My Anchor Holds

Me standing in front on an anchor at the US Coast Guard Air Station, Traverse City, MI, June 2018

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. –Hebrews 6:19 NIV

As I turn the calendar page to the last month of the year, I mentally review the 11 previous months. Months, for the most part, I wouldn’t want to live over.

They weren’t bad. But you know how I feel about that word. I prefer “good” or “not so good” or “challenging.”

2018 was certainly challenging as I navigated the tumultuous waters of change, both wanted and unwanted, changes I initiated and changes that were foisted upon me.

From losing my kitty Rascal at the beginning of January (I still miss my little buddy) to the joy of attending my son’s wedding in June to DH’s retirement in September to dealing with eye issues to trying to decide what to do about Christmas in an empty nest.

Changes, decisions, uncertainty, joy, sorrow, disappointment, discouragement, hope, and lots of prayer dotted the days of 2018.

Hope is what got me through. And prayer.

Hope was and is the anchor for my soul. Not hope that everything will turn out the way I want, but hope in a sovereign God who has everything under control. Who has a plan and purpose for me. Who knows where I am, even when I feel lost, and knows where I’m going. Who’s all-powerful – He can make anything happen. Who’s all-knowing – He knows me better than I know myself and knows the end from the beginning. A God who loves me, faults and all.

Hope is what steadies this ship in the storms of life and keeps me from drifting away from where I’m supposed to be. Hope is the anchor I drop so it can dig into the bottom rather than hold me down by a heavy weight.

But note: I must drop the anchor. It won’t drop itself. If I leave it on deck, it won’t do me any good when the winds and waves batter me and toss me about, getting me off course and threatening to destroy me.

The anchor drops down deep and digs into the bottom, giving me security in uncertain times.

Prayer, on the other hand, goes up, ascending to the throne of my Father, who’s waiting for me to release my plans and dreams to Him, and trust Him with all my heart and not depend on my limited understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

Once again, it is something I choose to do. I can try to figure it out on my own, but my perspective is limited, my understanding incomplete. I can try to do it all myself, my way, but I know where that’s gotten me before, and it wasn’t pretty.

I cried out to my Heavenly Father, and He was right there.  Indeed, as the old song goes, “He was there all the time, waiting patiently.”

I don’t have a whole lot to do to get ready for Christmas.

The house is already decorated, done in one day, thanks to my son, his new wife, and five grandchildren. The gifts are all bought, thanks to a day spent cyber-shopping. All I have to do is wait for UPS or FedEx to deliver them. Then I’ll wrap them.

The menu for our family Christmas dinner and gift exchange on the 15th and the corresponding grocery list are done. I’m not doing cards this year, except a few to hand out and a brief newsletter for a handful of friends and relatives. I do, however, have a few gifts I’m making.

So the next few weeks I’ll sit in my cozy chair by the fireplace and crochet. While my hands are busy with yarn and a crochet hook, my mind will mull over the past year, and my heart will rejoice because I know, whatever the future will bring, smooth sailing or turbulent seas, my anchor holds!

What are you needing hope for this Christmas season?

Cast your anchor in Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

There is a time to weigh anchor and sail, and a time to drop anchor and stay put. You, Lord, are that anchor that is always with me, on board my ship or holding me fast in turbulent waters. Thank you. Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalms 46 and 139

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

When Junk Brought Joy

 

God delights in the one whose heart is in his gift. –2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP

It was late fall, 1978. My husband worked at the local scrapyard—his hours dependent on the weather—I was a stay-at-home mom, and we were poor.

We wanted to put some nice presents under the tree for our two-year-old son, but, with Dean bringing home around $100 a week, how could we afford even one? Putting food on the table and paying the bills on time were higher priorities.

Then someone dumped a load of junk at the scrapyard—a load that included a couple of well-used, rusty, but still sturdy, Tonka toys. Dean brought them home to our second-story apartment and set up Santa’s workshop in our unheated attic.

When Christmas morning dawned, a refurbished dump truck and front-end loader sat under our tree.

Over the next few years, my husband repurposed other toys that had been discarded at the junkyard, including a motorhome and a three-wheeled pedal tractor.

When our second child, a daughter, came along, we were still poor. I put my sewing machine to use and made her a Raggedy Ann doll. Another year I crocheted her a stuffed panda from Dazzleaire yarn. That panda grew up with her, and I presented it to her—minus the stuffing because she’d plucked it all out—on her wedding day.

After nearly 40 years, those Christmases are the ones that warm my heart the most.

Back then Christmas wasn’t about the money because we had none. But somehow we found a way to give. And it was more than a Tonka toy or homemade stuffed doll under the tree. It was something intangible—the gift of time, talent, and love—a piece of our hearts.

We may have been poor in money, poor in worldly possessions, but we were rich in love.

Our hearts overflowed with it. It infused our handmade gifts, gave energy to every swipe of sandpaper, every stroke of the paintbrush, every stitch of thread and yarn—and multiplied back to us on Christmas morning when our children exclaimed in delight as they opened their gifts.

One of the afghans I made for a Christmas gift

This year I organized my crochet supplies, bought a cartful of yarn, and got to work. Since mid-October, I’ve made eight granny-square Christmas stockings, two afghans, two messy bun hats with matching headbands and infinity scarves, and one pair of boot cuffs. When I couldn’t find a pattern to match what I envisioned for a reticule (a small purse), I crafted one of my own.

And a long-lost, deep-rooted, almost forgotten joy fills my heart and overflows onto everything around me.

You see, the joy of giving explodes when the heart is in the gift. Joy, like love, doesn’t divide. It multiplies.

Thank You, Lord God, for helping me to rediscover true joy. Amen.

Read and meditate on Luke 2:1–20 and Matthew 2:1–12 

© 2017, Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

TO MY READERS: May God’s peace, joy, and love fill your hearts and homes this Christmas and throughout the New Year.