Musings on the true meaning of Christmas…Plus, are you taking the #ChristmasMarriageGratitudeDare?

Love Angel

Quietly this morning, after prayer and reading in Romans, I recorded blessings in a gratitude journal I began about five years ago.

TREE 2016

A baby Christmas tree for the Baby Jesus.

Cookies

Honey Shortbread cookies sampled while watching Prancer. {A new gluten free tradition for just the two of us.}

Baby Dino

Expectations of a bundle of joy coming in spring. 

North Pole

Delight in watching Michael’s enchantment when he returned home after a few hours to find a Christmas elf had transformed our loft into a tiny bit of the North Pole.

And I couldn’t help but say thank you to Father for how much better I feel now than in past Decembers when I’ve slipped into moaning and groaning about the things I dislike about the season.

Cold. Snow. Dark. Muscles aching more in winter. Being stuck indoors rather than outside. Overwhelming commercialism of this simple, holy season.

And always eating way too much dark chocolate to boost serotonin.

So I asked Him what renders my change of heart ushering in so much more carefree joy.

breaths

Several things — beginning with that moment in June that literally took my breath away. And over the ensuing months, pondering this second chance, probing the dimly lit back corridors of my mind where expectations and resentments haunt if dwelled upon negatively. Plus, choosing to be grateful and find the blessings in everything. And especially the great glad tidings in my family including graduations, a son dating a lovely girl and recently accepted to my alma mater, a son getting engaged and setting the date, and a son and his wife announcing the impending arrival of my first grandbaby!

God showed me my October birthday and how in three short years another decade will turn, urging me to listen more closely than ever to ensure I am where, and doing what, He desires in my small, yet meaningful life. And reminding me that joy is found in Him in the moment at hand, not in some future, far away land or some long ago longing over what’s been lost.

Wouldn’t you agree that it is in the present moment of our lives, fully embraced, that we unwrap the gift?

How we choose to receive or use our moment by moment gifts determines the course of our days, years and decades. For we are not robots and God is not some distant being pushing buttons to make us do this or not do that. He is a good parent who wants us to grow up and be strong so that we fulfill His call on our lives, share with others the blessing that is found in relationship with God through Jesus, and build healthy marriages and loving families — the bedrock of any thriving society.

Freely we choose, rightly or wrongly, reaping appropriate consequences. And God gives us time and space so we can figure things out ourselves if only we stop long enough to exhale, think deeply, and reach for Him through daily practices that build our character, working out our sanctification and transforming our human nature into something divine.

Baby Jesus

As we position ourselves in the Divine, we are capable of responding spontaneously in any given good or bad moment with the heart of God. Not the bits and pieces of our broken, sinful selves. Walking side by side with Him we are gifted with abundant life and freedom through that precious babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, not only at Christmas but every day that we would open and say yes.

GIFT

And speaking of abundant life and counting blessings, are you taking the #ChristmasMarriageGratitudeDare? It’s a sure way to bless your hubby or wife and grow yourself through a practice of obedient thankfulness.

Because Christmas doesn’t come from a store, but a manger, and in giving our hearts gratefully the way God gave His son.

And when we do, we lose our inner grinch and grow our heart and marriage in love three sizes that day…

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And if you’re having a hard time with Christmas or your marriage is struggling, click on my image and contact me today for a FREE 20 minute mentoring for women session.

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2 thoughts on “Musings on the true meaning of Christmas…Plus, are you taking the #ChristmasMarriageGratitudeDare?

  1. Sounds like there are some amazing blessings going on in your family. A grand baby on the way…how exciting!
    Congrats.

    And yet it can be hard to count our blessings and feel the JOY of Christ during Christmas.
    I pray His joy fills your heart and overflows to all near you.
    God bless you and Michael.

    Merry CHRISTmas.

    oh, love the pics, thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, TC. And Merry Christmas to you and your growing family. I’m sure the pitter-patter of little feet make for a very joy filled Christmas! And glad you liked the pics. I had fun decorating while Michael was away and the look on his face when he got back was such a gift to me! xxoo