"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
December 12, 2012
Jon and I have similar viewpoints on a lot of issues, but have very differing opinions on others. There are times when I think we are in agreement about something, then Jon will say something that will let me know that he is thinking completely opposite of what I thought he was. Several times Jon has said something that led me to believe that he was leaning a particular way in a decision or plan, and we may have had conversations about it for days or weeks with me thinking I'm in agreement with what he has in mind, only to discover that I was way off track. When I ask him about it, he often responds that that was not what he was saying, but was agreeing with me because that was what I wanted. I didn't know that! I thought the two of us had been in agreement that entire time.
There have been occasions when I end up getting my feeling hurt or being disappointed about something because I thought Jon and I were in agreement about something for a period of time because we had had conversations about it, then he will say something to hint that his heart isn't in it and he wants to do something else. I will question him about it and he will eventually admit that he doesn't want to do what we've been talking about, and only agreed because that's what I wanted to do. Even though it may have been something that I really wanted, it's hard not to feel disheartened to learn that Jon and I weren't on the same page all that time, when I really believed that we were.
I tend to plan and dream and research when I think Jon and I may go somewhere or buy something or do a particular thing, while Jon is a "wait and see" type of person. But then if things do come together and work out, he's glad that I did all the preliminary work. But at the time, it drives him nuts because he tends to think that I'm obsessing about it and going overboard. On the other hand, he doesn't enjoy or want to do any of the preparatory work that I do. Basically, I'm a planner and he's not.
Jon's birthday is December 10th, so as soon as Thanksgiving is over, I will begin asking what he wants for his birthday. For days, he will say he doesn't know or he'll have to think about it. He does the exact same thing for Christmas. That drives me nuts! I don't want to wait until the day before his birthday or Christmas to shop for him. I want to put thought into it and plan and make those days special for Jon. I want to come up with surprises for him, so will hint at ideas and listen for things he may mention that he would like to have. I like to have present under our Christmas tree and have the suspense of what may be inside.
Jon, on the other hand, is completely opposite. He may ask me to make him a list of ideas for my birthday or Christmas, and I will do so with specific instructions on where he can buy the items to make it easy for him. But more time than not, he will shop for me the day of my birthday or a couple days before Christmas. He hates shopping, so will put it off till he absolutely is forced to go.
I'm trying to learn (I haven't yet been completely successful) not to be disappointed that Jon waits until the last minute, that he doesn't put a lot of thought into coming up with surprises for me, or that he is not a planner. If I have pre-conceived ideas of what my expectations are and he doesn't meet them, then I will go through our married life being disappointed over and over. I will clarify that Jon does buy me gifts and treats me very well, but he's just doesn't do things the way I do or the way I would always want them to be done.
In Isaiah 7:14, the birth of Jesus is foretold. "Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign; the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel."
It was 700 years from the time Isaiah prophesied the birth of Jesus, until His arrival. To put it in perspective, this would be like something that was prophesied in the year 1312 just now coming to pass.
I'm sure many thought "a virgin will conceive" meant that a young girl who was newly married and had never had a child would conceive; not that the Holy Spirit would place the seed of Jesus within a young unmarried virgin girl. Many likely believed that the Son of God would be born to royalty or to a prominent family. Many likely believed that He would be born in an affluential family where He would have fame and leadership positions.
But the fact that He was born in a small village to a young virgin whose family was perhaps poor and unknown totally through their preconceived ideas out the window. The fact that His earthly father who raised him was just a carpenter, was completely opposite of what they thought His father would do for a living. People thought they knew what the Messiah would be like when He came and thought there would be much pageantry and fanfare occur at His birth. They sure never expected God to have His Son be born in a stable amongst animals, with a manger as His first bed.
Although there were those who believed, I'm sure there were many who were disappointed and disheartened at how Jesus entered the world, and it was hard for them to accept Him as the Promised Messiah that had been prophesied 700 years earlier.
But how God does things is seldom how we imagine it should be or will be done. His ways are far above our own and sometimes are hard to comprehend and understand.
If we try to put God in a box and have Him work as we think He should, then we will go through life constantly frustrated and never truly seeing the majesty and greatness of Who He really is. We will never truly know Him or have a relationship with Him if we are unable to accept that He is bigger than us and knows what is best. God is not trying to hurt or disappoint us. We feel let down when we try to make God do things exactly how we want them done, and are unable to accept when He does them differently.
Even though Jon and I may have disagreements and may have misunderstandings from time to time, our love is strong enough to overcome those things. We choose to love and forgive and accept one another.
How much greater should our love and acceptance of Jesus be! Choose to trust and love Him and allow Him to direct your steps and follow His plan for your life; even when you don't understand or it doesn't make sense to you. God does know what's best for each of us and loves us more than we can even imagine.
A lot of the things that I do to disappoint Loretta are more about timing than anything. We've discussed buying a new car many times. We both agree we'll need to replace our current car someday. It's starting to have some maintenance issues. It's had the check engine light on for about 3 years, now. The remote works, but only if you push the lock button on a certain spot. Loretta wants to replace it soon, before it dies a horrible, smokey death. I'd rather wait till it can be a major inconvenience and leave us panicking for a new car.
I think she should have known I'm slow at making big decisions. After all, I didn't propose to her that quickly. She was probably hoping for a ring around our 5th date. But I waited almost a year, so I could have a chance to meet her father and ask his permission. I know the waiting was excruciating for her. Partly because she knew I had the ring already, and would play around with it while we visited on the phone (I would shine a light into it, and make the walls sparkle).
I doubt either of us has perfect timing. But that's just because neither of us has perfect wisdom.
God's timing doesn't usually seem to be our timing, either. But He has perfect wisdom, so His timing is always best.
Puppy Chow Candy
(NOT for puppies, but for people!)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 cup butter
9 cups Crispix cereal
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Combine peanut butter, butter, and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute; stir. Add vanilla and stir again until well blended. Put cereal in a very large bowl. Pour mixture over cereal and mix gently to coat. Next coat with powdered sugar. To coat with powered sugar, put the cereal mixture in a large paper bag. Add the powdered sugar; fold down the top of the bag and shake to evenly coat. Store in a tightly covered container.
When I was growing up, letter writing was still one of the main forms of communication. Yes, taking a piece of paper and an ink pen and taking the time sit down to handwrite a letter to family and friends; and mailing it in an envelope with a stamp! I have to say that I kind of miss those days. I think that's why I love the Christmas season and receiving Christmas cards in the mail. It's the one time of year when I still receive a few cards from family and friends; and I love it!
I was 12 years old when my sister, Shirley, married and moved to Texas. I wrote her a letter while she lived there, which a few years ago she told me that she had kept and still has, because she thought it was really funny.
Although I can't remember all that I wrote or the exact phrasing, the premise of the letter was: "I have a big secret that I want to tell you, but you have to promise not to tell anyone. I've been wanting to tell you for a long time, but didn't know how to do so. Promise that if I tell you, you won't tell anyone, not even Darryl (her husband)." The letter went on and on for a full page along those lines. Finally, at the end I concluded: "Okay, here's my big secret..... there is no santa!"
God speaks to those who listen and listens to those who pray.
We love you!
Loretta & Jon