Snow is whipping powdery sugar gusts round the eaves of my little bungalow tonight. It’s frosting and frothing the frigid air, stirring up occasional white-outs. Turning the skies misty pearl.
But out in the center island across the way, our little gazebo string of jewels is still (unusually) glimmering brightly, merrily, cheerily through, as if tsk–tsk-ing any who would pack up Christmas on a certain date. I think I hear it singing out – hah!
From my own windows, I place winking candles for my neighbors. My ornament-less tree lights still twinkle, Greetings!
There is a friendly camaraderie with the world, the feel of festive joining of hearts, that shines in those lights somehow… makes us feel less alone, more a part of God’s design for brother and sister-hood…and I could wish them unending upon a year of eves…
“Ring! Ring in the new year with joyous heart!” is a thought winging through the snowy night and warming me with a fun and bloggy idea of keeping the lights glowing in different ways…
An invite I want to send you all… an RSVP I hope you’ll take me up on!
As I drew this one recently, it reminded me of a house in one of my favorite Christmas movies… “Holiday Inn” – the film that puts forth the premise of keeping holiday spirit alive throughout the year…
Fred Astaire: Open holiday’s only? Say, how many of them are there?
Bing Crosby: [excited] About 15. That gives me 350 days to kick around in!
THE FIRST ANNUAL 30-DAY
RING IN THE NEW YEAR
UN – HOLIDAY
BLESS AND BLOG PARTY
WHEN: BEGINNING JANUARY 14TH 2015 AND GOING THROUGH FEBRUARY 14TH 2015
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
FOR 30 DAYS, WHAT IF YOU AND I INVITED THE HOLY SPIRIT TO INSPIRE US WITH IDEAS ON LITTLE VALENTINE WAYS WE MIGHT BLESS A DIFFERENT PERSON EACH DAY?
THESE MIGHT BE LOVED ONES, NEIGHBORS AND ACQUAINTANCES, OR EVEN STRANGERS…
AND WHAT IF WE KEPT A PERSONAL JOURNAL OF THOSE VALENTINE BLESSINGS – SMALL WAYS OF SAYING “YOU ARE LOVED?” – AND RECORDING ANY THAT MAY COME BACK TO US FROM HIS HAND…
SOWING SEEDS… LIKE SPRINKLING FOR MAY FLOWERS…
CULTIVATING A BLESSING KIND OF HEART LIKE HIS?
Recently, I saw a dad interviewed on television, telling about his new book… Napkin Notes. In it, he shares his daily habit of writing inspiring and touching notes on his daughter’s lunch napkins. How he began this practice when he was diagnosed with a serious disease and wanted to leave a legacy of thoughts for his child… and all the blessings that have come swirling back to him from these tiny valentines…
Another day, I heard a writer sharing true stories of how our words make or break a child and who they will become. Stories like the one of the little boy who never volunteered in class because he considered himself too stupid… how one day when he felt his teacher standing behind him, he was shaking with the fear, Now she will see just how dumb I am! Instead, her whisper tickled his ear as she bent over him… “You are SO smart!” she avowed. “You are going to grow up and be a life-changer in this world!” From that day on, ideas of what greatness he might do and be led him on… The writer encouraged listeners to see every encounter with a child… even if just for a moment in time… as Divine appointment FOR BLESSING.
As I begin to ponder blessing ideas, the typical ones come to mind.
- Send someone an unexpected thinking of you note.
- Pass on a DVD to someone you know would enjoy it.
- Bake a small treat for a neighbor.
- Surround someone in prayer, or even send it.
- Allow somebody to go ahead of you in line…
But, I believe as we ask His leading, the Holy Spirit has tons more out of the box ideas He wants to whisper into and through us…
I’ve also been praying a lot about something that many of us are experiencing in this time of our lives...finding ways to manage sometimes overwhelming care for elderly with all the other responsibilities of family and work, perhaps our own health and financial situations, and with daily life. So weighty is this that we begin casting our own lives twenty, thirty years ahead, pressed with urgency of ways NOT to become burdens to others down the line.
Some of these thoughts are good – we need to think ahead.
But in other ways, I am wondering – Father, if we try to keep others from caring for us, are we unintentionally robbing them of some blessings you plan in their midst?
And I think I hear Him telling me…
Perhaps… the greatest “feebleness,” the true burden to those who might eventually care for us, is growing older in bitter, joyless spirit…
Lately, I am finding it so easy to slip into disgruntled. To let the minor turn into major. But also, there are so many days and times wrapping us darkly… when life is truly, seriously, hard. Loved ones lost and grieving hearts. Physical stuff that trails on and on with ongoing problems that wear the soul and body.
That’s why… more than any plans I might try to establish for years ahead… I want to strengthen my joy in the Lord.
And 30 days of Holy Spirit valentine thinking seems a great way to ring in this season of blessed to be a blessing, doesn’t it? 🙂
I don’t have techy-know how or ability to create those beautiful web buttons… I am not on Facebook to announce this. And I don’t have a linky tool here…
But I would love to enlist your help in this.
- Won’t you pass this on by talking it up in your own blog posts?
- Invite others on your Facebook to join us in this 30-days of New Year’s Valentine blessings?
- Leave me some of your blessing ideas in comments?
I look forward to seeing the fruit the Holy Spirit yields in our hearts and others!
P.S. I was just giving this idea to the Lord. It’s truly up to Him whether or not anyone joins in this… And then I debated whether to link this up at Jennifer’s Tell His Story. It isn’t really a story, I thought. But when I just hopped over to read her post today, my eyes widened even at the title, and more as I read… Beautiful sacred echoes about “fighting back with His joy…” as she tells the story of a couple who blessed another in the midst of their own deep concerns… I encourage you to read it here: http://jenniferdukeslee.com/tellhisstory-fight-back-with-joy/
Thank you, Lord, for Holy Spirit confirmations.
vintage bells –http://thegraphicsfairy.com
pen and ink inn – mine. Please do not copy without permission. 🙂