It WAS a Very Special Christmas

As you may have read in my post from Dec 2 I was very discouraged at the beginning of the month. We didn't have as much money for presents as we usually do and we didn't get to travel to see my family in PA, but it was such a special time for our family.

As many of us often talk about doing, this year we decided to focus on helping others. And this year we acted on the decision instead of just talking about it.

Shortly after I wrote that post I found a website that was doing a 12 days of December giveaway and they were introducing you to a different person from their ministry every day. On the 7th day at the end of the entry for that day the suggestion was made to find a family to share the '12 Days of Christmas' - they had done it the year before for a man whose wife divorced him and left him with 5 children.

So, the wheels started turning and I had 2 families in mind. I contacted our pastor to see if this was something I could contact the congregation about and he very enthusiastically said YES!!

For the 12 days leading up to Christmas the focus in our family was on making Christmas special for these 2 families who had/have emotional needs beyond our comprehension. I don't mean this in a self-centered way at all, but it was such a blessing to be able to be used by God to minister to those who were/are hurting. There were many things done including Christmas decorations, meals, and gifts.

I believe it was through the same website - possibly just linked through that website - that my husband and I chose to do a different way of giving gifts within our family this year. We only bought 3 gifts for each other and 3 gifts for our daughter. The gift of gold represents something that the person really wants; the gift of frankincense represents something spiritual; and the gift of myrrh represents something you can wear. This took away so much stress of not knowing what to buy and not spending a lot. We had a great time and have enjoyed sharing this with many friends and family members.

This Christmas meant more to me than any of the 27 I have celebrated before. It was the most Christ-focused and others-centered holiday season I have ever experienced. Praise the Lord!!!

The only regret I have is that I don't think I took enough time to listen to Christmas music. . .

God is There

Through an email devotional today I was prompted to read Psalm 139 this afternoon. The author of the devotional only focused on verse 8, but I would like to focus on many of the verses in this wonderful Psalm that can only point you heavenward.

David is writing this Psalm about just how much God knows us. A comforting thought when we are right with God; a terrifying thought when we are trying to hide from Him.

There are so many times that we think we can hide from God. "Surely God would never go there" we think. However, if we have truly invited Christ in as our Savior we are the one taking Him there. When we think about it, we are taking God there because He knows our thoughts. Have you ever heard someone say, "Oh, I never thought about that"? Whatever that was, your thought planted in their mind takes them there.

God knows all of our thoughts. Verse 2 says "You understand my thought from afar."

Not only does God know our thoughts, but he knows our actions. Not only does he know about them, but he 'scrutinizes' them. He searches us out and is not only familiar with us, but He is intimately acquainted with all of our ways. Wow! Me?!?! Why? Because God sent His only Son to Calvary for me. (John 3:16-17)

David acknowledges in verse 6 that this knowledge is too much for him - with our human minds we cannot fully understand this.

Verses 7-10 :
"Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me."

God is there. Right where you are. Right now. Does that encourage you or does that scare you out of your mind? Be encouraged. God is there.

Praise the Lord

God is so good to answer our prayers above and beyond what we ever expect. We may not be able word everything just right or know exactly what to pray for, but He does.

Romans 8:26 "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;"

Repitition from the Almighty

It is awesome to me to see how God works in our lives. As most of you will agree he doesn't just show us something once and move on. He usually incorporates things into our lives over and over again. I had a note to start writing a blog about a certain topic and the devotional I read yesterday had a link to a blog with a story that totally went along with what I was going to write. It's also been something that the Lord is teaching me first hand how to live.

What am I talking about you may ask?

Praying with Christ "Thy will be done."

In the book Experiencing God the author talks about how God's will is happening all around us. We need to take our selfishness out of our daily lives and stop praying for God's will for us
and to pray for discernment to see His will that's happening around us everyday. If our hearts are in tune with His we will be able to join Him in His work here on earth.

The story in the blog mentioned above shows this by her response to the needy woman she met in the laundromat. It may not have been her immediate response, but she was aware of a need and allowed the Lord to use her to meet that need.

I currently have the opportunity of leading a ministry of "Christmas Blessings" to some families that have some needs this year. I am so excited to see God working in the lives of those around us.

If our hearts are in tune with God we will be able to see the needs around us and allow God to use us as He sees fit. When we take our selfishness out of the equation God is able to work in our life.

So, please join me in praying for God's will to be done. Open your spiritual eyes and see what God would have you do to further His kingdom.

Born to Die

What an amazing way to think of this time of year! Christ's purpose for living was to die. He came to this awful sinful world because of the love that God has for us. His purpose in being here was to save the lost. Will you surrender to God this Christmas? Will you put aside all of the busyness of the holiday season to focus on the One who gave up the most in order to give us eternal life? Take a few minutes to meditate on the words of this song:

On the night Christ was born just before break of morn

As the stars in the sky were fading

O'er the place where He lay fell a shadow cold and grey

Of a cross that would humble a king.

Jesus knew when He came, He would suffer in shame

He could feel every pain and sorrow.

But he left Paradise with His blood He paid the price

My redemption to Jesus I owe.

From His throne Jesus came,; Laid aside Heaven's fame

In exchange for the cross of Calvary.

For my gain suffered loss, For my sin he bore the cross

He was wounded and I was set free

Dearest Lord ever more May thy Cross I adore

As I follow the path to Calvary.

Of thy death I partake; My ambition I forsake,

All my will I surrender to thee.


Born to die upon Calvary, Jesus suffered my sin to forgive.

Born to die upon Calvary, He was wounded that I might live.

The following are some things that we can now claim because Jesus was born to die:

I can be owned by God, I can have Christ as Lord, I can be In Christ, I can be a servant of Righteousness, I can walk in the Spirit, I can be saved by the power of God, I can have eternal life, I can have heaven as my home, I can enter into His rest, I can live for others, I can have spiritual vision, I can believe in my heart and be born again, I have made Him the end and scope of my life, I have sought God with my whole heart, I have decided to obey unto righteousness, I have decided to love God with all my heart, I want to love others to tell them about Him, I will hold the truth in the Word of God, I can be free from sin, I don't care if I lose my life because I will spend eternity with Him, I will repent of all my sins and give them up for the Lover of my soul, I now see my sin and how awful it was to nail Jesus to the cross and how vile and corrupt I am, I will accept Jesus with all that he is, Savior, Lord, Master, my all in all, I want to have that type of love for others as I follow Him to the cross, I don't care if I lose the World, I will be saved and live forever with Him in Heaven.

Bad Advertising

The above add was to the side of a website I was viewing today. Do you see the most obvious problem with this before/after besides the obvious more than 12 lb weight loss?

An Eye Opening Experience

I was catching up on some blogs today and came across this post. Starting in the 3rd paragraph the Lord really started to grip my heart. I have always struggled with allowing my husband to lead our home. I have often prayed that God would help him to be a better leader. That's the right thing to do, right? Not so much the way I was going about it. My idea of a good household leader was that he needed to be more outspoken and take charge. So, often my prayers led to my telling God that He needed to change my husband - never really crossing my mind that I was the one that needed to change. I have spent so much time criticizing him instead of being the supportive wife that God has called me to be. My husband is a very quiet man (when he's not playing with children/teenagers). He doesn't like confrontation or arguments. So, I often wrongly interpret his silence as him being a bad leader. The more I've thought about it today, the more I've thought about who he is. My husband loves to mull things over. He thinks about things for days before making decisions. I, on the other hand, often make very hasty decisions in order to not miss out on things or just plain, ugly, impatience. I am realizing that I really need to sit back and allow him to take the lead. I hear the Holy Spirit telling me to get out of the way!!

The part of her post that really gripped me was the 6th paragraph. She lists some examples of decisions that she has supported him in and even though she was scared she stepped back so he could lead. She specifically mentions job changes. We have had so much of that lately and I have always had my ideas of what he needed to do and not trusted that he could make a decision on his own. That often led to many disagreements because he of course does not like to be told what to do or be constantly checked up on. Who does? Why would I think that he wouldn't mind? That's where the problem lies - I didn't consider him in the situation. I started to worry right away and thinking about the situation from an earthly perspective forgetting the God of the Bible would take care of us.

A very ironic twist is that we have been doing the Love & Respect workbook by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. (Maybe I should have titled my blog 'The Ironies of Life) I thought I had learned it all cause I read the book last year, but I am learning that I have so much more to learn as the crazy cycles continue. We are in week 3 of the study and I look forward to continuing with my husband on this journey to learn how to better meet each others needs.

- This is in no way a contrast to my "Peace From the Saviour" post. I know that God will take care of us, but I was not trusting Him to use my husband as the leader of our home.

The Most Special Christmas

The more I have thought about the Christmas season the less I have looked forward to it. . . until now.

I was getting so bogged down with all of the financial messes we are seeing around us and in our home. For some reason I had it in my head that we had to have gifts in order to be happy at Christmas. Kind of ironic since my husband and I have talked about and decided to make Christmas more about Christ and doing more for birthdays to celebrate the life of those we know. Still, in my heart, I was carrying around a HUGE disappointment knowing that we couldn't do anything for Christmas this year. Yes, I would love to get gifts, but I really like to give gifts. So, that made my sulking ok, right? Wrong. Last night I was encouraged to find other things to give to people that don't cost money. I must admit that inside I laughed at the thought. Not so funny, though. It's actually a great idea. I plan to make a list this week and pray for the Lord to show me what I can do for those people.

The next thing that was holding me back from truly enjoying this wonderful time of year was that I had to be with my family. I was extremely disappointed when my husband lost his second job and knew we would have to use the travel money for bills and groceries. Then, my dad suggested they come down here to see us. I was SO excited about that. I have lived in GA for 6 years now and my parents have only been here twice (I'm originally from PA). I found out yesterday that they will not be able to come now due to being robbed while they were away for Thanksgiving. This could still change, but I needed that to happen to show me just how much I was relying on them to make Christmas special.

Christmas needs to be a time that we take to reflect on Christ. We all look forward to going to heaven to get away from the things of this world, yet Jesus left heaven to come to this world to save sinful souls such as mine. How humbling!!!

I encourage all who read this to challenge your family to truly focus on Christ this Christmas. Yes, the decorations are pretty, the gifts are great, and families are nice to spend time with (most of the time), BUT let's remember and take in the reverence that the wise men had for baby Jesus - the King of Kings.


I was reminded this morning in a devotional that we can look forward to a recreated earth without Satan's influence. I have been so aware of Satan's influence lately and just how sly he is. I have been struggling with trying to understand how people can fall so deeply under his spell and forget everything they know to be true in and through Christ. I have been constantly reminded by my wonderful husband that Satan is deceptive and we can very easily buy into one of his lies and multiply them by justifying our actions. We have been praying more than ever for God to protect our home.

My purpose in this was to share my excitement in looking forward to a life without Satan. Praise the Lord for this precious promise - I look forward to his return!! For some encouragement read John 14.