Christmas is wonderful, exciting and sacred — and emotional, stressful and draining.
May I offer something that I hope will help?
I’ve put together a tiny little devotional that’s designed to be read just before Christmas, when it seems everything is crashing in. And I’d like you and your friends to have it.
Please print as many copies as you’d like. Share it with anyone who could use a little encouragement or a brief moment of peace.
This is designed to be printed (double sided) on two standard pieces of copy paper. Just fold in the middle. Simple.
If you have trouble downloading this, just email me and I’ll send the file.
I pray you’ll enjoy the gift and this holy season.
Download here: 2012Christmas devotional
It’s not often that I knowingly cross paths with people who have run multiple marathons. I’m not a runner myself, or even an occasional jogger, so it was just by chance that I was introduced recently to a man who had run 19 marathons.
I’ve always figured that casual runners respected the endurance of those who run marathons the same way I look up to gifted poets. And I figured that anyone passionate enough to complete multiple marathons would be the kind of person who insisted on keeping in shape, always training for the next big race. But this man wasn’t. In fact, when I met him, he was talking about the need to begin training again and while he talked, he patted his stomach.
It would take a little while, he said, to get going again. Odd, I thought. With all those races and all that experience behind him, he would still have to start at the beginning. He would still need to prepare.
Unfortunately, I think I’m in the same place spiritually. I’ve been doing my best to serve God for many years. In fact, by some people’s standards, I’m even considered experienced because I’ve run some faithful races. I’ve relied on God for some heavy stuff. Like being the first in my family to navigate going to college. Like moving by myself across the country. Like enduring painful loss.
All that praying and scripture reading I did years ago, when I was really training, carried me through those early races. But now I’m in the marathon of marriage and motherhood, of trying to become a mature woman of God – and I feel just like my new friend, the runner. I need a little while to get going again, a little time to prepare and build my endurance.
It’s time for me to stop taking short cuts and commit to doing the work I know I need to do. I know the things that feed my soul.
With a house full of boys I’m always on the look-out for good books — and good prices on those books. Here are two that we are enjoying this season:
- “The Pumpkin Patch Parable” by Liz Curtis Higgs
- “A Pumpkin Prayer” by Amy Parker
“The Pumpkin Patch Parable” tells about a man who grows pumpkins and lets his light shine. Each two-page spread includes a scripture.
“A Pumpkin Prayer” offers thanks for many of our autumnal blessings.
I picked them up a couple of months ago at our local Ollie’s Bargain Outlet for $2.29 each. Hopefully you’ll be as fortunate!
I know it’s hard to be the younger one, the one who watches from the doorway as older kids leave for friends’ houses. That’s why it struck such a chord with me when Benjamin said he wanted to go somewhere that I couldn’t see him.
He wanted to leave the house without Mom and Dad. He wanted to be big. At 4, his options are limited.
Then, it struck me: He could play on our front porch while I sat mere feet away in the living room. He could have the sense of playing just out of reach, and I could know he was safe.
He raced around gathering up the supplies he would need to entertain himself. A write-on wipe-off board. A Bible. An imagination that somehow always finds its way back to Star Wars or Justice League heroes.
Within minutes he poked his head back inside the door.
“I’m reading chapter one,” he said, carrying his Bible. “It tells all about friendships… and relationships.”
I started to explain how chapter one is about creation, but I stopped myself just in time for the reality of what he had said to sink in.
He’s a bigger, wiser boy, than I thought.