Monthly Archives

December 2015

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Another New Year

So here we are, another New Year’s Eve–a night full of parties, champagne and high hopes. A friend of mine recently expressed to me that New Year’s Eve was overrated–and in a sense I have to agree. We often approach a new year with extremely high expectations: this will be the year that I lose “this amount of pounds,” I will go to the gym everyday, I will do this or that. Then it is a week or two into the new year and all of a sudden you are beating yourself up because you have already broken your new year’s resolutions. We often build up a new year to a night that will change everything and in one day all will turn around–but then we wake up and nothing has changed (my friend’s expression). But maybe that is not what New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Resolutions should represent. It is not one magical, everything changes night but it is magical in a sense.

What if we reflected on what has changed for us in the past year; we looked at all the good and all the bad that has happened in our life and all that we have accomplished and overcome. Maybe it was the worst year of your life, but you are still here and still standing, maybe it has taken everything you’ve got to keep moving forward or to simply stand–but you  have and you’ve made it to this night. Look at the strength and see the hope that so much may have changed in the past year but if you are strong enough to get through this past year, you can keep moving forward. Look for the hope and know that in a year from now everything will be different. Maybe it was the best year of your life–look at that and be thankful, see how you have grown and how you have succeeded, reflect on that and celebrate it. Or maybe, like me, your year was bittersweet–a year in my life that can only be marked by the number 2015, a year that was full special and I will always look at with fondness. I have a hard time calling it the best year yet, simply because I have been so lucky to have had some amazing years. But maybe, just maybe, 2015 was my best year yet–it was an incredible year, one that has taught me so much about life, love and God.

2015 is a year that has been marked by ups and downs, fear and anxiety, joy and love, heartache and healing, courage and leaps of faith. This is the year that I was accepted into the master’s program I am currently in (I cried like a baby when I got my acceptance), where a dream became a reality and I stepped into something I never dreamed I would stumble upon, I got my heart broken but opened my heart up to the healing power of God’s love, I graduated from college, learned to love myself and moved myself abroad. This is a year that I will always look at with fondness, and maybe it has been the best year of my life, so far. But it has been one of the most difficult years of my life. All the struggles and triumphs, fears and acts of courage, loss and love have created a beautiful masterpiece in this crazy thing called life. So tonight as I count down the final seconds of 2015 I will look back on all that I have endured and accomplished, all that I have become and I will look forward to knowing that I am entering 2016 a little bit stronger, a little bit more faithful and a little bit more loving.

I hope that you do the same, I hope that you see the year that we are leaving behind and give yourself credit for all the growth that has occurred there. I hope you turn your eyes towards the future and see that in just a year everything will change and even if you don’t see it at first–you will be different. So no, things will most likely not change in one night, but I can say with confidence that this new year does offer us magic; magic that comes from this crazy thing called change. So lets take this year by storm, one night may not change anything but that the next 365 days will change everything.

So here is to another year, may it be one full of life, love and laughter. May we take risks, step out in faith and love with all our hearts. May we trust God and all that he calls us to do and to be.

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, may it follow you into the new year. Peace, Joy, Love and Blessings–Margaret.

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Light of the World

I feel as if I haven’t written something in a long time. The past few weeks I have felt a heaviness hang over my heart and head, there were moments of beauty and intense reassurance but bit by bit the darkness seemed to be seeping in. Seeping into my heart and soul through the vulnerable little crevices that I have left unattended. The crevices that are open because of my insecurities and my fear of inadequacy. I know, I know I worked on that this summer–but that does not change the fact that those same fears come to haunt me. It took some time to really recognize the fear that was taking ahold of my heart and gripping it so tight that I could feel the thick darkness spreading around. But yesterday, I sat down and journaled. I let it out and I really realized where the fear was coming from and where the crevices were cracked that allowed the darkness to creep in, and I took it to God. We talked about the insecurities I have been facing.

It has been a difficult month, one where I have had to face this fear and have been lugging around this darkness–like a cartoon character that has a rainy cloud overhead. I have had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit and celebrating the fact that in only two weeks we will be celebrating the birth of our Savior. I have been trying to figure out how to write something and see the connection between the reality I have currently been living and the connection to the renewed hope that the season of Advent should bring. But tonight as I was journaling I wrote down the word “light,” darkness’ opposing force–and I found my connection.

A couple of weeks ago, I think around the time of my last post, I kept seeing a reoccurring word, “light,” and I wrote down and marked off this word from many different passages in the Bible. Tonight I went back to those journal entries and I saw those passages and I realized I found my connection. This advent season for me has been marked by too much darkness but there in the midst of that darkness there shone a glow from a light, a light that will never go out. Because Jesus is the light of the world.

John 8:12

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'”

Can you see it? Jesus being born to Mary and Joseph in the stable and suddenly the world seems a bit brighter. That little baby is the light of the world–and whoever follows that light, will never be in the darkness. The darkness will never win, it may seem like the darkness is smothering the light but–the light will not win.

“This little light of mine, i’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I;m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. I’m gonna take this light around the world and I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. I won’t let anyone blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

I am sure most of you can remember a time when you sang this song. And when I think about the concept of light and the little light that burns within me I am reminded of this childhood tune. No matter how dark this world may seem, no matter the evil that looms and no matter the fear that lurks behind me–I am not going to let anyone or anything blow out my light–and neither is the person who put it there. And maybe that little light within us is the Holy Spirit, the one who reminds us that we are with God and nothing–not even the darkness and the fear can separate us from God.

If you read Micah 3, entitled ‘Wicked Rulers and Prophets,’ this chapter is about the wicked rulers and prophets and there is a distinct section (verses 5-7) which talks of the darkness that will fall upon them. [“Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without revelation. The sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them…”] But in verse 8, we see the light.

Micah 3:8

“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the spirit of the Lord, with justice and might, to declare to Jacob and his transgression and to Israel his sin.” {Footnote: “Micah becomes a sign of hope for the poor and oppressed” Harper Collins Study Bible}

The Holy Spirit within us, is a light that no darkness can overcome. “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” Be a sign of hope. Spread the news, the light of the world has come–and in this season of Advent, we are celebrating his coming with the knowledge that he will come again.

1 Peter 2:9

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

I think one of my favorite images of God is the image of God as light. Because I think it is easy to imagine the darkness of storm clouds, heavy with the threat of a a furious storm and rain and then a little break in the clouds–a sunbeam or maybe a rainbow. Just a little bit of light amongst the darkness. Dark storm clouds can cross our paths, they can linger and they can produce a storm–look for the light, maybe it isn’t on the horizon–who knows maybe its that little light within you. But know that you are not alone and that God is guiding you and with you–even through the storms that seem never ending.

Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Listen for God’s word and know that he is the lamp–lighting your path.

So for me in this season of Advent, as I emerge from a period of darkness, the birth of my Savior represents the coming of the light of the world. The light that will strip away the darkness’ power.

John 8:12

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'”

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. May you see the light despite the darkness and know that the baby, whose birth we celebrate in two weeks is coming to bring permanent light. A light that no amount of darkness can blow out. Marvelous light.