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New Year’s Perfect Light

I was holiday-breathless, but a unique gift shifted my focus…

A shift of focus for the New Year from the perfect Christmas gift.

A few years ago, my friend Karen called on a gray, December afternoon.

“I’d like to bring your Christmas gift over later, okay?”

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I thought through the afternoon’s events and felt pressure in my chest. There was an evening Christmas concert, and the boys’ dress pants were a jumble on their closet floor. There’d be ironing and a battle to get everyone into dark socks.

There were two dozen cookies to bake for after-concert treats. We had afternoon studies, and the little guys needed naps, and there were gifts to wrap for the Angel Tree. Add to that supper and time to slip out of jeans and into something nice.

“Today’s wild,” I said. “Will it take much time?” I hated to ask, but my friendship with Karen was like that. We could be honest. Always.

“No,” she said. “See you at four.”

At four o’clock we stood in the back window, watching for Karen. The boys breathed on the window and drew pictures on the foggy glass, but I listened to the tick of our antique clock. There’s not much time and if one thing goes late, the rest of the night will fall like dominoes…

The little one in my arms fidgeted as Karen finally pulled in the drive. She got out and went to the back of her van. “What does she have, Mama?” a son asked as Karen lifted something, closed the hatch, and walked toward us toting a something black. I didn’t know.

A guitar?

I opened the door and my friend swept in with the wind. “What?” I asked.

Karen’s smile went wide. “You’ll see.”

Moments later my five sons and I were in the living room, jumbled on the sofa. Karen sat on the wing chair in the corner and opened her guitar case.

“I’ve been taking lessons,” she said. Her brown eyes were bright. “For your gift, I’d like to give you a song.”

Karen began to play. Gentle chords filled the room. Then she began to sing.

The lovely, simple sound washed into my soul and worry left on the tide.

I rocked my baby, closed my eyes, and began to hum. The boys’ voices joined the Karen’s for the chorus.

“O star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to the perfect Light.”

As we sang of those wise men seeking the Lord, my direction changed.

Oh Lord, I’ve been off track. Let me seek you, too…

It was an afternoon I’ll remember always, and today, that prayer becomes my desire for the New Year. I want to seek Him on my good days. During the hard days. In the center of my busyness. In the middle of my worry. My uncertainty and fear. My life and love and laughter and joy.

You will seek me and find me when you week me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13, NIV)

Guide me, Lord, to Your perfect light…

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Walking in Grace 2023 Devotional

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