Time for December’s Share Four Somethings! Hard to believe, actually. This will be the last SFS with Heather but Jennifer has decided to keep this link-up going…with her own tweak. I am super excited about that. I have always enjoyed this post at the end of each month and hope that everyone will continue to participate. But, enough about next year. Let’s finish this year, already. So, here are my Share Four Something thoughts as December (and the entire year) draws to a close.
The kids were adorable during the Christmas program on Sunday. The songs, the lines, the set, and the costumes. It all came together so well. I am loving the memories….as well as everyone’s kind and encouraging comments. Every time I think that I might have pushed the bar too high, these kiddos amaze me. It makes me wonder exactly what we could “pull off” in the months and year ahead. I’ve often toyed with the idea of a small, beginner handbell choir. Hmmm – maybe. Whatever doors might open, I am grateful to serve/be a part of the children’s ministry.
I also loved this semester’s Bible study. We finished with a much smaller group than we started with – which is a shame – but a sweet group of ladies. As the numbers got smaller, it was easier to share more with the other tables which was interesting and encouraging. And, although I really look forward to studying together again in the new year, I am enjoying this break from homework, etc.
A few extra things I have been loving: a couple of new to us Christmas activities; December weather that has not been brutal so that we could even enjoy some activities outside; several evenings with friends to celebrate the season; and a gift of homemade magic cookie bars (they so remind me of Mom)!
Last month I mentioned that I had read several great devotionals. Ones geared toward gratitude and thanksgiving, etc. Well, the good reading continues with the Christmas devotionals I have been reading this month. I find myself making all kinds of notes. Again, far too many for me to share (just as I said last month) and, quite often, simply God speaking to me. Something I need to tuck away in my heart. But here are two quick takeaways from earlier this month (paraphrased from an online devotional by Susie Larson).
So often, at Christmas, people get greedy, grabby and grumpy. Greedy…. obsessing over excess. Grabby..insisting on drawing attention to themselves. And, grumpy…pushing aside and/or overlooking God’s goodness and His riches right before us.
It was a creative reminder for me. Lord, help me not to be greedy, grabby, or grumpy. Any (or all three) are easy traps for me to fall into…..easier than I care to admit. The second one was a bit more inspiring. Thinking about Elizabeth and Zacharias, the parents of John the Baptist. If you aren’t familiar with their story, they had longed for a child for years but, at their advanced age, assumed they would always be childless. However,
God is capable of changing the narrative of our story. Of changing the narrative of my story. He can make a way where there is no way. I simply need to believe the impossible and live expectantly – waiting to see what God will do.
I pulled up the things I have downloaded, screenshots, and/or things saved on my phone over the last two weeks. Even I was surprised to find excerpts from several devotionals. As I said, they have been impactful lately. Really causing me to think. Thoughts like these…from totally separate devotions:
“What happens in your heart when God doesn’t give you what you want? Do you loosen your grip on what you know to be true? Do you wander from the very things that keep your soul free and whole? Especially at Christmastime, we tend to gravitate toward indulgence because we prefer to feel a surface level of happiness than to acknowledge the pain buried beneath the surface.”
“But sometimes we believe our dreams, accomplishments, and possessions will finally fill the void in our hearts or validate the need for acceptance in our souls. Eventually, we lay hold of some of those things and find them sorely lacking. Still, we hope, we dream, and think that one day things will be different. But we have Jesus’ presence today. We have access to the very throne room of heaven today. We’re so deeply connected to the Father’s heart that He delights in every single detail of our lives, even at Christmastime.”
I also found the photo of the tree just above. Oh, how I would love my tree to look like that. But I will need a lot more creative talent. Not to mention patience. And quite a bit more ribbon. Maybe next year. Um, the tree at the beginning of this post is my actual tree. Not Pinterest-worthy but its twinkly lights still make us smile:)
Last month, this category was all vague and mysterious. And it is again. I have been pushing myself, conquering hard things, and facing fears. Not always gracefully – but I feel like there have been several “something achieved” moments in the past few weeks.
I promise this will be the last month of obscure thoughts in this category (if this is even still a category!!?) but, for anyone who needs the encouragement, you can do hard things. Push through. I am thankful that I do not have to face the struggles (or the hard things) alone or in my own strength. I’m grateful for both a Heavenly Father that walks with me and for friends who are faithful to pray for me along the way.
I would love to know a few of the things you have loved this past month. Share in the comments and visit the link-up as well. Most likely, I will not have a post on Friday. There may be a Christmas greeting but, nevertheless, I want to wish everyone a very special Christmas. Have a wonderful and blessed weekend. Merry Christmas friends!!