The farmhouse is only half decorated. We put up a lot of twinkle lights: on the fireplace mantel, sprawled across the buffet, outside on the front porch, and on the Christmas tree, but that’s the bulk of my decorating. Twinkling lights everywhere kind of make up for the lack of other decorations, in my mind. (Also a fire crackling in the fireplace. And hot cocoa in pretty mugs. That’s perfect decorating, right there.)
Oh, and I also got a wreath from Trader Joe’s and put it on the smokehouse outside (which everyone thinks is an outhouse building, when they first drive into the farm.) While we were at Trader Joe’s, the cashier saw my daughter and I in deliberation over a new brand of cookies. I wasn’t sure I wanted to get them.
He opened the canister and said, “Go ahead, try them out first.” The two senior ladies checking out behind me heard the cashier’s words and came over to peek at the cookies. I motioned them to join in and we had an impromptu tea party, right then and there, courtesy of Trader Joe’s. Honestly, the generosity and cheerfulness of the place was so heart warming. My daughter and I walked out of there, wheeling our full cart, and singing “Joy to the World, the Lord has Come” at the top of our voice.
I so love Christmas. But I’m already eagerly anticipating New Year’s Day, the day of fresh beginnings and new resolutions.
It’s actually because of what we celebrate on Christmas Day, that I do look forward to what comes next. It’s not just the birth of the Savior, but His overcoming life He lived- and lives through us today- that we celebrate. And emulate.
And here’s His trajectory:
From the humble manger—> to influencing the whole wide world.
So don’t despise the day of small beginnings, Zachary 4:10 tells us. You can add to that, Don’t despise the day of:
- humble beginnings
- insignificant beginnings
- troubled beginnings
Do you know the opposite of the word despise? It’s
Those are all the words we need to apply to our humble beginning, our shaky start we made to any dream we felt called to. And it’s never too late to get back in the saddle of any dream we had set aside, out of discouragement, and start moving forward with it again.
If we don’t despise Jesus’ birth in the lowly manger (but instead we respect and cherish that scene), then we shouldn’t despise ourselves or our own humble, meager beginning…of anything.
That start of your dream? That shaky beginning you made when you went back to school? That relationship you wanted to build on the solid ground of integrity and love? Don’t despise it. Don’t disparage yourself or hang your head down in shame. Don’t kick yourself, or let anyone else kick you, if you’re down or not on track– because you’re not out of the running, friend. It’s not too late.
It’s time to accept your past, cherish that dream you have, that calling to help and give back, that desire to love again. And respect yourself, your humble beginning; and respect the process that is at work.
We go from strength to strength, Scripture tells us. From the manger, then out to impact a whole wide world.
I’ve got a big dream– with a humble, seemingly insignificant beginning. And you do too.
Pick that broken dream back up and get on with what you know you want your life to be about. Forget how much you stumbled about in the beginning, how you missed connections or lost your way.
Move forward with God leading you, from the place of the manger scene, and out to the whole wide world.