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Unspeakable Grace: Glory > Turkey

Good morning.
It's Monday and, in my world, it feels like one. A little one meaning well and trying to help with all the things delayed everything this morning. Before my day began, my agenda was changed. Isn't it funny how even when we don't think we are planning, we create little ideal scenarios, hours, days, and weeks for ourselves? We know how we want things to look and when reality deviates from that image, our hearts sink.
This is a big week, y'all. There is the pressure to get the turkey if you haven't already or it will never have time to thaw. Get the bathrooms sparkling, find your most slimming outfit, toss out those toys you've been meaning to toss, but be sure and do it while the tiny dictators have their backs turned! Maybe you are trying to prepare your heart for encounters with folks who just won't let you out of a box you outgrew years ago. Maybe you are dreading seeing that empty chair at the table or tired of seeing nothing but empty chairs at your table. 
Perhaps these are the most uphill, lonely weeks of the year for you. While everyone else is counting down until the big guy comes in his red suit and makes all things magical, you are just struggling to make it through the day and fighting the urge to try to figure out when things went so very off course. Or maybe you are thriving and itching to make your windows, your tree, and your sidewalk sparkle in celebration of the King that has given you everything.
Wherever we are this Monday morning, our hearts can find rest in the same place. Our King reigns above it all. He exchanged His throne for a filthy manger. He packed no luggage, put on no masks, and simply came - as humbly as He possibly could - because it was His Father's will for Him. He walked the road set before Him, finding solace, courage, and purpose in God's will alone. We can do that, sisters. Whether we can bear the thought of what our holidays have potential to look like or not, we can place our hope in our Father, and know He's never changing.
He does not expect us to fit in a box either. No way, sister. He can't stand to see us trapped. He calls us to walk, to be free as we have never been free before. No matter where our circumstances find us, the call is to come out and find life - abundant, gloriously free life - in Him.
He is not unaware of our hesitation. He's not unfamiliar with our fear. He hears our questions and our cries. Did you know that Jesus wept, too? In John 11, we find Him hurting and grieving alongside two sisters whose brother had died. He was deeply moved, but He did not see things as the sisters saw them. Where they saw death, He saw potential for a resurrection. In verse 39, he told them to take away the stone. Martha tried to get Jesus to see how dire and hopeless the circumstances really were, and yet He insisted.
"Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" 
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."
(Luke 11:39-44)
Remember my little boy who was freed from those clothes that were tripping him up last week? Remember how I encouraged you to not try to squeeze yourself back into your old clothes because they were familiar or comfortable either, but to find the courage to walk forth with courage in the freedom you are wearing today? Don't let anybody anywhere - even and especially yourself - impose expectations on you this week that make you forget that.
This week is all about counting blessings. You've been called out - to life, to love, to purpose. You've been called to follow Jesus as surely as Lazarus was. The more dire the situation, the more clearly you - and all who surround you - will be able to see the glory of God if you believe. There is no greater blessing than that.

Before your festivities begin, let your heart and your agenda be changed. Let Love reign this year. Learn to give thanks all over again. 
His Glory is better than turkey any day.
In Christ alone,
Emily


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