisted on keeping in shape, always training for the next big race. But this man wasn’t. In fact, when I met him, he was talking about the need to begin training again and while he talked, he patted his stomach.

It would take a little while, he said, to get going again. Odd, I thought. With all those races and all that experience behind him, he would still have to start at the beginning. He would still need to prepare.

Unfortunately, I think I’m in the same place spiritually. I’ve been doing my best to serve God for many years. In fact, by some people’s standards, I’m even considered experienced because I’ve run some faithful races. I’ve relied on God for some heavy stuff. Like being the first in my family to navigate going to college. Like moving by myself across the country. Like enduring painful loss.

All that praying and scripture reading I did years ago, when I was really training, carried me through those early races. But now I’m in the marathon of marriage and motherhood, of trying to become a mature woman of God – and I feel just  like my new friend, the runner. I need a little while to get going again, a little time to prepare and build my endurance.

It’s time for me to stop taking short cuts and commit to doing the work I know I need to do. I know the things that feed my soul.

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