Monthly Archives: December 2013

Hope for 2014 – Celebrate and Rejoice

Hope Journal

“Hope – Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
~ Alfred Tennyson

My word for the year at Counting My Blessings is – Celebrate. 

Turn on the news and you’ll be bombarded with more negativity than a brain should have to process.

I’m still not sure that 24/7 information is good for our mental health.
I’d consider giving it all up and going back to much simpler times if I didn’t love:

air conditioning
indoor plumbing
electric lights

But, I’m sure you get what I mean.

I’m craving fun!
I don’t want to pack away the smiles with the Christmas decorations.

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Lessons from the Land of Limbo



Limbo- an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition.

I’ll be honest, I am not one who likes to wait. I’ll make the leap and say, you don’t like waiting either. I am pretty sure, the majority of us, don’t love waiting. Why do you think that is?

One reason may be that we live in days of pro-active planning . We have the luxury, time and means to plan our days fairly well. The question is, what do we do when we are called to wait? What is our response in waiting?

Seasons of waiting are not often easy.

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When Christmas Doesn’t Go According to Plan

This post began as some thoughts I jotted down last year when my husband was a thousand miles away starting a new job (for which we were very thankful) and we had moved out of our house and were staying in a friend’s guest quarters. And here we are, a year later, heading toward another Christmas that isn’t what I’d hoped or planned. Maybe you can relate:

It’s safe to say we’ve never had a Christmas like this one. My husband left to start his new job one thousand miles away. He’ll come back and we’ll end our year loading the rest of our belongings onto a truck.

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A Child Changes Everything

Fifteen years ago on Christmas Eve, the birth of my oldest son changed my life. All that God’s Word says about God as Father and me as His child became more real to me that day. Becoming a parent amplified my understanding of how God the Father feels about me as His child.

“But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

Three years ago on December 15th, our youngest son became an official member of our family after joining it about a year before then. All that God’s Word says about my adoption into God’s family became more real to me that day.

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The One Gift We Really Need

 The One Gift We Really Need

Good things come in small packages. The gist of this cliché reveals that value is not measured by the size of the box, and true treasure is often disguised in small ways.

For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

In this short verse from John 1, rich treasure is relayed in 12 simple words. Uncontainable worth in a small package—this is the one gift we really need.

Everything we could every need is provided for in this one sentence. Every lack, every problem, every resistance, and every emptiness we’ll ever experience is filled in Christ. Let’s back up just a verse or two:

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

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The Star That Leads to the Savior

Christmas star - Christian photos dot net

Most of us read Luke’s account of the Christmas story, but a fascinating detail about the birth of Jesus is found in Matthew’s gospel.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked,

“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” ~Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)

It’s such familiar part of the story that it’s easy to overlook something interesting: why on earth wise men from the east would travel so far to see a Jewish king?

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Imperfect Christmas


 I told the directors of the children’s church Christmas program that my son was too young to be a shepherd. He was three years old and not one of those quiet and shy toddlers that look so sweet on the church platform under bright lights. But they insisted and I gave in.

I love children’s Christmas programs. I giggle at Joseph, stumbling across the platform in his daddy’s bathrobe, with a dishtowel wrapped around his head and Mary, serenely holding her baby by his feet. Nothing can really go very wrong in a children’s nativity scene. Everything they do is so cute.

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Something New Has Begun

Something New Has Begun 5MfF 12.12.13 pic

Advent is the season of waiting expectantly and preparing our hearts for the arrival of Baby Jesus. We reflect on the miraculous conception, the birth in lowest of conditions, and the fulfillment of the prophecy…

…the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). Isaiah 7:14 (NLT)

We rejoice on Christmas morning—Christ is born!

And then…Christmas is over. Or at least that’s how it feels. We put the Christmas decorations away and go back to our busy lives as usual.

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