While we were at church this morning, I was pondering what Mary must have experienced during her pregnancy with Jesus. I love that I am pregnant around the same time of year that Jesus was born. It has brought a new level of excitement for Jesus’ birth, as we anticipate celebrating our first child’s birth.
I have learned that pregnancy involves such a wide gamut of emotions, many of which I never ever would have expected. I think I assumed that being pregnant and having a baby would bring nothing but excitement and joy. It does bring those, but from the early days after learning I was pregnant, I have experienced anxiety, doubt, worry, gratitude, fear, and many others. I know these thoughts and feelings are all normal. But, what was Mary feeling on top of these normal emotions that come with preparing for motherhood?
She knew she had been appointed to give birth to God’s Son! I have felt scared that I will be equipped to handle motherhood and this life change with our child. I cannot comprehend how difficult it must have been for Mary to accept the responsibility for giving birth and mothering the Messiah. I do know that God chose her and gave her what she needed. But, I sympathize with how difficult it must have been emotionally to think of taking care of Jesus! As she waited for those nine months, I imagine it was a battle to accept God’s will with faith and trust.
A friend of mine recently referred me to this blog post.
If you are a mother of young kids, I think you’ll enjoy the encouragement.
“Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.” -2 Corinthians 8:9
How different Jesus is from what we see in the world, and what we naturally aim for. It is so easy to want to gain more and more, thinking it is the goal and the admirable path.
But, Jesus teaches even if you are rich, to look for ways to serve and give to others. That is the real goal.
This is so difficult to follow! As we have now purchased our first home, we are aware that it is so easy to slip into wanting more and more to improve our house. We are trying to stay on guard against material gain because we trust that focusing on eternal gain is far greater. This doesn’t come naturally though! I was glad for this reminder in 2 Corinthians today.
Another reminder of this is found in a new book written by Roger Gum, a financial advisor who works at Dan’s office. In his book
, he says: “While the world associates success with money and prestige, God defines success as knowing God’s law and obeying what it says.” I love that!
I encourage you to watch this 30-minute film from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association that gave me goosebumps.
I can’t believe it. I entered a contest on Pinterest to win a gift certificate to The Stationery Studio, which is a company that sells one of my favorite things: stationery. I hoped I would win, but with contests, it is difficult not to be skeptical, especially knowing that there are probably many people who enter.
I was notified today that I won a $50 gift certificate! The stationery is not cheap so $50 will probably not go very far, but I am nothing but thankful to win some free stationery!
The favor at the wedding we attended last weekend was a little bag that included the makings of a s’more. I think s’mores are truly the perfect food! Messy, but so yummy! Maybe it seems that way because I don’t have them so often. The combination of the graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate bar is hard to beat!
I have been going to a women’s Bible study on James for the past several months. There is so much wisdom in the book, and advice on how to live in this world. One commentary that has been insightful is Dr. Constable’s Bible Study Notes. If you are needing a supplement to a passage of Scripture, I recommend this resource. Relating to James 4:5, Dr. Constable challenges us with “whom we will love, God or the world?” That is a decision we have to make over and over.
“The world wants us to exclude God from all aspects of life. God wants us to include Him in all of life because He is in all of life, and without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).”
Here is a picture taken by our wonderful friend, Becky Wilson, during our weekend in Sumter. We had such a wonderful time seeing friends, being in the town where we lived when we were first married and that holds so many good memories, going to a church we love, and celebrating the wedding of Ricky and Julie!
“The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs–heirs of God and coheirs with Christ–seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
This verse holds so much in it. These words do not say that Christians will have an easy life, in fact we will suffer. But, we can be grateful for the future hope of being glorified with Christ, and knowing we are heirs of God!
On Sunday evening, we heard Keith and Kristyn Getty in concert. We really enjoyed hearing the “modern hymn writers” perform; they have beautiful musical talents. They also have a very talented band who created a great and full sound. One of my favorite songs of the evening was one called “Before You I Kneel”, and I am posting the lyrics here:
Before You I kneel, my Master and Maker
To offer the work of my hands.
For this is the day You’ve given your servant;
I will rejoice and be glad
For the strength I have to live and breathe;
For each skill Your grace has given me;
For the needs and opportunities
That will glorify You great Name.
Before You I kneel and ask for Your goodness
To cover the work of my hands.
For patience and peace to shape all my labor,
Your grace for thorns in my path.
Flow within me like a living stream,
Wear away the stones of pride and greed
‘till Your ways are dwelling deep in me
And a harvest of life is grown.
Before You we kneel, Our Master and Maker;
Establish the work of our hands.
And order our steps to seek first Your kingdom
In every small and great task.
May we live the gospel of Your grace,
Serve Your purpose in our fleeting days,
Then our lives will bring eternal praise
And all glory to Your Name.