Archive | December 2010

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready?

“Are you ready for Christmas?”
Her words caught me off guard
Since I hadn’t baked a cookie
Or penned a single card.

No presents had been wrapped
And laid beneath my tree.
No stockings had been hung
To be filled with toys and treats.

“Are you ready for Christmas?”
Did she mean Christmas Day?”
I hadn’t even thought that far
So what was I to say?

My kids now live in other sates
And won’t be coming home.
So how was I to tell her,
“No I’m not. I’m all alone.”

“Are you ready for Christmas?”
The words pierced like a dart.
So as I sat there waiting.
I cried, “Lord, where is my heart?”

It was then I saw a stable
And the cross of Calvary.
And a body that was broken
And the blood that set me free.

“Are you ready for Christmas?”
I felt the answer rise
As I lifted both my head and heart
And looked into her eyes.

Am I ready for Christmas?
Well, let me tell you, Mam.
If you mean it’s true meaning,
Then yes-Oh yes, I am!

Are you ready for Christmas?
Christ has loved you from the start.
If you haven’t let Him in
It’s time to open up your heart.

For the Savior long ago
Who upon the straw did lay
Is standing now before you
To wash your sins away.

Are you ready for Christmas?
and I don’t mean wreaths and trees.
But the present of His Presence
That has come to set you free!

May you have a beautiful, blessed CHRISTmas!

Jeannie Boatright

Walls

Sorry, I haven’t written in so long, but a few months back God closed me in and drew me closer to His heart in order to take me through some more healing from my past. It was as if He threw up walls around me and said, “My daughter, we are going to stay right here so I can show you a few things.” And in that place, surrounded by His fortress of love, another layer of my walls of self-protection began to crumble.”

I distinctly remember the day I learned to construct my walls. I was sitting in fourth grade math class listening to a conversation about some poor choices some of my classmates were making, and the fear of doing likewise engulfed me. After all, ” What choices was I going to make? “And… if I chose right, how could I stand in the midst of temptation?”

Unfortunately, as I pondered these and other questions, my warped view of God as an unloving God of judgement only complicated the matter, for not only did I began to view others as possible enemies, I was also terrified that I would be cast aside by the Almighty if, I too, “messed up”. And the weight of the whole terrible dilemma was just too much for my young mind to carry. So as I sat in my desk contemplating how to “stay good” and keep out ” the bad” I came up with a solution and began to build.

Of course, I was unaware of the actual tools and materials I was using at the time, but looking back, I realize that my trowel was pride, the bricks were self-righteousness and the mortar that held them together was judgement and fear. However, in my childish understanding my self-protective chamber spelled out only one word…S-A-F-E.

So after I fully envisioned my walls jutting up endlessly in all four directions I pulled out pencil and paper and wrote a poem describing my newest accomplishment and titled it “My Walls”. How is that for originality?

Anyway, I wish I could say that was the only self-protective masonry project I undertook, but since once you acquire a new skill it is often difficult not to use it, I became apt at exercising mine and continued to construct new layers of walls with every fear, hurt, betrayal, and disappointment that came my way, until eventually I was enclosed in a veritible fortress.

Now, it wasn’t that my desire to stay pure was wrong. It was just that my methodology was messed up, but isn’t that what happens when we have good intentions and wrong understanding? you see, I was so consumed by how I was going to protect “me” that I couldn’t even comprehend surrendering to and trusting the “He” in my life (God.) And as a self-centered focus often opens the door to the enemy, ironically, the very walls I built to protect myself ended up opening a dungeon of pain that I am still being healed of today.

Can anyone else relate or am I the only wall-builder?
I have learned that boundaries have gates that allow us to let the good in and keep out the bad. Even the God-restored walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah 2 had many gates. But instead of having gates, the self-protective walls I built only had a small sliver of a window which let in just enough light to allow me to observe what others were doing? That is why until God began to seriously hammer away at some of my walls in my late 30’s, I truly felt like I was a spectator in life instead of a player.

However, in the Lord’s grace, love and mercy, as He has continued to knock down my layers of walls, the more healing I have received and the more alive and whole I feel.

How about you? Do you feel like you are separated from humanity and just eking out an existence? If so, are you ready to let your walls down so Jesus can come in and bring you healing and wholeness.
I think this song by Tenth Avenue North that I heard recently says it all. I pray it will bless you as it has blessed me.

May the Lord bless you as you open your heart to His healing touch today… Jeannie