Yo, Adrian...

Finish the sentence, can you?  Even if you aren't a Rocky fan (which I can't even imagine), you can likely complete the thought....
Yo, Adrian...
I did it
Yo, Adrian...
We did it

Either answer is correct - Rocky (no number in the title) released in 1976 - I was a freshman in high school.  That first movie introduced us to a small-time endearing boxer who was eventually "chosen" to fight the world champion, Apollo Creed.  In case you are wondering, it wasn't until Rocky II that those famous words were first uttered, "Yo, Adrian, I did it!"  She was at home with their new baby, so in an overwhelmingly emotional scene, Rocky raised his newly acquired World Champion belt, screaming those words directly to Adrian.

So, fast forward through Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V... all the way to 2006... 30 years after the original movie.  Rocky Balboa, in his late fifties, stepped back into the ring.  Adrian had passed away, and this movie ends after the fight concluded in a split decision win for the opponent.  Rocky visited Adrian's grave reminiscing that he couldn't have done any of it without her... then before he walked away, he almost whispered... "Yo, Adrian, WE did it."

Okay, so you get it, we are big Rocky fans... we grew up with him, we introduced our children to him.... Clay left the latest movie, Creed, saying it was life-changing!  :)  So much nostalgia - so many references to earlier movies... chronicles of Rocky's life.  We lived forty years with him.  (Yes, I do realize he is a fictitious character...well...)  So we move on.

And 2015 comes to a close tomorrow, and immediately 2016 rolls right in - not much time between to prepare or plan.  

In my recent reflection of 2015 I have literally written down each month of the year - all 12 of them.  I spent some time thinking through events, memories, joys, challenges, sadness, excitement...  Some of those moments sparked laughter while some sparked tears - tears of sadness and tears of exhilaration.  I would have never imagined all that has happened in our lives in just the past 364 days.    Paul gives me a simple reality as I reflect from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17,
 "Rejoice always, 
pray continually, 
give thanks in all circumstances, 
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

That simple reality changes everything setting ALL "things" in the perspective of the fact that I am a child of God... I am a sister in, and because of, Christ Jesus.  Not one moment of 2015 came to pass except through the filter of my Heavenly Father.

2016 will be here in hours.  Can I challenge you to take just a few minutes to look back before you look ahead?  Thank God for His faithfulness in the days that you clearly saw and even felt it, and then thank Him for His faithfulness in the day that you didn't.  His promises are true, and He is trustworthy.

When you do begin to look ahead, would you take a few more minutes to read, really read, Ephesians 6:10-17.  Paul begins by encouraging us to be strong IN THE LORD and His mighty power. (Not our own)  Then he walks us through the putting on of God's armor.  I can attest to the fact that I need that armor... everyday - even on the days I feel that it too heavy to even pick up and begin the preparation for the day.  After I just read again about each piece and the purpose of each, I am simply thankful - God continues to provide, doesn't He?

As we look ahead to 2016, join Paul and me as we add Ephesians 6:18 to our goals, plans, and resolutions...

in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people..."

Yo... Adrian... we are going to do it!!  And thankfully, we never have to do it alone!

One More Thing...

Last Thursday evening we built an entire Christmas Women's Event around those three words... ONE MORE THING.

Just a few weeks ago as Frank and Clay sat down to dinner - Clay said, "come on, Mom, we're ready to eat."  I was standing in the kitchen, looking for... oh, yes, one more thing... the ketchup, that's it.

Clay continued, "you know, that's what I remember about family dinners when the girls were all still home.  We would all be at the table, and you would still be rushing around in the kitchen getting something for someone."  Now I could quickly respond that maybe, just maybe, I was still in the kitchen because I had not properly trained all my children to help get everything to the table before dinner was ready, but I do understand what he meant.  There did and honestly, there does, still always seem to be just one more thing to do before stopping to sit, listen, and enjoy conversation.

Our discussion on Thursday evening led us to Mary and Martha and Jesus' visit to their house.  Poor Martha - most famous for her distraction, her worry, her concern of unfairness as she prepared the meal, and Mary sat at the feet of Jesus.  I love the way the King James version of the Bible offered Jesus' response to Martha concern.

 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.   But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
In her busyness Jesus simply reminded Martha... You have need for ME.  You are full of need for ME.  Let's keep in mind who is speaking here - He is:  Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Oh friends, we have need for Him, even when we don't see it, don't feel it, or don't acknowledge it.  We were made in His image to be in fellowship with Him, to bring glory to Him.
His mother, Mary... I think she "got" it.  After the shepherd's visited, the Bible allows us just a quiet moment to peek into the heart of Mary.  Luke 2:19 says, But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.  Even after the indescribable journey to Bethlehem, the birth of her precious baby boy, the visit of the shepherds...she found some amount of time to treasure all the things that had happened and ponder them in the tenderest place... her heart.  To ponder is to consider something deeply and thoroughly... it takes time.  
Twelve years later when Jesus had been left behind in Jerusalem.  Mary and Joseph rushed back the minute they realized he was missing.  They found him, of course, in the Temple responding with his simple reply, "Didn't you know I would be in my Father's house?"  His parents did not fully understand His statement at that point, but even still... Luke again uses the same phrase, "But His mother treasured all these things in her heart."
I just have to believe that even though Luke only used that phrase, "but Mary" twice in his gospel, the phrase must clearly characterize Mary a bit.  She found the time, she created the time, she knew her need for the time to ponder and treasure her son, ultimately her Savior, and so, my friends, must we!
During every season, but especially THIS season, these next 20 days, would you find the time, create the time, see your need for the time with Jesus.... just 20 minutes a day... maybe by the Christmas tree early in the morning.  Read the story of His birth... from Luke 1 and 2.  Read it over again each day, or just read a few verses of it a day, and just allow a little time for God to speak to you through His word.  
But Mary... treasured... the Necessary... the ONE THING.  His name is Jesus.