Happy Hanukkah 2017!!!
I’m sure you’ve heard this word recently used as a derogatory term for those in our world who are easily offended, who are shattered by the slightest…slight, who are weak victims with easy lives. Well, that is not what the Creator creates!
He forms beautiful things, unique things, fragile and precious things. He creates the fabric of families…beautiful, complex personalities and strengths…unique, and the glittering web of life…both fragile and precious. The culture we live in thrives on crisis, damage, suspicion and false victimhood, but we CAN choose to see past this reality and hold on to the patterns we see in a snowflake.
The order that replaces chaos.
The glitter that replaces dirt.
The light that replaces darkness.
The beauty that replaces a frozen west wind.
The Festival of Light was birthed in a culture that truly did attempt to damage and victimize an entire people group, but the people fought back! One family looked past their current situation and saw through to the Light. One leader, one family, one life changed the course of a nation! I want to be a snowflake…beautiful, unique, fragile and precious…capable of changing the world, replacing chaos, dirt, darkness and frozen wind with order, glitter, light and beauty.
Happy Hanukkah 2017!!!
One of the traditions of Hanukkah is called “gelt”! It was originally REAL money, like you don’t deal with enough money as accountants. ? In this case, the tradition has its origin from Jewish people in Poland and it was money given to small children as a gift to their teachers.
Well, this year you have been my teachers! Several of you have taught me to smile again. Some of you have taught me great strength in the face of struggle. Some of you have taught me to be braver. Ummm…ONE of you has taught me how to be WAY too loud! Some of you have taught me MATH? Some of you have taught me how to handle mistakes and learn from them. Some of you have taught me diplomacy…need that one! ? So much treasure given to me this year in the form of growth, learning, stretching and making mistakes.
So out of the little “gelt” I have, I give to you my most precious gift…one of which I am not worthy. I fail on a regular basis, succumb to sadness, and stumble over the smallest things, but I hold tightly to my Treasure, my joy, and then I give it away. You will find in this tiny package my treasure…my segulah (Hebrew for special treasure).
Happy Hanukkah 2017!!!
I know that several of us have had some devastating circumstances this year and we share the weight of it alongside each other. We have shared the loss of people we love dearly or worked alongside someone who is grieving, some of us have faced devastation of family relationships due to trauma and mental illness, and some of us are walking through serious health issues. Aside from our own struggles, we look around us and find a culture that is upside down and irrational. I know it is a daily choice for me to put one foot in front of the other in order to return to the hopeful, happy person I once was.
Part of the path that I am needing to walk involves returning to one of the things I once loved…Hanukkah…teaching Jesus through a Jewish holiday that he Himself celebrated. Scholar Ministries delivered gifts to over 75+ families each year that were in desperate need of smiles no matter the age or situation…just silly, happy and sometimes truly yucky fun. The kids in our ministry adored this tradition and I will admit to thoroughly enjoying it myself. The simple sacrifice of bringing joy to other people ended up bringing great joy to us.
But something happened…
A deep sadness gripped me as I watched someone slip away into the darkness. The further I saw that someone slip, the more ministry I laid down and became a ghost. Some of you have seen how far I’ve come back since the beginning of this year. I am so terribly thankful for my hubby, my Scholar Ministries family, and an incredible workplace! Their consistent and careful acceptance of me has inspired me to try to return to being the leader I once was…thank you.
If you will allow me, I want to try to take one more giant step back into my old self. I want to do for you what I did for so many others. I would like to bring you a letter, a post, to read each night of Hanukkah. Some will be silly…some will be really cool. Some will feel like Christmas…some will feel like Hanukkah. Each gift will require time and affection on my part. Each gift will bring me joy.
Please just put up with me, chuckle a little, and know that I am praying for you as you walk through your Christmas/Hanukkah season and thanking God for the strength you teach me every day.