Getting What You Want This Christmas

Is Christmas all about getting and giving? What can we learn from the lean times?

 

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When I go back in my mind’s eye to Christmases past, I remember all the different places we’ve celebrated the most precious Holiday. Since we’ve been married 30 years, I have many Christmases to remember!

The most memorable Holidays, however, have been the ones that we were traveling. Either a motor home, or a travel trailer, or a bus held the memories and happy laughter of two happy parents and seven jubilant children. Ah, yes, Christmas homes have changed over the years, but the happiness does not.

Even though we tried to keep Christmas simple and small, with a two-foot tall tree and only 3 presents for each child, because of our small living space, there were presents covering the small table, on the seats, and neatly arranged on the floor! It always gave us a huge feeling of abundance – and truly, we have been blessed.

There have been lean Christmases, and fat Christmases, seasons of abundance and seasons of penny-pinching.

Why is Christmas such a happy time for me? Because I want to be thankful for every little thing I have and all I get.What is the key to getting what you want this Christmas? It’s in wanting what you have.

It’s been good for me to learn, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I am instructed to be full and suffer need. whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Merry Christmas to all, and I pray you will want what you get!

Question: Have you ever had a Christmas when you didn’t have much money? How did you feel? Did you learn anything from it?

Special Note: I’ll be taking a blogging break from December 25 to the first week of January.

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!
  • Lydia my blog button designer, is available for designing blog buttons for anyone! Please contact me at lisaraub (at) rocket mail (dot) com! She will do a GREAT JOB at a tremendous price.

Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and NOW it’s available here!! Check out the sidebar on the right! Lydia did a great job in putting that on, didn’t she??

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

 

The Creator Became a Creature…

 

This Christmas, take a few minutes to think about the One whose “birthday” we celebrate.

I struggled to think of an opening story to illustrate this beautiful concept, but neither history nor human experience has ever seen the like, where a creator of something actually became the object that he created. Such a transformation is totally impossible, humanly speaking. Never in all of human history has one that made something had such a change that he actually became that which he created.

Impossible! But with God, all things are possible.

So is the Christmas story – the impossible becoming possible, and the Creator actually becoming flesh.

Heaven and earth cannot contain God, and yet God became confined to a human body.

    • The Ancient of Days became a newborn.
    • At the birth of Christ, the Helper became a helpless baby.
    • The One who holds the universe in His hands and whose everlasting arms are beneath all of creation was held in the arms of Mary and Joseph and Simeon.
    • His arms hold the universe in place, and yet He was held in the arms of a teenage girl.
    • The One on whom we’re dependent for every breath became dependent. He had to be carried into the temple in His mother’s arms.
    • The One who is the giver and the source of all life, by whom all things in heaven and on earth were made (He’s the creator; He’s the giver and source of life), was Himself made in the likeness of human flesh.
    • When I was thinking about that, it’s like a renowned potter becoming a clay pot.
    • The Creator becomes one of His created beings.
    • The Creator became a creature.
    • The One who created the first woman was born of a woman.
    • The One who opens and closes the womb and causes conception to take place, He Himself was conceived and became an embryo in the womb of a woman.
    • The One who causes unborn babies to gestate in the womb, Himself became a baby gestating in a womb.- Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!

Question: What does God’s gift mean to you?

Special Note: I’ll be taking a blogging break from December 25 to the first week of January.

The Very BEST Stress Buster!

This is the final installment in my series on Stress-Free Living! This year, we’re approaching the Holidays with a different attitude – not one of worry and stress, but one of peace and gratitude! With God’s help, we can do this! If you’re new to the series, you can find the other posts here.

 

The boy had been walking for 36 hours in the cold rain and was exhausted. He tried to find a place to spend the night, only to be turned away because of his skin color. Tired, cold and hungry, he found the only refuge he could: a small hole in the wooden sidewalk. The hollow beneath the sidewalk was warmer and dry, so the boy was finally able to rest.

While he laid there under the sidewalk, he listened to the passers-by walking unknowingly on top of him. He wondered where they were going, what they were thinking. Did they have families close by? Did they have a boy his age? What were they going to have for dinner? After awhile, the boy began to pray. Although many people would have considered his shelter repulsive, Booker T. Washington had much to thank God for. He laid there and thanked God for this shelter, his opportunity to get to school and get an education, and for the strength to get there.

He didn’t know it at the time, but someday he would become one of the greatest men who ever lived. Never forgetting where he came from, Dr. Washington devoted his life to helping his fellow African Americans live successfully.

Are you approaching this Christmas tired and exhausted? Do you feel that you simply cannot go another step? Are you weary of the perpetual rush of people hurrying about to finish up their last-minute shopping? Do what Booker T. Washington did – find the nearest hole and go and pray.

In 1 Peter 5:7, the Bible says, “Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.”

One of my most favorite poem is found in the book, Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Cowman. Not surprisingly, it is for December 23, right before Christmas:

 

I’m too tired to trust and too tired to pray,
Said one, as the over-taxed strength gave way.
The one conscious thought by my mind possessed,
Is, oh, could I just drop it all and rest.

Will God forgive me, do you suppose,
If I go right to sleep as a baby goes,
Without an asking if I may,
Without every trying to trust and pray?

Will God forgive you? why think, dear heart,
When language to you was an unknown art,
Did a mother deny you needed rest,
Or refuse to pillow your head on her breast?

Did she let you want when you could not ask?
Did she set her child an unequal task?
Or did she cradle you in her arms,
And then guard your slumber against alarms?

Ah, how quick was her mother love to see,
The unconscious yearnings of infancy.
When you’ve grown too tired to trust and pray,
When over-wrought nature has quite given way:

Then just drop it all, and give up to rest,
As you used to do on a mother’s breast,
He knows all about it—the dear Lord knows,
So just go to sleep as a baby goes;

Without even asking if you may,
God knows when His child is too tired to pray.
He judges not solely by uttered prayer,
He knows when the yearnings of love are there.

He knows you do pray, He knows you do trust,
And He knows, too, the limits of poor, weak dust.
Oh, the wonderful sympathy of Christ,
For His chosen ones in that midnight tryst,

When He bade them sleep and take their rest,
While on Him the guilt of the whole world pressed—
You’ve given your life up to Him to keep,
Then don’t be afraid to go right to sleep.

– by Ella Conrad Cowherd, from Streams in the Desert

Oh, how many times these verses comforted me in my mother-exhaustion! How many times my overwhelmed spirit found solace in these words. So you, too, my friend, can find rest in the arms of an understanding Savior when you’re overwhelmed.

So when you find yourself tired, exhausted and stressed, find a hole and go pray. But if you’re too tired to pray, find a hole and rest in the Arms of Jesus.

Question: What are some ways you handle stress?

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!
  • Lydia my blog button designer, is available for designing blog buttons for anyone! Please contact me at lisaraub (at) rocket mail (dot) com! She will do a GREAT JOB at a tremendous price.

Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and NOW it’s available here!! Check out the sidebar on the right! Lydia did a great job in putting that on, didn’t she??

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

 

How Old Slewfoot Stole Christmas

Welcome to my series on Stress-Free Living! This year, we’re going to approach the Holidays with a different attitude – not one of worry and stress, but one of peace and gratitude! With God’s help, we can do this! If you’re new to the series, you can find the other posts here.

 

Old Slewfoot, that nasty old red serpent, is at it again. He’s broken up homes, wrecked lives, and ruined reputations, and now he’s stolen Christmas! Much to his delight, the Christmas season is a completely “non-Jesus” holiday, full of the things Old Slewfoot loves best: covetousness, pride in impressing folks with our many decorations and expensive gifts, alcohol, and sexual perversion.

He’s even gone so far – and done it quite successfully – in replacing Christ with a jolly red-suited fellow! After all, people can’t refuse someone who is happy, kind to all, and generous…can they? Ah, yes, Old Slewfoot stole Christmas.

The Holiday Season has changed a lot over the years, and it seems to me that Christians have changed a lot too. I’m not sure about this, and this is just theory, but I think this very well may be the way it happened.

Christmas has historically and biblically been all about Christ – his incarnation (can you imagine that? GOD becoming man?? Royalty becoming peasant? Lord becoming servant??) His lowly birth, and His miraculous fulfillment of the Scriptures, and how He came to earth to bring salvation to a needy world which could not come to Him on its own.

It’s a wonderful time of years to reflect on the person of Christ as well as His goodness and love, and to thank Him for who He is in addition to what He does.

Unfortunately, Old Slewfoot snuck in and stole Christmas, right before our eyes! But let’s not let that happen to us – let’s have a Christian Christmas! Here are some ideas to keep the Holiday Season from becoming a covetous free-for-all:

1. Remember KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid! It’s very easy to get into the huge stream of activities, concerts, parties, decorating, and gift-giving. None of these are in themselves bad, but they can quickly make us so busy that we are unable to spend time doing the things we really should be doing – enjoying the Christ Child and spending time enjoying our family.

2. Don’t overdo the gifts – One day I heard about a family that wanted to find a way to make the gifts more special, so they decided to only give 3 gifts to each family member, just like the wise men gave to Jesus. We adopted that practice several years ago, and it was a big help to us. Not only does it help us concentrate on giving quality gifts, it makes each gift more meaningful.

4. Less Stress = Happier Holiday! Schedule a time to have Nothing Planned. This year we had a lot of company for the Thanksgiving Holiday, as well as several birthdays the same week, so the day after the holidays, I purposely scheduled a day “off.” Whenever anyone asked me what was going on that day, I told them there was “nothing planned.” It was a glorious time of relaxation – just what I needed going into the Christmas season. You may not get a whole day (I didn’t either – I ended up going to the church to work!) but even a few hours of “nothing planned” can be heavenly!

3. Read through the Christmas story. You could do this over a period of several weeks before Christmas, like some folks do, or you could read the story of Jesus’ birth on Christmas morning. Either way, the children get to see that Christmas is more than a happy day – it commemorates the birth of God in the flesh!

Old Slewfoot is sneaky and sly…watch out for him: Don’t let Old Slewfoot steal your Christmas!

Question: What are some ways you keep Christ in Christmas?

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!
  • Lydia my blog button designer, is available for designing blog buttons for anyone! Please contact me at lisaraub (at) rocket mail (dot) com! She will do a GREAT JOB at a tremendous price.

Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and NOW it’s available here!! Check out the sidebar on the right! Lydia did a great job in putting that on, didn’t she??

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

Blessed Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a Blessed Thanksgiving holiday! I’m taking a short coma after having many birthday celebrations and hosting a large Thanksgiving get-together! It’s been a wonderful holiday!

In Everything Give Thanks

In Everything Give Thanks