Thursday, December 29, 2011

When Can You Visit?

Some of us on Christmas night.
This Christmas was wonderful because we got to spend some time with five out of our six kids.  Christmas Eve, we actually were all together but the oldest.  He couldn't get off work to join us.  We were never able to coordinate things to where we would all be together at the same time again after Christmas Eve.  But the rest of this week, we've seen one or two or three of them, here and there, for different events.


Our jammies picture
 Something began to tug at my heart as one or the other of them would call with their reasons for why they couldn't make a particular event.  "Mom, I have to work."  "Mom, I can't afford the airfare."  Mom, I told my friends I'd go to the movies with them."  "Mom, we're tired so we're just going to stay home."  As I listened to everyone of these legitimate reasons for not showing up, I thought about all the reasons I give God for not spending time with Him. 


Two of our daughters
 "Lord, I have to get to work."  "Lord, I've had a long day at work and I'm tired."  Lord, I told my friends I'd go to Girls Night Out."  "Lord, I have to go to my son's swim meet."  Now I realize that I can talk with Him in the car or as I drift off to sleep at night or while I'm grocery shopping.  But my best times are when I make time for Him, just like I would make time for my husband, or my kids, or my friends.  Those are the times when I hear Him speak to my heart, or get guidance from Him or receive comfort when I'm hurting. 

Middle daughter with my hubby
So, as I got those calls from my kids this Christmas, I wondered how He feels when He gets those calls from me, with another well meaning excuse...always intending to get back with Him later.  But who knows what blessing I missed out on by not going right then!  I wonder if He smiles sadly but fondly when I give Him my reasons for not having time for Him.  When my kids show up unexpectedly, at the door, my heart rejoices at the sight of their faces and the sound of their voices.  Does God rejoice over me that way when I show up in His throne room?  Does He miss me like I miss my kids when they don't come?


My sweet grandbaby
 He is such a wonderful Father and He is patient and kind enough to wait for me to show up.  But when I think about the sweet times I've missed with Him, it makes me sad.  Beloved, if you make time for Him, just like you make time for your loved ones, I promise, you will come away refreshed, renewed and blessed by your encounter with Him.  He understands our busy lives, just like we do with our kids.  But He is always ready to spend time with us and He will never turn us away or be too preoccupied. 

The next time you get a call from one of your loved ones, or there's a knock on the door and you have unexpected visitors, rejoice the way your Heavenly Father rejoices over you when you show up!

Here are some photos of family time this Christmas. I hope you enjoy them.

Our youngest ice skating

Whipping me around the ice rink!


Tulsa's Winterfest


Opening stockings Christmas morning.


Toasting our son & his girlfriend on their engagement!


Some of the girls

Girls definitely have the guys outnumbered!


My beautiful daughter!
I am linking up with Joan over at Reflections of His GraceHop on over there and see what other bloggers are sharing about God's love and grace!


Wishing you the most joyous New Year from His lap!


54 comments:

  1. What a beautiful family you have and the love comes right through the pictures....So glad you had many wonderful visits with your children....

    I hear what you are saying loud and clear......I have thought this many times about how He must feel when I give Him excuses and I also realize how overjoyed I am when I get a surprise visit from one of mine just like He must when I run to be close to Him......Thank you for a wonderful post....

    Hugs my friend....

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  2. Erin - this post hits so close to home for me as often I'm guilty of not making time for the Father or putting it off until later. When we make time for the important things first, like spending time with Him, all the other little things will fit in.

    Many blessings to you and your family and Happy New Year. (You have a beautiful family.)

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  3. Thanks for sharing your heart with us - a reflection of the heart of God.

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  4. Nancy,
    I'm so glad you stopped by! Thank you so much for your kind words about my family. I'm going to do my best in 2012 to not make excuses about spending time with Him.
    I wish you a New Year full of peace and fruit from Him!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  5. Joan,
    I think we are all guilty of this and I bet He completely understands. We would just have so much more peace and direction in our lives if we gave him the first fruit of our time!
    I love you, sweet friend!
    ~Erin

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  6. Hope,
    I'm so glad you visited here! Thank you for your kind words. I hope that my heart is always a reflection of His!!!
    Happy New Year and many blessings,
    ~Erin

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  7. Erin, this is exactly what I've been working on these last few weeks. I've realized my time hasn't been spent properly! God always gets the short end of the stick, right? Not very fair when he gives us everything. Thank you for confirming the change I need to make! Lots of love and hugs to you and your beautiful family!

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  8. Beth,
    We can both do better next year and see what blessings overtake us!!! I wish you a wonderful 2012, with all that God wants to bestow on you and your family!
    Love you!
    ~Erin

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  9. Tulsa, my home away from home!

    Father, forgive me for when I have made excuses or have let distractions get in the way. Thank you for Erin's post to be a reminder that you come before any insignificant distraction or excuse and nothing in this world feeds and blesses, teaches and guides like You do, that the relationship with You is like no other and should never be put off. Thank you for always being there,never hanging up and never being too busy for me. In your precious Son's Name, Amen

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  10. Love the photos. What a sweet Christmas. And as always, your post hit me in the heart!

    Dianne

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  11. Kristin,
    I receive that prayer for myself! Thank you so much for stopping by with your little nugget of prayer. It is a powerful one, indeed.
    Blessings in this new year that's about to be upon us!!
    ~Erin

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  12. We're all in the same place, Dianne! I love you and can't wait til we get together again.
    xoxo,
    ~Erin

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  13. I love how you always see the perfect comparisons between our lives and our relationships, and how our life with God is. That's why you connect so well with your readers and make your point so well. We can relate to your examples.

    Your family is beautiful and thank you for sharing these photos with us.

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  14. Michael Ann,
    That is truly what I hope for with my blog. You couldn't have spoken words that blessed me more! Thank you for your kind words about my family. They hold my heart, that's for sure!
    Happy New Year!!!
    ~Erin

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  15. Wonderful, thoughtful post. A real blessing to find you in cyberspace. May God grant you a glorious 2012 as you continue to enrich our lives.

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  16. Patti,
    I'm so glad we've connected! I pray a wonderful 2012 for you and your family as well! You are such a blessing!
    ~Erin

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  17. Your posts are such a joy to read as they bring me back to truth and how God sees our lives.

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  18. Thank you for your kind words, Shanda! I pray blessings to you and your family for 2012!!
    xo,
    ~Erin

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  19. Looks like you had a wonderful holiday. And thank you for reminding me to make time for the One who is truly important in my life.

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  20. I hope you had a wonderful holiday too, Marie! Happy New Year!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  21. This is beautiful. I'm visiting for the first time from Tracy's place at "My Daily Walk in His Grace." This was so eye opening. Thank you for sharing this beautiful perspective. My oldest is only 10, but this gave me a look into what my mom and grandmother see... and of course, my heavenly Father.

    <3 Kendra

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  22. Hi Erin,

    I can certainly relate to these words because (especially lately!) when I allow myself to get caught up in too much, sometimes I lose my focus and become distracted from time spent with God. I begin to feel an emptiness inside and know that there is something missing, and I realize that I have bumped God out of first place! God does not take time out from me, so I should not take time out from Him!

    Lovely pictures of your sweet family. :) Blessings to you all for a New Year filled with His joy and grace,
    Denise

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  23. What a lovely day you had! Happy Christmas and New Years!

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  24. Wonderful pictures of a beautiful family! I wish you all a Happy New Year!

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  25. hi! I came across your blog through bloggy moms :) I’m always looking for other Oklahoma bloggers. Can’t wait to read up! Have a great New Year!

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  26. Denise,
    It saddens me that I bump Him out of first place so easily. My prayer for 2012 is that I always make Him my first priority so that I'm better able to care for my other priorities!
    Happy New Year and many blessings,
    ~Erin

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  27. Kendra,
    Don't you just love Tracy! She continually inspires me. I'm so glad that this post blessed you.
    I pray that God blesses you with love, peace and oodles of joy in 2012!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  28. Penelope,
    Thank you for visiting here! I pray you have a joyous and blessed 2012!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  29. Jedidja,
    I'm always so blessed when you stop by. Thank you for your kind words. I pray that you walk closely with God this next year and receive all the blessings He has for you!
    xo,
    ~Erin

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  30. CS,
    So glad you stopped by! I love to meet fellow Oklahoma bloggers too! I'm going to hop over and check out your site!
    Have a wondermous New Year!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  31. It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas Erin, and I'm wishing you a Happy New Year as well! Keep up the great blogging:)

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  32. Erin, I was shocked to read you have six children. YOU LOOK MAHVELOUS!!!!! What a beautiful Christmas. Thank you for sharing a little of you with me.

    Blessings and Happy New Year!!

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  33. I absolutely loved this post! Brought tears to my eyes as I thought about my own parents, my own children, & God...thanks for taking the time to write these wonderful words!

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  34. What wonderful pictures! Such a precious testimony of His Faithfulness! :)

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  35. Wow. I believe that God has an incredible heart that surpasses our own. What is comforting is that He is always waiting for that door to open. Loved the holiday photos!

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  36. Jesus is the very best present and unfortunately I sometimes leave Him under the tree. Thanks for this!

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  37. Thanks, Courtney! I'm honored by your visit. I hope you have a wonderful new year full of blessings!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  38. Carla, thank you for the wonderful compliment! My kids & grandbabies keep me young! Have a wonderful and Happy New Year. Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!
    ~Erin

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  39. Mrs. Diner,
    I'm so honored that you stopped by. Thank you for your kind words! I hope this year, I learn to keep the Lord my #1 priority in all that I do!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  40. Anne, He has been so faithful to my family, through thick and thin! I wish I could be as faithful to Him!
    Happy New Year to you and your precious brood!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  41. Thank you, Miriam! Isn't wonderful how He always patiently waits for us to realize that we need to visit Him and soak in His glory!
    Happy New Year to you, sweet sister!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  42. Shannon,
    I hear you, sister! I am guilty of the same thing. But this year, I'm going to do better!
    Happy New Year, sweet friend!
    ~Erin

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  43. Erin you have a beautiful family. I love how happy you look in these photos. So glad you had a nice Christmas. I've often thought about the same thing, only in a slightly different context. I think it about my mom. I haven't seen her (other than Skype) in over 2yrs now. I pray God will bless me with the financial resources to be able to visit Idaho in 2012. I really need it. And I know my mom does too.

    Wishing you a beautiful New Year my friend,
    Love you,
    Rosann

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  44. Rosann,
    I pray the Lord uses the sales of your book to promote you and bless you! I pray that you are able to have sweet times with your mom in 2012! You are such a blessing to me!
    Love you very very much!
    ~Erin

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  45. It looks like you had a wonderful time....such great memories!

    Poping in with M2R from vB
    Have a Super New Year!!!

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  46. I absolutely love this post! So warm and enlightening! Thank you for opening up your heart and home. Happy New Year!

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  47. Pamela,
    Thank you for stopping by! I love my vB friends so much. Have a Happy New Year!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  48. Perspective Parenting,
    Thank you for your kind words! I hope you have a wonderful 2012!!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  49. Happy New Year Erin!! Our Hope is eternal, His promises are sure. He is coming, and we are looking up in 2012 for our Redemption draws nigh! I wish for you a peaceful and happy new year.

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  50. Happy New Year, Erin! i loved all your beautiful family photos. Looks like many good times spent with the ones you love!
    Love your red dress and checkered coat!
    Wishing you a very blessed and happy year ahead <3
    lots of love!!
    xoxoxo
    maria

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  51. What a wonderful post. You made me reflect on the times I put off either praying to God or an opportunity to serve Him. This post is a great reminder that we should always have time for the Lord. Always.

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  52. Amen, Elizabeth. I wish and pray the same for you in this coming year!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  53. Maria,
    We had a wonderful Christmas, just being surrounded by family and friends who we love! I'm so glad that you had a great Christmas too.
    Happy New Year!
    xoxo,
    ~Erin

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  54. Anne,
    We all need reminded sometimes! Spending time with Him makes every day better!!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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