Up and Out

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One of the reasons I love Ireland so much is that there are so many things that direct your eye upwards and outwards.  For example, in this photo my husband took near Carrick-a-Rede Bridge in County Antrim:  Upwards – dark cliffs in the distance shadowed by the overhead approaching storm clouds, white and gray and steel and blue and green.  Outwards – water, cliffs, beach, pathways, green pasture, hikers, buildings, adventure, etc.   My mind clears, I feel free and almost weightless.

I don’t know about you, but I spend far too much time looking inward instead of upward and outward.  What to do about this problem or that problem, or who am I, what am I supposed to be doing, what is my purpose?  Things are much, much better when I focus up and see Jesus’ face….who He is and what He does, and how He is over all.  And then focus out and see others, their needs, their hurts, their joys.  Writing this in a blog makes it seem easy and very tidy, but it’s not.  It’s hard business.  I’m so glad that God is stronger than me and more patient than me.  He patiently keeps redirecting my gaze, and amazingly never gives up on me.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  ~Hebrews 12:2-3

“…’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” ~Mark 12:30-31

Love, Lisa

A Tree Full of Good Thoughts

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One of my favorite things about our Christmas tree is that it is full of memories.  Most of the ornaments bring back a rush of remembrances and good thoughts that make me smile.  This particular ornament, for example:

Bought in a small shop in Dingle, Ireland in 2001.  We had gone to this shop around 1 PM, and saw a sign saying that they were away and would be back sometime in the afternoon.  (no time specified, which I thought was wonderful and so unusual to my American time-driven upbringing)  Sometime around 4 we went back and found this.  It sparkled so beautifully in the light, and we loved it.

Seeing it now, I am right back there, in that small intimate shop, with Ed and Joshua.  Good times, good thoughts flow through me, and I smile.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends.  Love, Lisa