That’s a good idea see the sunset they were going to even stay with grandma has had miss you so much but I do have something you can do that you’re really be happy about I’m gonna turn me a go get some cookies can IIn Sara Grove’s Christmas song, “To Be With You,” she sings:
I love this time of year, it always draws me near.
Take time alone with Him today and tomorrow and be alert for His kisses, His intervention in your life. He may speak to you in your time with Him, at the Christmas Eve service tonight, in your family interactions, in the silence of this holy night.
Then come and tell your stories as He speaks to you.
My Dad used to say: “Be alert to be amazed.” Be alert. Be a detective for the Divine.
And then tell us!
First divine alert is the way you said be alert for His kisses.That excited me! In The Message Bible in the Song of Solomon it says, His words are kisses, his kisses words …
So that was the first kiss tonight!
I just want to linger on that awhile … for in the beginning of the Song of Solomon it says in The Message: (The woman is speaking), “Kiss me full–on the mouth …” In other words, not just a peck … so let me stay and receive all that you have to give me Oh Lord …
I am in love …and in no rush …
That’s a great first kiss!
A blizzard cancelled our plans for going to the Christmas Eve service — so snug in my home with my youngest, Annie, and her husband, David — we had our own with candles, carols, and the amazing first 14 verses of John. As each of us shared how Jesus had been a light to us, my heart was warmed. So wonderful to hear my “baby” and her husband share how much intimacy with Jesus meant to them, I felt I was being kissed over and over again. Annie’s eyes glowed in the candlelight as she talked about how Jesus had led her to be adopted by us, to stay home the summer before we knew Steve had cancer; how He had made it so clear to her she should go into nursing, how He brought David into her life, and now, she (and all of my four daughters) are expecting babies this summer. We have so much to be thankful for — and all because of Emmanuel.
This is a sweet Christmas for us — we’ve had hard ones too, as I know many of you are — but I’m praying you will experience HIs presence. I am. And eager to hear how He is kissing you, loving you, revealing Himself to you.
While I know nothing of “kisses” of the Lord, I did as you requested and kept my eyes open for divine intervention this Christmas. It came in the form of a question my daughter asked on Christmas Eve, after we had finished opening up gifts. She asked me, “Mom, did you ever notice there are people who have less at Christmas than we do?” You might wonder what this has to do with divine intervention.
I worked for the past 25 years for a hospital typing reports for doctors, a job I thoroughly enjoyed and earned a fair wage at. Suddenly and without warning at the end of September, the entire department I worked in was outsourced and my job eliminated. The company who bought out our department offered us a job but at significantly less wages than before. I am the sole support of my family. Christmas this year would be with far less gifts than Christmases past. But ater all, Christmas is not just about gifts. We would be making the 2 hour drive north to spend Christmas with my family of origin and visit with them. That was the plan, until the winter ice storm that began on December 23.
The phone rang on December 23 and I learned that a friend my age (50s) from my circle at church (I am her prayer partner) was killed in a car accident coming home from the Cities. It was unfathomable to me that her life should be ended so abruptly, and this close to Christmas. She has a husband, kids! No doubt she was picking up last minute gifts from the Cities.
I decided it was too treacherous to travel in the bad weather and just stay home with the kids for Christmas, but in my heart I was angry and feeling sorry for my losses this Christmas. First my job and with the lack of income, the lack of ability to provide for heat this winter, the ice storm with the senseless loss of a friend, and now I wouldn’t even be able to enjoy a warm house, maybe a fire in the fireplace, at my mom’s house, and the pathetic few gifts I had to offer my kids.
When my daughter asked the quesion, it made me stop and realize in that moment that I had been focusing Christmas on ME when in fact I was very blessed this Christmas. Yes, the employer I have right now is awful to work for–but I do still have a job and yes I have been proactive in looking for a better job. Sure, I was not able to go to spend Christmas with my family of origin–but I am alive and have my kids home with me for Christmas to share cookies with and read the Christmas story with from the gospel of Luke. I need to accept the gift of gratitude for that which I do have while I have it and for the gift of a day with my kids as I realize there are those who would give anything to have a day with their family together. I may not have fancy gadgets like an iPhone as a Christmas gift but I do have an apartment and it’s warmer in here than it is outside. Some people do not even have that. And so Dee I thank you for bringing this to my attention to be alert and observe the Divine this Christmas or I might have missed it.
Deb — thanks from the depths of my heart for sharing this poignant story. So good for us all to read. You’ve raised your daughter well — what joy to see her compassionate heart. True riches. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you Deb (from WI)! I can relate to your story. Just this past week, a friend of my family, died. They are grieving the loss of their mother. How sad at this time of year to lose someone. I am fortunate this year to spend this time with my parents. My Dad just turned 80, and my Mom is 74. I think about how each moment is special with them, and how fortunate I am to have my parents here. I think of that grieving family, and how much they must wish for just another moment. I know this year, I have much to be thankful for!
Yes — may we each cherish these moments with our families this weekend — and give grace — overlook the difficulties — and love. Thanks for these reminders!
Thank you all for sharing your stories, especially those of loss, but still feeling loved, touches my heart. God bless us.
I think this blog of yours Dee is a “kiss” from the king everyday.Having this sweet page to read on a daily basis blesses me in many different ways. Since I began watching the dvds of your Falling in love series I have been watching for my kisses from the king constantly.And I have found them.
I have written here about the loss of my husband and the hard 10 months that it has been.My babygirl was looking for her daddy again yesterday. I found myself on Christmas eve sad but yet determined to celebrate the birth of our saviour looking not at the losses of this past year but at newness of life Jesus brings to my heart and mind daily.I know I will wait expectantly today for my kiss from Him.It will warm my heart and lift my spirit.I am so thankful for His mercy and his grace!
Like several of you, I have a dear friend named Allie Jo who had a tremendous loss this year. Her younger sister and closest woman friend died of a brain tumor. This Christmas she wrote this poem, to be sung to the melody of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” that I hope will be a comfort to those of you who have had someone so precious go on ahead. With her permission, here is Allie Jo’s song. May it comfort you:
HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
I’ll be home for Christmas;
Don’t be sad for me.
I have peace and joy and hope and love beyond degree.
Christmas Eve will find me
Free from all life’s pains.
I’ll be home for Christmas
Where our Savior reigns!
It was hard to leave you;
For I love you so.
But when our Savior called my name, it was time to go.
Christmas Eve will find me
With our Lord who died.
I’ll be home for Christmas,
Resting by His side.
I’ll be home for Christmas.
Though you miss my smile;
Now on my face a fresh, new glow glistens all the while.
Christmas Eve will find me
Singing ceaseless praise.
I’ll be home for Christmas;
Joy fills all my days!
Someday you will join me
Trusting in His grace.
He will come and take your hand, and you will see His face.
Christmas Eve will find us,
Nevermore to roam,
Gathered here for Christmas
In loving memory of my sister Esther Kruse
Who went Home with Christ September 27, 2009
That is a lovely, comforting poem. Incidentally, Dee, I have been slowly reading your newest book, The God of All Comfort, even before my friend died. I bought it because I have been experiencing quite a bit of loss and thought maybe I could get some fresh insights from your book. Indeed I have, which is why I’m reading it slowly, to let it sink in. One day perhaps we can talk about it elsewhere on your blog.
Thank you Dee – that was beautiful. Thank you for turning our eyes “heavenward”. Sometimes, when you look at death straight on – it seems “senseless” and “cruel”. But when you lift your eyes heavenward – it’s glorious! My older sister died 3 years ago, she was only 54. When I think of her in heaven, I think of her as free and happy. This gives my heart peace and rest. What a beautiful Savior we have! I am so thankful.