What’s On Your Christmas List?

Jen’s Gem: Jesus is the reason for the season!

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner. Days are like hours and time seems to go by quicker as each year passes, something my Mom warned me about when she admonished me as a teenager to stop wishing I was older all the time.

Our tree is up, cards are in the mail, and there are only a few gifts left to purchase. Christmas cookies are still on the to-do list. Somehow it’s all getting done and I’m sure before you and I know it, the New Year will be upon us.

2021. What will it bring? What will we bring to it?

Many lessons have been learned this year. Perhaps it was to appreciate the little things more than we had been. Maybe it was to slow down and enjoy life a bit more. Our health and wellbeing are likely being treasured more than in the past. Concern for others has been highlighted. There’s not a life that hasn’t been changed in some way.

Gratitude is the name of the 2020 game. Would you agree?

I have oodles of things to be grateful for beginning with my health and that of my children, family, and loved ones. My freelance writing business has done well and my clients have been thriving which defies logic. My children are pursuing their respective goals in school and work. We have a home, food on the table, and creature comforts from time to time.

My faith in God is stronger than ever and it is God to whom I give thanks for every blessing received this year. I’m also grateful for the trials as crazy as that sounds. It is during these tests that I get a little closer to Him, leaning into His strength, wisdom, and courage. It is in times of overwhelm or confusion that I call on Him for help.

This is the way it was supposed to be from the beginning when Adam and Eve were in the Garden. God came down from heaven each day to talk with them, give them guidance, share a laugh or two, and deepen their relationship. It’s the perfect design, wouldn’t you say?

The Garden of Eden. I was thinking about this last night as sleep eluded me. Paradise. Consistent temperature 24/7/365. Everything was provided. Adam and Eve, the first power couple, ruled the Garden. Anything they asked for or needed, God gave them – not to spoil them rotten, but because He loved them so much.

Everything was working as it was designed until it wasn’t. We are still reaping the misfortune of that one bad decision made a b-zillion years ago. Yet God in His great love for us, His creation, His children, sent His Son, Jesus to live among us and to show us the way back to that paradise that Adam and Eve threw away.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

In a few days, we will celebrate this gift – the greatest gift of all –  as we remember Jesus’ birth. The day people of old were waiting for – searching desperately for actually. They looked for signs of His coming regularly because they knew once He came, life would be better. Life the way God designed it would be restored. Earth would function as heaven does – “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NKJV

We were never designed to go it alone, to do life without God. If that were so, He would’ve left Adam and Eve to fend for themselves, to figure out how to live in the Garden on their own. But He didn’t.  Even when life was easy, God didn’t leave them. How much more do we need Him now when everyday life is far from that paradise?

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

I’m beyond grateful that I have a Father in Heaven who is by my side in this antithesis of the Garden that we live in. Because of what Jesus  did for us, our lives can be as victorious as God’s first creations.

This is all I want for Christmas. 

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