12 days of Christmas · 12 days of Christmas time · Christmas Preparation

#4 “The Christmas we never forgot……….”

My Kids in 1993 Clarkston WA

Here is the story of “The Christmas we never forgot” In full detail, referrenced in my book Grace to the Rescue…..It’s exciting!

My husband had lost his job. We had no income. My Mom did send gifts each year but we had no way to pay the rent. And it was Christmas time………..

To make matters worse, their nintendo game was in the hock shop. Our Power bill was over due……..and about to be unhooked. A friend of mine came over, stood in my living room and prayed and commanded that we be blessed in the name of Jesus. She was loud about it too! Like a trumpet!

“You’re the provider she screamed and I thank you their Christmas will be BLESSED” …….

I could feel the Holy Spirit when she prayed……It was not a nice little God’s will be done prayer, it was a prayer of Faith and love and she was NOT backing down! And we as a whole did NOT deserve it, my husband had made bad choices….and I had asked God to have Mercy and not punish all of us for his actions.

I had applied for Help through the power sharing program at the electric company…….

Two days later I got a phone call. “You’ve been selected for help with your power bill, she said…..”

But then she added, “But that is not all. A new company in town wanted to know a family they could bless and out of hundreds of names we chose you………..”

That company paid our rent. They asked what gifts the kids would like, and got them exactly what they asked for. They gave me an expresso machine. They got the nintendo out of Hock. And they gave us food and an envelope with cash in it. To top it all off they gave my husband a job at their company…..

It was overwhelming, to say the least. In a MINUTE all of our needs were met Every single one. We went from problems galore to “Everything taken care of.” The relief I felt was rather how they must have felt when they crossed the Red Sea……..

People were sick of hearing our problems by then. Even the church people (for the most part).

Do I give the glory to God? OF course I do! Why were WE selected, I ask myself……..

I think back to that prayer of one passionate person who would NOT back down…….

Who decided WE were worth it……

And that is a person I want to emmulate….

With love and blessings,

Laura Grace

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Christmas Day 3: “When I was a kid…………”

My Mom, 1969

Christmas when I was a kid.” Does anyone even care? (What it was like?). I think so, because honestly, I have read stories about the Christmas’s of others, and I totally enjoy them.

When I was a kid, Christmas was a magical time for me. Mom made a lot of different goodies, including, popcorn balls, fudge (2 different kinds) frosted cookies, pinwheel cookies, and sometimes we had peanut brittle laying around.

There were cousins, aunts and uncles who sent packages by mail (grandma’s too) and soon the tree was abounding with colorfully wrapped gifts. We all looked at the Sears Catalogue to dream of what Santa might bring…….

I didn’t teach my kids about Santa, because i remember the disappointment when he didn’t bring quite what I asked him for. I believed, so I thought maybe I was ‘naughty” is why it didn’t happen. I thought maybe he was trying to teach me a lesson, and that was why I got peanuts and oranges in my stocking (mostly) and didn’t know til years later that santa’s budget depended on Mom and Dad’s budget, at the time.

Therefore, based on that disappointment, I didn’t teach my children to believe in Santa Claus, I told them it was a nice story and a nice thought, but ultimately Jesus is the reason for the season.

When I grew up, which happened during the process of raising children, I decided Christmas Joy was something I wanted to emmulate. I learned to make the cookies, (and the fudge) as much as I do NOT like or enjoy kitchen duties. I soon found out what a servant heart it takes to pull of this Amazing Holiday. It’s a lot of work, to say the least……

Finding out just how much work it was, made me appreciate my Mom even more, and all she did for us at Christmas time. I had no idea! The shopping, the boxing, the mailing, the goodie-making, the budget-strategy! It took weeks to get it all done and must be started before Thanksgiving……..

The decorating, the Christmas cards, and putting pictures in all of them. (I did it all). In the end It would be over with and I’d say I DID IT! I really did it! Everyone got a gift, everyone got a card……..I made the goodies and did not burn them! Oh How I prayed over Christmas (every year) and rejoiced to get those boxes mailed out before the 15th……

Then came the thank you’s from Mom and friends and the delighted looks on children’s faces……

Now some bad stuff happened yes. I had some who did not appreciate, nor did they reciprocate (yes even with some of my family). My Dad always said “Bah Humbug” at Christmas, which made me very sad……

Christmas reminds me a little of the gospel (not that it can really compare with it) but it’s a reflection of it, in some small way. The lights, the giving, the generosity and the love……and like the gospel, it is not always appreciated or reciprocated….But its’ still important to SHINE!

I want to thank you Mom. Your love for us always shined through at Christmas time, especially. THANK YOU for all you did over the years to make it special! Thank you for the Christian example of serving and giving & loving. Forgive me for the times I didn’t seem as appreciative as i should have.

With love, your daughter,

Laura

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last of all and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35

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Christmas Mediation day 2: The good the bad and the ugly ….

Let’s pray a minute: “Father bless this day, anoint my words, and help anyone out there who struggles with Christmas to be healed and enjoy it Father! IN Jesus’ name I pray…Amen”

I can remember bad things, or I can remember good things, about Christmas time. There were the gifts we wished for that we didn’t get, and we can remember the happy people, or the crabby ones, it is up to us.

After I visited a festival of trees in Spokane Wa, I decided to up the ante on my tree decorating, and try to do a better job. I had my years of saying “You aren’t here Mom, so I’m gonna glob that tinsel on thick” ha ha ha

And what does Christmas have to do with Jesus, you say? Aren’t we supposed to be studying his word, and growing? Think about that for a moment. How can we grow?

Do we remember the good (About Christmas?) or do we remember the bad? Is Christms about getting our way all the time? Or the perfect “Martha Stewart dinner?”

My son and daughter both wished for the chance to pick things out, so some years I have included gifts cards, while other years, they said “Mom, I’m sorry I’m never going to use this (contraption) you just gave me.”

Barking out statements like “It’s the thought that counts” puts a squash on how people feel. Being rude and saying “I hate this’ is also rather, well, rude to say the least. Why can’t we just tell the truth? hmmm….

I can remember getting stressed out when I was young, trying to keep appointments with older people who had dinner at 1, but my kids were hungry at noon. Trying to beat people into submission to accomodate others, does NOT make Christmas fun. Does it? Perhaps we need to learn how to communicate that……

It’s not fun when people are late to supper, it’s not fun when there are rules and regulations about how Christmas is supposed to be. I think what is cool for me, is that was when my kids were growing up, we were so poor we got a complete Re-set about Christmas. If it wasn’t for God, Christmas would not have happened at all.

And why are those movies so special to people, like the Grinch movie and some others? Because they get across the point Christmas is not about the stuff we get, or the perfect tree, or the perfect holiday dinner.

God loves the stuff that CAN and often does come out at Christmas time. The generosity, the smiles, the singing, the thoughtfulness, and yes THE LOVE that people express in various ways at Christmas time.

So many times I have thought, What if people were like this all year long? Celebrating, Making merry in their hearts, looking for ways to bless others….

(To be continued). PS (It’s six weeks away) ….

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Day 1: Christmas, My Happy Thought!

I put up my Christmas tree a little early this year BEFORE Thanksgiving! If you don’t approve it’s too bad, I’ve already done it. What I believe if this, if you aren’t hurting anyone, it’s okay to have fun. And God knows this has been one stressful year. What harm can there be in having a little fun? (I said to myself).

Nope, I”m not going to drink or get drunk to reward myself for having survived “The year of corona virus.” And I refuse to let it drive me to drink because of the stress involved………

One reason I love Christmas so much, is that when I was a child, My Mom always made it fun. There were goodies baking and trees going up. There were bows and ribbons as she wrapped gifts for my cousins and aunts and uncles. Back then, we used to exchange gifts by mail.

I will be sharing some reasons I still have the Christmas Spirit, and how God played a part in that. I love Christmas music, Christmas trees, snowmen, carolers, bows and boxes, Christmas goodies, and time with friends and family.

What’s not to love about it? Christmas is such a beautiful time, but only if we keep it that way. Thanks for following me as I spend 12 days talking about Christmas, and why it is still kinda magical to me….

So here is the question: How can we de stress Christmas? And how can we get in tune with WHAT Christmas means to us, and why? Therein, lies the Journey….

with Love

Laura

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Overcoming…..How do we do it?

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I’ve never liked physical exercise, nor been into sports.
 
Therefore, the athlete analogy in scripture didn’t do much for me until I read 1 Timothy 4:8. Now there is a scripture I can get my teeth into! ūüôā
 
I can and do, understand the need to overcome obstacles in this life for there are many of them. We say we have faith for something “someone” bars the way. We (as christians) do too much of this “well it must not be God’s will” (type thing) giving up too easily. A Major part of our walk is to OVERCOME!
 
In fact, I would say that’s the biggest goal. Didn’t Jesus say “fear not I have overcome?” and saying in a nutshell, if I did, so can you?
 
Yes indeed, He did.
 
Christmas a lot of times is just overcoming obstacles, and I didn’t realize it until just now. God didn’t send it, (Christmas) people came up with it.
For many it’s an obstacle course.
 
It’s either an opportunity to get upset, or a chance to let God produce love, generosity, more fruits of the spirit, and whatever else he’d like to do IN US at Christmas OR any other time in our lives.
 
That’s all trials really are. Opporunities to Overcome.
Oh, so THAT”S why he said rejoice (when you have a trial)
It’s your big chance to overcome!
And you don’t even have to sign up for the Olympics to do this!¬†
 
YAY!!! I can Get the Gold! Go for the Gold! Hurray Hurray! And yes LORD, I will do it! Be with me I pray! as I go and JUMP over all these spiritual hurdles I face today!
 
cheering you on!
Your partner in this life in Christ Jesus!
 
Laura Grace
PS (Here’s the scripture I told you about!) #overcoming
 
“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
 
1 Timothy 4:8 by Laura Grace (Author) 
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Christmas story #12 Sorrow at Christmas time ……..

 

“Sorrow at Christmastime”

I know for many, Christmas is a very hard time. Family members, spouses who have passed away……

Many are missed and many are grieving (and not celebrating) at Christmas time. I know this to be true.

I don’t believe in just waving a wand and saying “Be Happy” to those who are in mourning.

My Purpose in writing these messages was to offer some hope, encouragement, and to remind myself (and you) that God is good despite the disapointments over Christmas.

For many, it’s just a really hard time.

We all have the choice to look past the hurt, pain, disappointment and suffering, to see Jesus in the midst of everything. our government, a bad job, Financial stress…..

I Have suffered too. (and still do) and cried many tears (and it will happen again) but I still say “God is on his throne!”

With Jesus, there is always hope. He always seems to find a way to give hope to the hopeless, and to all who call on him.

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses.” Psalm 107:28

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Christmas Story #11 Gifts (and Benevolent Benefactors)

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¬†“Gifts” (and benevolent benefactors.)

According to Gary Chapman, author of the five love languages, one love language is gifts. This means for some, they feel loved to get them, and often it’s how these people express their love

Through the years, I have been both the giver and receiver of many gifts, and when I took this test (from the book) I came out with Gifts being my #1 love language. I loved this book because it helped me understand myself and others. Some feel the most loved if you mow the lawn or “help them” with something. some feel loved with a hug (Physical affection) others would rather you keep your hands to yourself! LOL

It’s not right to assume what WE think should make others feel loved WILL make them feel loved. Or that it “Should” because we decided what is what. That’s just a little presumptious.¬† I don’t see in the bible where God says there is ONE way to love. I see many types of expressions of love there, Including gifts.¬†

I know “they” often say it’s more blessed to give than receive.I have been the giver and the receiver, and I have to say: Gifts that are answers to prayer are especially special. They are all great but times when I needed food or the electric bill paid, or my kids needed coats, (and I was praying about it) Wow those¬†
items showing up were just “WOW” Moments!

I can’t possibly list all the things that have happened for me through the years, not without writing a whole book about it! (Hmm, that’s a thought!) I don’t think any story at Christmas tells it better than the movie “Scrooge.”

For Tiny Tim (and for all the other Tiny Tim’s of this world) Benevolent Benefactors truly do make a difference.¬†

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Christmas story #10 God’s suprises

Mom and me 2011.jpg12 days 11

I haven’t been able to be around my mom at Christmas for years now. She lived 8 hours away in a real foggy snowy and cold place, it was just not possible to go there for Christmas.

I didn’t put this in my books but many years ago in 1989 I moved away so my ‘ex” could have a fighting chance of over coming substance abuse. He was not succesful but we did this to help him and well, years and years and years of family time were lost as a result. I remember she cried when we moved away.

It’s just such a blessing to get to see her, have her homemade goodies and share the Joy of Christmas with the person who taught me to love Christmas from the time I was young. A couple of years ago I thought “I’ll probably never get to see Mom at Christmas again” And wow here she is. In the same town!

You just never know.

Merry Christmas Mom, I love you¬† Laura Grace, Author “Grace to the Rescue”¬†

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Christmas Story #9 Angels on the Tree

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Christmas story #8 Angels on the Tree

I wanted angels on the tree, 
and actually prayed for this, you see……..

A friend of mine loaned me hers ……
12 lighted angels…..stem to stern

So I’d just sit and look at them,¬†
Both Looking forward, and “remembering when”¬†
I thought of angels, anouncing his birth, 
And I thought about, how much we are worth.

That Jesus would come,for little ol’ me¬†
and help me have angels……upon my tree.

 by Laura Grace

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Angels We have Heard on High, Sweetly singing¬† o’er¬† the plains

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Christmas Story #8 You don’t have to have money to be generous……..

12 days extra extraChristmas story #8 Jesus is real. I testify!

One of my Life changing Scriptures is found in Jude 22 “And on some have compassion, making a distinction. 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”

If someone comes to me with a problem they are going to get the word of God, Prayer and Jesus! The way I see it, if they don’t want him they aren’t ready for help. And if they won’t receive him I can’t help them either.¬†Now you know. I am radical!

The bible says a generous person will prosper. Now I don’t care so much if it’s financially but I Know it makes our soul prosper. We don’t have to have money to be generous. We can give our time, our love, a cookie, or even a prayer.

I met a guy one time in a housing project, he asked me to pray for him during Christmas time. He was “having such bad thoughts” he said.

After we prayed, he brought me a painting he had painted and said to me “I have to give this to you!” It was a nice painting.

I said why? “Because”, he says, ‘I just know I will feel better if I do.”¬†
He gave me this gift and as far as I know he was fine after that.

I don’t know why he was compelled to do that, but he was having murderous thoughts and it was scaring him. When He told me, it kind of scared me also.¬†

I just said “LET”S PRAY!” I know who the counsellor is. His name is Jesus!¬†
You don’t need a minister license to represent Jesus. All you need, is faith If you don’t have any start today praying on little things, and read your bible!

Oh I forgot to tell you why he asked me for prayer! Everywhere I go I talk about Jesus. I don’t even remember how it came up, but as people oten tell me, Nobody can be around you long without Jesus coming up! (Good!)¬†

I either drive them crazy or they ask me questions OR they run away! Why would we not tell the reason we are okay in this world? If hearing about Jesus drives them crazy, they are not ready for him. Yet. 

Jesus is still the answer! so get your brave shoes on and next time someone has a problem, offer to pray with them. And if you need help. Ask me for prayer! I will be happy to pray for you and I won’t judge you. Jesus is not some picture on the wall to me or someone I was ‘told about” He is REAL! And he loves you!¬†¬†and thank you those who pray when I ask (You know who you are!) and I love you very much.

With Love,

Laura Grace

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6