Happy Birthday Jesus!

 

Only a few more days remain until we celebrate our Savior’s birthday!

I hope you enjoy this song that captures my feelings beautifully!

Merry Christmas!

With Much Love,

DLF

Pondering in My Heart

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When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about the child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.             Luke 2:15-19

 

I sat looking at my calendar for the first two weeks in December and sighed a heavy sigh. It was so FULL!

Almost all good things filled the boxes on my calendar.

Christmas parties.

Tree lightings.

My daughter’s sweet sixteen party.

And the list goes on and on.

Dentist appointments for myself and the kids were the only things that didn’t promise to be fun and festive.

In all this “busy-ness”, I felt God drawing me ever nearer despite the demand on my schedule. He was drawing me nearer to bask in His goodness and His love.

I can only image what Mary’s days must have been like. She had traveled so far in her state of full term pregnancy. Remember, we’re not talking about loading luggage on a jet plane and snoozing on the journey. We’re talking a long journey on dirt and dust and sand and stone, by foot or the back of an animal.

She had given birth in a stable…cold, dark, and full of critters large and small.

Strangers came to worship her tiny baby.

In the midst of it all, she paused, treasured, and pondered this magnificent wonder.

Let’s follow in Mary’s footsteps this Christmas season and enjoy the fullness of the GIFT that God’s has given us in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ!

 

Love,

DLF

Flannel Pajamas and a Babe in a Manger

 

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Silver tinsel hung from my hair as I reached into a pile of gifts under the Christmas tree. Excitedly, I searched for one with my name written on it. My sister and brother bounced from gift to gift alongside me. Mom sat smiling and giggling with my baby sister in her lap while Dad grimaced as we nearly knocked down the tree. I picked up a gift wrapped in pretty paper.

The card read…

To: Denise

From: Santa

Tickled, I tore open the present. Inside the box, under red tissue paper lay a pair of flannel pajamas. Hmmm, I thought, in my seven year old mind. Funny, these look just like the pajamas that my Mom makes for me. Santa’s elves must have the same pattern.                                              New_1_DSCF0717

Of course, I realized not too far down the road of life that my mom did indeed make those fuzzy, warm, flannel pajamas. That realization made the memory even more precious to me because I felt the love of my mom every time I wore them.

It’s so easy to mix up things around the holidays as frenzied excitement fills the air.

I heard on the news recently that eighty percent of the population buys gifts for themselves while shopping for others. I have been guilty of this. I’ve actually done it at times without even realizing it. I’m out and about in the stores and malls more and I see something that I need at a deep discount and it goes home with me.

Marketers are brilliant at this stuff. They know just how to entice the weary shopper into craving instant gratification.

We can easily be swayed during this season of pretty packages, joyful carols, heartwarming movies, and tasty cookies.

May we not lose sight of the Baby in the manger. That cute little baby wrapped in

swaddling clothe was the Lamb of God. The greatest gift known to mankind. The

gift of everlasting life from a Loving, Divine Father.

Mom’s love for me was in that box all those years ago in the form of a pair of handmade pajamas.

God’s love for me and for you was in the form of a tiny baby in a manger that first Christmas morn.

Holy.

Pure.

Eternal.

Born to die for you and for me.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”   John 3:16

 

Love,

DLF

The Purple Gloves

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After reading the blog post entitled “One Rainy Day”, my friend Sarah Erk shared the following story with me. I was so moved by her story that I asked her if she would write it down to share with you here on the blog and she graciously agreed. Enjoy this beautiful story of God’s abundant care. Be blessed!

 

 

It was Christmastime and I was on a trip to New York City with a few girlfriends. It had been a rough year. Our family was going through a really difficult church transition and I was in need of refreshment and reminder of God’s faithfulness. Over the next few days, I enjoyed good fellowship with my friends in the city, but I was still left wanting a touch from God. That was when something unexpected happened.

On the train coming back from the city, God inclined my heart toward a man who was grieved. He was talking loudly on his cell phone with his New York accent, telling a loved one that his mother was dying and would not likely make it through the New Year. My heart broke for him as I saw his eyes swell up with tears and I saw the anguished emotion on his face. I began to pray for him and asked God to open up an opportunity for me to encourage him. I could see his reflection in the train window and compassion for him rose in me as the train continued.

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Finally, his stop came and he stood up and began to move toward the exit. Again I prayed for an opportunity to connect with the man. As he approached me, he bent over and picked up a balled pair of purple gloves and asked if they belonged to anyone. I realized that the gloves were mine and that this was the opportunity I had been hoping for. I thanked him for returning the gloves and expressed that I had overheard his conversation on the phone about his dying mother.

By expressing my sorrow for the man’s grief, I was able to show compassion to him and also promised to pray for him. His eyes welled up and he gripped my hand and thanked me. The brief exchange had brought him encouragement. I was grateful that God had made a way to connect with him. He departed the train and I breathed a silent prayer for him as he went to see his mother, perhaps for the last time.

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A few moments later, I reached into my pocket to retrieve a tissue and, to my surprise, I found my pair of purple gloves there in my pocket! The gloves the man had picked up off the train floor were identical to mine, but they were not mine! It became clear to me that God was showing His faithfulness to me in connecting me to minister to the grieving man! It was just the touch from God that I so desperately needed in my own time of struggle.

This simple situation, ordained by God, brought me a great deal of encouragement in my own faith. God was still there in the midst of my hard time and He was still working through me and showing Himself to others. I felt hope for my life in light of His gracious display of faithfulness. May you see God’s faithfulness anew this Christmas season!

“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”   Lamentations 3:22-23