Chutes and Ladders in 2010
Chutes and Ladders in 2010

December 30, 2010
Christmas has been enjoyable this year. It was less stressful, I had more time on my hands, and just all around pleasant. As I decorated, it was nice to walk down memory lane as I uncovered each treasured ornament or decoration. I love snowmen, and I practically know each of mine by name.  Two of my granddaughters helped me decorate the tree and I tried my hardest to leave the ornaments exactly as they placed them, which was usually in one clump close to the bottom. Malia, who is two and half was shocked when she tried to bounce my glass ball ornaments on the floor. She found out quickly that they certainly are not like balls. Peace descended when all was said and done and I could sit by the fire and take in all the white lights and snowmen. I love that feeling of tranquility as I sit quietly and take it all in.
One morning, while it was still dark outside I turned on all my lights. While I sat doing my devotions, I looked over at my tree and giggled. My choice is to put only white lights on the tree and NOT the blinking ones. I do not know how it happened, but for the first week everything was in working order. As I looked over that particular morning the very top of the tree’s half strand of lights began blinking. I laughed because I thought, ‘Yes, that is a great picture of my life! I think I have it all together, and before I know it, a section is blinking!” What I want to do is yell over and say, Hey…..get in order! You are not supposed to be blinking!
The sobering thing was, I knew what section was blinking! Just as I unpacked each Christmas box and carefully unwrapped each ornament, in my mind the Lord showed me another box to look in. As I opened it, I came across the word “offend”.    I have been offended or I have offended others and I need to deal with it.  Divide and conquer is a tactic of the enemy and what we do when offended is divide and go to our separate corners. At times, we try to get people to gather in our corner and justify our feelings to build a case against the other person so we can conquer. Or we might withdraw and let our mind fill with lies that build a case to ourselves, and before we know it years have passed with no relationships. Families are divided, divorces take place, and friendships are lost. I love the definition of insanity: doing the same thing the same way and expecting something different. Yet, for a lot of us we live in this frustrating loop. My goal is to get out of that loop.
It fascinates me, that when something is put before me, that it pops up everywhere I turn. I had bought the book, The Bait of Satan by John Bevere, (which is on offense) while on a trip in Utah. I devoured the book in two days. Just recently I loaned it to my sister in law, and it has opened Pandora’s box. Relationships I have destroyed are popping up. She called me a day later to tell me that I could listen to John Bevere on YouTube. Can I just say, OH MY! Hearing the message after reading it most definitely turned up the volume of the Lord saying, Deal with it!
A new year is coming with new chances or possibly second chances. Although 2010 has been a year of definite change for me, it has caused me to flourish. I feel like I have been playing Chutes and Ladders all year and once again I have slid down the biggest slide on the board, and I have to start all over again. My choice is I can act childish and smack the board so that the pieces all go flying because I feel like I am losing, or I can take the opportunity to grow up one square at a time. What I have chosen is to get back in the game.
I truly am sorry for offending others. It makes my heart ache to know that I have either blatantly or inadvertently hurt someone. I know that I will be making some phone calls or sending emails to some of you. I also give you liberty to send me back correspondence if I have hurt you. I would like the chance to make things right with you.
In closing my theme verse for 2011: Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.                                     Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Love you,
Dana