Merry Christmas

December has been full of merriment, lots of unexpected joy, the thrill of hope, more Christmas songs, smells and experiences than we thought possible.

Tonight on Christmas Eve we prepare to celebrate the gift of salvation and grace. 

I had plans of actually sharing things in a timely manner like our Christmas card, the passage I wrote for my church's advent guide, and all the fun we've had with family and friends during this special season.  Maybe the new year will bring me a little more time to do that, but I'll try and jam in all in at the last minute, just like I did this morning when I took James to see Santa :)

He obviously loved it...

 Our card's top ten list made a comeback in 2013, I know everyone was eagerly anticipating that!
I must make Christmas Eve dinner before we celebrate a little more tonight with friends and family.  Lots of love from our family to yours!!

Here's what we had to share about the Christmas Conspiracy back on the 15th, sorry the formatting is horrible, but my ham isn't going to glaze itself,  so I've got to go to bring peace, love, joy and glazed ham to my family.

Sharing Joy in the Grocery Store

Mark 5: 1-20

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.[a] When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis[b] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has mercy on


It’s not uncommon for a stranger to come up to me in the grocery store and tell me what a happy baby

I have. I always say a quick thank you and usually joke that he’s just excited to be digging into a carton

of blueberries before lunchtime. The truth is I’m thrilled of the joy and happiness they see him express

while we walk up and down the aisles.

Deep down I hope the joy they see in his eyes is the reflection of the love his father and I have for him.

We both try to show our family the love we have for each other in small and large ways every day. From

cooking healthy dinners, showing compassion, spending special one-on-one time together, encouraging

each other to follow our passions, saying thank you, lots of hugs and kisses, apologizing when I’ve done

something wrong and offering my forgiveness when they have. I know the reason why I’m able to show

this love is a direct result of the mercy God has shown me.

Just like the man in the passage above, God has cast my demons away. Now instead of anxiety, I’m

filled with peace knowing the Lord will always provide for our needs. Instead of insecurity, I feel

confidence and joy that can only come from one source. I have hope because Christ gave me salvation,

and that is how I’m able to share His love with my family. During this season of excitement and

anticipation, how will you tell your family how much the Lord has done for you?


Alana said...

James' face cracks me up! There's a similar pic of me around that age with the Easter bunny. :)

Merry Christmas!!

Alana said...

P.S. I love your Christmas Top 10 and thank you for sharing your heartwarming words!

Dee Stephens said...

I might have to steal that top 10 list idea!