Be A Cindy Lou Who
Updated: May 19, 2020
We have officially made it 2 months into this quarantine. We have reached mid-May people. Whoa! Where has the time gone? As long and slow as some of these days feel, the weeks are flying by. I must say that the sunshine and warmer weather has done wonders for the soul. Who’s with me!? Anyways, I hope everyone is staying well and healthy during this scary time our world is navigating. I want to remind all of you that you are SO STRONG. Everyone is facing a different battle during this time. I read something a few weeks back that said we are all navigating the same storm but we are all in different boats traveling through. Just a little food for thought to help us have a little more compassion for each other during this time.
My mom sent me this quote: “You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” I can honestly say that I have learned more about myself in the past few months than I ever expected I needed to learn but the compassion my mother had on me to remind me that my situation is difficult and I am strong for enduring it was exactly what I needed. (Thank you, Mama for being so good to me <3) So, maybe this week try to reach out to someone to uplift them in some way. Remind them that you see them, you recognize the difficulty they are enduring even though it is different than yours, and you are proud of them for handling this like a champ! It makes a world of difference! I know from experience 😉
So, moving on. Did you know that when some trees bloom in the springtime they usually start off with some really pretty flowered blossoms? Then, over time, these beautiful flowered trees shed the blossoms as green leaves take their place. Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. All I can say is, I sure didn’t. I never really paid attention. I talked about this concept in my previous post, I want it too. I spoke of how this quarantine has caused me to slow down and notice these little things. During my runs over the past several weeks I have noticed how the trees have continued to progress. Last week, I stopped to take a picture of one tree because of how beautiful the white blooms looked. I noticed how some trees smelled heavenly while others smelled quite funny. Today, I noticed the white blooms starting to shed and the green replacing it. I was amazed. Why have I never noticed this process before? Am I really that oblivious to the miracle of creation that has been taking place around me all of these years?
I sat in amazement of the process and with gratitude for the gift of experiencing it. I will confess that I have probably spent more time outside this season than I have since high school, and that was almost a decade ago! What a gift it has been. Nature is so fascinating. In high school I went on a retreat and one of the talks spoke of the different ways we can experience God. Nature was one of them. I have always been more apt to experience Him through the sky, the sun rising, streaming through the clouds, or setting, the moon and the stars, beautiful flowers, and the breeze of the wind. However, I have learned to find Him in the simple stillness and the mundane aspects of nature. Simple. God is in the magnificent; but He is very real, very active, and very present in the simple.
Simple: easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty; plain, basic, or uncomplicated in form, nature, or design.
Simple. Jesus doesn’t want to stay hidden. He doesn’t want our relationship with Him to be complicated. He surprises us every day in the little details. Do we take the time to notice? Do we ever slow down and simply breathe so we can breathe in His grace and exhale our praise?
As I was reflecting on this, I felt God whisper to my soul, “Oh my child, this is exactly the lesson I wanted you to learn. The key is to cultivate a spirit of child-like wonder and awe.” Wonder. Ah! There is my word of the year again popping up out of no-where!! If you don’t know about my word of the year check out my post, Songbirds.
In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear about the blessing of Children. Jesus says, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Despite our numerical age, this is a call to always remain a child spiritually. To relish in wonder, awe, and excitement at every new thing we experience or learn; To have total dependence and trust on our Father who loves us because He only wants to provide and give us every good gift and opportunity, just like our earthly fathers do. This reminded me of something that happened to me last week.
Towards the end of my shift at work I stepped into the stairwell to take a quick break from the mask I had been wearing all day. As I stood there breathing in all the fresh air, mask free, I looked out the window. From the inside everything looked like life as I’ve always known it. The sun was shining, the tree branches were gently swaying in the wind, birds were chirping and flying around, and cars drove past on the nearby street. In this brief moment my mind jumped straight to the story of The Grinch. If I surprised you with that statement, believe me, I was surprised too that my mind randomly jumped to this classic Christmas movie. I love the Grinch. I think it has to do with the change of heart we experience in him throughout the movie. But more than the actual story, I just love the memories that I associate with the movie.
Every year growing up my mom, sister, and I had a Christmas baking event with my aunt. This was one of my favorite Christmas traditions. We made a whole weekend out of it. I so looked forward to this every year. We made countless variations of cookies. We each had our own roles, whether that was rolling the dough or stirring melted chocolate and caramel. We just enjoyed each other’s company while we talked over the Christmas music playing in the background and the lingering smells of freshly baked goodness. At the time, my aunt lived in a different city than us and so she would spend the weekend with us and for a kid that meant a slumber party! Every Saturday night before going to bed we would always curl up on the couch with her and watch The Grinch. It was one of her favorites and it became a tradition where we had to watch it every year. Such a sweet memory.
So, when I was standing in the stairwell staring out the window experiencing the world and thinking how normal everything looked, my mind jumped to a song Faith Hill sings in the live version of The Grinch. Although I am partial to the cartoon Grinch that I always watched growing up, I have always loved this particular song from her that Cindy Lou Who sings in the live version.
The lyric in particular that my mind jumped to was, “My world is changing. I’m rearranging. Does that mean Christmas changes too?” I thought about how relevant this lyric was to what was occurring inside my mind. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the light of the world. We celebrate God becoming man for the salvation of our souls. We celebrate Him coming into the world and being present among us. Christmas is all about Christ. So, as I stood in that stairwell, I silently prayed, “My world is changing. I’m rearranging. Does that mean Christ changes too?” Immediately, in my heart I heard the word, “NO.”
Jesus never changes. Circumstances may change and look different but God, He always remains the same. God is good. God is true. God is faithful. God is patient. God is loving. God is merciful. God is all knowing. God is present. God is strong. God is creative. God is beautiful. God is generous. God is selfless. God is kind. He never changes. YET, we still ask the question, “Where are you, Jesus?”, just like Cindy Lou Who asked, “Where are you, Christmas?”
During this season of great difficulty, it is so easy to lose hope. It is so easy to feel like Jesus left us alone to navigate the storm. It is normal to question where He is at and I honestly don’t think it’s a bad question to ask. Sometimes it takes us asking the question to begin to seek out the answer. When we begin seeking, we find…just like the childhood game we all played, hide and seek. When Jesus appears to be hidden, our hearts desire to find Him, and we seek Him in new ways that we never have before. When we do this, our faith is strengthened and we grow into a deeper intimacy and dependence on our Father. We practice the simplicity of childhood.
Faith Hill’s version of the song ends with a B-E-A-U-TI-FUL lyric.
“Oh, I feel you Christmas. I know I’ve found you. You never fade away. The Joy of Christmas stays here inside us. Fills each and every heart with love.”
If we change this lyric back to Christ, look how it reads.
“Oh, I feel you Christ. I know I’ve found you. You NEVER fade away. The JOY of Christ stays here inside us. Fills each and every heart with love.”
I love this because if you listen to the song in its entirety you experience a change in the heart of the artist. Just like the grinch and just like us, the artist goes on a journey to find the meaning of Christmas, to find truth. She begins by questioning but by the end of the song with confidence she proclaims that she has found what she sought out to find.
This makes me smile. Such a silly movie but oh the depth of the lesson we can learn from it. My favorite quote from the movie is, “It came without ribbons, it came without tags, it came without packages, boxes, or bags. Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
I love this. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. Hmm maybe life, perhaps, means a little bit more. What have we been believing is the meaning of life? What have we made the purpose of life? What have we made most important and first place in our lives? Where have we sought out happiness and fulfillment in life?
I don’t know about you but I will be the first to admit that through this quarantine I have come to realize that I have some rearranging of priorities that needs to take place because I truly believe that maybe life, perhaps, means a little bit more than what I have been making it mean.
I think this is the lesson Jesus wants us to learn during this quarantine. I think He wants to simplify us so we can slow down, reflect a little, do a little rearranging in our lives, become more childlike, and discover what the true meaning of life is and what the most important things are in this life.
This quarantine is the platform Jesus is using for us to find Him. Christ will never fade away and the Joy that we will experience from living a life firmly rooted in Christ will fill our hearts with love, so much love. And love conquers all. Jesus is love. Jesus is filling our hearts. Through love and through the joy of that love, we have the strength to conquer any trial that comes our way. So, in a world full of grinches, be a Cindy Lou Who. Like her, don’t be afraid to seek because I assure you, when you do, you will find.
Have a great week! You are in my prayers!