“The truth is, time spent thinking about what if? is time wasted. Today I choose to focus on what is. Today is a new day with joy waiting to be discovered. Today is a new day with mercies to be uncovered.” -incourageme.com
For the month of December I vowed to blog once a week about a standout movie of 2014. A movie critic day job is not in my future; but to stay in sync with this month’s challenge, I will close with a reoccurring hit watched year after year. “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Every encounter of this Christmas Tradition continues to reveal new truth. Putting the DVD in as the events unfold on the floor…
Wrapping presents. Dripping hot chocolate. Running out of tape too early. Complaining about the dull scissors. And crying at different parts depending on all the wonderful heartaches and happenings of the last 358 days.
“Dear Father in heaven, I’m not a praying man, but if you’re up there and you can hear me…show me the way.” -George Bailey
This year it wasn’t the fact that George goes from resentment, desperation and despair to living in Gratitude that gave the standing ovation. It wasn’t when his friends rallied around him, stepped up and rescued him coin after coin…that brought on the welling up. It wasn’t when the bell ringing and Clarence finally gets his wings that gave the lump in the throat.
What tugged at my heart the most this year was just how admittedly George was resisting love. He didn’t want to fall in love with Mary. Nose to nose on the phone talking to Sam Wainright; the tension is so thick, wrestling with his own humanity, dreams and fears. All he wanted to do was blow the dust off of that crummy ole town and see the world. Yet his dreams kept getting deferred. He didn’t want to work for the building loan. He didn’t want to step in after his Dad died. He didn’t want a house full of kids. He wanted to do what he wanted to do.
“Why should you care, what they think of you…when you’re alone, all by yourself, do you like you?” -Colbie Caillat
And as a result his life’s dream looked very different. What he imagined in the visions of his youth with his maps and a suitcase, became more and more dim and distant. But in the end, Love Wins, and He surely does see clearly. That this one life he gets to live is worth having and worth fighting for. It is wonderful and marvelous. And it is indeed the best of gifts. As you see him running through the streets yelling Merry Christmas to Mr. Potter and the old building and loan, with joy rickashaying of the lamp posts, even though he was heading back to the same set of circumstances. To be fully alive and embracing his exact moment in time. In all the messiness, mishaps, and unexpected turns; Living his truth, Grateful, Cherishing the one life, full of awe and wonder. And it is enough. Full of new beginnings and perspectives.
“Every healthy thing that God created changes. If something doesn’t change, it’s dead. God designed the world so that it is in constant motion, never sitting still, always dying and being reborn. Everything is changing all the time. Even You.” -Donald Miller
As I move into 2015 with a bursting heart and not all the answers. My word for 2015 is EXPAND. Expand my mind. Expand my vision. Expand my borders. Expand my ability to love and be loved. Expand my steps into the fullness of Your will for my life.
Thanks to the encouragement of my dream coach; I am working with kids again. I call my school, a little Brooklyn-and anyone who knows me, knows that is a dream come true. 8 different languages represented in this elementary school. When I lived in NYC I loved being on the subway and seeing 10 different languages represented. My church’s motto in New York was this is…”The Church that Love Builds.” With every tribe, tongue and nation represented. A friend came to visit me and said this must be what heaven is like. I get to have a little piece of that every day now. But more than the languages. More than my heart overflowing daily with the life and love of these kids. Are the individual stories of each girl who stop by my room in the morning to give me a hug. To show me her nails. To tell me how she got the answer right yesterday and doesn’t want to go back to class. Assuring me of how she’s asking questions and responding louder, clearer and quicker.
“Each day begins white as snow. Each day gives us a do-over. We don’t have to wait for a new year, a new journal, a new leaf, to break a bad habit, to make a new goal. We can start this morning, right now, this second.” -Anne Rendell
And I want to tell them; don’t be afraid to write a new chapter regardless of your past or the voices of doubt, judgment and criticism that come at you. Don’t be afraid to begin again. To not let yesterday’s test score define you. To discover new joys and mercies and grace unending. To find your strengths and embrace them. To live into the fullness of who you were created to be. Expand from here. And look forward to every bit of this coming year and each new day as a wonderful gift to live full in the awe and wonder of it all.
“You get to choose the moments of today-moving forward; how you will live them, how you’ll use the moments to draw closer to the person you sense you’ve been created to be…whether you decide to move closer to the hopes and dreams stirring in your heart and whether you’ll lean in further and listen more intently to the still small, whisper of the Father. To step closer, lean further and choose to listen more intently than ever before.” -MICI Magazine
What’s your word this year? Are you leaning in and listening? I hope you keep your hopes and dreams alive and expand into the fullness of all that is waiting for you this year. To have the courage and faith to grow, change, readjust, and live full. Are your shoes tied? Are you ready to get going? Are you willing to speak up and raise your hand? Your 2015 adventure is surely waiting!
Journey on my believing better friends…
And may God continue to bless you with each new life giving choice.
Love and Hugs…and Happy New Year!!