My dear friends,

You are on my heart right now. I know you are hurting and missing your loved one- especially as Christmas draws near. I feel your pain because I have been there. I used to say I wish I could take your pain away, but I know I can’t—and I know now that I don’t want to. It is not my pain to take away.

*The pain of grief is the result of loving deeply and missing your dear one’s physical presence

*The pain of grief has to be gone through not run away from

*The pain of grief can be shared but it also must be gone through alone

*Yet the pain of grief is a time you discover you are never ever alone

*The pain of grief draws You to the Lord who created us to love deeply like He does

*The pain of grief helps you realize what an immeasurable gift you were given in your loved one

*The pain of grief lets you discover the huge impact they had on your life

*The pain of grief allows you to forgive yourself and your loved one for any hurts caused

*The pain of grief births in you a desire to carry on the best of your loved one from this day forward

The pain of grief eventually gives way to a new way to live life fully- cherishing ordinary moments, loving others more deeply, forgiving more quickly, growing in the certainty of your faith in God and in His promise of eternal life that is so evident this time of year. Jesus was born as God in the flesh yet a frail human baby like one of us in the midst of a lost and grieving world. He came for one purpose-to live as one of us yet without sin so He could die for our sins to insure we can live for all eternity with the Lord. So as you go through the pain of your grief this Christmas, may joy be born in a new way in your hearts as you worship and adore Jesus- the man acquainted with sorrow and grief so we could have eternal joy.

Love and prayers,

Eva

 

“I tell you the truth; you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”  John 16:20-22

Heavenly Father,

Some of the sweetest testimonies come from the youngest in our lives. One of my dear teacher friends told me she had taken her six year old nephew and another six year old, Warren, who is the son  of our Kindergarten teacher (and like another nephew to my teacher who was driving) to see Christmas lights. These two rambunctious boys wrestled all through the park as they walked through the lights. They were still wrestling in the back seat on the way home. Warren karate chopped the other boy and told him that he was dead. The other boy said, “No! I came back to life!”

Warren stopped and looked seriously at the other boy and said, “No! The only person that ever came back to life was Jesus.” He explained that Jesus is special. So the other boy asked him what makes Jesus special. Warren looked right at him and told him that Jesus is God’s Son and Mary’s son and He was born and died for us—that’s what makes Him special. The other boy said, “That’s cool!” Then they proceeded to karate chop each other.

Father, how I praise you for those who are ready and willing to share the good news of great joy for all people at every opportune time they can. Put those opportunities in front of me. Let me recognize them, use them and trust You with the results—just like my young friend Warren! I know it is not up to me to save people. Only Jesus can do that. It is up to me to deliver the message, to drop the seed of the good news so You can make it grow in others’ lives.

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“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”  Luke 2:14

 

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’”  Luke 2:10-12

 

“But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things He did and the children shouting in the temple courts, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant. ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants You, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” Matthew 21: 15-16

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, do I know You? Do I praise You?

Dear Friends,

What gift can you give someone who is grieving the death of a loved one? They may not feel very festive this year, and you want to take that into consideration. Even if it’s been a year or more, often the grief revisits in a stronger way through the Christmas season. They are missing their loved one even more as all the memories and traditions of past Christmas seasons shared loom strong in front of them. Here are a few ideas of gifts that will encourage them this Christmas:

  • Christmas card– include a short written memory of their loved one/let them know you are thinking of them
  • Dinner- invite them to dinner, party or play, but be understanding if they can’t make it. Grief does not have a schedule. You can also drop dinner off to them
  • Phone call/Text- Keep it short unless they want to talk. It will mean more than you know to realize you are thinking of them
  • Goody tray- Even if they don’t feel like eating it, they will have something to offer guests
  • Photo or Video- If you happen to have a photo of their loved one, you have no idea how precious that would be to them
  • Christmas ornament- a frame or personalized ornament that will be a remembrance each Christmas
  • Children and Teens- a snuggable stuffed animal with a soft picture frame around the neck. What a comfort when they are missing their loved one. Some adults might like this, as well.
  • Handmade item- from loved one’s clothes- T-shirt pillow, quilt, throw…
  • My Forever Memories of You memory book for children/youth lets them draw, write or put photos in a memory book that has pages with memory starters (I enjoyed doing this with you…)
  • My Forever Memories of You adult version- Like a grief support group in a book between them, me and the Lord. It has excerpts from my journal during grief, places for them to write their memories and is full of practical help, encouragement and eternal hope. It will help long after Christmas is past this year.
  • You can also add someone to the My Forever Memories Grief Group on Facebook which will give them hope through their grief.

 

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts you can give the griever is to keep praying for them.

Love and prayers,

Eva

Heavenly Father,

Who would think that the greatest gift to the world would come wrapped in such a humble package?! The world is going a little over the top with Christmas glitter, blitz and shopping at this moment. It would appear that the “celebration of Christmas” is trying to overshadow Jesus Christ. Yet the more I turn to You, the more I realize that is not even remotely possible. Father, You knew exactly what You were doing when You chose such a humble way to save the world.

You chose Mary, a simple young peasant girl, who was willing to humble herself to bear life to the Holy One- the Savior of the world! I can’t even imagine the humiliation she must have endured to be a virgin who became pregnant during those times. She was humble enough to trust You when her betrothed fiancé knew it couldn’t be his child. She was humble enough to trust You had a larger plan for her and the baby than the possibility of a public death by stoning.

You selected Joseph, simple carpenter who tried his best to live a righteous life (and who was humble to believe the baby was Yours) to raise Your Son from a baby to manhood- to teach the “Word made flesh” how to be a man. You chose a lowly shelter for animals to be the birthplace of the Kings of kings. You chose some nearby shepherds, lowest of lows, to be among the select few who heard the entire angelic host proclaiming the most incredible birth of all times. You chose an old man and an old woman who had spent their lives believing and waiting for the coming Messiah to be the only ones who recognized the only completely “God in flesh” to ever be born and dedicated in the temple.

You, O God, sent Jesus Christ unrecognized—in quiet humility to be born as one of us, yet without sin throughout His entire life, to live unobtrusively among Your people. You  sent the One who helped You create all that there is save all who are humble enough to accept the way to live forever with You. Jesus with all His humbleness walked willingly and boldly to lay His life down for our sins on the cross so we could be made new. Father, make me humble before You—knowing I am nothing without Jesus Christ. Let me worship Him in humbleness this Christmas. Yet make me BOLD—knowing I can do all things through Him who has made me new and lives forever in Me. It is only through the humble boldness of Jesus Christ that I live forever with You.

 

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“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name  that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”    Philippians 2:5-11

 

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, have I humbled myself before You, accepted, believed and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord?