About Me

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Blue Ridge Area of Virginia
Alicha McHugh is author of "Daughter of the Promise" first in her: Numbered Among the Stars series (available on Amazon.com). She is a homemaker to her husband of 15 years, homeschooler to their children. Writing, enjoying tea and creaming Raw Honey are three of her current pursuits. Grabbing time to read is always high on her list of priorities! If you'd like to contact her, she'd love to hear from you! Just email: alichamchugh@gmail.com

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Good/Bad ~ I finally GET IT!

You know that expression, "Take the good with the bad."

I finally understand what that means.

What I THOUGHT it meant was more of a compartmentalized version of the saying. Like, when bad comes your way, take it...because eventually good will come your way and then you take that too.

In a husband and wife relationship, likely any relationship, there is good and bad. What is my norm is to take the good when it comes and ride it high. Unfortunately for my husband, children and myself, when the bad comes, I'd take it and ride it low for all it's worth.

What I've recently discovered this expression actually means and a better phrase I believe: Allow the good to balance the bad.

You see, it is easy (for me) to think my husband is the most horrible person on the planet. I mean HITLER"S got nothin' on a guy that just ticked me off, pushed the wrong buttons, or turned the "blinding light" on for the 5th time that morning, all because he's been up for a while and thinks you've had enough "Zen" time.

How unbalanced!

What a misrepresentation of truth! My husband is a great guy, a fantastic salesman, someone who I believe literally can do ANYTHING he sets his mind to, a wonderful father a caring son and man in pursuit of the "how to's" of loving his wife!

It bothered me, the ferociousness with which I perceived and addressed every wrong! Like I'm going to stomp on it and squash it out. I'm not. I know I'm not and yet that's where I've let my emotions take me...into lies and deceit about a man I've melded my life to.

What has happened...this imbalance has pushed all truth from my mind when a difficulty arises and instead of dealing with the problem, issue at hand, I've perceived my husband as the problem and issue at hand and I do what I do with all problems...go into attack mode to fix it.

And we all know that's working well....NOT!

So it has been with a grateful heart, a heart needing to understand this for a great while, that I realized I need to remember the LOVING KINDNESS of my GREAT GOD, who gave me a husband with such amazing qualities that balance and even tip the scales back when things sometimes go south, as they most certainly do and will.

To keep my focus big and inclusive when dealing with relational hurts.

And didn't I vow to do just that, in sickness and health (the good and bad) til death do us part? How much easier it is when your husband is also seeking after the Lord! I'm blessed!

So what have YOU been learning about relationships??? Share below as you're led!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Comforted and Comforting, Happy New Year!

Taking down the tree this year came with a different sort of sound...My two year old wailing in the background!

I'll never forget that moment when she realized the tree was coming down and she let out a howl of despair. How were we to know? The child had barely glanced at the tree outside of a brief "Ohhhh!" when we put it up.

Well, for a time, no amount of hugs and assurances that "the tree will get put up again next year" and "Christmas is Christ, not Christmas trees" would work. Distraction was the key.

But I saw something of the magic, the essence, she'd experienced this year, the glimpse of a Light that went down with the tree. And I hate to admit to having, if not the exact expression of my daughter's feelings, than certainly the feelings themselves for nearly every Christmas I can remember...save this one.

There was always a sigh on Dec. 26th that had nothing to do with returning presents, or continued clean up from the day before. The wistful wish that the season would never end and the echoing chime of truth that's collected a bit of cloy over the years.

"Christmas is in the heart"
"Jesus is the reason for the Season"
"Let's keep the Christ in Christ-mas"
"Keep the Spirit of Christmas alive"

I can't tell you how many times I've forced myself to push beyond the feelings of loss and "Ho, Hum" the days and weeks just after Christmas.

That is, until this year.

As many of you know, I've been involved in a study on the book of Isaiah with a group called CBS. Back in early November, we got into Isaiah 7. There is a prophecy given there, one we are all so familiar with we could recite it in our sleep....and often do (figuratively speaking).

It was the person to whom the prophecy was given that caught me by surprise: King Ahaz.

King over Judah (the 2 southern most tribes of Israel), he'd turned the peoples hearts away from the Lord, doing what was evil in the sight of God.

We read the definition of his reign and gloss over it.

What many don't realize is the man, Ahaz, sacrificed HIS SON to a false god, in fire. There are so many things going on here that it's hard to focus. But as I wrapped my head around this one horrific sin of Ahaz, for the first time the true meaning of Christmas, the HEART of it, began to sink in and has "protected" me from the usual feelings of loss I've had after the season's passed.

It would be easy to dismiss Ahaz as cold and unfeeling and perhaps that's right. His heart really doesn't matter, because either way, whether the sacrifice of his son touched him or not, the fact remains Kings don't kill their sons. Unless they are certifiably mad, like the Herod of Jesus' day (of whom was this common saying, "it is better to be a pig in Herod's household than his son!")

As a self preserving rule of thumb, kings make as many sons as they possibly can...and endeavor to keep them safe in order to keep the kingdom in their lineage.

King Ahaz in particular. KNOW what HE knew. The Messiah was to come through him.

So, I think it fair to surmise, Ahaz must have seen GREAT GAIN in the sacrifice of his son. And I felt like a bird in a Sycamore tree watching as the prophet Isaiah stood before Ahaz. In a fraction of time, a moment sealed in the Word of God and my own heart, Ahaz knew intimately what few fathers can only guess at; he knew exactly what Abraham felt, yet without the relief, as the LORD declared to Abraham, "I will give MYSELF as a sacrifice."

And all at once the "Spirit of Christmas" came to me and I doubt it will ever leave.

For the first time, I gladly took down the Christmas decorations and looked at the empty spot where our tree stood with nothing other than observation and a question of "What did we have there before?"

No sense of loss. No wistful sighs. A season done, and into the next I carry with me two truths that came in the prophecy I've known since a child and now cherish as a Child.

Truth one comes from the prophecy in Isaiah: "Unto you (Ahaz, Alicha) a Child is born, Unto you a Son is given..." a promise given to a great sinner.

Truth two...The Heavenly Father, by the Holy Spirit, saw the hope of GREAT GAIN in sacrificing His only begotten Son. That "great gain" is me...that "great gain" is you.

And so, Christmas became for me this year in truth, what it has previously been to my heart only in theory and a sappy, fleeting sort of sentimentality:

The giving of The Son.

                                      *                              *                                *

May you read with understanding:

Isaiah 7:10-13 NKJV

10 Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”
12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!”
13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.[a]

Isaiah 9:6-7

New King James Version (NKJV)
6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.