October and November has come and gone and here we are on the cusp of Christmas Day--the Eve of Christmas.
Like so many of you, I had my lists. My plans for the month of November and December. My niece's beautiful wedding to the love of her life and her now-husband, a blessing from the first day he was introduced to our family. And then her celebration of completing her journey in medical school--a Doctor of Physical Therapy! And our Christmas play at church. Such joyous occasions in the month of December!
And me, I turned a year older, in December. And this year I decided not to dwell on the fact of how "old" I am, but the number of Christmases and Thanksgivings and birthdays of my loved ones I have been blessed to celebrate. Sixty-three Christmases! Sixty-two Thanksgivings! That is more than enough to raise my hands in praise. Thank you, God for your blessings on me.
My Christmas list, my "to-do" list--all the gifts have been bought. Cakes and cookies have been made and delivered, but, and there is that word that always makes us pause--I had so much more I wanted to do the month of Christmas. I ordered a second printing of my Christmas devotional, His Coming that I wrote last year and a dear friend of mine graciously volunteered to sell the devotionals in her store during the month of December. And on Tuesday, December 22nd the box of devotionals arrived on my front porch--all eighty of them. The devotional that was supposed to start on December 1st.
The printing company apologized--a paper shortage this year, they said, and production took longer--over a month longer than expected. And another outreach I wanted to begin in November--on my list, "The Little Card Project". It never got started.
And not on my "to-do" list for December was my Mom's sickness--my sister taking her to the emergency room once and the ambulance another time. And then three doctor visits. Unplanned. Unforeseen.
Over 2000 years ago there was a young pregnant mother Mary and her devoted husband, Joseph. I wonder if their plans in her ninth month were to go to Bethlehem, pay their taxes, get a room, rest, and when the baby comes--they would be ready. Did they even consider, what if--what if there are no rooms? What then?
And baby Jesus, He came. Not in an inn or a comfortable room, but in a stable, a cave. Christmas came, not as man would have planned it, but as God's plan of the divine miracle of His Son's birth.
My Mom--she is feeling much better--because of the many lifted prayers from Christians who were praying in faith believing that God was listening. And He was and He answered with mercy and grace.
The devotionals--they will be perfectly fine to sit in the box for another year. Waiting on another Christmas. But they will be on their way to Kentucky soon--to those who could use the hope of the beautiful gift of Christmas in the many months to come.
And "The Little Card Project", it's on the list for January, Lord-willing.
God's plans are always better than ours.
Christmas--it's less than a few hours away. And He will come. He always does.
Treasure the time you have this Christmas with your loved ones. I am grateful for each of you and I pray you have a very Blessed and Merry Christmas.
Matthew 1: 23
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Luke 2: 6-14
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.