Christmas Is Coming!

Welcome dear readers! Our family from Vermont is on their way to spend the weekend. The beds are all ready; I made the salad, the extra chairs are at the table and the new placemats look great. Presents are wrapped and under the tree, Christmas cards are all mailed out and extras packed away; but not too far! [in case I think of more to send] What else needs to be cleaned, prepped, put away, gotten out… before they come? Such is the busyness of preparing for hospitality.

Looks like the actual Christmas celebration will be quiet for John and me. We’ll Skype with the family, maybe watch a movie together, share a special meal. We’re looking forward to a trip to Vermont for our New Year’s celebration with our son’s family, and a possible trip to Los Angeles to see our daughter’s family in February. We haven’t been to California in at least three years!

I realize we are in various stages of life and have different holiday traditions. My husband and I are at the grandparent stage, with children scattered, which means visits from them and visits to them and much Skyping. You may have a house full of children, be in a home bursting at the seams with visiting relatives, or be a recent widow/widower, adjusting to life on your own. It may be empty nester syndrome, or newlyweds kindling new traditions from diverse backgrounds. Maybe you are expecting more than one of these situations, or I have not come close to your unique situation.

No matter where you find yourself this Christmas, I hope you remember the meaning of this season of celebration. This Christmas will probably differ from last because of the circumstances in the world, but in honor of our Savior, find things to rejoice in no matter what.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Christmas reminds us that at just the right time in history, God sent His son, Jesus. The light of God came down into darkness to open our eyes to the salvation and reconciliation we all long for. Fully God and fully human, choosing to come humbly as a baby from a human womb, He grew to become the perfect Lamb, slain from the foundations of the world. Only a loving, gracious Father God would think to prepare redemption for humankind before He created anything here on earth. As I shared in my Hanukkah celebration, I’ve had a new revelation of the Light that stepped down into darkness. Now we are at just the right time for our life on this earth, just as Jesus was here at just the right time. I believe the prophecies that the new year, even beginning now, is a time for things long-hoped for coming to pass. Dust off those old prayers, prophecies, dreams and God-given desires. Stand in faith and see the fulfillment of all these things appear!

Philippians 1:2 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy… being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…”

My dear readers, join me in rejoicing as we travel through this Christmas season. Shalom!

What a Birthday!

Today I join the crowd turning 58! As the song Sunrise, Sun Set from the musical Fiddler On The Roof says, “Quickly Flow the Days!” Put in perspective: if I live as long as Moses, I have 62 years left to praise and honor God! It’s all part of God’s design for seedtime and harvest, the rhythm of this life we’ve been given here on earth.

Here in Hart's Crossing: Four Charming Small Town Novellas by [Robin Lee Hatcher]

I am following Robin Lee Hatcher and was blessed with this book on a free Kindle offer for her birthday, May 10, the same day as my son Alex, and four days before mine. I have spent the last three evenings in Hart’s Crossing and thoroughly enjoyed reading four stories connected through the well-developed characters Robin has such a talent from God to create. These are not just love stories, but life lessons on learning to honor God with our decisions at any age. Lots of examples of how community works and what it’s like to come home again; or not to have left. I give this book five stars; what a great Birthday week gift!

On other birthday news, I found a one-hundred-dollar bill in my Birthday Card from my husband John. He told me it’s not to give away, put in savings, or use for “needs”, he wants me to get something I will really enjoy! Two of my four children have already texted Happy Birthday, my phone hasn’t stopped pinging, and we’re going to visit my son Alex’s family later today. We’re heading from there to Vermont for the first time since son Chris moved his family there to attend a Birthday Party for our granddaughter Ashlynn. She turned 5 on May 7th. The weather here has become true May weather; the sun is back after a long stretch of rainy days, so it’s a great weekend to travel and visit.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation! I’m so thankful for all the years He has been my strength and my song. So many deep waters and Hallelujah times woven together to bring me to this day. I am thankful for my mom who spent this day in the hospital in 1963, thankful for her parents who arrived the evening before I made my appearance, thankful for my dad who was so happy to welcome his fourth child into the family. I’m also thankful for the people I have met that have the same birthday. I think there must be some connection there, since God plans our appearance; our birth on the earth, to be just right for His glorious plans to unfold.

Thanks for sharing this day with me. I pray you are giving thanks with a grateful heart for all the blessings the Lord has poured out on your life. It doesn’t take much time when you stop to “Count your blessings, name thenm one by one” to stack up layers of praise for the goodness of God in your life.

Shalom to you, dear readers! Thanks again for joining me.

Ashlynn May 7, 2021