The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

When You Don’t Want to Miss the Christmas Miracle

Hello!  Welcome to all who are stopping by from Proverbs 31Ministry today. And merry Christmas to my new friends and old!clip_art_illustration_of_a_chair_with_a_flower_pattern_0515-0811-2017-1316_SMU

I’m always honored to share a few minutes with you here at the Overflow! If you like what you find and would like a little inspiration to dribble into your inbox now and then, feel free to subscribe to my monthly posts on the side bar or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter. Over at Encouragement for Today, I’m telling a tale of a naughty toddler, an exasperated mama, and a lesson I learned about Christmas while huddling in a cramped corner.  But before you go, let me tell you about another little girl who helped me recover my waning wonder many Christmases ago…

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It happened thirteen years ago in a grocery store in Lincoln, Nebraska, but when I think about that awkward moment in the check out line, I can still feel the red hot embarrassment that rose from my neck to my cheeks. The store was bursting with holiday shoppers and my one-week-from-due-date belly was bursting with our third child. And my three-year-old daughter Lizzy was bursting with excitement as she anticipated the arrival of her new sibling and the thrill of the Christmas season that was unfolding in lights and color all around us.

Maybe it was the giddy gladness of those the tinny Christmas tunes streaming from the speakers overhead or the giant inflatable Santa Clause that had greeted us as we’d hurried through the doors of the grocery store that morning, but for whatever reason, my daughter could not contain her joy on that winter’s day long ago. So, as we in a slow, snaking line waiting for our turn at the check out counter, my curly-haired girl flashed an endearing smile to the gentleman behind us.  She sidled up beside him as if they’d been best friends for ages. Then, with a twinkle in her big blue eyes, she asked the silver-haired senior, “Do you see my mommy’s BIG tummy?”

Right on cue, the poor man’s eyes bolted from the smiling face of my little girl to my bulging midsection. I felt the burn of a rising blush as Lizzy drew nearer to her captive audience. She stood on her tiptoes and craned her neck so she could loudly whisper something in that poor man’s ear.

“You won’t believe what God is GWOWING in there!”  She paused for dramatic effect, batted her long lashes and then fired the punch line with breathy glee:  “I know it looks like a basketball, but it’s weally A MIWACLE!”

The old man feigned a look of shock to satisfy my daughter and then grinned over her bobbing head at my crimson face.  I flashed him a paltry smile and sighed with relief when the cashier gave me the go-ahead to unload my groceries on the moving belt. Of course, I tried to pretend that the cashier was just chuckling to herself because she had a joke running through her head, but the way she kept glancing furtively at my belly, I knew she’d overheard that my little girl’s declaration.

I sighed and wished my own excitement matched my daughter’s ever-growing sense of wonder. Lizzy’s awe had grown with each added inch of my skin-stretched middle. But sadly, as the press of the holidays hovered close and the aches and pains of pregnancy clamored loud, my wonder was waning fast.  And on that day in the grocery store, the miracle beneath my heart felt heavy and cumbersome rather than wistful and wondrous.

Please understand, I was incredibly thankful for the blessing of my third born. I’d hoped and wished and waited for the child in my womb. I’d walked through the treacherous waters of infertility with too many friends not to be keenly aware of the lavish gift I’d been given. But the closer the calendar inched toward the arrival of the baby, the more my eyes were fixed on the must-do’s in front of me instead of on the miracle inside of me. And when my eyes shifted from the baby to the busy-ness, my zeal was zapped.

Once my groceries were bagged, I grabbed my daughter’s hand and headed to the parking lot. I pushed my cart over dirty clumps of snow and piled my heaping bags of groceries in the trunk of our minivan. And though snowflakes danced around me and my daughter chattered joyfully at my side, all I could see were those brown bags filled with reminders of my endless to-do list. With the impending arrival of the baby framed by the buzz of the holidays, I wondered how I would get everything done.

There were ingredients for the snacks I’d been assigned to bring to the Preschool Christmas program and for the dessert my husband needed to bring to the annual decorating party at his office. There were ribbons for the plates of cookies my Bible study had agreed to drop off at the nursing home cookie exchange and wrapping paper and bows for all those Christmas gifts I’d bought and stashed in my closet for safe keeping. Of course, there was duct tape for hemming that shepherd costume my son had to wear for the church Christmas program (‘Cause duct tape is the only sewing machine this mama knows how to use). There were stamps for all those Christmas cards we would soon be sending out with the baby’s birth announcement tucked inside. And toilet paper and dish soap and diapers, of course, because ordinary life doesn’t pause even for the most wonderful time of the year.

I sighed and tried not to think about my heartburn or my aching swollen feet. Then I buckled Lizzy in her carseat and veered the van out of the parking lot. While my daughter oohed and ahhed over the lights strung through the neighborhoods as we drove home, I found myself wrapped in a bah humbug spirit.

Maybe you understand the feeling as Christmas draws near.

Maybe your eyes have shifted from the baby to the busy-ness as well.

Perhaps the must-do’s are stealing the miracle of Christmas for you, too.

After all, a heart can burn and feet can ache and the weight of the season can grow heavy when we fix our eyes on the doing instead of the adoring.

And as we anticipate the birth of the Christmas baby, we can find ourselves stretched and stressed like a woman I once knew standing in a long grocery line in the middle of the most marvelous time of the year.

But that giddy preschooler taught me something that I try to remember as Christmas draws near.

You, see, after we left the grocery store on that day long ago, we headed home with that trunk full of to-do’s.  And one block shy of our address, Lizzy spotted a little wooden manger laced with lights “Look, Mommy! Look at that manger. Do you see it?”

By the time I turned my head the manger was out of sight…“Did you see it, Mommy?” Lizzy crooned.

“No, Honey,” I responded apologetically.

“Oh, Mommy,” she laughed as she wrapped her fingers around her big blue eyes like a pair of glasses and offered them to me in a silly playful gesture. “You probably just need to borrow my eyes…”

It was just a goofy three-year old charade, but something in my spirit squirmed with conviction when my little girl offered me those imaginary glasses. I didn’t think about it again  until I’d unpacked the groceries, cleaned up the lunch dishes, and settled my two youngsters behind closed doors for a midday rest.  That’s when I  plopped onto the couch to elevate my swollen feet. I was far too tired to tackle that list of holiday to-dos, so I picked up my Bible and turned to the Psalms.

And, suddenly, a simple verse meticulously underlined in blue ink leaped off the page and tugged at my heart.  “The Lord has done this.  It is marvelous in our eyes!” (Psalm 118:23) and my daughter’s playful words echoed boldly in my ears–“You probably just need to borrow my eyes…”

Tears welled and the baby in my womb gave my stretched stomach and mighty kick.

And, suddenly, I realized that I’d been missing the miracle in my midst.

And with a humble heart, this weary and wonder-lacking woman bowed her head right there on that ugly plaid couch where I sat with swollen ankles and a grumpy spirit and prayed,

 Lord,  Please give me new eyes this Christmas. Eyes to see the marvelous.

And though it’s been years since I uttered that simple prayer, each year as the hustle and bustle of Christmas time press in, I remind myself that wonder begins with the eyes.

It’s a small shift of vision from the must-do’s to the manger, but it’s the biggest step we can take toward joy this Christmas season.

Because when we really think about it, Christmas is always about the baby.

And if we miss the manger, we miss the the miracle.

It’s backwards and upside down. And it has nothing to do with must-do lists or party plans, with tinseled trees or shiny packages.

And it has everything to do with a love so lavish our great big God became small to offer us the gift of his immeasurable grace.

The baby whose birth we’ll soon celebrate gave up the riches of Heaven so He could offer us the treasure of His presence on earth.

Philippians 2 puts it like this–“Though he was God,[Jesus]…did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

So, if we’re short on awe and long on angst this Christmas, maybe we need to shift our gaze from the grind to the GIFT, from the mayhem to the manger.

Because what God has done is marvelous.

My preschooler is a teenager now, and so is the baby who made my stomach bulge like a “basketball” many holidays ago.

But I still find myself asking for new eyes each Christmas.

Because Jesus is with us.

And that’s a miwacle I don’t want to miss.

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Today, I’m giving away one of my all time favorite Christmas books.  Every time I read this Max Lucado classic, When God Came Near, it helps me to see the Christmas story with fresh eyes. To enter to win a free copy, just leave a comment and share what makes Christmas “marvelous” for you.

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73 thoughts on “When You Don’t Want to Miss the Christmas Miracle

  1. Cw

    I buried my wife of over 50 years 2 days before Christmas before last and Christmas means because He came He also prepared a place for us who placeour faith in Him and instead of it being the end it’s really the beginning of eternal life with Him.

    December 21, 2016 at 3:18 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Cw, I am so sorry for your loss. And so thankful for the HOPE of Christmas. You are right… Christmas is the beginning of the amazing story of life forever with Jesus. May you experience His presence in the middle of your pain this Christmas season.

      December 21, 2016 at 9:55 am
  2. Lutrecia Macdonell

    I live far from my children and grandchildren and so I don’t get to celebrate the wonderful family Christmas that we had many years ago……but I have joy and peace knowing that Jesus was born on Christmas, because of God’s love for His people He sent His son, Jesus, to earth so that He could die for my sins. I can’t say that I don’t get sad, because of missing family, but I can hold on to the truth of God’s love for me and his ultimate sacrifice. Would love to receive the Max Lucado classic, “When God Came Near”.

    December 21, 2016 at 3:37 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Praise God for the gift of His peace. Merry Christmas, Lutrecia!

      December 21, 2016 at 9:56 am
  3. JM Green

    This is a beautiful story. I’d like to borrow your 3 year old’s eyes this Christmas season so that I do not miss the real meaning of God’s Precious Gift! 🙂 Thank You, Lord for giving me eyes to see the true meaning.

    December 21, 2016 at 4:28 am
  4. Susan

    Thank you. My husband is 62 but sometimes I wish I had his eyes because he still sees things as a child for the first time. I miss so much because I’m looking ahead at the next thing that needs to get done while he is living in the moment.

    December 21, 2016 at 4:38 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Susan, I totally understand how easy it is to miss the miracle as we gaze ahead. I’m guilty of that, too. What a gift to have a husband with childlike vision! May you fix your eyes on the manger this Christmas and savor our Savior.

      December 21, 2016 at 9:57 am
  5. Mary

    Sometimes I get too wrapped up in my son’s behaviors that I forget to look at things through his eyes. That childlike perspective is from God and I thank you today for the reminder to see the “marvelous” in everything, especially when it’s tough to do!

    December 21, 2016 at 5:11 am
  6. Cindy

    Thank you for your beautiful devotion and reminder. Stressed over possible impending (cannot even say the word that begins with a B) from my husbands business debt, and not being able to give more to my family and friends, this is a great reminder of the reason for Christmas and to look with ‘new eyes’. Blessings

    December 21, 2016 at 5:18 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Cindy, I’m praying for you! May the Prince of Peace hold you close this Christmas. And may you relish the RICHES of His love as you seek Him in the midst of this hard, hard place.

      December 21, 2016 at 9:59 am
  7. Scarlett Caudill

    Christmas is marvelous when my sister gets to come home. She got married when she was 21 and I was 25, which was 17 years ago. My brother-in-law is in the military, so he has been stationed all around the country ever since. They and my niece and nephew only get to come home a couple times a year and if it’s at Christmas, it’s extra special. It’s hard being away from family for years at a time.

    December 21, 2016 at 5:23 am
  8. Karen C

    What makes Christmas “marvelous” to me: When I see people going out of their way to be more thoughtful of others – being kinder, letting a car in traffic, giving gifts to others, serving meals to the needy, just being more like Jesus. Chistmas seems to sprinkle a little “kindness ” dust in the air. 😊

    December 21, 2016 at 5:24 am
  9. Holly

    What makes Christmas marvelous for me is getting to spend extra time with my family. I have a 6 1/2 year old and a two month old. My husband and I suffered three miscarriages and I am so thankful God let us be the parents of two little miracles. So spending time with them and my husband is a blessing.

    December 21, 2016 at 5:34 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Holly, I’m sorry for your loss. I, too, know the pain of losing a child before I got to hold him in my arms. I’m so glad our families will finally be complete in Heaven, thanks Jesus’ gift of eternal life. May your heart be comforted and filled with joy as you celebrate this Christmas. Enjoy your little miracles!

      December 21, 2016 at 10:02 am
  10. Ellen

    Marvelous is when I see people giving beyond the expectations of others. A lonely single mom arranges little surprises for her sister who is stressed, a group of beautiful, smart, young professionals take time to welcome an older member, little acts of attention. The joy on the faces of those giving unexpectedly is the shine of God’s love through human skin. I marvel that love again triumphs over hate…and just plain old self absorption.

    December 21, 2016 at 5:35 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Yes! I love the way Christmas inspires us to look beyond ourselves! May your Christmas be filled with love!

      December 21, 2016 at 10:03 am
  11. Heather Sanders

    Christmas is marvelous simply in singing Christmas carols with family and friends at Church and even in the car. The special music on the radio and each artist’s personalization of a Christmas tune reminds me of humanity and the differences we have but are one body of Christ.

    December 21, 2016 at 6:07 am
  12. Shannon Kittle

    Christmas to celebrate the birth of one small child and such big sacrifice is what it is all about. Most Christmases I find myself frustrated and longing for the season to be over. This Christmas I started off finding myself quickly following suit and then I read your blog. I want to remember the real sacrifice God made for us when he sent his son that one early morning. Please God help me find the miracle I. The moment.

    December 21, 2016 at 6:10 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Praying for you to see the marvelous this year, Shannon!

      December 21, 2016 at 10:04 am
  13. LRF

    Thank you so much for your devotion and blog post. Indeed, Jesus is a miracle, the best gift ever. He alone makes Christmas marvelous -I needed your reminders per life is difficult, marriage struggling to survive, and yet two children too care for and share Jesus with this season.

    I think this Christmas my special thing is that God has used the words off 2nd Cor. 12 to speak to me: (paraphrased) His grace is all I need. His strength is best seen in my weakness.

    December 21, 2016 at 6:13 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      That’s one of my favorite verses. May His grace carry you through this difficult season. And may you experience the presence of our faithful Savior in a fresh way this Christmas.

      December 21, 2016 at 10:05 am
  14. Terri

    We can never be reminded too often what our little baby Jesus did the day God Came Near!

    December 21, 2016 at 6:21 am
  15. Carrie

    Thank you… much needed today with a heavy heart missing too many things…

    December 21, 2016 at 6:23 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Praying for you, Carrie.

      December 21, 2016 at 10:05 am
  16. Sue

    Christmas time is ‘marvelous’ ! Today my oldest twin boys are 21. I am enjoying them being home for their break from college. Remembering times when they were little and how they would recat to events so differently.
    Thanks for the reminder to pause and reflect on the reason for the season and Praise Jesus!

    December 21, 2016 at 6:28 am
  17. Corena

    I marvel at how my Almighty Savior cared for me then and cares for me now. I cherish every Christmas because I know how tenuous and fragile life on this earth is. I love the sights and sounds or Christmas and the rushed hush that settles as the day of His birth draws near. I am grateful for His blessings because I know He gives me generously. I may not have earthly riches but He meets all my needs. I don’t deserve it anymore than the hurting and isolated people but He gives it. He is I Am and all the world will know He is KING over all.
    Max Lacid is one of my favorite Christian authors and I would love to own this book if I am chosen. But in any case 🎄Merry Christmas 🎄

    December 21, 2016 at 6:40 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Merry Christmas to you, Corena! Thanks for splashing your joy right here on us today:)

      December 21, 2016 at 10:06 am
  18. Dana

    I am always amazed to think Jesus came to save me.

    December 21, 2016 at 6:46 am
  19. Marlea

    If we don’t have CHRISTMAS in our hearts throughout the year, we won’t find the blessed treasure of CHRIST wrapped inside a box with a bling-bling bow stashed under the heavily decorated tree. YES, we celebrate CHRISTMAS in faith, family, friendship but without the shopping and wrapping and anxiety or stress. Less is truly more! Scatter CHRISTMAS Kindness!

    December 21, 2016 at 6:48 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      So true, Marlea! Thanks for the wise words.

      December 21, 2016 at 10:06 am
  20. Christmas is always a magical and marvelous part of the year because I get to celebrate the birth of Jesus with those I love and remember that God is in the practice of changing ordinary lives, such as that of a newly engaged couple, to that of the parents of the Savior. He was with Mary and Joseph as they dealt with the wagging tongues of those who didn’t know that Mary was carrying the long awaited Savior.

    December 21, 2016 at 6:52 am
  21. I love celebrating the birth of our savior with my family. That makes Christmas special.

    December 21, 2016 at 6:59 am
  22. CAG

    This is exactly what I needed to read today.
    My eyes also have looked at the list of what needs to be done not on the true reason for Christmas-JESUS CHRIST IS BORN!
    Thank you for the “Wake Up Call” and the reminder of the “Miwacle of Christmas.”

    December 21, 2016 at 7:06 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Your welcome! Merry Christmas:)

      December 21, 2016 at 10:07 am
  23. Jacqueline

    This has been a hard Christmas for me this year. My husband and I separated 3 weeks ago. My children 9 and 5 years old ask why daddy isn’t staying at home but at the same time they ask periodically is today church day and tell me Jesus is the reason we celebrate. My kids and myself started going to church again last July and I thank God that even though I am going through a trial that He has a purpose for it. I am grateful to Him who is now leading me down the path He wants me on now and that I am no longer following my own. I pray for my husband each day and hope that he will find the path God created for him. Thank you for your story. It has been so uplifting to me today.

    December 21, 2016 at 7:08 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Oh, Jacqueline, I will join you in that prayer for your husband. And am praying right now for you, too… for strength and comfort and hope and guidance. May you experience the unmistakeable presence of Immanuel this Christmas and may your children see Him clearly, too!

      December 21, 2016 at 10:08 am
  24. Suzanne

    Beautiful devotional today…I feel ya! It’s hard to see when the blurry is all around you in the hustle and bustle of the season. It’s like spinning until you fall and everything around you is tilted. Thanks for reminding me to slow down, to open my eyes and remember the true gift of the season…Jesus!

    December 21, 2016 at 7:10 am
  25. Martha

    Thank you. The world needs more small Sometimes we might think that our gift is too small, but when given in love it becomes great to the receiver. LORD, let my small gift be used to Your glory. Amen.

    December 21, 2016 at 7:11 am
  26. Brenda Butler

    Being a homeschooling mom of five can often be chaotic. I can be found awake in the wee hours of the night enjoying the quietness. The first thing that came to mind was an image of 5 kiddos happily smooshed on one couch… giggling! Then the baby in the manger came to mind; the all- powerful, eternal, Holy, Savior, Creator wrapped in flesh. He giggled! He wept! He hungered! He hurt! He shivered! He died! And I stand amazed…speechless! Oh God let not the chaos steal the majesty of Christmas…the wonder that You drew near to us to make it possible for us to draw near to You!!

    December 21, 2016 at 7:17 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Brenda, I love this glimpse into your quiet time in the wee hours:) As a mom of five myself, I often meet with Jesus in the moonlight, too. So precious that He is always available. Merry Christmas.

      December 21, 2016 at 10:10 am
  27. Seana

    I am always so thrilled to spend time with my three kids, all teenagers, at Christmas. I work at school, so 2 weeks off with them is a special time to slow down and take it all in. Thanks for sharing your sweet story!🎄

    December 21, 2016 at 7:35 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Enjoy your time off! Merry Christmas:)

      December 21, 2016 at 10:09 am
  28. Christ’s birth is a true miracle and yet still a mystery but an amazing gift of true love and grace. I try to remember and stay focused on God’s greatest gift of awesome, ending and undeserving love: JESUS!

    December 21, 2016 at 7:43 am
  29. Vanessa

    This was such an encouragement to me! Things have been a bit stressed in our home due to lack of income and sickness. I have been struggling with how to teach the real meaning of Christmas to our young boys when gifts is such a big part of the season. I also lost sight of the miracle of Jesus’ birth and that that is beauty of Christmas, the wonder, the marvel, the delight we need to see in this time. Nothing else compares to the gift He gave us through his being born so humble. Thank You!

    December 21, 2016 at 8:02 am
  30. Kathy

    What makes Christmas marvelous to me is the desire to want to give to others. We have been blessed with so much!! Christmas is about giving, even if you think it a small thing, it’s not small to the receiver.

    December 21, 2016 at 8:06 am
  31. Joanne Hostetter

    I’m struggling with a cold, gifts to wrap, volunteer work to deliver meal awaits, travel and packing, etc. In other words, that pressure-filled,seemingly-endless, joy-robbing to-do list. I want to cry because all the trappings and obligations do indeed cast a dark shadow on my heart as I scramble to check the next thing off the list. In my head and heart as well, I know the “true reasonfor the season”. I pray that God will soften my weary, jaded spirit and bring to the forefront of my heart, the best gift of all. The present of his presence.

    December 21, 2016 at 8:07 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      May God answer the cry of your heart, Joanne!

      December 21, 2016 at 10:11 am
  32. Jaci

    I have been caught up in the busyness of life this year & of the season & want to draw closer to Him yet again.

    December 21, 2016 at 8:15 am
  33. Tasha Beck

    I really enjoyed your proverbs 31 devotional today as well as your blog. 🙂 As a mom of a 6 year old and a 2 (almost 3) year old, your stories were so relatable and helped me have a better understanding of the key verses through them. Thank you!
    To me, the whole Christmas season is magical. I love the lights, music, decorations and stories! I love time with family and seeing the generousity of others. My goal this season was to not get wrapped up in the busyness of it, but to enjoy every second and to focus on Jesus. That goal will be a goal for my family in the new year too!!
    Merry Christmas!

    December 21, 2016 at 8:15 am
  34. Colleen

    The innocent eyes of a child always seem to bring all things into perspective. The baby Jesus is our reason for Christmas & EVERYTHING! What a MIRACLE! Blessings!

    December 21, 2016 at 8:29 am
  35. Melanie chitwood

    Beautiful writing here and devotion. Thank you !

    December 21, 2016 at 8:40 am
  36. Maureen Tonelli

    I loved this reading! I truly want with all my heart to be closer to Jesus. Have been praying a long time but seem to be stuck. Here and there I read something that hits me but the desire of my heart is to be closer to Him.

    December 21, 2016 at 9:13 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Maureen, may He grant you your heart’s desire. Merry Christmas.

      December 21, 2016 at 10:11 am
  37. Vicki H.

    Oh my thank you for bringing me back to what Christmas is all about. Baby Jesus who gave all for our sins. We must celebrate what God did for us John 3:16. The miracles of Christmas are in the simple things we do with our loved ones in honor of Jesus.

    December 21, 2016 at 9:43 am
  38. Janice Kesterson

    Loved your devotion today. I was feeling the busyness of the season and I needed a focus change. Christmas is marvelous because we get to celebrate our Savior’s birth with out family!!

    December 21, 2016 at 9:43 am
  39. Alicia, you actually got me today with your Proverbs 31post. My daughter is now 7 and in second grade (my girls are 5, 7, and 9). She has been my fiery one but you got me with that post. She is very similar and God’s word to me always was “don’t be harsh with her.”

    Between that post and this one, He is gently calling me back to the Psalms and I wanted to thank you.

    Christmas is marvelous to me because He knew we would disappoint him and take his gift for granted and instead of seeing that and refusing to offer us the gift, he loves us! He instead rejoices in the time we DO offer him. Like the widow’s mites, our weary hearts are all we have to offer sometimes and he recognizes what it takes to give that and He is pleased!

    Thank you, Alicia, for the reminder to be small and to remember that they are small.
    Merry Christmas!

    December 21, 2016 at 10:03 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Tammy, may the ONE who became small for us give you a GIANT love for your strong little girl and a HUGE helping of patience and wisdom:) And may He minister to you as you linger in His word. Merry Christmas!

      December 21, 2016 at 10:13 am
  40. Carol

    I am in awe of the “eyes of a child!” Rest in His Love this season!

    December 21, 2016 at 10:15 am
  41. I really loved this devotion! I am blessed to be a grandma now but still recall those Christmases of past that were less than joyful. So many things to do, never enough time and it seemed there was always an illness going around that at least one of us would catch. But by Christmas Eve all the lists were filled and it was time to share some Christmas joy as we and our 4-H group decorated an older American center with 5000 luminarias. It was a quiet, peaceful time to reflect on the love of our savior and time well spent with out family and friends. Now I get my joy from my precious granddaughters who only see miracles.

    December 21, 2016 at 10:31 am
  42. Grace

    Thank you for this. This is the first year that we are empty nesters, and the first year that one of our 4 will not be with us at Christmas. I had a day of sadness and tears, but then the Lord lifted my eyes, or gave me His glasses as you would put it. My Son has found a woman who loves him, whom he adores and will be spending Christmas with. Her family has embraced him and truly love having him in their lives. This is what Ive been praying for since he was a baby! In this new season of being a Mother to adults, I am learning many new things. But today I am thankful for my Father lifting my chin, showing me He is at work in their lives, and gently taking my hand so I can release them into His plans and purposes.
    Merry Christmas!

    December 21, 2016 at 10:48 am
  43. Tracy I.

    Both of my Grandmothers passed away in November. I busied myself with decorating the tree and wrapping presents. Now, as Christmas approaches I find myself stressing over all the things left to do, on top of the everyday things like the growing pile of laundry. I know the miracle of the season, expressed so well in “O, Holy Night” – till He appeared, and the soul felt it’s worth. The problem is that I can’t seem to revel in the remarkable expression of God’s love. I need new eyes and a change of heart.

    December 21, 2016 at 11:08 am
  44. Geralyn D Miller

    What makes me stay in awe at Christmas time is God’s great love for us! That He
    became a baby in order to be Immanuel….to be God WITH US, so that we have the opportunity to have God IN US through His magnificent Holy Spirit! His Spirit filling mine to overflowing so that His joy, His peace and His love can spill out to Others! Thank You Jesus!!!

    December 21, 2016 at 12:52 pm
  45. Heidi

    I was sharing the gospel with my 7 year old son listening to instrumental Christmas music. At the end I said “Then we get to live with Jesus in Heaven forever!” Immediately after I said it the music sang out Hallelujah! Hallelujah!!!! Hallelujiah, Hallelujiah, Hallelujah! My son was the first to recognize it and we laughed and jumped with joy in complete amazement of how perfect the timing was. Marvelous moments when we see God working in our lives during Christmas and all year long! What a blessing it was to share that moment with my son especially when I had been feeling over whelmed and needing to feel God’s closeness in my life. Emmanuel!! God is truly with us! Thank you for your stories. Always asking God to open my eyes and my heart! God Bless You

    December 21, 2016 at 1:45 pm
  46. Tera Comia

    I love the excitement and anticipation of Christmas in my kids. I’m super thankful for the time we have together and pray that I can help them to always remember our Savior that came to earth as a little baby. I always get super emotional when talking about and reading the Christmas story. I’m thankful that incorporating Jesus into our Christmas morning routine is anticipated.

    December 21, 2016 at 1:53 pm
  47. Kathy Scott

    This Christmas is bittersweet as I remember my brother who died on Dec. 23rd due to being hit by an auto while he crossed the street (in a legal crossing). I spent my Christmas 3 years ago at a funeral, and then with my mother in a nursing home. It was surreal, making me realize how fragile life is and precious as well. I found my heart burdened with sorrow until I realized that I need to honor my brother with memories of his life and the joy and success he experienced in his shortened life. It is wonderful to know that Christ will fill my heart with joy and peace as I reflect on all the positive and good that he contributed in his life. God sent His only son to us in order that we might experience fellowship with our God and to become transformed into His image. I will spend my time making a scrapbook with photos and writing about my brother this Christmas. I am rejoicing that I can be assured of God’s care and love for each of us. Though death is sorrowful and harsh, we need not fear or become bitter and downcast. God will wipe away our tears and bring joy and peace to those who trust in Him. I look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

    December 21, 2016 at 1:59 pm
  48. Jennifer

    What makes Christmas marvelous for me is that the hope of the world was born into our midst. Everything we could ever need was wrapped up in delicate form in a manger. He is what our world needed then and still craves now. God among us, lifting us from our mess to experience all the hope, joy, peace, and love found in Him.

    December 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm
  49. Ann

    I loved today’s post thank you!!!! Just beautiful!! I love Christmas to teach my girls & my grandson to say happy birthday to Jesus & to enjoy their gifts that I bought them with so much love! It’s the only time of year I buy for them

    December 21, 2016 at 2:28 pm
  50. Christmas is a beautiful reminder that Jesus is “Immanuel” – God With Us. It seems I reflect and draw close to this truth more at Christmas than any other time of year! For me, that makes Christmas marvelous! Thank you for this reminder today, friend. Blessings to you.

    December 21, 2016 at 9:37 pm
  51. Regina

    Particular differences in my life during this Christmas season have been contending for tunnel vision. Thank you for letting me borrow your eyes!

    December 22, 2016 at 6:49 am
  52. Cammi Hevener

    What a great reminder!! It has been such an stressful time.. my father in law passed away the day after Thanksgiving and my mom one week later. It has been such a busy time and I def lost focus of the true meaning of Christmas.. thank you for the reminder!!

    December 22, 2016 at 8:33 am
  53. JoyB

    Thank you for this reminder and encouragement to women.

    December 22, 2016 at 1:58 pm
  54. Mandi

    Thank-you for this word. Things have been very chaotic and emotionally, very difficult this year for our family. Thank-you for the reminder to use different eyes to see the wondrous around me.

    December 23, 2016 at 8:21 am
  55. Michelle McGovern

    This year Christmas blew past me like a blur. I feel like I missed something, even though I was trying to focus on Jesus and the miracle of His birth. Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear.

    December 28, 2016 at 6:01 am

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