Happy Friday to you, and I hope your Christmas season has been joyous and unhurried thus far.
Let’s play a little word association game. You know, I say “Tostada,” you say, “Taco Bell.” What do you think of when I say “Dark Alley?” What’s the first thing that pops into your head? Mugged? Scary? HELP? One thing that probably doesn’t come to mind is the word “blessing,” not unless you are me. See I live at the end of a long, dark alley and even though it is a little unusual, it is actually a huge blessing. Our front driveway is on a relatively busy street and the circle drive is so steep you cannot even walk on it in heels. But the back entrance is at the end of a narrow alley that is pitch black at night.
The alley is a great place to ride bikes or scooters, to take the golf cart for a little spin, or play basketball. Sam shoots hoops out there night and day with no chance of the ball rolling into any street. The kids from the alley play together beautifully –many games of hide-and-seek have been enjoyed just this week.
Last night we threw an impromptu alley party for Christmas. I texted our alley people earlier in the week and it was very casual We just had appetizers, desserts and some festive drinks. People braved the dark alley and came in the back door. It was delightful.
On April 29th, I wrote these words here on my blog:
But there is a spiritual principle in all of this, and that’s that we can decide to be happy. We can choose to be content. You may think some grass is greener. But when you get there, there are problems you didn’t expect. I heard Eugene Cho talk about this earlier this year. He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “You think that grass is greener. And you know what? It probably is! But that should serve as a reminder to you to water the grass you are standing on.” Invest and love on and embrace where you are, and who you are with. You will never regret pouring yourself out.
Later that day I received a text from my sweet friend, Julia in Virginia. She’d read my blog and couldn’t resist sharing the picture she snapped in her house.
A few weeks later, she lovingly made me a replica of her sign and it hangs just inside my back door, the door to the alley. I walked by it for seven months before I hosted an alley party. It took me seven months to follow my own advice, despite the presentation of a plaque memorializing this important principle.
How are you doing with embracing where you are? Are you investing in and loving on those around you? Are you watering the grass you are standing on?
Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 NIV
He also said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 NIV
Maybe the full life we are intended to have is in part only achieved through loving others, through watering the grass we stand on. How can you do some watering even today?
Love to YOU,
P.S. Bat update: no further sightings. Thank you so very much for praying.