On ‘black Friday’ morning I headed out at 7am to buy another string of LED lights for our new Christmas tree. It is a 4 1/2ft skinny tree, small enough to be put away fully decorated in a 60 gallon garbage bag and stuffed in a closet for the duration of the year until needed again. I haven’t quite figured out how to attach a picture to a ‘blog’ yet, but maybe I can talk Rick into either teaching me or showing me, since we are retired. Well sorta!
I thought the store opened always at 7am. It used to, but when I got there the parking lot was empty and the sign now said 8am. I was not about to go to one of the large chain mega stores for a single string of these particular lights. Not that crazy.
Started the two strands I had, at the top of the tree as to not run out of string and be unable to plug them in. I was better than 2/3rds down the tree and ran out, so I knew one more string would do. If I wound them from the bottom up, I might have too many lights at the top or none at all. Christmas is ‘big’ for me. My folks always made is special even when we had little. I remember my mom saved toilet paper cardboards all year and wrapped them with Christmas wrapping and ribbons tied on either end as decorations. On Christmas we found that each one had names on them and inside were pairs of knee socks and regular socks. Five kids with 6 pairs each. One year, they turned a large round coffee table upside down under the living room chandelier and put a huge tree there that completely filled the table and touched the chandelier. Dad actually plugged the tree into the chandelier so he could turn it on with a switch. One year they put the tree in the vestibule in the corner of the open stair case, that was my favorite. Looked very Victorian and great from the street outside and just about every window in the front and side of the house. Live trees were the only kind we had. No fake or scrawny Charlie Brown trees for us.
Back to ‘be satisfied’. I am. As the idea of getting another string faded, I heard ‘be satisfied’. I make it a habit to ‘listen’. (Check out my books on Listening, especially the daily devotional.) When arriving home again, Rick and I had a little conversation about ‘being satisfied’. I redid the 300 lights on the tree starting at the bottom and reworking them slowly up the tree. There are plenty. Another 150 lights and there would not be room for decorations.
Sometimes, determining to ‘be satisfied’ with how life is at the moment can be a great relief and release. This has not been the best of years for us in some sense, but it has brought us a new perspective. We would not be retired, we would not be able to feel the compassion of others pain as keenly and we would not have had the opportunity to ‘be satisfied’ for today.
Clearly, we would love for Rick to be totally healed today. For him to be able to talk clearly, eat and swallow his own food, hug each other without damaging his feeding tube, take a walk around the lake without a walker. All those things we did before his stroke. But today we are satisfied that God is with us, we are loved and protected. We are clean and have a comfortable place to live and sleep. We have wonderful godly friends and family whom we love dearly. It is enough for now. I am deeply satisfied by the opportunity we have to pray and be available to others who have struggles. God has a job even for the weak.
I am ‘satisfied’ in His love and care.