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December 21

Life… It Happens

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

As most everyone knows, I have had some “situations” in my life this year that have tested my ability to face them. For several years I have either flown or driven to Central Ohio to check on my mother every 6 weeks or 2 months. She was in a nursing home nearly 10 years as her health declined steadily. During that time, I have also gone to Ohio to attend the birthdays and funerals of my extended family for my immediate family as I am the oldest in my family.

All that pressure wore on me and made me question my devotion to my mother in Ohio and my family here in Texas. Every time I let myself question where I needed to be, God would show me that my mother and my family here supported me no matter where I was. It was at those stressful times that I would slow down and pray for help so that I would know where I belonged. (I pray at all times, but this was when I would stop and pray specifically about my concerns.)

Finally, on July 4th of this year, my mother joined my dad, the angels and God. I truly believe she is doing everything now with my dad as she plays piano, sews, crochets and cooks happily.

Life-Baking-Fruitful-Serving-Love-Advent-FUMC.jpg[Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash]

I thank the Lord that He has given me the peace and understanding of where I belong. I am glad to have done what I did, but I am glad to be here.

Jackie Gruber

Father God, life doesn’t stop for holidays and Jesus showed up in the middle of it all. Not many took notice of His arrival because of politics, religion, illness, financial needs, family concerns. Show us this Christmas season how You came to be with us in all of life. To show us the way through it and reveal Your love for us. May we find Your peace and put our hope in You as we walk through the daily drama of life both expected and unexpected. Amen.

 Additional Scriptures: 2Corinthians 5:14-15, John 10:9-10, Philippians 1:21-24, 2Thessalonians 1:11-12

December 10

Remembering the Greatest Gift

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Luke 2:8

Just as the shepherds watched over their flock our Mother prepared our home beautifully, and on Christmas Eve tucked us in our beds. Thinking of Santa was wonderful but, having been taught, I knew the truth of this holy night was that baby Jesus was born.

Christmas-Decorations-Jesus-FUMC-Prepare.jpg[Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash]

As an adult I decorate with lots of very sentimental things. I think of all my loved ones who have looked upon these very same pieces and the magic of the season is the same for me now. Jesus was born the greatest gift, our Lord and Savior.

Lord Jesus, show us the way to your manger so that in seeing you we may believe and in believing have eternal life. Amen.

Alyson Owen Ezell

Additional readings: Isaiah 52:7, John 1:29, Luke 10:23-24