I Trust You

When I read the gospels, I usually skim through the Christmas story. The nativity is repeated so often during December that I consider my Christmas story quota filled. But recently I started researching Mary, the mother of Jesus, and discovered something both deeply humbling and encouraging.

“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’” (Luke 1:26-28).

An angel approaches a teenage village girl and pronounces her to be favored by God and to have the presence of God with her! Was Mary a saint from the start?

We know from Scripture that God places a high value on the humble and the pure in heart. James 4:8 states, “Come close to God and God will come close to you.”

Mary was not any more perfect than Gideon or David. She was not sinless. In fact she calls the Messiah “My Savior” in Luke 1:47. Mary recognized that she was indeed a sinner in need of a Savior.

But Mary shows us that before God called her to this role, she had filled up on Him. She knew her God.

With school, work, friendships, and thinking about college and the future, it’s really easy to focus on anything but our relationship with God. God desires your heart way more than anything. An incredible woman in my life once said, “It is better to be anything-deprived rather than God-deprived.” This means that sometimes we sacrifice in order to fill up on the good stuff: God’s Word and spending time in His presence.

I believe that Mary had been filling up on the good stuff. How can I know that? Just check out her response to the fact that she, a virgin, was going to have a baby. And not just any baby, mind you. She was going to birth the Savior of the world! Mary had been preparing her heart for this her entire life.

“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’

‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’

‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’” (Luke 1:29-38)

TRUST

In every translation of Luke, Mary still says, “I’m Yours, God. I will take whatever You want to give me, even if it’s hard.” Mary had devoted herself to the Lord to the point that she trusted His judgment above all else. Look what she was willing to offer up to God: wedding plans, her wedding dress, her reputation and standing, emotional stability, friends, others’ assumptions, and even naming her child!

Mary reminds us to live expectantly trusting our Father—the one who makes good on all His promises. In Mary we see a willingness to open her hands, listen to God’s call, and trust His dreams for her. May we draw near to God and learn say with confidence, “I am your servant, Lord. I trust You.”

Following,
Ginger

 

“Have you heard about Whatever Girls Live and the 10:3 Campaign?

Christmas Memories

by Jenifer Metzger

Have you ever said “I can’t wait till the holidays are over”? After Thanksgiving life starts going ninety miles an hour and can have our head spinning! School treats to make, school plays, church plays, work parties, decorating, shopping, and the list goes on and on. We get tired of all the hustle and bustle.

Christmas is a season we should enjoy. A time where memories are made and love is shared. I want my children to group up and remember relaxed, beautiful holidays. I want to be a part of those memories.

Portrait of mother and daughter in front of Christmas tree

Here are a few of our favorite ways to make memories around the holidays:

  • Bake together. Forget the mess our daughters tend to make as they are learning to cook and just do it! Don’t let it be a serious, teaching moment, let it be fun!
  • Bake with others. A few years ago we had my grandmother, mom, sisters and niece and nephews come over to our house. Everyone brought a recipe and ingredients and we spend the whole day baking together as we listened to Christmas carols. It was so much fun! Invite your family over, or better yet, invite her girlfriends and their moms and have a girls day of baking.
  • Hot chocolate and movie days. One of our favorite things to do together around the holidays is make hot chocolate, light the fireplace, grab our snugly blankets and put on a Christmas movie.
  • Wrap gifts together. Last year I included my daughter, then 14, in the wrapping of gifts for her siblings. It was so much fun for her and I to talk about the gifts they were getting and share those secrets together. We had a special bonding time that we will both remember for a lifetime.
  • Go caroling. Just this week I was talking with a friend who said he and his family love to go caroling. He shared that most houses they go to the people don’t really know what they are doing. Caroling is a ‘lost art’ so to speak. No one does it anymore. Bundle up your teenager, and maybe her friends too, and go caroling!
  • Do crafts. Crafts aren’t just for kids! I love Pinterest! So many wonderful ideas. There are great craft ideas perfect for teens and adults. Find something and have a crafting day with your daughter.
  • Ask her for her opinion. Your teenage daughter, as hard as it is to think about, is growing up. {I am crying typing this, fyi.} One day she will have a home of her own. As you decorate for the holidays, ask her what her opinion is. Ask her how she will decorate  her own home. Ask her what her favorite decorating task is. Have a good heart to heart, you will always remember it.

Whatever you do this holiday season, just do it together and enjoy being together.

 

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