Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Reflections

Reflections - I love reflective surfaces. Especially at CHRISTmas. The way light bounces off of shiny ornaments. The way lights twinkle on the tree. The way candles flicker and glow. The way a perfectly placed mirror reflects double beauty. With this inspiration in mind I set out to create a "reflections" vignette for the island in my kitchen. Each year we host a CHRISTmas Open House. This has been a family tradition for a long time. Usually my mom-in-law, Ann, helps me with the preparations, menu planning, baking, cooking and welcoming all the guests. This year 600+ miles separate us so I figured I better get an early start if I am to pull off this massive event on my own. (Mama - how would you like to visit NC again this CHRISTmas???) I started by planning a decorative theme. Each year the Open House has to have a theme. One year it was a "Down home CHRISTmas" complete with homemade Chili, loaded baked potato bar and homemade candies and cookies. This year I decided the theme would be "REFLECTIONS". I have A LOT to reflect up on this holiday. God has done so much. So many changes, so many new mercies, so much faithfulness. So to bring this concept to life I began to play with decorative accessories that would "reflect" light. I pulled together my collection of mercury glass - some vintage glass trees, pillars and candlestick holders.
Next, I gathered a group of shatter-proof CHRISTmas ornaments in silver, white, champagne and gold. Some were shiny, others covered in glitter. To add texture, I uncovered some Snow Flakes from last year's decor and tucked them around the base of the mercury glass. Then it was a simple task to lay the ornaments around the base in various configurations using different sized balls. The scroll-work panel in the background was added for depth and additional Snow Flakes were hung from the metal scrolls. At the last moment I tucked in a white Snow Bird (That's in honor of my pal Mel who likes birds). Lastly, I scattered some acrylic diamond shaped beads around the ornaments. This just added a little extra glitz.
(See the glitter covered ornament resting on the candle stick holder? Pictured below. There is no law that says you have to put candles in them. I turned the ornament upside down and tucked the hanger down inside the candle recess. Easy!)
I am pretty pleased with my "reflections" vignette. I might find a way to tuck in some white twinkle lights and plug them in at the end of my island. As I finished this little project I began to reflect on my week. One particular instance flashed in my mind. Thursday morning during my devotional I read Luke 10:25-37. This is Jesus teaching on the Most Important Commandment - You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And you must love your neighbor as yourself. Those of you familiar with this passage know that the expert in religious law stood up to question and test Jesus. He then asks Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?". Jesus goes on to tell the parable of the Good Samaritan. When Christ had finished with his parable he asks, "Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?' The religious law expert replied, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus then replies, "Yes, now go and do the same."
As I finished my study and began to pray, I asked God to help me "go and do the same". I asked for opportunities to be a good neighbor. To be used in some small way to extend Christ's hands and heart especially in this holiday season. Later that day I stood behind an older lady at the check out line. I watched as she carefully counted the items on the counter and calculated their cost. I watched as she slowly began to take things away and sit them on the side shelf. Suddenly it occurred to me that she may not have enough money to purchase all the items. Just as this thought developed, the cashier completed her order and accepted the lady's payment. Immediately the cashier started ringing up my items. Then suddenly the elderly lady noticed that one of her items was stuck on the side of the belt and the cashier didn't ring it up. Realizing that God had given me a chance to be a 'good neighbor', I quickly grabbed the item, asked the Cashier to ring it on my order and handed it to the lady. Of course she wanted to pay for it but I wouldn't let her. Why? Because when I prayed and asked God to give me opportunities to "go and do the same" I became accountable to act when those opportunities were presented. As I walked out of the store the older lady was waiting for me outside.
With gratitude she began to thank me and tell me how much she appreciated the gesture. It is so humbling to know that the Almighty God of the Universe hears and answers when we pray. It is even more humbling to know that possibly dozens or maybe even hundreds of opportunities are presented every week which go unnoticed because we are not sensitive to the Father's leading. My prayer this season is to have ears that hear and eyes that see the work of the Lord and that in some small way, I can show God's love through a "neighborly" act of kindness and that each of you will "go and do the same".

Yes, we have much to reflect up on this year. I leave you with the words of Jeremiah.
"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" - Lamentations 3:22-24 NLT

1 comment:

  1. Of course, the snow bird was one of the first things I noticed in your beautiful Reflections display.
    And what a great example of "going & doing".
    'Proud for so many reasons to be your BFF.