Welcome to Day 6 in the Countdown to Christmas!
See Day 12 on this blog (Saturday, December 14, 2013) for information on Pearl Girls and why I’m sharing The 12 Pearls of Christmas with our Setting Boundaries Books blog community over the next 12 days.
Remember, the Pearl Girls are giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter the CONTEST now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.
God bless and keep you this Christmas and always.
Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room
by Ginger Ciminello
I have high expectations for the Christmas season. Sure the decorations, presents, and general merry-making contribute to those specific expectations, but that’s not what I’m alluding to. I have a huge fear that I will get to the candlelight service on December 24th and realize I haven’t prepared my heart for Emmanuel. While I shouldn’t allow fear to creep in, I do believe those worries are grounded in a pathetic track record.
I know my heart. No matter how much I say this season of Advent isn’t about parties and presents, I still seem to get swept away by things that don’t really matter. No part of me wants to live consumed by worry and anxiety. I don’t want to finish this season exhausted and dejected.
Last Christmas our church walked through the prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6, exploring what it means for Jesus to be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
What I’ve come to realize is that this verse isn’t just a list of titles for me to memorize or print on an ornament. This verse contains truth about my Savior and God, truth that should radically shape my day-to-day life.
Either Jesus is more powerful than my worries, fears, and frustrations . . . or He isn’t. The way I live my day proves what I believe about His power.
I talked through this concept with my husband on our way to finish up some shopping. I was frustrated: frustrated that I spend time in the Word, read my Advent devotional, pray for friends, and still end up so completely frazzled year after year.
My husband was quick to remind me that God desires my heart more than anything else and that I can’t tackle each day with the hope of perfection, only the hope of dependence upon our loving Father.
I’m focusing on 1 Corinthians 13 this Advent, one word per day. Yesterday the focus was love is PATIENT. (How perfect for spending the afternoon at a crowded mall!) I was amazed at my response to the long lines and ordinary scenarios that would have ordinarily left me completely frustrated.
Living and believing in the Mighty God just by being patient sounds like a really small thing—but can I tell you that I made friends with the cashier at Bed, Bath & Beyond? (A cashier who ordinarily tests my patience.)
Today the word is KIND. I’m working in a coffee shop and am trying to remember to give smiles readily and open doors for others as I prepare my heart for the coming of the King.
“Lo this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9
Ginger Ciminello may sound like an Italian dessert, but she’s actually a speaker, author and blogger from Phoenix, Arizona. She has spent the last decade encouraging young people to live up to their God-given potential and unique design. Her first book, Forget the Corsage, was just released. When she’s not embarrassing herself by telling stories of her years in middle school, she can be found rollerblading, making grilled cheese, and hanging out with her daughter and husband. Learn more at gingerciminello.com.
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