Tag Archives: Lifestyle

The Inn after Christmas

These are the leftovers of Christmas that remain underneath our tree.

The last of the gifts that need to be unboxed and placed in their appropriate places throughout the house. We chose to unwrap our gifts and then place them here instead of leaving our tree bare after Christmas morning. Weird, maybe. Lazy…whatever you wish to call it.

However, even though we prefer to purchase a live tree each year, we decided this year to leave it up a little longer. I happen to enjoy the twinkling lights. We were both home the full two weeks for winter break. And while living or artificial, each year we seem to want to put our decorations up earlier, and keep them up later and later.

Then there is also the twelve days of Christmas that played into this. The wise men did not visit Jesus on Christmas night. They actually paid their visit to the Messiah several nights later. Bearing gifts that were much more glorious than any sitting underneath our tree right now.

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down to worship him. They opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:9-11, NLT

Whether you celebrate the Twelfth Night today or tomorrow (because yes, even that is debated). If you don’t even give it a thought. Whether you think it’s superstition to take anything “old” into a “new” year, and take your decorations down as soon as Christmas Day is done; or whatever Christmas decor lore you subscribe to, let’s remember this:

The true gift was never placed under a tree. He was swaddled with love and care, and placed in a feeding trough in a lowly manger. He is a gift that is ours for the taking daily, as long as we receive him in our hearts. His spirit isn’t relegated to a season, and his love and spirit of giving, kindness and compassion that lives in those who call him Savior should be present far beyond Christmas Day. Far beyond the day the decor is packed away. The carols are sung, or the gift boxes are placed in the attic. It is lived out daily. Given to others daily.

If you are a follower of Jesus, let’s look at others the way I look at my Christmas tree. With wonder. With delight. As if it’s the most magical thing you have ever seen, and you certainly don’t want it taken down.

Could we spend a little more time in awe of people this way? Even those who are hard to love? In awe of him this way?

Even after all the decorations and twinkling lights are gone?

Will there still be room for Jesus? For love, peace, joy, and compassion in our inns?

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Posted by on January 5, 2019 in Loving Others


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Time for Him

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17


Today, I am challenged.

My Sunday School class has been studying prayer for the last couple months. This means that each week I talk to these children about the importance of talking to God, thanking Him, asking Him for guidance, and anything else in His name. This week, as we discussed the many ways the Bible teaches and instructs us on how to pray, I tell my Sunday School students this: “Even Ms. January struggles to find time to pray and read the Bible, and many days, Ms. January doesn’t pray or read at all!” Then, the look. That look on a child’s face that says, “What?? You mean YOU don’t pray?”

Gasp! That’s right, I admit it. There are days I fail to find time alone with God, and I am sure I am not alone. Between the rush to get the kids to school, the rush to work, the evening scramble to get through homework, snacks, dinner, along with the desire to accomplish all the housework, school work and other obligations I have, I overlook the need to find time alone with God. 

After sending them home, Jesus went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Matthew 15:23

And, then I think about Jesus. A man who was certainly A LOT more busy than I am. Yet, he found time to be alone with God.

So, today I am challenged.

I am challenged to live out the theme our youth group has been exploring recently, to “Be the Change You Want to See in the World.” A Ghandi quote, yes, but one that is certainly relevant to the Christian life. If I want people to know Christ, I have to change my spirit to reflect Christ. If I want a group of third, fourth, and fifth graders to learn how to pray, then I must take the time to learn to pray as well.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Colossians 4:2

So, today I am challenged…

… to slack on laundry, to spend a little less time reading school books, and spend a little less time talking to everyone else about what is going on in my life. Instead, I am challenged to spend a little less time slacking on my relationship with God, a little more time reading the Book, and a little more time talking to Him.

Today I am challenged. How about you? 


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Posted by on October 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


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