FOR TO US A CHILD IS BORN, TO US A SON IS GIVEN, AND THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE ON HIS SHOULDERS. AND HE WILL BE CALLED WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE OF PEACE. ISAIAH 9:6 NIV
Merry CHRISTmas, lovelies! I pray you’re feeling loved today!
I know that this can be an exhausting, financially depleting season. Me, personally? Well, I’m juggling office parties, school parties, band concerts, church, gymnastics practice, coordinating an extended visit to Los Angeles … and … gift shopping. This year I didn’t have to come up with a menu, but I volunteered to help…because I didn’t have enough to do.
But when I stop trying to be Martha Stewart, when I choose to forgive the perfume lady in the mall for spraying me, when I refuse to be flustered by my daughter’s last minute need for cupcakes, when I release the office emergencies as my responsibility, when I take a nap… I absolutely love CHRISTmas.
Every year, I say I’m going to “exercise restraint”. Very rarely do I. And then I complain about my lack of restraint through the month of January. But this CHRISTmas, I did something different. This year, I cast off restraint…on purpose.
Not because, I want to support the commercialism of the holiday. And certainly not because I received a bonus– but because I want to embody my Father’s heart, I want to be like my Daddy. And He’s lavishly, generous- I dare say reckless, prodigal in His giving towards His children.
For God so loved the world that He *gave* His only begotten son… JOHN 3:16, emphasis added
CHRISTmas reminds me that God came near; that God came looking for us. And He came bearing gifts of forgiveness, salvation, sonship, and an inheritance… And that’s just in His right hand.
Daily He gives me grace, compassion, peace and health. He gave me Holy Spirit, a gift that keeps on giving. Holy Spirit is the smartest, most intelligent person you will ever meet! He’s my advisor, my strategist, my comforter, my co-parent, and more.
He gave me the gift of two amazing little people. I get to be Reese and Ron Anthony’s mom! God gave me things that I tend to take for granted or assign to my own strength and influence, like shelter, a sense of stability and security beyond my job. God gave me creative ideas, friends who speak truth to me, and opportunities disguised as strife and struggle that I may know in my heart of hearts that He is for me. He gave me a sound mind. He gave me dreams and a hope for my future. Yes, to have a dream is a gift from God. Don’t believe me? Consider the people you know who seemingly live aimlessly, with no vision or purpose. Dreams come from God.
God gave me Love; He gave me Jesus- love itself! Even if you don’t believe in the existence of God, you’ve benefited from His gift of LOVE.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45 NIV
Love. That’s from God. Love is God. You are incapable of even loving your pet lest the Author of Love stir up the gift within you.
CHRISTmas, when God gave.
Want to be like God? Be a giver. Your gifts don’t have to be in a box. Truth is, no gift compares to the one purchased years ago, but it’s the perfect re-gift! Love! Today (and tomorrow) give Love. Be lavishly generous with it.
My CHRISTmas gift to you- a blessing.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He lift up His countenance upon you and give you His peace. (Numbers 6:24-26 paraphrased)
I love you!