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!!
12 Replies to “Share Four Somethings: December 2022”
Jennifer- I just love your blog and how you communicate here. You have a beautiful way with words, my friend. Thank you for always sharing from your heart and for being genuine. I value that in things I read…and while I also love some of the “fluff” of blogging, it’s things like this post that makes my heart swell. I loved what you shared here…”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.” from your devotional. That really resonates within me. I am like you and need to turn that into my prayer to not be greedy, grabby or grumpy. What book is that from? I would love to know…it sounds like it’s one I need to read!
I am so glad your program went so well last weekend. Kids are amazing, aren’t they? I’m always blown away by our own kids choir at church. They sound incredible and are always right on key with their singing! They sang with us in a few songs during our Christmas worship night at church. That kind of thing always brings me to tears! Children are precious gifts from the Lord.
I am excited to keep this link party going! It’s one of my favorites, for sure, so I was sad to see it end. I have the time and energy, so why not? As always, thank you for posting, for sharing and for reminding me that I need to share my own Share 4 Somethings post. Ha! I am thankful for you, my friend. I am so glad we “found” each other here in this blogging community! I hope you and your family have a wonderfully beautiful and Merry Christmas. Much love to you!
You have been such a blessing to me this morning. Thank you for your comment and such kind and encouraging words! God used you to help and encourage me this morning!! Huge hugs friend!
I enjoyed your post. First of all, I love your tree. I love the glow of it. It’s just so pretty. I also appreciated the greedy, grabby and grumpy thought. I think I probably needed to really see that. I can fall into any one of those pretty easily, but especially the grumpy when I’m tired. And during this season I can often be tired. I’m trying to take a step back and physically calm down before speaking when I feel it coming on. I don’t get it right every time, but I’m seeing improvement. One of the things I’ve loved this month is the harp concert I went to with 2 of my cousins and I also loved our candlelight and carol sing this past Sunday evening. Of course, I love the Christmas light drives hubby and I and his mom have taken this year too. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
A harp concert sounds lovely – especially at Christmas! I’m with you on taking a few steps back – before the bad attitude takes over! I hope the rest of your week leading up to Christmas is full of peace and joy!!
OH such great and timely reminders… I can get grumpy around the holidays though I try really hard not to! I feel like I’m doing pretty well with it this year but I hope I am never greedy… though I immediately thought that that is one word that could have different meanings to different people depending on who you ask. I try to be a giver though and not a taker.
Your tree is so pretty! Love the wisdom of your words. How wonderful that everything went well with the kids’ program! I hope you’ve been able to relax a bit since then.
Something loved – I loved getting an unexpected gift from a friend yesterday! Unexpected gifts are the best!
Something gleaned – That when you get grace, it makes you want to give it all the more.
Something saved – Well, I can tell you what I haven’t saved…money! I’m shopped out! And can’t wait to get back on a budget! Whew! 🙂
Something achieved – I think I’ve achieved following through on some gifts that involved some extra steps. Sometimes I think of a good idea, then talk myself right out of it because of the effort it involves. But, looking around, I actually followed through and am so happy to have specific gifts to give because I took the time and energy to do it.
Your tree is beautiful and the one you admire…you just need a spool of ribbon! Maybe that could be in your “achieved” column next month! 🙂
Congratulations on continuing to do the hard things – even if you don’t share details. Sometimes the hardest things for me are very little and seemingly inconsequential things to others, and only Goa and I know how much those baby steps really stretched me. Happy Holidays! Visiting from SFS
Those 3 g’s are so memorable…thanks for sharing, and Merry Christmas!
Wishing you a very happy Christmas – may those you love keep healthy and happy for the festivities – and the new year ahead.
I am enjoying watching the excitement of Christmas grow in the eyes of my grandchildren – they are loving all the little rituals that lead up to the big day. Putting up the tree, performing in Nativity shows, making gingerbread houses, singing carols, not to mention a visit to see Santa to let him know how well behaved you have been all year (ahem!)
I enjoyed reading your post. Congratulations on continuing to do hard things. It is something we can all relate to. Sometimes it’s hard to get up in the morning or do the next thing, but when we do it, it’s great and rewarding. Have a very Merry Christmas!!!
I’m glad you’ve enjoyed lots of Christmas activities, and well done on facing your fears! I hope you had a lovely Christmas!