Saturday, December 28, 2013

Reading for Christmas

This month I enjoyed and found the season enriched by two books that became available in the fall.  Ann Voskamp's The Greatest Gift was a wonderful read that brought me encouragement during a season of challenge and mild disappointment.  (Hubby's company did not get the job that would have brought him home from Canada)  And The Woman of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs was a gentle read that was comforting and quieting for my before bed read.

As I finished reading "The Women of Christmas" I was very surprised by the direction my thoughts went.  There is a study guide at the end that I decided to simply read through instead of grabbing pen and paper as I often do.  There is this ~ "What things in your life seem to hard to handle?  Make a list.  Then write across the top your favorite translation of Luke 1:37.  If you truly believe that nothing is impossible with God, what must you do right now to embrace that reality."

Sweet encouragement, the realization that even while I grieved and gave thanks and pressed on through this Christmas season without much Christmas spirit, that God had gone before me again.  He had lead me through this book to this place in the study guide to gently ask me to trust Him,  to Believe that He is at work and He has not forgotten us.

Also from the study guide of The Women of Christmas I got a start on my goal setting and planning for the new year.  I am excited to spend some time looking over my goals for 2013 without beating myself up for what isn't accomplished and to look forward with hope and anticipation for what God is doing instead.

Another book, that was sent to me for review, "The War on Christmas, Battles in Faith, Tradition and Religious Expression" was started and set aside.  Maybe it was because of all that has been going on around us, I just could not press on with this book.  Maybe when life is pressing in it isn't the right time to try and read this particular kind of book. I am putting it on my nightstand with the thought that I may read though it from time to time.

I hope this holiday season for you has been a joyful celebration of that everlasting gift Jesus came to fulfill the very first Christmas.  What a comfort I continue to find in the parallels between his Birth – in a messy, dirty stable and my life, messy, broken life.  The tremendous hope that comes from His love for each of us settles the dust a little and allows me to just rest and breathe.

Thanks be to God for His immeasurable gift.

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