Are You Ready for Christmas?

Should I even ask?

Are you ready for Christmas?

Decorate the tree ~ check!
Buy & wrap presents ~ check!
Bake cookies ~ check!
Hang Christmas wreath ~ check!
Send out Christmas cards ~ oh well….

I can’t believe Christmas week is here already. It seems like only yesterday that I was packing our suitcases and heading to Houston, Texas for Thanksgiving with my parents. We celebrated Texas style with all our siblings, nieces, and nephews. There were 25 of us in all and it felt like Christmas day even though it was a month early.

Being gone that week put a wrench in my Christmas shopping & decorating but I wouldn’t trade that trip for anything. I’m going to tell you a secret. I just started shopping this past weekend and finally hung our wreath on the front door yesterday afternoon. This year is different though. Although I’m way behind on my Christmas preparations, I have such a inner peace and joy in my heart. It feels unexpected but wonderful all at the same time. I think it’s because I’ve been mentally and spiritually preparing for Christmas for two months now. Let me explain…

Two weeks ago I was privileged to speak at The Cove Church Ladies Life Christmas Brunch. For weeks I had been preparing and praying over what message God wanted me to share with these precious women. I finally landed on the story of Joseph’s visit by the angel Gabriel found in Matthew 1: 18-27. As I pondered and prayed some more, I was drawn to the words “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel which means “God with us”.

As if a huge light bulb went off in my head, I suddenly realized this was the message I would focus on for Christmas 2010. I wish I had time today to share everything with you but in a nutshell…

If finances are tight and gifts are few – God is with us!

If loved ones are no longer here and we feel alone – God is with us!

If marriages are struggling and family members aren’t talking – God is with us!

If children are rebellious and hearts are wounded – God is with us!

If sickness is upon us and we’re weak in our bodies – God is with us!

If depression is looming and hopelessness is calling – God is with us!

No matter what our circumstances this Christmas season we can be certain of one thing. God is with us and will always be with us no matter what. He is our constant companion and our source of strength. He is our ever-present help in time of trouble. He will never abandon us or refuse to listen to us. He was there in our yesterdays and will be there in our tomorrows. The Lord always has time for us. Even His name proclaims His presence.

Immanuel, God with us

I’m pretty certain I won’t be winning any neighborhood awards for best yard decorations on my street. Martha Stewart probably won’t email me for my famous cookie recipes. And, I can guarantee I won’t be mailing out any Christmas cards again this year. But, ya know what? I’m totally fine with it. I have peace, joy, and contentment which is the absolute best Christmas gifts I could possibly receive this year. And, it’s all because I know that no matter what, God is with us.

Do you have that same assurance this Christmas season? Oh, I hope you do. If not, please write and let me know so I can be praying for you. I would love to!

Leah

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