Stalking behind the hope of each New Year can be haunted past hurts, griefs and disappointments from the year behind us. Continue reading “The Sinking Sand Mystery”
Every year, the week after Thanksgiving, I start the same routine. Although there’s no need, it’s marked it on my calendar.
This year was different. You know, life happens. Destruction, mayhem, chaos. Call it whatever you wish, the result was the same; I didn’t put up the Christmas tree.
A week crept by and still no glorious, festive, glowing fake tree in the corner. No angel forever frozen in mid “Gloria” peering down on our bright faces. I decided it might not be worth the trouble this year.
Until the next morning.
I awoke to find my son had moved all the furniture in our living room. It takes rearranging to create my joyful holiday concept each year. His attempt to persuade almost moved me.
A few days later, I awoke again. (Yay!) On this day, I rose to find our tree, and all needed Christmas adornment had appeared upstairs, placed in front of the fireplace. They sat waiting for me to get to work. It was a mystery! (Not really)
He was determined.
It got me thinking, “Just who started this Christmas tree thing, anyway?” So, I researched and learned a few things:
- The origin of the Christmas tree began in Germany in the 16th century. Christians from Northern Germany performed mystery plays that featured an evergreen tree called a “paradise tree” decorated with apples. They plucked one apple, depicting Adam and Eve.
- Puritans celebrated Christmas with mass, but having decorations could be punishable by death. (That’s a game changer!)
- Many American colonists saw the Christmas tree as a pagan symbol.
- If you B-R-O-A-D-E-N your thinking, you could say a Christmas tree helped George Washington and the Continental Army defeat the German Hessians (who fought for the British) in 1776. Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River into Trenton, NJ on December 24-25. While the Hessians celebrated Christmas with eating and drinking, singing and decorating trees, they made themselves an easy target for Washington’s surprise attack.
- It wouldn’t be until the 1830s that Americans first displayed Christmas trees in the United States although German settlers had displayed Christmas trees since the 1700s.
- Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, gets credit for being the first to put candles on Christmas trees.
Having a Christmas tree is more modern than earlier pagan use of evergreen. Don’t confuse the use of Christmas trees with the pagan use of evergreens for decorations, or the Egyptians and Romans use in Winter Solstice celebrations.
Christmas trees have come a long way from their origin in mystery plays to the prominence they enjoy today. Still, I don’t know… to tree, or not to tree?
So did I, or didn’t I?
I’m a mom…of course I did!
Sometimes life falls apart. Completely. Falls. Apart.
Real life can come hard and fast. It becomes difficult to keep up with change, stress and loss—the shock as things pile one on top of the other.
Then comes that one thing that makes life stop. Literally stop. It’s earth shattering, heartbreaking. All the things that were important become nothing. Everything becomes nothing.
Raging fire surrounds. We can’t move forward or backward. We’re just plain stuck. What do we do when we’re stranded?
Go back to the basics.
1. Get into God’s Word
It may have been awhile, but dust it off, crack it open and get into that old Bible that’s been up on the shelf.
My pastor calls God’s word “the only change agent on the planet”. Within its pages, God has given us the words we need for healing, for strength, for empowerment. He gives us direction and hope in every situation.
“This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.”
~Psalms 119: 50
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
~Psalm 119: 105
2. Let The Music Play
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” ~Victor Hugo
Turn off that television! Yes, I know it helps shut down the mind and keeps depressing thoughts at bay. But instead of mindless drivel, let’s fill our hearts and minds with music—worship music.
Let the Holy Spirit invade with His presence. Worship and God will take us to that place where we can find Him. Where God will touch us and our situation. God will energize us and our thoughts. As His Holy Spirit covers us, here is where we find hope. Here is where our faith will grow. In this place chains are broken.
“And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.”
~1 Samuel 16: 23
3. Find our tribe
Reach out. We must find our people and let them help! God has embedded these people into our lives for a reason. They will hold us up when we can’t hold ourselves.
I’m a loner, so this one was a challenge for me. But I did it, and you know what? My tribe was there, and they WANTED to help me. To love on me and pray for me and with me.
Our people. FIND OUR PEOPLE!
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”
~ Galatians 6: 2
I put this last on the list for sheer emphasis. These gut retching, heartbreaking, life-altering things will slap us silly and knock us face down on the floor. These situations drive us to our knees. Perhaps that’s what they’re meant to do.
Like it or not, these are the situations we have no control over. We can’t pick them up like a puppy chewing on the furniture and say, “No! Bad boy!” then give them something else to play with. We can’t change things that easy, this isn’t kid stuff.
Our only remedy is prayer. The old saying is still true to this day, prayer changes things.
When we fall to our knees in prayer over a situation, we enter the arena of battle. We are now on the front line. What we cannot do in the physical, God can and will do in the spiritual. As followers of Christ, we know this is where every battle is won.
We must become prayer warriors. It will be on this battlefield that strongholds are broken and walls fall. So get down into that trench solider and PRAY!
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”
~2 Corinthians 10: 4
Life can break us. Those we love the most can wound us. Get back to the basics. God is there, and He is our way out.
Dreams are silly, wonderful, surreal things, aren’t they? Dreams wrap us in meadows of bubblegum flowers beside streams flowing with chocolate. They put us into intergalactic transports or walking with giants. Maybe the guy from the vegetable market will join the family for Christmas dinner, where your mom and sister-in-law are wearing hats after arriving home from the royal wedding. We wake from horror-filled nightmares with bloodcurdling screams.
Or, maybe we kick our husband. (Sorry babe, my dream made me do it!)
At one time, tornadoes awaited me beyond the border of my REM stage every night. If you put stock in dream analysis, tornadoes mean what you expect: havoc, self-destruction, turmoil and danger. It was a difficult time in my life.
Once after taking melatonin, I had such an intense realistic dream; I went days with the feeling my close friends had robbed a bank and were in prison. It was so real I reminded myself it was only a dream throughout the week. I’ve never taken melatonin again.
Everyone has off-the-wall dreams. We wake asking, “Where did that come from?”
Sometimes dreams are subconscious longings that bring moments of joy we carry in our hearts throughout the day, and perhaps longer.
I recently had such a dream. A friend of mine called it a God hug. Perfect! A God hug. A dream about my Ty Beau.
Ty Beau was an exquisite seven pound Pomeranian. Ty was my heart-dog. He was handsome, intelligent and behaved. We were a team, competing together in Rally Obedience competitions. He was top notch—regal some have said.
I lost my Ty Beau on February 6, 2015, when he was five years old to complications stemming from an autoimmune disease—IMHA. (See previous post: https://cozyintrigue.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/the-mystery-of-the-killer-letters/)
Ty was a great hugger. I know, I know—he was a dog, dogs don’t hug. But I stand by my statement, he was a GREAT hugger. There aren’t enough words for how much I loved my little man’s hugs. I miss him, and his hugs, every day.
I can’t recall much about the dream. Ty was back with us, and he was playing chase with his sister again. I felt such happiness. Such contentment.
I remember with vivid clarity that in the moment of my waking from the dream I was hugging my Ty Beau. I felt the hug. I felt joy. I’ve dreamed about Ty many times since he passed, but I always felt sadness and pain when I awoke.
This dream left me with happiness. For the first time after a dream about Ty, I awoke with a smile on my face. How I miss my little man.
A God hug. Yes, please!
Have you ever had such a realistic dream?
Sometimes God will use the unusual to remind us to pray for those we don’t know, like the kids in our neighborhood and the family down the street.
It happened a few years ago at the house down the street. You know the one. The creepy one. No one knew for sure what was going on inside that house. Continue reading “Stan…By Me”
It’s a well known fact that dogs are the best, smartest, best – oops, I already said best – greatest animals on the planet. (FYI -it won’t do you any good to argue this point with me)
Dogs are so awesome they can even solve crimes! K9 units play a vital role along side law enforcement in the investigation of criminal activity. Continue reading “Who Put The Dog In My Cozy?”
Let’s face it, life is hard. Stress is one of those “certain” things we just can’t avoid. From the moment the alarm goes off in the morning until we crawl back into bed, stress happens. Count on it. Continue reading “Chocolate, Stress, and a Cozy Mystery”