Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

Journey December 9, 2020

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 3:51 pm
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Each week, four leading up to Christmas, we pause to remember the birth of our Savior.  In some households a candle is lit for each of the advent themes. These days we live aboard a boat, so instead we will “turn on” a flameless candle as we consider the second theme of advent, JOY.

A white square with black typeface print.  I can see it in my mind as clear as if I was still standing in my old kitchen staring at the prominent fridge magnet…its words, a reflection of an effort to course correct:  Life is Journey, Not a Destination  This would become our mantra, a rallying cry, a reminder of our intent to enjoy the journey.  How did this magnet find its way to our fridge?  Well, you see, years ago one member of our household struggled with “journeys”.  Traversing shopping malls, careers, hiking trails or highways, they had a “get to the other place” mindset.  This was not always a bad thing.  This is a focus that often propelled them/us to important places, life events and milestones in a timely and helpful fashion.  But it also created a sense of stress, rush and frustration.  Then one day, they proclaimed they were going to be ALL about the JOURNEY in life.  It was a powerful shift, not easy or natural.  I marveled at the intentional effort, the impact was unmistakable in our lives.   

These days remembering to enjoy the journey is a challenge we both continually face.  Perhaps it is time to buy another magnet for the boat fridge?  This week the journey is weighing on my heart.  As I prepared to write this post about JOY, the image of that old black and white magnet danced in my head like the “sugar plumb fairy” from that famous poem.  I often find my focus is on getting through, arriving on the other side of difficult days, enduring, seeking a completion, a resting place. I am destination minded.   I have been busy white knuckling the reins of my life(and that of my adult kids if I’m being honest), reins I grabbed from the very capable hands of my Heavenly Father, and trying to “journey” my way faster, easier, in and around all the days I deemed to be difficult, painful, hard and unsettling.

Our pastor once said, regarding the life/national/world events of this year, “Perhaps it is not about what God is doing to us, but rather what He is doing for us?”   I’m glad our service was a virtual one, I would not have been proud of the face I made,(an emoji eye roll comes to mind).  But the more I considered his words, the more I felt lead to spend less time wringing my hands and more time looking for the hands of God.  I had been so intent on being saved from the journey, that I almost missed the gifting of it all.  God’s handiwork was easy to see when I stopped and looked. Still the struggle to find joy in the journey continued. And then this….as I checked in with a friend who has been battling cancer. His reply to my “How are your doing?” :

“Every day the Lord gives me is a gift and an excellent reason to give it my best.”  

I was shook at that truth as it applies to us all.  These days of our journey…easy, wonderful, full, precious, painful, worrisome, hard, trying…are gifts, and excellent reasons to give it our all.  Let us seek God in our journey, giving the days our all, knowing  the JOY of Him, ever mindful that He redeems us, He is for us, He is with us.  This is truly news of great JOY to ALL people…..

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child and bear a son, a they shall call His name Immanuel”( which means, God with us.) Matthew 1:23

He came to us, for us and will one day come again!

P.S. I think I do need a new fridge magnet, I want to be reminded to treasure the journey…but I would amend it to read:  Life is a journey, with a destination!


Oh Baby! December 9, 2014

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 8:01 am
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V__3400 This is the second week of Advent. Each week, four leading up to Christmas, we pause in remembrance of the birth of our Savior. In some households a candle will be lit in recognition of each of the Advent themes. This week we light the candle of JOY.


My daughter, Ashley, was home from New York for Thanksgiving. We took advantage of her being in town for her to visit family friends, Pete and Kristin.  Kristin, and her older sister Kari, are like sisters to Ashley. They are the daughters of one of my best friends.  We have known them since Ashley was a preteen. Over the years they were always there with encouraging words, ready to listen and including her in their lives.  I know she misses seeing them both and she was glad to at least be able to see Kristin.  It was especially nice since Ashley had yet to meet Kristin and Pete’s newest addition, sweet baby Nixon.


The evening we arrived, Kristin’s home was already filled with family.  Pete’s mom and dad, brother, sister-in-law and their baby girl were all visiting for Thanksgiving.  I was engaging Pete’s dad in conversation when I noticed a concerned look on his face.  He looked at me and nodded toward Ashley.  “Is she okay?” he sweetly asked.   That’s when I saw it…I was so caught up in greeting people I almost missed it.


Kristin was standing beside Ashley after just placing baby Nixon in her arms.   Ashley, holding and seeing Nixon for the first time, was moved to tears.  She tried to turn away so no one would see her cry.  She knew we’d probably tease her.  I am pretty sure her tears surprised even her.  I was not surprised though.  I had seen her do this one other time, when she met Noah, Kari’s son, for the first time.


Pete’s compassionate dad continued to be concerned for her tears.  “Why is she crying?” he quietly asked me.   I assured him she was okay, but struggled with explaining “why”.  Teary eyed now myself, all I could bring myself to say was , “Its because she loves Kristin”.    He smiled, obviously relieved.


You see, Ashley does not cry every time she holds just any baby.  But that night, and when she held Kari’s son for the first time, she could not help but be overwhelmed.  She held and looked into the sweet face of a baby born to someone she loves dearly, someone who has loved her unconditionally.  They were tears of JOY.


I have thought of Ashley’s precious tears a lot this week.  In the Christmas season we are surrounded by images of baby Jesus.  What would it have been like if Mary had placed baby Jesus in my arms?  I feel certain I too would find myself moved to tears.  I know, because even as I write this, I am fighting back tears at just the thought.  I imagine holding the son of THE ONE I love completely.  Cradling Him in my arms and looking into the eyes of the son of the God who loves me unconditionally.  There would be tears, tears of JOY.


We may not be able to hold Him in our arms, but we can hold Him in our hearts.  May this week we consider the treasure of knowing the Son of God and forever mindful of the Joy of it all.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great JOY, that will be for all people.” Luke 2:10