Merry Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas! Is it for you?

Merry Christmas
Our sweet little “first Christmas” tree together as a married couple.

I love the atmosphere created around Christmas time…excluding the shopping nonsense. I hate to shop, especially this time of year. It’s the cheery things I love, like the “merry Christmas” greetings, the lights, the music, the colors, being with family… etc. But I tend to get very moody, sad really. I have been this way for as long as I can remember (at least as an adult). I don’t really know why. I mean, I know that my heart aches for those who have lost loved ones… this time of year is terribly difficult for them to endure. But, my sadness came before that. I tell people that someday I will probably have some horrifying memory that will reveal where the sadness originated. But, really, I don’t think that’s the case. It is like my heart aches to be somewhere else (even though I love my new hubby and wouldn’t trade him for the world!)

Reading advent devotionals this year has shed some light on my state of mind. When God created us, he placed within us a deep yearning to know Him and be with Him. I believe my sadness stems from that and it is amplified when everything around me seems to be missing that point. Plus, our (humankind’s) sin nature blocks us from being able to have fellowship with God (Romans 3:23). Although there are good intentions in all the hoopla, it can be a bit overwhelming. I would like nothing more than to sit at His feet and soak in His love and truth (“And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teachingLuke 10:38-42).

Thankfully, God provided a way for us to overcome the sin barrier; to be able to know Him and be with Him eternally (John 3:16). And Christmas is celebrating this! The birth of Jesus! The one way that was provided for us to return to God! I may still “feel” the sadness, but I know someday that will go away because I know my future lies in the hands of Jesus… the same Jesus that we celebrate as a baby. The baby that grew up and sacrificed Himself in our place to pay for our sins. That is where the joy comes from… even in the pain (James 1:2-4).

So, if you are the person who is crazy excited at Christmas time, I would ask that you purposefully share that joy in a way that shows Jesus and His saving grace. And pray for those who hurt deeply during this time.

If you are the person who is grieving the loss of a loved one (no matter how long it has been), or you just get sad during the holidays, know that I feel your pain. And, I am praying for you to reach through the pain (even though it may not go away) and understand that there is joy in your suffering…

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name
by Matt Redman

Super Quick Update

We are celebrating Christmas with my kiddos a little early this year so we can go to Louisiana to celebrate with Scot’s family on Christmas Eve. And… of course, we will celebrate our FIRST anniversary on New Years Eve! I cannot believe it has been a year. I hope he isn’t sick of me just yet. While it has been an adjustment for me returning from Mexico and for us both to share schedules, stuff, and living space… it is amazing to have someone to share life with! Thank you all for your prayers for us.

For the upcoming year, I still need to raise some support to continue my ministry with Camino Global. When I have the chance to tell people about what I do they usually respond with “Wow! I had no idea” or “That is really a far-reaching ministry”. I would love the opportunity to share with you (in person) about the global impact of the online ministry and all of its different facets. Please email me about scheduling a time to share some coffee and conversation. Or, if you lead a small group or Sunday school class, I would love the opportunity to share there as well. Your help is needed and greatly appreciated!

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Nativity by Jeff Weese
Homepage featured image for this article “Nativity tree2011” by Jeff Weese – Flickr: Nativity. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons

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