Merry, Merry Christmas, Sweet Things

It is Christmas Eve morning and, for just a few minutes, all is still in my house. Keith is sleeping unusually late, Geli is nestled up on her bed (because a single degree under 80 is far too frigid for that whiny-baby German Shorthaired Pointer) and Star is outside chasing squirrels from the bird feeder. I slept late myself and have just finished my quiet time and my second cup of coffee. Things are about to rev up around here and I know the same is true for your household, or if you’re out of town, your family and hosts. I’m looking so forward to it. I dearly love this time of year. I’ll do much cooking today in preparation for tomorrow. I’m also having a little cooking class with Melissa this afternoon to teach her how to make a homemade pie crust.

You and I are delightfully comprised of all sorts of women: too young to be married, married, single, single again, and many widows. For those of us who are married, our husbands are the God-ordained head of our homes but, according to my man at least, the wife is largely the heart of the home. We often set the thermostat, so to speak. (Unless we’ve got a mean alcoholic husband who keeps the temperature enraged constantly. If that’s you, I’m so sorry and I will pray for God to deliver all of you to His great glory and by His tender mercies. I hope you are seeking solid, godly counseling and loving wisely. I just had to throw that in. I am an optimist by nature but I have not had the kind of life that lends itself to much naivete.)

I think this ability to set the thermostat of our gatherings is true for all of us women in many ways, married or single. Just watch and see if the temperature in our homes or apartments, and in many of our celebrations and among our friends these next few days is not set in large part by

our female tenderness,

our joy,

our willingness to overlook an offense,

our mood in serving,

our ecstasy in giving…and our enthusiasm over receiving.

Holidays are a LOT on a woman. I haven’t been sick in three years but I came down with a bad cold two days ago. Last night my sweet man hugged me and said, “Woman, you’ve been working too hard, writing, scurrying all over the place, then working on all of this.” He motioned with his expression to a lively, perhaps overly-decorated den, many presents, and a kitchen full of groceries for cooking. He couldn’t have been kinder and more sincere nor could he have offered to help more. Had he been none of those things, I would have wanted to say with considerable attitude, What was the other option? It’s got to all get done.

Yes, it does. We could all argue that we could down scale the whole thing and it would be easier and that’s absolutely true but that’s not liable to happen around here anytime soon. This is a family that loves celebrations and four lively generations engage at the drop of a hat. We thrive on it! But it is a LOT of work, isn’t it, Sister Friend?? And, it just occurred to me as I am writing this that the major reason I don’t delegate more of it is because I want to control all of it.

Ouch.

That was painful.

Let’s have a real live MERRY Christmas this year and at least quit stressing over all manner of thing that doesn’t even matter. There’s enough that does! Let’s get to it! I’ll pray for you and you pray for me that this will be our best Christmas celebration EVER. Let’s fire our inner Martyr Martha and let’s fire up the indwelling Spirit of the living Christ. Let’s serve lavishly and joyfully with a fresh awareness of His reigning presence in our homes as we celebrate His glorious advent. And then, let’s have guts to say to everybody at some point, “I’m going to take a nap! I love you guys and I’ll see you in an hour!”

We tried to think of a gift we could give all of you that might whisper to you how much you are loved here at LPM, a gift that might be used of God to encourage you this holiday season. This is a collection of things I’ve written and recorded around the Christmas theme and story. It’s not liable to be everybody’s taste but, for those of you who would like it, we want you to have it as a free download. Maybe you could listen to it while you cook or while you nestle up with a blanket for a few minutes by the fireplace.

 

 

If you’d like to have this free download, click on this link and then enter the Promotion Code: christmas2012

Once you enter your promotion code, you will see instructions on how to download each of the three sessions, Mary’s Reflections, A Country Christmas and The Shepherd’s Story.

Oh, mercy, Sisters, we love you so much. I love you so much. Stay in the light these next few days! We are blessed women indeed.

Merry Christmas.

 

 

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195 Responses to “Merry, Merry Christmas, Sweet Things”

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Comments:

  1. 151
    kathy says:

    Just getting to this post and needing it to feel connected this evening- just moved out of my wonderful house ( I built) and into a duplex that is plenty nice but not “mine” I am sooo sad yet receive the many blessings and miracles that led up to this latest move – I’m 63 and this move is filled with so many regrets yet I KNOW lessons and what needs to be to move forward- thank you for being our Siesta- blessings and more blessings dear sister in Christ- xo Kathy

  2. 152
    Carol says:

    Code is working today! Thanks, LPM!

  3. 153
    Linda Trammell says:

    Merry Christmas to all “Siestas” and especially to the Moore family! When my family met on Christmas Day, my sister in blood and in Christ gave us the scripture memory binder with a challenge for us all to get busy memorizing! My 2 sisters plus my sister-in-”love” think there is nothing better than a girl trip to a conference! We plan on Houston in 2014!
    I love what you said about our men being the head of the house and our being the heart. It is so true – kindness rules – I don’t care who you are, how much education you have, and don’t even mention money; if your home is not happy, nothing is “right.”
    Every Christmas I get out all the decorations accumulated over 43 years of marriage & decorate every thing in the house that is not moving. Then I bake pumpkin bread for my man to deliver to neighbors, friends, and family. Every year I am exhausted, but I do it & smile, because my husband loves it – I mean the man LOVES it. More is more and dividends are plenty!!

  4. 154
    Diana says:

    Thank you for the gift. Merry Christmas!

  5. 155
    Sue says:

    Crazy, wonderful busy week with lots of family in – just now getting a chance to read this blog post – and hoping the downloads are still available. Looking forward to listening to them!
    Love what you wrote and can identify identically!! I don’t delegate because I want control – just hadn’t ever put that into words. And that IS an ouch… like I think I can do everything better. How prideful!
    One of my daughters has a 5 week old baby. At one point I said, “I’m going to sit in the living room and hold the baby while you help Dad clean up the kitchen.” I did it, but felt pretty guilty after about 5 minutes. And… she put a serving piece in the dishwasher that wasn’t supposed to go in there – and it’s ruined – but oh well… right?
    I am VERY blessed to have had my 4 children, their spouses and 9 grandchildren at my house this week. So glad they enjoy being together so much. “I have no greater joy than
    to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” Thank You, Father!!
    Love you, Beth – and appreciate so much that you would take time to write to us on Christmas Eve!

  6. 156
    Lu says:

    so generous! thank you so much! :o )

  7. 157
    Wilma Mansfield says:

    LINDSEY!! The President of our Women’s Ministry in Hot Springs, AR has a desperate need for her aunt in Houston. Here is her message to our group: “She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in September. She is currently at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She is in need of white blood cell transfusions. This type of transfusion is a pretty lengthy time commitment and requires multiple donors to be in the Houston area. If any of you know anyone willing to donate please call the blood bank at 713-792-7777. Any help is overwhelmingly appreciated.” You can also email me @ sculyx2@yahoo.com and I will get the message to them. Thank you.

  8. 158
    Brenda Zeigler says:

    Dear Beth and LPM,
    Its New Years Eve and I have just finished memorizing the book of James! Hosanna, Hallelujah, Praise to Jesus!!! This has been so important to me and I’ll tell you why: (forgive me, I’m wordy, but trying to keep it short) I knew the Lord asked me to do this a few years ago, typed out the chapters on card stock myself (no copy and paste), and have had it sitting around. Then comes my study of James last spring and I’m challenged to actually obey God’s instruction to me! Got 2 ch. done by the end of the study and stopped. Really wanted to complete it in 2012 and determined to do so. Really brought it down to the wire, but several hours before midnight I have it down! Thank You Holy Spirit for bringing Your words to life in me!!! Just wanted you to know! I teach students at church on Sunday mornings and also at summer camps. I love them so and know how hard life can be. God’s Word is what they need and I hope to encourage and continue challenging them. Thanks to you all, love you more than you could know, praising and serving Jesus alongside you!!!

  9. 159
    crystal.frank says:

    Wow. What a fun surprise!! Thank u for the gift. Cant wait to listen to them. Hope sweet of you to give us a Christmas gift!

    Thank u for discipling me. For encouraging me in my walk with Christ. To help.mentor be more like Him everyday and challenging me. Your ministry in my life has been profound. My prayer is that I will do that for others and share what u have taught me.

    As God would have it, I am reading this post on new years. U r so right. I do set the tone in my house. My kids…hubby….guests all respond to and take cues from me. This is going to b my goal for 2013. Set the temp as God would have me.

    Thanks for serving us. You make a difference in my life and my walk with Christ.

    I love u and pray for u!
    Crystal

  10. 160
    Diana says:

    Thank you Beth for the Christmas present, I can’t wait to listen to them. May you and your family have a blessed and healthy 2013. Many of us in New England are looking forward to seeing you in RI this July. God Bless.

  11. 161
    Kelly Collins says:

    Just beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing gifts….you will never comprehend what they mean. <3

  12. 162
    Angie says:

    Thank you for the blessings that you are!!
    Merry Christmas one and all.
    Peace and joy this season!

  13. 163
    Donna says:

    Matthew 11:28-30

    The Message (MSG)

    28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

    • 163.1
      Donna says:

      Powder Springs,Ga
      Matthew 11:28-30

      The Message (MSG)

      28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

  14. 164
    Dawn Kaser says:

    Thank you so much for this! It was such a blessing.

  15. 165
    Melody says:

    O’Fallon, MO
    For the weapons of our warfare are not flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. II Corinthians 10:4 ESV

  16. 166
    Brenda says:

    Do all things without complaining and disputing. Philippians 2:14

  17. 167
    Loretta Romero says:

    Loretta from Albuquerque, NM ” You crown the year with your bounty and your words overflow with abundance”. NIV

  18. 168
    Jennifer says:

    Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3 NIV)

  19. 169
    Carol says:

    Thank you Beth I was able to share these with my 19 yr old daughter Christmas morning. You sparked her interest, “Mom isn’t that who you went to see and whose bible study you took” Me “yes”. ” I like her maybe I will look her up”.
    You have been a blessing in my life.

  20. 170
    Groovewoman says:

    Merry Christmas Momma Beth!
    Thank you SO much for the Christmas downloads. I am so happy that ‘Mary’s Reflection” is included in this download, because it’s one of my favorites you’ve ever done. I heard it for the first time while doing the ‘Jesus One & Only’ study and just fell in love with it. I read it once again after my son was born and it had a fresh new meaning to it, as I was able to put myself, humanly, into Mary’s shoes for just a moment while holding my newborn son. It made Christ’s birth so much more alive & real to me.

    I can’t wait to hear the others.
    Much Love,
    Hollie

  21. 171
    Holly says:

    Seattle

    Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3, 4 NIV)

  22. 172
    Marilyn...in Mississippi says:

    Thank you Beth for the Christmas present! I downloaded them and have listened to them several times! I’m sure they will be standard Christmas fare for me from now on! :)

    God bless you and Happy New Year!

    Marilyn…in Mississippi

  23. 173
    Marianne says:

    Marianne from St.Charles, Il – NIV. Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

  24. 174
    Beth Gilbert says:

    I did not get to the promotion before it was closed. Any way I can still get it? Thanks so much.

  25. 175
    Sandy says:

    Dear Beth,
    I haven’t been keepIng up with your blog in a while. Just got on today to joIn in the scripture memory, and loved reading this post, also. I am always touched by all of your words! I am praying for Passion! My son would have been there, if my daughter wasn’t getting marrid thIs Saturday.
    I am looking forward to facilitating the James study beginning next week, and memorizing the book of James! Thank you so much for all you do! Happy 2013!

  26. 176
    Kathy Iverson says:

    Kathy Iverson, Franksville, WI (NKJ)

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    Phillipians 4:13

  27. 177
    Gina says:

    Gina from Moody, AL
    Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
    1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV

  28. 178
    Tammy says:

    Tammy
    Kingman, AZ
    “Teach me to do Your will for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me foward on a firm footing.” Psalm 143:10 (NLT)

  29. 179
    LaRonda says:

    Does anyone have this saved that could send it to me? I downloaded it and apparently my computer ate it and I can’s access it. :( Any Help PLEASE

    Thanks
    LaRonda

  30. 180
    Carolyn says:

    I am unable to get this. The site says the code is no longer valid. I tried it on my iPad two days ago and could hear one of the pieces,but I couldn’t download or save. Now, I’m at my computer and can’t get it at all. Help, please.

    • 180.1
      Carolyn says:

      Here is the message I received: “Your login credentials are incorrect or your download time has expired. Please try again.” Maybe I missed a note about the time limit….

  31. 181
    Vickie says:

    Download is not working. I get an error message. How else can I get this?

  32. 182
    emily says:

    Hi :)
    I am just catching up on my blogs and missed reading this – I would love to download your writings, but the code isn’t working? I may be too late, but just wanted to check and see if it’s still available?

    Thank ya’ll,
    Emily

  33. 183
    Andrea says:

    I am not able to download this. Am I too late?

  34. 184
    Cindy says:

    Hi, I have been having trouble downloading this. I just received a new iphone and am learning how to use it. Am I doing something wrong. I am using code christmas2012?
    thanks

  35. 185
    Diane says:

    Is it possible to still download this? The code does not appear to be working today. Thanks!

  36. 186
    Kimberly says:

    The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those that dwell within — Pslam 24:1 ESV

  37. 187
    Amanda says:

    Ruth 3:18 Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

  38. 188
    Sherry from Ann Arbor MI says:

    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
    Proverbs 3:5-6.
    NIV

  39. 189
    Sonya says:

    This is what the Sovereign(A) LORD, the Holy One(B) of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest(C) is your salvation,in quietness and trust(D) is your strength, but you would have none of it.(E) Isaiah 30:15-18 NIV
    threat
    noun
    1. a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course; menace: He confessed under the threat of imprisonment.
    2. an indication or warning of probable trouble: The threat of a storm was in the air.
    3. a person or thing that threatens.
    verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
    4. Archaic. To threaten
    In Isaiah, God wanted repentance and resting (trust) in him, instead at the threat of 1, 1000 fled, with the threat of 5, they all ran. We know there was over 1000, since 1000 fled with one threat. 1000 to 1 odds in favor, and they fled. Wow, sure did give in easy. The odds were definitely in their favor, plus they had God, all they needed to do was rest(trust) in him and they would have had strength to remain.
    In 1 Peter we are instructed to be alert, watch what is going on around us, know the odds are in our favor, don’t let the devil magnify the threat against us, no threat no matter how large will be greater than Jesus. But none the less, we must resist the devil for him to flee. If we don’t use the armour of protection that God gave us through his son Jesus, the devil isn’t going to go anywhere, he will continue to cause us to fear and doubt and tuck tail and run, but when we understand the authority we have in Christ, then we will resist and he has to flee.
    James 4:10 tells us to Submit ourselves (we can’t submit someone else, just ourselves), then resist (we must take action) and then the devil will flee.
    So for the devil to flee, there is always two steps that must be taken by us. We must repent or submit ourselves (trust) and then we must resist, we can’t keep sinning and expect the devil to just pack up and leave us alone. We have to SUBMIT, RESIST and then he will FLEE. If we don’t submit and resist, we will be the ones fleeing from the protection of God. Yet, even when we flee from God, he just patiently waits on us to turn ourselves around and he is waiting there for us.
    For myself, it is the little things that I let build up and then want to flee into solitude and then I don’t continue my daily Bible readings. The big things, we see easier, the little things we think, “ah, I can handle this” and honestly, we can’t handle anything on our own, we have to have God for even the breath we breathe.

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