Love Them through Their Blue Christmas

Love Them through Their Blue Christmas

“Tis the season to be jolly, fala lala lala lala lala!”

Some reading this may actually disagree with my first sentence. While Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for Christians, as we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, many people find the Christmas season to be emotionally brutal.

Christmas can bring feelings of sadness and gloom for people who have lost loved ones and are facing an empty chair on Christmas Day. Some have experienced financial losses due to health reasons, job losses or recent storm damages. Others are facing serious health conditions.  And there are so many other reasons out there causing sadness at Christmas time.

Let’s all try to remember to be a little bit more patient with others this Christmas season. If you know someone is hurting this Christmas, take an extra moment and reach out to that person.  Let’s also remember, everyone we meet has a story. And some of those stories are sad. So what ever moods we are greeted with in our hustle and bustle, let’s be patient.  Let’s be kind. Let’s show the love of Jesus.

If you are hurting this Christmas, I am so sorry for your pain.  I pray for your healing and  that you will be restored to the peace that passes all understanding.  Remember, you are loved.

Let’s pray for each other every day and especially for those who are hurting this Christmas.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

Our Keeper

Our Keeper

Oh no! My vehicle wouldn’t start!

Fortunately, I was in my driveway. This was just four months into me becoming a full-time, stay-at-home wife and Nana. What timing, right?

My husband called a local dealership to come tow it in for repair. They did.

The next day, they called with the diagnosis and projected cost. Whoa! For the cost quoted, we could make two down payments on another vehicle!

At this point, I became very upset. I cried to my husband, “what are we going to do?!”

And then, the Holy Spirit nudged me. I hushed and began praying for an affordable plan. A few minutes later, we were both reminded of a local family-owned car repair shop that might specialize in this type of repair.

So my husband called and told them the problem. They said they could repair our car for over half of what the dealership quoted! AND, they would even go get the vehicle and move it to their shop!

Thank you, Father for an answered prayer!

Our end result could have been so much more disappointing had I not reacted to the nudge. Jesus told us to seek and you shall find when we seek him we find him. When we seek his plans and provisions, we find them.(Matthew 7:7,8) God is all caring. He is our keeper.

I must remember not to give into self-pity during stressful times but remain focused on God for directions to his plan for my life. He does have a plan for every detail of my life.

When I’m disappointed by a plan’s outcome, it’s usually because it was my plan, not His.

Seasons

Seasons

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

My favorite season has always been summer! Long days, warm evenings, and blue skies are just perfect for me. But seasons change and soon fall is here.

I never enjoyed fall because I dreaded the ushering in of cooler temperatures, shorter days, and…..winter on its heels. That’s right, I wouldn’t enjoy fall because of my dread of cold, bleak-looking winter!

Finally, I realized my silliness.  Now, I try hard to enjoy the many facets of the fall season AND early winter: beautiful foliage, pumpkin patch, fall festivals, hot chocolate, Thanksgiving,  and Christmas. (But honestly, here in the south, we are usually having a heat wave around Christmas!)

God gives nature the fours seasons to plant, nurture, harvest, and renew just as He gives us four seasons of life: birth, growth, harvest, and death. And within those major seasons are many small experiences that He gives us ( and nature)with specific timing and purpose. While we may not like the season we are in, faith in God will enable us to peacefully embrace the season, accepting His timing and purpose.

If we rebel against God’s timing, we miss out on so many precious joys. Our seasons change but God does not. HE is the same yesterday today, and forever.

Today, I pray for God to give you the strength, patience and joy needed to embrace your current season.

Praying with Psalms

Praying with Psalms

I want to encourage you to find solace in the Word of God. No matter what you are going through, what stage of life you are in, you can praise God and you can talk to God. If times are good, give Him praise and thank Him for those times; reflect on how He helped you through the bad times, give Him praise. If you are going through a hard place right now, pray. Talk to God. He wants to hear it all and He will see you through it all.
It is assumed David wrote Psalms 61, 62, & 63 during a time of refuge. Perhaps when he escaped during Absalom’s rebellion or when he was hiding in the wilderness after Saul tried to kill him
Regardless the reason, David shows us how to trust God, praise God and pray to God no matter our circumstances. I hope you find peace and joy in the Psalms today:
Psalm 61

“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah  For you, O God, have heard my vows;  you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations! May he be enthroned forever before God; appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him! So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day.”

Psalm 62

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. How long will all of you attack a manto batter him like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah    For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah 

Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion;in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery;  if riches increase, set not your heart on them. Once God has spoken twice have I heard this that power belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work.”

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.