Are you ready for the Holidays?

HolidayWith some hesitation, I write this blog. It is sometimes hard to write my feelings and emotions that are stirring within my soul.  I looked back at my “Thanksgiving blog” that I posted last year. It was very positive in reminiscing over past Thanksgivings we have enjoyed over the years.

I know, that I know, that I am thankful for all of the wonderful family members God has given us. I so enjoy the time we have had with each one.

This Thanksgiving, we are still rejoicing in our great God. We have had some trials and challenges we would not have asked for, and ones we do not want to face in our future; but our God is faithful and He loves us.

Last Thanksgiving, we had the joy of spending it with our daughter and son in law in N.C. We followed many of the Thanksgiving traditions of years past. We ate until we could eat no more, we rested, watched a movie or football and then played games with the grandchildren. We had no idea that it was going to be the last time for us to spend with our 11 yr. old grandson, Ben. God took him to heaven this past March 2. The shock of all shocks!!! I cry when I think of him. Time doesn’t erase a loved one.

Then, on Sept 9th, God chose to take my mom to heaven. She had so looked forward to being with my dad and walk the streets of gold. Because of her health, we had not shared the tragic news about her great grandson Ben who left for heaven in the Spring. We felt we could save that information and allow her to be surprised when she arrived at heaven’s gate. I know she was very surprised but pleased that she could now be with him. Christ was everything to my dear sweet mom. She served Him faithfully.

Now, my husband and I will be enjoying Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, celebrations with some of our children and grandchildren that will be moving out of the country.  We will look forward to seeing them again in a couple of years.

As I look at these three circumstances we have and are facing,  these loved ones would not want to have stayed in their present conditions: Ben wouldn’t want to be back here on earth after seeing God in all of His glory;  nor my mom, wanting to be bed ridden in a nursing home, when she can be sitting and enjoying the Crystal River with my dad. Now, our  son and family were wanting to leave on their new journey, yesterday.

The common thread with all three is, Christ in their lives.

Emotions are very high within the walls of our home this year, but through all the sad and glad times; we have an amazing God who is faithful.

Dwight L Moody says it well: “Happiness is caused by things that happen around me, and circumstances will mar it; but

joy flows right on through trouble;

joy flows on through the dark;

joy flows in the night as well as in the day;

joy flows all through persecution and opposition.

It is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in the heart; a secret spring the world can’t see and doesn’t know anything about.

The Lord gives His people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to Him.”

As you feel the joy of the holidays and the laughter and the smiles that are exchanged every where you go; I believe the inner joy of a personal relationship with Christ is the meaning of inner joy.

I have personally experienced that joy as a born again believer. I know when I give of myself as  a blessing, encourager, giver, and sacrifice to others;  it relieves anxiety, depression and self pity.

Oh, the holidays are not going to be the same as far as our missing family members around the table, but it is only for a time, when we will feast with them for eternity.

Do something for someone else, be obedient to God’s Word, and enJoy this wonderful time of the year!!!!

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. ”

I Peter 1:8,9 “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

[Source: Dwight Lyman Moody s quoted by Edythe  Draper, Draper’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale. House Publishers. Inc.,1992). Entry 6529]

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