Christmas Bundles of Joy

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“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger…”                                                                                                         Luke 2:7

We welcomed our daughter into the world exactly one week before Christmas in 2002.  Abby was a pure bundle of joy then and she still continues to warm my heart now. As her fourteenth birthday quickly approaches (Wow! Where has the time gone?), I find myself thinking about her and all that she means to me.

My sweet Abby, she is…

The seven pound baby with dark, wild, curly hair that couldn’t be tamed.

The girl who has always loved animals…horses, dogs, cows, and even one-eyed cats.

The young lady who’s given her heart to Jesus and has an abundance of love and compassion for others.

The teen who loves her phone and to play crazy loud music in the SUV to drive me insane.

The one, who, even now, wants to snuggle when she’s sick and always steals the covers no matter what.

The adolescent who craves Dairy Queen Blizzards and enjoys playing volleyball every chance she gets. 

 She is my daughter, my Toochie, my Lou Lou, my baby girl, my everything. Always has been, and always will be.

As I think about Abby’s birthday and how special she is to me, I’m reminded of how lucky she is to share her birthday in the Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  No doubt, thousands of years ago, when Mary first gazed upon her baby boy, she felt some of the same feelings of love and wonder that I have felt as a mother.

But more than that, I find myself reflecting on what Jesus means to me, not just what Mary must have thought about her new arrival.  Just as I cherish Abby, especially on her birthday, Jesus deserves to be recognized for what He’s done in my life.

 

My precious Savior, Jesus, He is…

A baby born in Bethlehem and laid to rest in a dirty manger.

A young boy who was busy being about His Father’s business in the temple.

A man dedicated to serving others and sharing His message of hope with all who would listen.

A sacrifice who has a love so fierce and passionate for me that He laid His life down on a cross.

A Friend who is there in the sunshine and shadows of life.

A Guide to help me know which way to go when I feel lost.

A Hiding Place when I need to escape the troubles of the world, when my own world feels like it’s crumbling in on me.

A Redeemer who knows about each of my flaws but loves me anyway.

He is my Savior, my Hope, the One who never lets me down. Always has been, and always will be.

As Christmas is upon us, take some time to pause and reflect on what Jesus means to you this season. How has He made a difference in your life? How can you honor Him on His birthday this year? Start by taking time to be thankful for the precious gift that was given to us on that very first Christmas night. Make Him the center of all of your celebrations this year. Share Christ’s love with someone by witnessing and give them not a gift bought in the store but one bought on the cross. Then they, too, can call Jesus their precious Savior.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for the birth of Your Son, that made the way for my salvation to be possible. Guide me in praising and glorifying You, truly celebrating Jesus, and all that He means to me. Give me courage and passion to share His message of hope with others, that they, too, might be saved. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Hope your week is filled with lots of opportunities to share the true meaning of Christmas with others!

Blessings,

Alisha Ritchie

 

 

 

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