The Many

TAKE AWAY THE STONE by artist John August Swanson (click on picture for artist’s website)

Most of the artwork I’ve seen depicting John 11 only contains a few people witnessing Lazarus’ resurrection.  I love this particular one by artist John August Swanson.  I am drawn in by the magnificent color.  I feel almost invited to picture myself as one of the many.   The Bible recounts in John 11:45 that –

“…many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in Him.”

M  A  N  Y.

Many believed because of what they had witnessed, what they had seen with their own eyes. This truly was an extraordinary day in the lives of those  m a n y!

Oh, Father, may those witnessing our lives see Your active hands …and believe.

BINGO, baby!

I just love the promise that a new year holds and while I have made (and broken!) countless New Year’s Resolutions, the past couple of years I have focused more on purposefully directing my steps toward this idea of more and on making resolutions less.  Ann Voskamp shared a beautiful worksheet on FB recently that helped set the framework for my new year.

On January 1st, with Ann’s printed worksheets in hand, husband Simon and I headed to Big Shucks for a lunch date, just the two of us. Over diet sodas, Simon and I got to work, separately jotting down the direction we desired to point our feet in this promising new year. Afterward (which admittedly took longer than we’d anticipated), we ordered our lunch and over the next 45 minutes or so, ate & shared the fruits of our labor.  How encouraging it was to see that some of the areas we desired to grow individually in 2016 crossed paths and that others we wholeheartedly encouraged in the other!

One that I wrote down individually was that I purposed to embrace living outside of my comfort zone in 2016. Yesterday provided the first opportunity to act upon what I had purposed to do.  I received a text in the morning from family friends needing our help that very night. I confess, my first (inward) response was a solid “no, but thank you for thinking of us.”  I was looking forward to enjoying a pajama day, so I already had big plans for the day as far as I was concerned.  Long story short, after briefly discussing it with Simon, we agreed this was a worthy first step outside of my comfort zone. I texted my friend to count us in and nine hours later we ditched the pajamas and engaged the residents at a local assisted living facility over BINGO! alongside a couple of our children & our sweet friends.  And I am so glad we did.

Love making memories with these two minions!

How willing are you to embrace stepping outside of your comfort zone in 2016? Seizing opportunities (especially the uncomfortable ones!) can turn the Ordinary Days into the extraordinary, which is a great first step in making memories meaningful for both yourself and those with whom you share life.