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Protect Your Merry!

Merry Christmas, Sweethearts! I know a photo of Serena may not be your thought of Christmas, but allow me to explain why it perfectly fits mine.

I had to protect my Merry yesterday (and for the last couple of weeks, for that matter.) I mean, I fiercely protected it like Serena Williams defending her side of the tennis court. A few people got clap-backs that they inadvertently signed up for. Rude shoppers, irresponsible drivers, and inconsiderate individuals/former friends in my circle could have sucked the happy right out of my bubble, but I swatted them like flies… and I have no remorse.

They didn’t know that I had to fight to gather my Merry.

I searched for its pieces while crawling through the barren forest of my spiritual winter. I scrounged. I foraged. I created little piles of joy around me, forming a 360-degree barrier between me and the world – me and the reality of my bank account, professional transition, and life changes. I replayed fond memories of my father instead of anticipating his absence on yet another holiday.  Four months later and I still patch the holes of my heart with thoughts of his smile to protect the cracks of my heart from the cold winds of grief. My piles of Merry were the only boundaries I had to keep the darkness from penetrating my oxygenated peace.

So, you had best believe, that I defended my happy with everything I had yesterday. To keep from crying sporadically in public places, I thought of his spirit dancing and I spoke to him.

“I love you.”
“I know.”
“I’m trying.”
“I miss you.”
“Thanks for everything.”

DP1745482_xmas_trees_Glass_OrnamentsTo keep from royally cussing someone clean out (as we say in the South), I retracted the sporty backhand that was perfectly poised under my tongue and said “Have a blessed day.” Friends that were jolly as long as I supported them have surprisingly fallen away like leaves from trees when reciprocity made sense. I stuffed a little happy there too so the wind couldn’t get in and make me bitter. I let the angels do their jobs. I summoned God the Father to comfort me and the Holy Spirit to keep aerating my Merry with reminders of Truth. I let a harvest of joy grow from seeds of gratefulness. As I stood in front of my heater, I thanked Him for warmth. As my feet hurt from working, I thanked Him for the opportunity. As I drove on lesser gas as I normally do, I thanked Him for my wheels. As I coughed and massaged my face from sinus pain, I thanked Him for life. When I ate leftovers, I thanked Him for provision. Upon receiving random messages from sweet friends, I released the expectation from hearing from certain ones and truly let the peace of God rule and wash the hurt away. These things fortified my Merry and I wasn’t letting anything rob me of it.

Maybe you’re like me. You’re holding onto your Merry with both hands and you’re trying to keep it alive in the midst of hardship, loss, or change. I pray that you protect it with everything you got – that you exhibit the grit needed to keep the light in your spirit on, that you regain the strength and courage to fight for your happy, fight for your joy, and fight for your right to live. Don’t be distracted by what you don’t have. Defend what you have and let God heal the cracks. Let the angels of protection do their jobs. Hold fiercely to the Truth that Jesus was born so you could live.

You are loved.
You are cared for.
You are the reason Christmas exists, and your Christmas is Merry because Merry is a state of mind.

I love you and Merry Christmas, Sweethearts! Peace & Thanks for listening!

Photo of Serena Williams courtesy of Tennis.com
Photo of Christmas tree ornaments courtesy of Lowes.com

Treasured & Protected

PhotoGrid_1461550413068Anything that is treasured must be protected.

Think about it.

The White House. Diamonds. Museum artifacts. It doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them. They are protected to prevent abuse and to preserve their value. Their boundaries reduce the risk of them being abused and destroyed.

The wooden heart pictured here is just as fragile as we are. We appear fortified and impenetrable on the outside, but the reality is all it takes is a little fire and water to warp our behavior toward a situation.

God’s Love protects us. We are His treasured beings. His Son’s blood was used to redeem us, and it is also designed to protect us. It shields us from all hurt, harm, and danger that we cannot see. Does that mean we will not hurt? No.

Even museum artifacts must be taken from their protective cases to be cleaned and preserved so they can last longer.

So it is with us. Our hedge of protection is made pliable for a moment to strengthen us through an experience. That seems unfair, but consider the following: God knows that if we are to truly learn, we must experience. If all it took was our Father to tell us everything, there would be less hardship and hardheadedness. We can’t be trusted to simply take heed because we usually don’t do so. The lasting impression needed for growth is experience. God knows that. Your parents and teachers knew that. Even your manager knows that; otherwise, why ask for a resume and references? Experience matters… and there’s no way around it.

Secondly, one could say that the heart is the most fragile thing. Why would we hide the Word there and not in our minds? Because we protect our hearts more than our minds. Just think of all the things you saw or heard that were impure today or this week. Our eyes and ears are inlets to the heart, but the heart is the inner sanctuary of the soul. It has its own guard… Peace.

Peace protects us from the contamination of life. It causes us to remain fortified when the world is crumbling.

Thirdly, there is peace in saying “yes” and “no.” There is peace in stillness and in a joyous moment with others. Peace is not easily broken, but it can be relieved of its duties if you give the orders. Where the mind rationalizes, the heart leads. If it doesn’t “feel” right in the heart, we move forward in the mind. Decisions are rescinded often because the heart doors not agree. God knows the heart is where it’s at! David screwed up so many times, but God cherished his repentance and praise because of his heart.

What does your heart treasure? What’s in it and why is it there?
Is it worth protecting? Is your Peace on duty?

Peace & Thanks for listening!

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