Day 22: The Day that Changed Everything

Darkness. Silence. Despair. Sin.                                                                                                                                                    The climate of the world, when You entered in.

All seemed lost. Evil appeared to have won.                                                                                                                                  But The Father’s divine plan had actually just begun.

In a small town a new baby lay.                                                                                                                                                     The Creator of Life, in a bed of hay.

Through human eyes, the event seemed ordinary.                                                                                                                 Through heavenly eyes, it was beyond extraordinary.

The Great I AM in human skin,                                                                                                                                                        the world would never be the same again.

God came in love, forgiveness and grace.                                                                                                                                        In the form of a man, so we could behold His face.

He came to redeem, restore and reclaim,                                                                                                                                       He came to save us by the power of His Name.

He was born as a baby in a lowly manger stall.                                                                                                                               To offer forgiveness and life to us all.

His life would to one precious moment lead,                                                                                                                              When our King, our Creator, would die on a tree.

He put on our flesh; He took on our sin,                                                                                                                                          He was killed on a cross; yet He rose again.

We long for the day when again He appears,                                                                                                                                  To reclaim what is His, to wipe all our tears.

Once again we find ourselves in,                                                                                                                                         Darkness. Silence. Despair and Sin.

Lord Jesus we need You this very hour.                                                                                                                                   Father, we pray for Your strength and Your power.

Come quickly, we long to see Your face.                                                                                                                                       But as we tarry, fill us with grace.

Prepare Your people for Your glorious return,                                                                                                                               And fix our eyes on You this Christmas morn’.

Day 21: We don’t need a feel good Christmas; we need Christ

It is so heart wrenching to listen to the news recently.  Our world seems so full of violence, hatred, brokenness and evil.  I have heard several people comment that we really need Christmas this year.  I understand what they mean; we need the hope, the good will to men and the generosity that marks this season.  But yet, we need so much more.

We don’t need Santa; we need a Savior.  We don’t need more presents; we need the fulfillment of God’s promises.  We don’t need ho-ho-ho; we need Hosanna.

“Lord Jesus, we are a people living in darkness and among darkness.  We don’t need a feel good Christmas, we need Christ.  We ask that You would draw hearts to You this season.  God, only You can repair what is so very broken in our world.  Only You can restore and repair broken lives, broken hearts and broken dreams.  Only You can unify what is so vastly divided.  Only You can bring hope into hopelessness and light into darkness.  Jesus, we need You more than anything else.  We long for You, and for the peace that only You can bring.  Please draw hearts to You this Christmas season and open eyes to see Your glorious light and redeeming love.  We love you Jesus.  Amen.”

Days 19 and 20: Sovereign

Have you ever really thought about the miracle of Jesus’ birth.  Not just the virgin birth part; not even the God incarnate part; but the “events of human history all coming together at just the precise moment in order to fulfill every single prophecy and promise concerning the Messiah” part.

Our first mention of the Promised Offspring came right after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, and yet thousands of years passed before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  Between those two events, many prophecies were given about the Savior of the world.  Only God in His sovereignty could have orchestrated all of history so that Jesus would take His first human breath just as the scriptures foretold.

I cannot even manage my only family’s schedule! Yet God effortlessly managed thousands of years, hundreds of generations, countless rulers and enemies, weather, famine, disease, evil plots and one young couple, all so that His Son could enter the world at a particular moment in time.

I forgot to post yesterday because the events of one day got away from me.  God; however, did not allow one millisecond to escape His notice or control in order that He might bring forth our LORD and Savior.

May we rest in His sovereignty today, as we wait expectantly for His return.  In a world that seems to be coming apart at the seams, we can take comfort in knowing that our sovereign King is still in complete control and orchestrating the events of history to culminate in the moment of His Son’s return: that glorious moment when “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!”

Day 18: It’s About the Cross

One week to go! I fear you must be sick of my posts by now.  This personal challenge of mine has gotten harder the past few days, but it has been great to keep my focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  So whether you actually read all of my ramblings or not, thank you for letting me use this blog as a place to focus my thoughts and my heart on Jesus this Christmas.

For today’s post, I want to share another one of my favorite Christmas songs.  We came across the a cappella group, Go Fish, when my kids were very young.  Their song “It’s About the Cross” is full of such great Gospel truth.  My kids can now sing every word.  I love that it has helped them understand that the manger was when God poured His love out on mankind, but the cross was were He poured out His grace and mercy.  We wouldn’t have the cross without the manger, but we wouldn’t have the gift of eternal life with God, without the cross.

May the baby in the manger point us all to the Savior on the cross this Christmas and always….

Day 17: Daddy’s Girl

“When is he going to be here?”

“How much longer?”

“Should I wear my pink sparkly boots or my black sparkly boots for him?”

My dad is coming today, and the excitement in our home is palpable.  He is coming a little ahead of my mom, who is sweetly staying at their house longer so she can be near her grieving elderly aunt.  I have been so blessed with an amazing mom and dad who love the Lord, each other, myself, and others fiercely.

We have been getting ready for my dad’s visit for days.  We washed sheets, made up beds, cleaned carpets, bought his favorite foods and scoured the bathroom.  As I was cleaning earlier today, I started thinking about all the things I still had to do to get the house “perfect” and wondered if I would finish in time.  Then I smiled as I realized that my dad just wants to see us, the house being meticulously clean is not the most important thing to him.  Granted, it is nice to have a clean house for our guests (even family guest;), but it is even better to have a open heart and open home to invite them in.

The Holy Spirit seemed to open my eyes to an important spiritual truth today:  My Daddy (God) is coming again soon, and there is much I should be doing to get ready; however, He loves me just as I am, mess and all. And all He asks is that I open my heart to Him.

To get ready for the return of my God and King, I should be telling others about the life He offers, spending time in His Word, and allowing Him to have His way in my heart.  But as I do those things, I also need to remember that He loves me just as I am at this very moment.  He knows the mess I try to hide in my heart, and He loves me anyway.  I don’t have to put on a show for Him, or try to fix myself before going to Him.  He loves me and treasures me as I am right at this moment.

I am proud to be a Daddy’s girl, both to my earthly father and to my heavenly Father.

This Christmas may we all remember that there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas, a perfect house, or a perfect gift.  There is only a perfect Savior.  May we rest in our Savior this season.


Day 16: One of Those Days

Today was one of those days.  You know, the “tree has been leaking but didn’t know it and now all the presents are wet and the carpet stinks; the faucet in the kitchen just exploded all over me, the kid’s sink is clogged, the mailbox fell over, the dog ate twelve puzzle pieces from the puzzle you and your kids have been working on for weeks, and my sinuses are killing me” kind of day!

Little hard to find my Christmas mojo today……..but then I get a text that changed my heart.

It was from a friend who showed me what my daughter wrote for a school project. The kids were asked to make cards for people in prison this Christmas. Hers said:


It says: “Mary Christmas! I hope you will now (know) Jesus as your Savior. I hope I could give you a Bible.  We wish you a Mary Christmas.”

OK, so my sweet girl will not win the spelling bee, but she did put things in perspective for me:

Yes, some presents got wet;

yes, I got wet;

yes, we have plumbing and mailbox issues;

yes, my dog is going to poop a jigsaw puzzle,

and yes, my head still hurts.

But I do know Jesus and I have His Word in my heart.  Nothing else really matters.  The rest is just stuff.

For anyone else having one of those days, I pray that Jesus provides peace in the midst of your chaos, and comfort in the midst grief.  May Jesus always be all that really matters.

“Mary Christmas” 😉

Day 15: Ten Day Tip

With 10 days to go till Christmas, I find myself getting a tad stressed and fighting to stay more focused on Jesus than my undone to-do’s. One way I try to do that is by listing attributes of God in alphabetical order. My family calls it the “Letter Game for God.” Simply list an attribute or characteristic of God that starts with the letter A, then B and so on. It really helps to refocus my heart, and I pray it helps your too 🙂

My list for today:

Awesome, Beautiful, Creator, Daddy, Eternal, Forgiving, Great, Holy, Infinite, Just, King, LORD, Mighty, Near, Omnipresent, Powerful, Quiets my Soul, Redeemer, Savior, Truth, Unlike any other, Victorious, Wonderful, eXcellent, Yahweh, Zealous

Day 14: Mary, Did You Know?

We played this song for our second grade Sunday school class today, and love it so much that I wanted to share it here. You have probably seen and heard it before, but it is such an incredible rendition that I just had to share.

ps-my son just informed me that we can officially now say that Christmas is next week! (insert kids screeching with joy and me hugging myself while chanting Bible verses on peace 😉

Day 13: It’s My Christmas and I’ll Cry if I Want To….

My beloved Grandmother would have been 96 today.  She, however, is no longer concerned with earthly birthdays, because she is in the presence of her Savior and King.  She was a remarkable woman: tiny in stature, but huge in spirit and love for Jesus.  When I think of my greatest treasures and blessings, Grace Marshall, is at the top of the list.

This Christmas I have found myself reflecting on the blessings of people God has placed in my life:

  My Granddaddy, who I used to describe as a combination of Superman, McGyver, and Santa Claus;

  My Grandmother, who would pay attention to your favorite food and then make sure she had that for you when you came to   visit, and who also prayed for every single member of her family every night;

  My neighbor who I called “Grandma”Ruth, who was the most gentle and giving soul;

  My other Grandma who had a special way of taking care of you when you were sick that involved coffee ice cream in a plastic   green cup that somehow always worked!,

  My Uncle Edd, who could tell a story in his beautiful Cayman accent that made you feel like you were there.

These precious family members are no longer with me on this earth, but I carry them in my heart.  As my Granddaddy once told me, “my family along with the Lord make up my roots, and I should never forget my roots.”  I praise God that He provided such strong “roots” for me.

This time of year I find myself reflecting on those roots and my heart feels both heavy and joyful.  Christmas seems to be a time of year when tears of joy and sadness fall simultaneously.  I joke with my husband that at some point every year, I will have a Christmas catharsis.  I cry because my children will never really know the amazing people that God used to shape my life. I cry because I miss Christmas Eve at Grandmother and Granddaddy’s house, where the entire family was gathered together. I cry because I am so grateful that God allowed me to love and be loved by such wonderful people.

I try to hold the tears in, because it sometimes feels like if I left myself start, I will never stop. But today, on my Grandmother’s birthday, I am going to let myself have a few moments to remember, reflect and rejoice in her life and the lives of all of those who I have had to say “goodbye for now” to.  Crying will last for a few moments, but the legacy these remarkable people left, will live on in the lives of all of those they touched.

Do you find yourself with an aching heart this Christmas? I pray that the God of all comfort will pour His peace over you today, and fill your heart with His presence.

I long for the day when I will be reunited with my loved ones, and I thank God for sending Jesus to provide the way for us to have eternal life with Him.

Merry Christmas to my “Amazing Grace” and all my other “roots”. I love you!

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Day 12: From The Lips of Children

“‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise'” Matthew 21:6b

Write my lesson, go to doctor, go by grocery that comes last so things don’t spoil, pick up four gifts, need a teacher present, kids are out of school Tuesday?!?!, band concert is tonight…where is the iron? do we still have one?, pick up kids from school…oh great, they just love going to the grocery store, coffee…must get coffee!

That was the running commentary in my head this morning (and always it seems!).  I was feeling overwhelmed and overstretched.  I prayed that God would settle my spirit and calm my anxiety so that I could write a lesson on Paul.  I begged God to take my to-do list and hold onto to it while I read His word and tried to rest in Him.  I said, “amen” and opened my computer.

My kids had been typing on my computer last night while I was fixing dinner.  I heard them talking and singing, but wasn’t really paying attention to what they were doing.  As I stared at my screen, I realized that God used the words my kids had typed to give me a message.  Here is what I found on my screen (unedited):

A Christmas Carol for God, from us:

I Love my God.

I love my God my God my God. I love my God. He created Noah and the animals.  He created adam and eve.  He gave Moses help with the isrealites.  and He sent Jesus to save us. have a merry merry christmas and a happy happy new year.I love my God my God my God. I love my God. ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. yah

So I don’t imagine this will take the place of “Silent Night” or “Away in a Manger”, but it was exactly what I needed to see today.  I love my God and my God loves me.  He loves me so much that He will give me the strength and ability to get through my crazy day.  He loves me so much that He sent His Son to save me from eternal separation from Him.  He loves me so much that He uses children to teach grown ups about what really matters.

Today, I choose to love my God, my God, my God and rejoice in the birth of my Savior.  All of my to-do’s will get done in the power of the One who loves me more than I can fathom….and hopefully, He will lead me to my iron 😉


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