The act of writing, of sharing the circumstances, the gifts and the graces planned and carried out by my Savior and God brings joy, peace, and contentment to know that He has my life in His hands. My prayer for those who read, who share in what I continue to learn each day, many times through my weakness, is that you will be encouraged to look for God's presence and grace in your life also.

Monday, December 19, 2011

An English Lesson

I walked into the big box store...a chain...my "20% off one item" coupon in hand.  Putting my purse in the cart's child seat, the glass doors slid away and I stood, amazed.....aisles only wide enough for one and one-fourth persons but stuff, beautiful stuff, piled beyond reach.

 Everywhere stuff, stuff and more stuff and with every step my heart sank. I circled around, back to where I started from. My purse still in the child's seat, the coupon still in hand—I went back through the glass doors—emptier than when I went in.

Shopping is not in my top 10, actually not in my top 100 things on my "like" list.  Watching people, contemplating why we do what we do is in my top 10.  Soooooooo..........

Is it any wonder that like Charlie Brown in A Charlie Brown Christmas we wake up this time of year and find ourselves sad, unhappy, and disappointed?  Those in the know say depression is the worst at Christmas, loneliness is the worst at Christmas with most of us feeling a big let down at Christmas—all the hype for weeks and months leading up to the big day and then suddenly we are overwhelmed by an emptiness, a void, a feeling that we missed it once again.

Solution?  More stuff? More food?  More parties?  More friends?  More family?  More fun? More, More, More? Addicts seeking a high.......to cover up the emptiness.

Stuff, food, parties, friends, family and fun are short term solutions that never deliver on the anticipation.  The "high" is over quickly, Each year the effort we make to recreate the smells, the sights, the wonder, the luster, the tastes of what we experienced for a few minutes at some point in our childhood or at least what we think we experienced falls short.  It's hard to recreate the best of childhood Christmases into one and so we feel like we have failed or been cheated. There has to be more to this.

Solution? Of course, it is exactly what Charlie Brown learned, we must focus on the babe in the manger.  On God come down to earth—Immanuel—God with us.......then,  BUT also now......here.....in my space.  God here with me.

How do I do that??

Perhaps it is a matter of focus so time for a lesson in prepositions:  This is an exercise that will help you identify how to find a preposition (they are in all caps)—and just maybe help you see God—HERE—NOW—PRESENT.

God is IN me.
God is WITH me.
God is ABOVE me.

God is OVER me.

God is UPON me. 

God is ON me.

God is AROUND me.

God is AFTER me.

God is BY me.

God is BEFORE me.

God is FOR me.

God is BEHIND me.

God is BELOW me.


God is UNDER me.

God is BENEATH me

God is BESIDE me.
God is BEYOND me.

God is BY me.

God is NEAR me.


God is WITHIN me.

God is TOWARD me.

and God is also IN FRONT OF me and ACROSS FROM me, and ALONGSIDE OF me.

Matthew 1:23  "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
   and they shall call his name Immanuel"

Then and NOW, He is with us, Immanuel.

The truth I must always be thinking about is, "God with us....... right here, right now, in this very place and I can talk to him about everything, I can thank Him for everything, I can see Him in EVERYTHING." As we look around us, we see His glory, His reflected glory in everything....everything.....and we give thanks.

 We can begin to practice His presence with our words, our thanks, our thoughts.    Just watch and see Him fill your cup full, to overflowing with Immanuel, God with us.

More graces to fill my cup—

151. Larry, to teach me trust in a Sovereign God
152. Larry, to laugh with
153. Larry, to cry with
154. Larry, to teach me humility
155. Larry, to slow me down
156. Larry, to drive me to prayer
157. Larry, to make me long for Heaven
158. Larry, to speak wisdom...simply
159. Larry, who never remembers a wrong done to him
160. Larry, who knows who is in charge—God!

I  pray for each of you to recognize the "Larry" God has gifted you with. 


  1. Thank you, for reminding me of my "Larry" :)

  2. Beautiful, Darnly. Thank you. I look forward to reading more of your devotional thoughts.

  3. Jennie and Vonnie,
    Thanks for your comments. God is good as He leads and guides. Isn't it good God keeps working on us....until we stand before Him and we are finally like His Son. Amen.
    Love you both.

  4. Darnly, I have been wondering what to do with dissapointment and I have often thought of you. You surely have often been dissapointed, and yet you have allowed God to use these things to make you beautiful. Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you. You are right, God is with us, carrying us through dissapointment, and making beauty out of pain that ultimately brings glory to Him. Love you!

  5. Amy, Thank you. One thing that came to mind years ago was the very first item in the Westminster Catechism. "What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever." That has always helped me keep it all in perspective about where my enjoyment should come from.