Celebrating Christmas in Virginia with My Grandparents
Discombobulated. That is how I am feeling. Not thinking straight. Going through the motions. No clear thoughts. No coherency. Tired.
I returned home from Houston on Saturday night after a mountaintop experience with my Siestas and Beth Moore. Being challenged and encouraged. Meeting with wonderful women. Creating memories. Drawing closer to the Lord. And tired. I never sleep well if I am not in my own bed. But it was such an exciting time... and I knew I would catch up on sleep when I returned home.
Sunday I woke up pretty much bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Went to Sunday School and then to church service where our pastor challenged us to go on a 5-day fast of media. Including social media. Including Facebook. Including Twitter. My heart sunk. Having just been totally on Facebook and Twitter to communicate with my Siestas, I knew I would miss out on all the after event discussion and photos. AND I thought that what I post to Facebook and Twitter is glorifying to God, and He uses me as a vessel to others. Surely, I would not go along with this... I would fast the Internet except for e-mail and definitely TV, but not Facebook.
Throughout Sunday, I saw many of my church family sign-off of Facebook. And then, my senior pastor's wife. "Lord," I said, "surely, you would not want me to fast Facebook. You use me to speak to others through your promptings to post Bible verses and encouragement. You use me to speak to them." And then I felt a prompting... With you out of the way, Sheri, I can speak to them directly. And I closed my laptop and conceded.
Monday was quite an adjustment to not being on Facebook, but you can do anything for one day, right? But I did find myself substituting other things for Facebook. Perhaps work-arounds. Definitely using texting and e-mailing more. And finding some printed out Killer Sudoku puzzles to distract me. Of course, the intent was to be praying more and being in the Word of God more, so I had to continue to adjust. And although my brain wanted me to feel like I was being deprived... I knew ultimately, I was going to be the beneficiary of treasured time carved out in setting aside this time to focus on this new experience with the Lord. It helped that I had recently studied Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst because she had taught on feeling deprived and on cravings and it was so applicable to areas other than food.
But then Monday afternoon came. And through my mom's tears I was told that her father had passed away earlier that day. We had known he had not been feeling well. Going in and out of the hospital without diagnosis. Anthony and I knew that we needed to set aside time to see him at Christmas when we returned to Maryland. And so we did. And to our surprise my cousins showed up and we had a real blessed time of fellowship with one another.
It is at times like these when your mind is flooded with memories. Especially of childhood. To remember what moments you shared together and to realize that I am not a child anymore and that time is moving quickly. And I am so glad for good memories. For photos. For stories. And I feel like yesterday was one of those days that kind of defines your life. Like the end of one chapter. The beginning of another.
Anthony and I wondered if my grandfather knew that each moment was special. He was so very grateful to see us at Christmas. And he was recalling a time that I made a recipe book of some of his favorite foods. (He had been born in New Orleans, Louisiana and was truly a chef extraordinaire.) It blessed me to know that I had blessed him.
And tomorrow I hop a plane to Virginia to visit, again, with my family. But this time, he won't be there... but we will celebrate him as if he was right there with us.
So, all this to say... of course, my mind has thought about jumping back on Facebook. No one would think less of me. It is a difficult time and I could connect with family members and it would be a good distraction, right? But in my heart and mind, I wondered if there was a reason that this would be the week that I would be fasting and praying. Pressing closer into the Lord. And how I need Him even more right now... more than I need distraction... I need Him.
You know, Monday was also the Chinese New Year. The precious gal that I visit for my mani/pedi is Vietnamese and her husband is Chinese. I like to go in on Chinese New Year to bless her and she gives me a red envelope as is tradition. This year, I decided to bless her with a word from the Lord.
The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Number 6:24-26 NIV84
So glad I had these verses on my heart before I heard the news about my grandfather. They brought comfort to my heart. Praying they do the same for you today.
God bless you today and always.