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. 101
    Billie says:

    Good morning – You will never know how much I needed this devotional today. What a perfect Christmas gift. Thank you so much.

  2. 102
    Dawn says:

    Amazing (again) … I bought the recordings of these stories several years ago for gifts. This year, I was thinking to myself, “I wonder if they are still for sale?” But, I didn’t follow-up on that question, which now seems so clearly have been asked by the Holy Spirit. Et voila, Christmas Day morning and what do my eyes behold? Free downloads. Now I will be able to share them as the Spirit was willing. Thank you!

  3. 103
    Mitzi says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. I have Gay on my mind and am praying for her.

  4. 104
    HEATHER says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS! THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS AND ENCOURAGING US. YOU ARE A BLESSING AND WE LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH.

  5. 105
    Sharon says:

    Merry Christmas Beth!!! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family. Thank you for the time, effort, and love you have poured into your ministry for years. The Lord has used you to bless so many of us.

    Thank you for the Christmas gift. I actually bought the collection years ago and have enjoyed the stories every Christmas. My chidren claim that I use to use the CD as punishment while driving long hours in the car when they would start getting restless (borderline annoying or arguing)and they needed a distraction. The way I remember it was that they would get to listen to meaningful Christmas stories, and we would have a little peace. They still mention it today, so I know they remember the stories. Thank you for the memories. My daughter will see you next week at Passion. A happy and blessed new year ahead to you, your family, and LPM!!

  6. 106
    Marjie Scheib says:

    Beth, thank you for the wonderful gift. I hope that your cold doesn’t keep you from enjoying the family and festivities too much. Be blessed as you are a blessing. Love you……

  7. 107
    Melissa says:

    Thank you Beth! This is my first Christmas away from friends and family; very single; in my 30’s and in many ways life is just beginning for me.

    Yet, even as an almost stranger in a home with roommates I am noting this truth: I influence the condition and spirit of this home I am blessed to currently reside in!
    I also influence my family of origin with my contact or lack of and in many other ways I didn’t forsee.

    I am the sole Christ-follower in this home and God has allowed me to initiate the first Christmas the others who live here have ever celebrated. They are inviting friends for dinner and we will share Christmas Day together.

    It has been the cry and sole desire of my heart to be married with children and have a family (and Christmas) of my own. But God’s ways are way, way, way above mine and I see that as I yield to His way He uses me to bless and encourage others in ways that never would have occured if I had gotten what I wanted (husband, children).

    Thank you for the reminder and encouragement to remain filled with the Spirit. The LPM ministry is such a blessing. I bought the Christmas Collection a few years ago and have listened to it many times since.

    Fellow sisters…if you haven’t downloaded this special Christmas selection- DO IT! It’s such a Christmas blessing! I love it.

    Thank you Beth! Thank you LP team! You are in my prayers today. Looking foward to memorizing scripture with all the ladies in 2013. Woot woot!

  8. 108
    Donna Money says:

    I hope you and your family have the very merriest Christmas ever and that you feel much better as all your family shows up to celebrate. I hear that snow is in Texas, hope you get some; just enough to make it pretty and merry. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

  9. 109
    Melissa Ford says:

    Merry Christmas to you! Thank you for writing to us on a very special and very family oriented day. You wrote with love and the Holy Spirit convicted with kindness. I immediately called my husband who was out buying stocking stuffers and apologized for my rigidity and Scroogey attitude.
    Thanks. Never stop sharing and writing.

  10. 110
    Warm In Alaska says:

    Thanks for the post and the gift, Beth! We hosted our big holiday meal this past Saturday for dear friends (our wonderful families are scattered in CO, TX, and CA); and I listened (finally!) to the Forsake and Take simulcast while cooking up a storm – and taking notes! So much flour, sugar and oil on my Bible study notes – but I figured the oil was apropos given the Elijah and Widow w/ oil story (grin). Merry, merry one and all~

  11. 111
    Barbara says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Beth! Thank you SO much for the free download!!!!! XOXO

  12. 112
    sherry says:

    Blessed women, we are indeed…thanks for this gift and thanks for being you…Merry Christmas!

  13. 113
    Lisa Riley says:

    Merry Christmas Beth.

  14. 114
    Marie says:

    The holidays being hard on a woman…

    Today my friend Jen gave birth (nearly 2 weeks late) to a sweet baby girl named Isla. Everything about the pregnancy and birth was as routine as pregnancy and birth get. And yet the baby wasn’t breathing and had to be rushed to our local children’s ICU. The last I heard, she was hooked up to all sorts of machines and cocooned in an incubator. The next 72 hours are critical.

    Please, siestas, if you see this, pray. Pray for little Isla and the wonderful things God is going to do because of her life, however long it might be. Pray that the family would turn to and sense the presence of Almighty God. May He be glorified even in this dark time.

  15. 115
    Kelly says:

    Thank you! And I *did* take a nap today and did not feel guilty. Merry Christmas. Kelly

  16. 116
    Susan says:

    Thank you for this gracious gift!

    Thank you, God, for this ministry that sends forth your Word and for the amazing blessing of this blog community!

  17. 117
    Susan says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS BETH! GOD HAS BLESSED ME THROUGH YOUR TEACHINGS.
    MY HOUSE IS QUIET, MY MAN IS STORING, MY CUTE LITTLE BICHON IS SNOOZING, AND I AM REFLECTING ON GOD GRACE,LOVE, KINDNESS AND THE BLESSING’s HE HAS BESTOWED ! THINGS IN LIFE ARE NOT PERFECT, BUT WE SERVE A LIVING SAVIOR THAT IS!

    MAY GOD GIVE YOU A GOOD REST FOR THE NIGHT AND STRENGTH FOR TOMORROW!

    OH HOW HE LOVES US !
    CHRISTMAS BLESSING TO YOUR FAMILY BETH, YOU ARE SUCH A TRUE, AND DOWN TO EARTH PERSON..JUST LIKE A SISTER IN CHRIST SHOULD BE, FULL OF LOVE AND KINDNESS !

  18. 118
    Tanya says:

    Merry Christmas Beth, and thank you! Stories to listen to – what a treat. My parents read to me when I was little and to this day I love being read to and/or hearing radio dramas. I will so enjoy these!

  19. 119
    Michele says:

    OOPS!! It is working now!! Thanks so much. I just love everything that you do.

  20. 120
    Marcie says:

    Thank YOU! I’m so Thankful for your ministry. This year is the best yet to come!

  21. 121
    Denise says:

    Thank you so much for the free downloads! Hope your Christmas was wonderful, and how could it not be with those wonderful grandchildren to enjoy! Thank you and God bless!

  22. 122
    Kim Feth says:

    Beth,
    I can’t wait to have my DH download the gift and listen to it this afternoon!
    BTW, we did scale down this year and even our 11 y/o, “The Boy” liked it better scaled down. We had a lot more fun, a lot less cleaning, and more laughter. I think we’re on to something!
    Grace and Peace,
    Kim Feth
    Apex, NC

  23. 123
    Church Lady says:

    Thank you so much, Miss Beth. I really needed that.

  24. 124
    D says:

    Merry Christmas, Beth! Thank you for the gift!

  25. 125
    Jordin says:

    Thank you for the downloads! Blessings to you and yours during this season!

  26. 126
    margaret says:

    Wishing that you had a very MERRY Christmas!

  27. 127

    Thank you, sweet Beth. We got snow in Royse City, TX (near Rockwall/Dallas) … at least three inches … on Christmas Day! What a blessing! Downright unusual! Been making snow ice cream with my girls and walking the trail around our property … like a winter wonderland. What a memory!

  28. 128
    Sandy says:

    Thank you for the reminder Beth…so true about the temparature….my husband says I might be the head of the household but you are the neck…lol!

  29. 129
    valerie says:

    I’ve been on the go pretty much non-stop for a couple of weeks now and like you, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I don’t ever want to miss a single thing. I was in charge of our Bible study Christmas dinner, a few days later was my husband’s side of the family’s Christmas (30 people….10 of which were kids under the age of 14! So much fun!!) That same evening was Christmas with 18 members of my family. I still had about 16 gifts to wrap & stockings to fill on the 23rd. The next day our children & grandchildren came to our house. We have two adorable grandsons ages 2 years and 3 1/2 months. It was so much fun watching the 2 yr. old opening his gifts. The next morning, Christmas morning, my husband and I made Christmas breakfast for my parents and my mother-in-law. This is a tradition we’ve had for over 20 years. Yesterday after our breakfast company left….I was totally lazy for the rest of the day. It felt great! Thank you for the gift! Can’t wait to upload it! Merry Christmas to you, your family & your awesome staff. Love you!

  30. 130
    Annette says:

    Hope you and yours had a Merry Christmas. I am looking forward to 2013 and the SSMT.

  31. 131
    Michele says:

    Merry Christmas, Mama Beth!!! Sending you BIG Christmas HUGS! Thanks SO much for the downloads…can’t wait to listen to them! (we downloaded the advent, yesterday, and listened to it. Very encouraging!)

    Merry Christmas to all your family and to Living Proof Family, too!!!

    Merry Christmas, Siestas!

  32. 132
    Cindy Cannon says:

    Thank you Beth, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and A Happy New Year!

  33. 133
    Jeanie Ryan says:

    Merry Christmas Beth, my sweet siesta. God has blessed us so much this year and we are so thankful and grateful for your study on James. We were blessed when our group journeyed to Raytown Baptist Church for their annual Christmas Pageant and it was based on the book of James , from his point of view. We had just completed that study and was so surprised. We look for God Stops every day and this one was certainly a big surprise and our best gift this year. We are looking forward to sharing 24 scripture verses that we have been working on this year at our annual womens retreat in February. Thank you for all your encouragement. You have no ideal how many lives you have touched and encouraged. We love you and pray for good health for you . Love in Christ

  34. 134
    Carla L. says:

    Beth, no truer words were spoken. It must be in our DNA as women. Why is it we want to believe we are supposed to be superwoman? I think it will all go smoother if I just go ahead and do it all but in the long run I have found that I end up more frustrated and weary with less to give my family. Especially hit home this year –our first Christmas without our mother. Moms just have a way of getting things done! I have a new found respect for my mother and how she made it all come together so easy-not. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas celebration. Thanks for always sharing what the Lord reveals to you because we-I- usually need the exact message. Can’t wait for the upcoming year in God’s word!

  35. 135
    janita says:

    Thank you Beth for these treasures. I have listened to the first 2 and then listened again :)I enjoyed them so. You bless my life. Thank you for all you do to lead us closer to Jesus. Janita

  36. 136
    Kelly Garcia says:

    Thank you! So thoughtful of you!

  37. 137
    Carol B says:

    Thank you sooooooooo much. God bless you and your family, Beth!

  38. 138
    Andrea says:

    Thank you, Beth! :)

  39. 139
    Emily Patterson says:

    How long is the code good for? I just tried to access it and it said the code was wrong. Am I too late?

  40. 140
    Stacy says:

    Dear Mama Beth,

    I’m sending belated Merry Christmas wishes your way! I, too, was sick through the holiday, and I am thankful to be better now! My husband said that my body was telling me that it was time for me to take the time to rest/relax. That never seems easy for me!
    I’d hoped to see the digital download you provided in your post, but due to my delay, the link has already expired. I hope you post it again next Christmas!
    May you be blessed with health and happiness in 2013–and ALWAYS!

  41. 141
    Diann says:

    Thank you so much, Beth and team, for such a wonderful gift!! LOVE the downloads!!

    You all are such a blessing to me. I have cancer and you have ministered to me and helped me grow and find joy despite my circumstances! Much love to you!!

  42. 142
    Cynthia says:

    OH MY…I just returned home late last night and read your Christmas Eve email and tried to download the devotions and the code is no longer working! Sad that I missed them! Hope your holiday was filled with much joy and many blessings!!

  43. 143
    Jeannine says:

    Your words are so encouraging! I wish I had read them a few days ago. Making Christmas “happen” for our families is a huge amount of work, and I do find myself looking forward to the quiet of the days following Christmas, when all of the decorations are still up, we’re still in the 12 days of Christmas, but all of the outside obligations have toned down.

    This is my first visit to your blog, Beth (I know your fans are gasping!), but I will be visiting more often. You speak to the heart!

  44. 144
    Ann says:

    Oh, no. My wireless connection wasn’t working on Monday, and now that it is I can’t get the download. :( I’m so disappointed–maybe you’ll offer it again someday.

  45. 145
    Carol says:

    Oh, shoot! Is it too late to download the Christmas stories? I’ve been busy with family and just today read this blog post.

  46. 146
    Melissa May says:

    Oh, thanks so much Mama Beth! I’m not going to be sitting by any fireplace since I live too close to the equator (in northern Peru) to even have a fireplace – and it’s the beginning of Summer here, so the sun is plenty hot! BUT I am delighted to have these downloads. I’m nursing a pulled muscle in my right arm from a fall a week ago and I need something to do to keep my mind off of all the laundry and dishes and such I can’t do. (My, the Lord has to go out of His way to get us to STOP sometimes, doesn’t He?) So thank you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all too! :)

  47. 147
    Richelle says:

    This is how crazy it has been. I’m usually checking the blog every day and it is three days after Christmas! I just saw this post. God is so good. I have experienced peace in my “business”. Sometimes it helps me get myself off of “me” and other things I don’t need to ponder. Thank you for the download. I’m ready to soak it all in. :-)

  48. 148
    cathy says:

    Nicely said and received..looking forward to your New Years Eve spot!…

    Hope you are feeling a bit better and nestled!

  49. 149
    moongirl says:

    Oh I do love you Miss Beth! Thank you for the downloads! SO excited to listen to all three of them! I’ve ALMOST purchased your Christmas messages several years in a row now… but December is always a tight month, and so I haven’t. SO THANK YOU! YAY!
    Merry Merry Christmas! I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes to do A LOT for my family at Christmas! This year I actually had to loosen the reigns a little because I am taking a graduate course (Survey of the OT) and they gave us a deadline of JANUARY 2nd to get our research paper done!!! (Couldn’t it have been December 24th at least?!) I was researching all the way up to Christmas. So instead of making 400 kinds of cookies this year, I made 400 pieces of ONE kind of cookie! Lol! Did all my shopping online this year too. That was good because shopping with 2 boys 4 and 2 years old doesn’t work anyways. Anyways, thank you for being an “Other” (as you call it) and a mentor to me… even from far away. I love you dearly!

  50. 150
    Lori T says:

    I couldn’t bear to listen to my gift until I gave you a virtual hug around the neck and a heatfelt THANK YOU. I love you too, Mama and all of LPM. I pray for your ministry often.

    Let us choose to be blessed!

    Lori from Austin, TX

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