Caught Unaware

A beautiful bush in my back yard is blooming. Yes, it is December and this plant seems undeterred by the normal spring season. To be honest, I almost missed it. I was not looking for flowers in December.

This beautiful white flower in the middle of a leafless East Tennessee just keeps singing in my spirit.

“Are you seeing the unexpected?”

If I had been alert, if I had known, if I had been looking, I would have been expecting the arrival of this unusual plant called a camellia. A quick Google search revealed an October through April blooming season. Here it has been in my yard, but I didn’t take the time to research it. To understand. To expect it.


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One Last Gift Under the Tree

For the last two days I have been having a conversation about what to ask the Lord for, for Christmas. Better than Santa, I have learned that I can climb into my Father’s lap and He will be delighted to bless me with good things I ask for.

And then came the Spirit’s question, what was I giving God for Christmas? I am bustling around for others, but what was from me, for Them? Talk about hard to buy for!!

So in the wee hours this morning, I had an odd encounter with the Lord.  I was grumbling in my spirit for no real reason. And confessing, even as I was grumbling, that I wanted the Lord to soften my heart. I renounced the attack. I confessed my sin. But still my heart would not respond.

“Father, this is such a great time of year. This season has so much peace for me. So why is my heart feeling so flat this morning?”

I didn’t get a why, but I did get a remedy.

I went first to Psalm 51 as a way of asking the Lord to make me white as snow. But then He directed me to Psalm 50. I just sat there and marveled  in how God talks about God. He is ALL THAT and more. But my spiritual ears perked up when “The Mighty One, God, the Lord” began telling how He didn’t need my bulls, and blood, and sacrifices.  My feeling bad, or guilty, or regretful wasn’t the remedy.

“Sacrifice thank offerings to God.” (v. 14)

I had to dig around a little find out what “thank offerings” were, but they are called peace offerings, or freewill offerings. They are spontaneous. They are acts of solemn remembrances or jubliant rejoicing. Thank offerings are outpourings of a grateful heart. No bull, no blood, no gold. No credit cards or packages.

Just an abundant overflow from a heart that sees all that God has done. This is my Christmas gift to Them.  And it is also my remedy for a heart gone awry.

Bless You, Lord, for all  Your mercies and goodnesses shown to us!