Are You Ready For Christmas?

Are You Ready For Christmas?

Are you ready for Christmas?

Have you finished your shopping?

Decorated the family tree yet?

My tree is decorated, but I haven’t started shopping for gifts. And you know what … I’m okay with it. I’m not the least bit frazzled or wigged out because there isn’t a single present underneath my tree.

Every year as Christmas approaches, I remind myself that it’s not about the gifts and it’s all about celebrating Jesus. My intentions are good and my focus is faith-filled. But somewhere along the way, circumstances change and things shift in my thought life. I start to worry more about what I’m going to give everyone instead of focusing on what God has already given me.

The gift of Salvation.

The gift of Jesus as my Savior

Today, I’m reminded of a very young woman who was also preparing for Christmas thousands of years ago. Her name was Mary and she certainly wasn’t thinking about gifts to give others. Instead, she was focused on what God had already given her.

The gift of Jesus as her Savior.

The tiny bumps and movement inside her belly was a clear indication of great things to come.

She was given a promise from God. She believed that promise with her whole heart. And Scripture tells us that she was blessed because she believed.

As Mary waited for the birth of Baby Jesus {The Promise}, she went to visit her relative, Elizabeth who was also pregnant.

Isn’t it amazing how as women, we can get so excited when unexpected visitors show up at our front door? Especially, if it’s a relative we’re close to.

Elizabeth was no exception.  Bless her heart, she was so excited to see Mary and overjoyed by Mary’s wonderful news.

Elizabeth listens to what Mary had to share and then spoke a beautiful word over her …

Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!    Luke 1:45

Did you notice the exclamation mark? I told you Elizabeth was excited.

I’d imagine she had so many more questions for Mary that were not recorded in Scripture. Can you just imagine the conversation – a virgin and a senior citizen, both pregnant for the first time. Amazing!

I have a question for you and I’m hoping you’ll say “yes”. Can I be your Elizabeth and speak similar words over you today? I’ve created this new graphic with you in mind. Read it slowly and insert replace the word “she” with your name.

candlelight

What has the Lord promised you? Are you believing with all your heart that He will fulfill the promises He’s made? Are you focused {like Mary} on great things to come?

I pray that as you approach Christmas – and it’s only 2 weeks away – that you won’t become anxious or worried about what you’re going to give others. That the shopping, decorating, baking, planning, wrapping and endless to-do list doesn’t distract you for what’s most important. I hope you won’t become so overwhelmed that you miss the anticipated excitement of a celebration to come. The celebration of Jesus Christ!

The gift of Salvation

The Savior of the world. 

Blessed are you, sweet friend, who believes that the Lord will fulfill all the promises He’s made to you!

Heavenly Father, I thank you for my sweet friend who has taken time out of her busy day to read today’s post. I ask that You bless her and give her the grace she needs to be a blessing to other. Fill her with Your love and peace. Surround her with Your protection. Remind my friend that You are with her and she has nothing to fear or to be anxious about. If she is overwhelmed by the busyness this season brings, comfort her with Your unfailing love. Let her sense Your presence and reassure her throughout the day.  Thank you for my friend, Lord, for she is one of my sweetest blessings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

It’s Your Turn:

In the comments section below, share a promise that God has fulfilled in your life. Or a promise that you’re believing He will fulfill in your life.

If you’re unable to see the pretty graphic above, just click on the post title which will take you directly to my website. I’d love for you to share this post with your  Facebook and Twitter friends or pin the graphic on Pinterest as a reminder during your holiday season. You’ll find the share buttons are below.

Leah

Comments

  1. Hello Leah,
    I receive and read several of my favorite devotionals online on a regular basis, they all have words of encouragement, words of inspiration or they teach me something new. I look forward to reading them every week. As a newcomer to your site, I just now realized that finding you was part of God’s plan for me. As you write and share, your words reach me at a deep level within my heart. It’s as if the Lord has told you specifically what He wants you to share with me, what it is I need to hear at this moment in my life. He is using your gift of writing and sharing to help heal me within, to acknowledge me and most importantly reminding me that I belong to Him and that He loves me. He is answering my prayer . . . “of wanting to see myself, as He sees me!”. He is acknowledging me through you at this very moment! What an awesome privilege it is to be used as a vessel for His honor and glory. Praise God for you Leah, for you dedication, faithfulness and commitment in serving him! Be blessed this Christmas and in the New Year knowing that He is accomplishing His work through you in a mighty way! My Christmas gift came early this year . . . I thank God for you!

    • Ruthie ~ your words bring so much joy to my heart today! Thank you for taking time to share them with me. Honestly, there are days when I wonder if the tiny words in my weekly posts are helping others. I have moments when I’m tempted to stop writing and then God brings me a beautiful woman, like yourself, to encourage me to keep writing. Knowing that it’s made a difference for you is worth a 1000 written words! Hugs to you, sweet friend.

      • 2014, was filled with a season of Grieving from the loss of my best friend/my Brother in Christ and with my work of providing comfort care to hospice patients.

        Looks like we both received our Christmas gift early from Our Lord this year! I’m excited in anticipation of what Jesus unveils to you and I in the new year and us sharing it with one another!

        “Blessed is Leah, Ruthie & All our Sisters in Christ, who believes that the Lord will fulfill His promises!” Luke: 1:45

        Believe & Be blessed,
        Ruthie

  2. Another great post, filled with God inspired wisdom…love it!

  3. Leah, I love this post….ties in with what God has had on my heart. Our pastor has been preaching through Philippians and we’ve been focusing on chapter 3 and the verses about knowing Christ. He’s talked about how Jesus isn’t the main thing, but needs to be the ONE thing. Trying to think about that as Christmas draws near. Thankfully I’m further ahead in my shopping than the past few years!

    Your post really spoke to me about an entirely different holiday as well. Just today I was officially asked to speak at a women’s event on Valentine’s Day…it’s exciting and where God has been leading, but yet it is OVERWHELMING. Satan wants me to doubt and question it all…then I read your words about believing and trusting God to fulfill His promises! Clinging to Ephesians 2:10 and 1 Thes. 5:24 – the ONE who calls me is faithful and He will do it!!

    Blessings to you this Christmas Leah!! Thank you for being my “Elizabeth”!!!

    • Jill, thank you for sharing your Pastor’s message about Jesus not being the main thing this Christmas season, but He is the ONE thing. It reminds me of something I heard years ago that I’ve held onto in my heart: God isn’t the most important thing in my life; He IS my life. Both of these statements certainly puts things into perspective for me today.

      Congratulations on your Valentine’s speaking event! You have been so faithful to lead women to the Lord and since He’s chosen you for this special assignment, I know He will be faithful to bring it to fruition. When those overwhelming feelings come just think about the women He’ll have in the audience and how desperate they need to hear the message. How their lives are difficult and hearts may be very empty. As you pray for them, your overwhelming feelings will turn into joyful anticipation of sharing God’s love with them. Blessed is Jill who believes!!

  4. Leah,
    I found your message very encouraging, thank-you. I believe God’s promise to me that I am going to be okay. God is working on healing my heart and my mind.

    • Heather, as you daily read God’s Word and ask Him to fill the empty places within you, He will heal your heart and mind. He’s done it for me and I know He will do it for you, sweet friend.

  5. God takes us to different places in our lives. I am always trying to DO for my children and grandchildren and have everything they like. I am always trying to make the favorite food for each person. Well when we were to celebrate Thanksgiving early so we could all be together, I was sick in bed and found out I have pneumonia. Now I am still trying to get my strength back. So far there are no Christmas preparations and I am starting to feel a little panic start to set in. I keep reminding myself that all the stuff I think I need to do for everyone is just fluff and not the foundation that we need in our life. SO hopefully within the next few days I can get started on Christmas at a more reserved pace this year and I can LEARN that the fluff is not necessary. I have been the one trying to learn this lesson, amazing how God has to stop us sometime so we HEAR.

  6. This made me stop for a moment to think about God’s promises. As a 33 year old who has never been on a date, the promises God has made are special. Most people I know are dating, engaged or married, it’s a struggle not to be upset at times. I am very happy with my life but I want to get married and have kids too. Romans 8:28 promises that all things work together for good. In a season of waiting, it’s hard to remember it’s working out for good. However, I know it will all work out. I am able to use this time to focus on my relationship with God, getting my doctorate, losing weight and getting out of debt. I’m praying for my future husband in this season of waiting. I don’t always enjoy it but I’m learning to be content in waiting.

    • Brandy, I agree … waiting is hard. Especially when it’s something that has been a desire of your heart for a long time. I’ve often held onto the promises of Romans 8:28 in my own life. I can tell that you’re stewarding this time well in growing closer to the Lord, obtaining your goals and preparing for a debt-free life. Those are huge accomplishments! Celebrate all that God is doing in your life during this season of waiting. You may not see it now, but you are sowing solid seed that will reap a beautiful harvest in the years to come.

  7. Leah,
    Thank you so much for this. Like Mary, I am in a season of waiting. I have been unemployed for 6 months. It has been an amazing time of spiritual growth for my family and I, and it has helped us move our focus to what is truly important. God has provided for us beyond measure. Posts like yours have been a key part of what has kept me positive and hopeful during this time. May God bless you. Merry Christmas!

    • Liz, I remember how challenging it was for our family a couple years ago when my husband was out of work. But we also experienced a spiritual “explosion” in our lives during that time which we wouldn’t trade for the world. I think we see God most clearly in those seasons of life when we’re forced to look up and trust Him in even a great measure to belief for our provision. He is and always will be your Great Provider! Merry Christmas to you too. 🙂

  8. Leah,
    I really needed to hear your message today. I am very anxious about being ready for Christmas even though deep in my heart I know that Jesus is the most important thing. Unfortunately my family does not have the same mind set and they are all waiting for me to buy, wrap, cook and prepare for the commercialized Christmas. It gets harder and harder to quiet the anxious parts of me and to let Jesus rule in my heart. I am working on it every day and your post will certainly help me. Thank you and may God bless you richly this Christmas season!

    • Vicki, I’m praying that your greatest gift this Christmas season will be experiencing God’s tangible presence in those moments when you choose to turn over your worries to Him. It’s a daily, sometimes hourly process of surrendering our ideas, plans and even expectations from others, over to Him. But the peace and comfort we experience when we hand them over to God is absolutely priceless.

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