Really Relating


A Christmas Hangover 12/29/2009

Filed under: Christmas,gift,gifts,Hangover,holidays,Jesus,manger,mayhem,mommas,mothers,Traditions — Vickey Banks @ 9:57 am


Can you have a hangover if you don’t drink alcohol? Because I think that’s what I had the day after Christmas. Yeah, A Christmas Hangover, that’s what I’m calling it. I woke up at 1:00 in the afternoon!!!

I can hear all you mommas of young children now, groaning with glee at the mere thought of sleeping past 8 a.m., much less past noon. Mothers everywhere will attest to the fact that somewhere along the way, Christmas has become a lot of work for us. The shopping for food and presents, decorating, wrapping, goodie preparation, gift delivering, party hosting and attending, Christmas card crafting, stocking stuffing, and endless attention to creating and carrying out traditions…makes you tired again just thinking about it, doesn’t it?!

Even when we’re trying hard to focus on the manger, it’s easy to be worn out, if not sidetracked, by the mayhem. So, what’s a momma to do? Here’s my personal Christmas List for next year:
1.     Start early.
2.     Keep it simple.
3.     Thank God everyday for the gift of Jesus.

Please feel free to remind me of what I just wrote, in case I start to get caught up in the fog of it all. I’d hate to miss seeing Jesus through the haze of activity. After all, He is the gift we’re supposed to be celebrating.

Merry CHRISTmas,

Really Relating 
How do you keep the mayhem to a minimum during the holidays?
Please, do share your tips with the rest of us!



Fighting Mad 12/11/2009

Filed under: Cancer,Christmas,Jesus,Passionately Pursued,Satan — Vickey Banks @ 11:55 am
I knew I was getting sick when I went to bed Monday. Drainage in the throat, head clogged up, couldn’t breathe, etc. By morning, I felt I’d been pummeled in a prize fight. Since I’m dealing with my Dad’s Cancer and Christmas – the most UNnormal of situations, I dragged my heavy head to the Doctor.
Explaining that although I was clearly contagious, the Dr. refused to write me a prescription. She said it was TOO EARLY in the stage of my cold and it wouldn’t help yet! That is when I lost it. Seriously. I couldn’t quit crying, blubbering on about not being able to expose my Dad, blah, blah, blah. Talk about embarrassing. I’ve dealt with chronic pain every day of my life for years. Fought grief and it’s accompanying depression with a maniacal vengeance. Painted a smile on my face when I wanted to drop kick my Father’s Cancer and Chemo. But…I cried because the Doctor wouldn’t give me a Z-pack!
Confident the Dr. surely thought I was an absolute nut case (and that I probably was!), I was hanging my head all the way home. Defeat written all over me. That’s when I remembered something Jesus said,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. 
 I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 
      Jesus, John 10:10
Normally, a hopeless romantic like me would be flattered over the idea of being fought over…but not like this! Thinking about Satan coming after my family and I immediately changed my mood. I got mad. I popped up my hanging head and said aloud in my car, ”Leave me alone! You can’t have me!” 

Call me certifiably crazy, I don’t care. But know this: you too are being passionately pursued. God has a full and abundant life planned for you, one where there is hope even in the midst of madness. But slimy Satan has something far more sinister in mind. Let’s keep our guard up and our fighting gloves on. Let’s not let him take the life that is rightfully ours.
Really Relating
How is Satan messing with you? What has helped you to fight back?

Compassion in Action 12/04/2009

When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion.
He was walking in and she was walking out. That simple fact rearranged her world. Her story is recorded in Luke 7 of the Bible, and it never ceases to move me to tears. It’s one of the most compelling examples of compassion in action that this world has ever seen. While He was Jesus, the living breathing Son of God who was somehow walking around planet Earth on a pair of human legs, the Bible simply refers to her as The Widow of Nain.
When the Bible says He “saw” her, it implies that He knew her pain like in such a way that He actually experienced it Himself. That’s powerful! And the word “compassion” doesn’t mean he just felt sorry for her. It’s from the Greek, meaning to have the bowls yearn, to feel sympathy, to pity, to be moved with compassion.[1]

As I’ve read and listened to your beautiful responses to my last blog post, Legacies in the Making, I was reminded of her story. Thank you for reminding me of Jesus. He is our premier example of what it means to truly care for another. Just as He walked over to the coffin of the Widow’s son and miraculously brought him back to life, He sees our painful situations today and moves to resurrect hope within us. And, since He’s turned in His human arms and legs, He’s allowing you and I to be His hands and feet to others.
Thank you for all the ways you’re touching the lives of those around you. May we be so cognizant of God’s overflowing love and compassion for us that we can’t possibly keep it for ourselves! May we be compelled to extravagantly pour it out on someone else. You’ve inspired me this week. Thanks for sharing your stories with me. Keep ‘em coming. A girl can never have too much inspiration!
Really Relating:
What is the kindest act of compassion someone has shown you?
Who do you know that needs you to be God’s hands and feet today? What can you do?

[1] Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, PC Study Bible, CD ROM (Seattle, Wash.: Biblesoft, 1997).
For more on the Widow of Nain’s encounter with Jesus, see the Bible’s Luke 7 or my book, Sharing His Secrets: Intimate Insights From the Women Who Knew Jesus (Multnomah Publishers, 2001), p 34-55.