Yuletide Cheer

~~ Luke 1:47 (NLT) ~~   How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!

by Carley Cooper

It’s almost here!  Christmas, that is.  The excitement is in the air so thick you can practically smell it.  Do you have your tree and decorations up yet?  Are you finished your shopping?  Have you done your Christmas baking yet?  Oh, and don’t forget the Christmas cards!

We put ourselves through weeks of preparation for this day.  Hundreds or even thousands of dollars are spent for gifts that we don’t really want to buy so we can give them to relatives we don’t see the rest of the year because they get on our nerves so much.  Decorations are hung everywhere, and more food is prepared for that one day than we need for several days.  Then there’s the parties with eggnog spiked enough to knock out a black bear.  We write out so many Christmas cards to people we never see or talk to that we get writer’s cramp; and keep the post office in business for another year.   Weeks are spent baking fruit cakes that have the daily caloric limits to keep the average healthy elephant going for several days. 

Have you ever stopped to wonder why we do so much for what is essentially one day?  We put up a tree... inside the house.  I mean, think about it for a minute.  A tree?  In the house?  Does that not strike you as just a tad bit odd?  Only to put all sorts of completely useless and colourful doo-dads on it.  And we finish it off by letting some strange fat guy come into our house in the middle of the night where gets to eat our snacks, and have the freedom to snoop to his heart’s content around the house and we are be none the wiser.  Oh, have you ever stopped to notice that not only has he not shaved in... forever... but he has also been wearing the same coat and pants for decades?  Truthfully, I’m not sure I would want my kids sitting on this old guys knee.

What is the excitement about anyway?  Do you even get excited?  Some of us have a difficult time through the Christmas season.  It’s been about 18 years since I’ve had a truly great Christmas.  It’s a very long story, but the bottom line is that it’s been a long time since I’ve looked forward to Christmas.  It is a very emotionally draining time of year for me.  When the Yuletide Cheer was handed out, I seem to have missed getting my portion.  There’s one person out there who got a double shot of joyfulness; and who’s just a little bit too cheery; and it isn’t from the eggnog. 

I put my Christmas tree up last week.  That alone was emotionally draining for me.  But wait... it wasn’t decorated yet.  I mean, literally, just putting the tree up.  And it’s only a small tree about 3.5 feet tall sitting on top of a small table; which I have to stick with because of space issues.  I am proud to say, though, that I haven’t killed any trees for my own pleasure in many years.  I’ve stayed with some very nice artificial trees.  Anyway, since I put it up last week, it took me all whole week to force myself to put any decorations on it, which I did yesterday.  The place looks nice.  Except I wasn’t feeling it.

This morning, when I got up I showered and got ready to go to church.  Except, that I had no interest in going and my joy was completely nonexistent.  The tension has been building inside me for a couple months at the thought of Christmas coming.  This past week was the worst, and the height of that was since yesterday.  I have been questing a few important things in my life in the past week.  I talked with my Pastor in a counselling session a few days ago, about the doubts that I’ve been having.  I have had strong believe for certain things in my life for a long time.  One of these things didn’t come to pass.  It made me question my faith; if it was placed right.  If I could be so wrong about one thing, than how do I know that I’m not wrong about more important things?  My vision of the future became very bleak.  I wondered if I am to spend the rest of my life in this same struggle.  Will it ever end,  or if I should try to come up with a solution to my issues and go out and solve it myself. 

Well, I forced myself to go to church because I know that in the past when I have been in this state of mind, going to church has always been a wise move.  Today was no exception.  Being the second Sunday of Advent, the sermon was about... wouldn’t you know it... about “Joy”.  I went and spent the first half of the service trying to hold back tears because of how I was feeling inside.  Then I heard the message of the day.  God definitely wanted me to hear this sermon today. 

Pastor said that as a culture, we are confused and disoriented about Christmas.  When the angel appeared to Mary to tell her she would conceive a child; she didn’t exactly jump for joy.  Mary was “confused and disturbed”.  I try to put myself in her place.  How would I feel if God said that I was chosen to give birth and be a Mother to the One who would save the world?  I’m not sure, but I think I would panic at the very least.  I mean, my first thought is “but God, I’m having a hard time just with writing a book.”  However, Mary took the angel at his word, and decided to obey God.  Then  she went to visit her cousin who she could talk to; who she knew would understand, support and encourage her.  After being obedient, Mary found true joy.  It is by being obedient that we are rewarded with try joy.  (Luke 1:26-47 (NLT))

Pastor asked us if we were hearing from God, as Mary did.  He said that we will always hear from God in many ways in our lives.  He said that we probably feel like it’s shaking up our lives and rattling our cage.  It’s confusing and scary.  My thought was “yep, that sounds familiar!”  But if we surround ourselves with supportive people, and vow to take God at His Word, and obey Him; we will find joy. 

After the sermon I went to the prayer rail and cried; partly because I needed to let out all the emotion inside me and also because I was thanking God for how well He takes care of me.  God knows that I want so very much to obey; but when I need someone the most, that’s when I’m least likely to reach out.  So, He sends people to me.  For example, yesterday when I was feeling overwhelmingly lonely and alone; my friend Jeff from Myrtle Bach popped up on Skype.  The conversation got around to where he was telling me that when Jesus taught us how to pray He said we are to ask that God “give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV84)).  Jeff said that means ‘Today’; not tomorrow, or next week.  We are to pray for what we need on this day.  Tomorrow will take care of itself (Matthew 6:34 (NIV84)).  Yesterday, I needed someone to talk to, and God gave that to me at the moment I needed it the most; along with a great message of guidance and support.  Today, He gave me what I needed to hear to realize that I am on the right path.  I don’t have to try to fix my own issues.  God has a plan, and as long as I stay on this track and obey; joy is at the other end. 

I got out of service today, and had another pep talk from a wonderful friend, Garry which topped off what we had just heard.  I told him that every year for many years I have only asked for one thing.  Every year I don’t get it.  Garry asked me if I was asking for what I wanted for Christmas, or what God wants for me.  I had never thought of it like that before.  He was right.  I have been asking for what I want in my life, not what He wants in my life.  I left there feeling like there is a real possibility that I may have a great Christmas this year.  Where do you find your Christmas cheer?

In my life, the cultures that I have been blessed to be part of, at times, during the Christmas season wish each other a Merry Christmas in the following ways.  How do you say it?

English – Merry Christmas
French – Joyeux Noel
Portuguese – Feliz Natal

Here’s a video of everyone’s old Spanish favourite...  Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano

~~ Dear God ~~   Thank You for the joy, and the path of obedience that you are taking me on to find it.  Please help me to keep Jesus at the center of my Christmas cheer, and to never lose sight of that.  Help me never to forget that neither fruitcake, decorated trees or fancy wrapping paper will ever bring me the joy that only You can bring.  In Jesus name, AMEN.


  1. Carley, II will send you an email with my response to this, thank you for sharing,, I know it was difficult. God does love you, and cares for you and provides to you only what you need in each day as you need it.

  2. Thanks Anon. I'll look forward to it.

  3. Love the blog.

  4. SAC-6582 Thanks so much. HUGS :-)

  5. Visited your blog, thank you for sharing. I know it was difficult for you. Blessings. God cares for you. Ravyna

  6. Thanks Ravyna. You are such a great support. Thank you hardly seems sufficient. HUGS.

  7. THANKS, Carley !

    You always zero in on what many of us are feeling/experiencing. And you always uplift
    us by sharing yourself with us.

    Thank you for helping me return to the real meaning of CHRISTmas.

    BLESSINGS, Dear One !

  8. Franceshd... It's me who should be thanking you. Your kind words help me to know that whatever I'm going through right now is worth it; because it is helping others. God's ways are amazing. One lesson learned from a wonderful message, and it can touch lives of those who were not even there. How awesome is that?! HUGZZZZZZ

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog. Extremely well written. For two days I have been sorting throught almost 60 years of photos that have been "living" in boxes. I realized how much I miss the days when the kids were little and we were so young. Then I realized that those days are gone, never to come back.
    Then today a great freind sent me an email that contained an old video of George Burns singing "I wish I was 18 again" and it brought tears to my eyes. I thank God for every day and I honestly believe he hears me. Again, thanks for sharing.

  10. Carley, I for one just so love Christmas and all that it stands for which is my redemption from Jesus.

    Your questioning your faith is the most normal thing for us humans. Believe me, what you have been through and what you are going through you could not put a number on the amount of people who have been through what you are going through.

    The devil wants people and you to believe that you are the only one who has gone through what you have been through and what you are going through. He wants to make you feel all alone and hurt and dejected and not loved and not valued and not wanted.

    But, please know beyond all doubt of our little human minds that you really are greatly blessed, highly favored and so very deeply loved by our Father Abba Daddy Papa God because He gave us our redemption with His best gift which was His only begottne Son Jesus.

    Look at what He did for us at the cross. We have so much to be thankful for.

    I know and believe and realize and accept the magic and the miracles and the wonders that Christmas time brings to us humans.

    Like Jesus has said to us, "fear not, believe only". Please try your best to receive the love of Love HImself and believe His love, accept His love and submit to His love and commit to His love because His love and grace can and will transform every bit of hurt and frustration and disappointment you have been through into hope and the manifestation of miracles and wonders in your life to make you a partaker of Love Himself.

    Please just rest and relax in His grace and truth knowing how much you are valued and how special and unique you are and how there is not another person past, present or future who is exactly like you because you are truly one of a kind special love creation created by Love Himself.

    Merry Christmas Carley

    I am one of your sparkpeople friends Bobbienorthern1

  11. FIRECOM - Thank you so very much for the feedback. It is when wonderful people like you respond with stories and comments like that, that I know I am on the right path. It makes everything worth it. Thanks to you. HUGS.

  12. Have a great holiday

  13. BOBBIENORTHERN1 - Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond; and with such wonderful words and advice. I honestly do appreciate it so very much. Thanks for reminding me that doubting my faith is human. Sometimes I have a habit of wondering if it makes me weak. But you are right; that is exactly the message that the enemy wants me to believe. Being alone is my biggest and worst demon that I have to fight, without a doubt. It is bigger than everything else all put together. The enemy plays on it every chance he gets with me. But I am getting stronger all the time. Again, thank you so much for the feedback and the support. HUGS.

  14. MADDIEMADKINSDecember 05, 2011

    I really enjoyed your blog Carley! I have a feeling you will have a wonderful Christmas this year!

  15. MADDIEMADKINS - Thank you so much for the feedback. It always helps me so much to know that others have enjoyed my words. It is one of the biggest blessings that God has given me through my writing. HUGS.

  16. Really enjoyed reading your blog. Sounds like you're in a better place now and so hope it continues for you. I agree that we get so caught up in the commercialism of Christmas and totally lose the reason for the season. Take good care of yourself!

  17. SHER143 - Thank you so much. My journey to the joy has been a very long and very rough road. It's not over yet, but I really feel that I am getting closer every day. I am so blessed to know that people like you read my words and get so much enjoyment and blessing from it. Thank you. HUGS

  18. Thank you! You have a GIFT for writing. That is a gift from God. Of course Gods perfect gift is Jesus! I told my family what I wanted, but what I really want is to be closer to God. My daughter wants her mom to live. So many thing we want can only be given to us by God.

  19. FINFIN2 - Thanks again for the wonderful support. God has blessed me so much in the past few years because of my writing. I only wish I would have discovered it much sooner in life. I hope that you and your family have the most blessed Christmas season ever. HUGS.

  20. THANKS for your "Yuletide Cheer" post.
    BLESSINGS, Carley !

  21. FRANCESHD - Thanks for the comments. I am so happy and feel very blessed that you have enjoyed it. I hope you and your loved ones have a super Merry Christmas. HUGS.

  22. Well, m'dear, as always you have given us plenty of food for thought!

    1) I don't do the whole preparation thing. I could say it's because the kids are grown and gone... I could say I'm just a curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scroogette pre-epiphany... or I could say it's because I'm increasingly bothered by the earlier-and-earlier commercially-hyped 'holiday season.' I don't do a tree (like you, long story for some of these things). Here, I leave it to Himself: if he wants to do one (we have a very small artificial one with its own little lighting system, no decorations or anything), fine; if he didn't bother, fine. I don't buy presents anymore, just a few gift certificates to my children and step-children - I don't send anything to my mother or other relatives, and I don't participate in any of the 'Secret Santa' things or whathaveyou. Not my bag.

    2) I still do Christmas cards because if I didn't, there are people who wouldn't hear from me at all. Oh, maybe they'd rather not (LOL) but in these cases, they are old, old friends, from elementary school and times when my age was a single digit, so... I don't want to lose touch entirely, and giving myself a time and reason to write works a treat.

    3) This year, for the first time, I'm baking 'English' Christmas desserts, one of their cakes (it's a fruitcake, essentially) and one of their 'puddings.' I'm doing that mostly because one of my stepsons has a nut intolerance and I can't seem to find any nut-free traditional foodstuffs. Eh. We'll see. But the days of pies and tons of cookies and fudge and on and on and on are waaay behind me. For which I am glad.

    4) If I was still doing a 'real' tree, I would get the kind in a root ball, that could be planted outside.

    5) I couldn't tell you the last time I had a great Christmas or was truly excited about it all. Been so long I don't remember... If you were overlooked in the Yuletide Cheer line, I must've been right next to you.

    6) I've always found it interesting that the first words out of the mouths of angels are 'Fear not.' Boy, I bet EYE would be afraid, all right - some being with a nonearthly glow shows up from the middle of nowhere? Halo, singing, wings or not, yes, I think you could say I'd be just a tad startled--!

    7) Re Mary's confusion and disturbance: I've often wondered if no small part of that was her anticipation of explaining all this to Joseph.

    8) I genuinely do like that 'daily bread' reference. It makes sense, and is comforting, both.

    Did you know in England most of them still wish you 'Happy Christmas'? It's even on their cards.

  23. KASEYCOFF - You're not a Scroogette. My tree is only a small one. It's about 3 to 3.5 feet tall and I sit it up on an end table. It's small but cute. I have heard others say that they don't do the decorations anymore. The commercializm of Christmas seems to be weighing on more and more Christians. I think God is speaking to many of us about that. I also know other people who don't buy gifts. One of my dearest friends made me promise that I wouldn't buy her a gift; because she doesn't do it anymore not even with her kids. I know other families that just draw names from a hat and buy one gift for someone in their family. It's just too hard on the average budget now-a-days to go all out and spend a ton on everyone in your family... and it doesn't show the true Spirit of Christmas.

    I do Christmas cards; though that alone is a big budget breaker. Trying to buy boxes of inexpensive cards, alone, is tough; not to mention the postage, labels; and time to write and print everything. (I don't do handwritten envelopes anymore. It takes up way to much time. I have a label template saved on my computer that I use every year with all the addresses printed. I just have to update addresses where necessary).

    I know about fruitcake. I'm from Newfoundland; and most of the heritage there is English and Irish.... we have fruitcake down to a science! LOL

    I agree with your idea about replanting the tree. I never would have thought of that. I haven't used a real tree since I was a kid. I think the artificial ones are just as nice. Why hurt a good tree? Makes no sense.

    Mary's experience is one that is hard to imagine. Just trying to imagine actually seeing an angel is a handful; let alone having him tell you that you're going to be the Mother of the Savior. I'm sure trying to explain to your fiance that you're pregnant... with the Messiah, just might get a woman into some hot water these days. It would certainly cause a lot of stress and tension for everyone for sure.

    Well, Happy Christmas to you dear friend. I'm glad that I've given people things to think about. I think it is my wonderful supporters that give me lots to think about as well. Thanks again. You're awesome. Have a wonderful Christmas! Hugs.

  24. Hello! Your website was awesome. Thank you for sharing your blog.

  25. JO0926 - Thanks for stopping by my site. I'm glad you liked it. I hope something I wrote blessed you. Have a wonderful Christmas. Hugs.

  26. Good blog.
    Last year was the first time in a long time that I actually enjoyed Christmas because the other years that's when seasonal depression set in.
    Last year I was on medication so it went well-most of it anyways.
    This year,it seems to be coming really fast and i am not ready.
    My tree is up with lights in it,but the decorations are still in boxes.
    I'm waiting for my daughter to help me put the decorations in it like we used to but either she's not here or i'm not here.
    I'm been off medication since november 6,and I assess everyday if i'm still doing ok.
    Christmas is a weird time because 7 years ago we changed from catholic church to a pentecostal church. The problem with that- it's hard to give up traditions and sometimes I want to go to one church and my kids want to go to another church at the same time and it makes it really hard to decide where to go.
    Pentecostalisme and my husbands church family,but my kids have really rebelled against the church,so they don't want to go. They want to go with my mom in Catholic church-which I still like too because it's the traditional Christmas carols of my youth and I have good memories.
    So I try to keep the peace as much as I can,but I still don't know where i'll be going this year.
    I fully agree that we buy gifts sometimes just to buy gifts.
    We had a flyer in the mail a couple of weeks ago,from the Superstore that horrified me -it said -when in doubt put another ornament 'cause it's the season for more,more,more!
    I kept reading it and thinking "really?" "Since when?"
    Somehow, we are forgetting that it is the birthday of Jesus that we are celebrating.
    That is why it is slowly changing to being Holidays instead of Christmas.
    I am very lucky because all my family is close and we have a big celebration.
    They all come except my sister that is schizophrenic and is not talking to us.
    But i realize that not everybody is that lucky.
    I often wish I could wipe all the hurt and the loneliness of everybody on Christmas day,
    but i guess that is Gods job and i just have to trust him.
    Good luck to you and I pray that you will have somebody to share Christmas time with.

  27. SPARKLISE - I'm happy to hear that you had a good Christmas last year. It gives me hope. I know all too well about the meds and the seasonal issues. It's a nasty part of Bipolar. Though that's not why I don't enjoy it...it certainly adds to it though.
    Funny you should say that you're not ready... that's how I feel. I just told someone that it feels like last Christmas was only 6 months ago! lol
    I put my tree up a week before I put any decorations on it. Part was that I was putting it off, the other part was because I was too busy. I haven't had anyone to help me put up decorations since I was a kid. All my adult life I've either been alone, or with roommates or boyfriends who were not intersted. No one has wanted to help me do it to make a special occassion of it.
    I'll pray for you about coming off your meds. I've done that several times, and it always seems scary to me.
    I always go to my parents place for Christmas and my brothers and their families are there too; but it doesn't help my mood much. They all have spouses to be happy with and go home with at the end of the day, and I don't. I spend my time with them and all I see is their blessings; and that I don't have it. I'm trying to change that thinking. I need to for myself as well as Jesus; but it's a long difficult road to conquer.
    Thanks for sharing. I so very much appreciate your support; and I love hearing your stories too. HUGS.

  28. The whole thing blessed me and I loved your pictures!

  29. Thanks for the support SHOAPIE. I hope you have an awesome Christmas. HUGS.

  30. CARLEY, your words echo my thoughts. I have been there and at times feel I'm still there. I don't know God's plan for me but just turning 50 last month and with my 2nd divorce under my belt I question why and where am I going. Christmas as always been my favorite holiday and I am a Christian. One thing that always brings be back to "joy" is my faith in God. I have taken a break from the church and feel a little lost at times but I have to travel this road and pray daily for my path to turn back to God. I do know joy and know He is the only one that can bring it at his time. I will wait! I really enjoyed your blog. Thanks for sharing....Merry CHRISTmas!!!

    p.s. I put up my tree...1st one in a long time. it's a start.

  31. CHUEYSMOM - Thank you so very much for the wonderful support. I'm sorry for what you've been through but know that God will use it to being you blessings and to show His glory as long as you keep your focus on Him. Let me know after Christmas how it went for you. I'm determined to have a good Christmas this year. I'm tired of being sad when the rest of the world has celebrations; just because I don't have kids, or a husband anymore. Focus on the joy, Jesus, and everything positive. That way you're fighting everything the enemy puts in your path. Keep your chin up. HUGS.

  32. I feel much the same...not ready, but not even interested in being ready really. Christmas has become so commercialized and that is not the reason for the season. It's supposed to be about Jesus and frankly it's hard to see that it is with the way things take on a life of their own at this time of year. I plan to focus on the things that are important to a few key people...my mom because I'm such an afterthought in her life anymore it seems and I don't want to lose her completely...my daughter because ever since she was kidnapped I've been trying to keep the door open with her just in case I might get to be included in her life (and her 2 children) at some point...my son because he has no family nearby and the several batches of cookies I send to his store for his young employees is the thing he looks most forward to...and my MIL because she is the only one we have nearby. DH and I don't do anything for each other anymore. I get bummed when I do but he doesn't so I don't either anymore. I think Christmas is just too much output for what I get in return unless I focus on Jesus and let Him be my Joy. Thank you for this writing, it really puts it all in perspective. I'm glad I saw the notice of your blog on our team thread :-) It has definitely helped me. This year I will not stress!

  33. It's difficult for me to imagine Christmas alone because it has never happened.
    But even with a family,all Christmases are not like a Rockefeller painting.
    I hope you find peace and Joy this Christmas.
    Hey! Rejoice! It's Jesus's birthday! And he loves you!

  34. Thanks SPARKLISE... you have put a bright SPARK in my day. Thanks. HUGS.

  35. Thank you Karla for sharing your story. I'm so happy that you found help in my blog. I really does give me hope and inspiration to know that people are helped by my words. Thanks. HUGS

  36. Your photo here is truly the picture of JOY. The season of Advent (Happy New Year!) is the season of HOPE (and Joy!). I’m so glad you incorporated this image of Yuletide Cheer in your message. With your Worship Blogs, you continue to bring us a message that touches our heart with thanksgiving and joy! Your difficult journey brings you a whole new perspective on what it means to give your life to Christ. Thank you for sharing a small piece of your difficult journey. It’s not until we’re often physically and emotionally blessed where we can truly appreciate the trials and sufferings we have had to endure. Age helps, too! What you have experienced through life has been difficult to understand for many.

    I know better than to stop reading your blogs until I’ve read them fully, because I know you’ll bring them around full circle. I hope you don’t mind my using your blog for little more in-depth reflection.

    You are right! Very often, our past is full of various forms of sinful behavior (murmuring, grumbling and complaining), while not living lives full of the fruit of the Spirit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I see this through the way you write . . . get on our nerves, spiked (drug abuse), write out so many, never see or talk, writer’s cramp, another year (again? – boredom), weeks of baking, useless doo-dads, strange snoopy fat guy, decade old clothes (images of homeless attire and odors), old guy (age discrimination), emotionally draining (3x), missed getting my portion (selfishness), too cheery (envy), non-existent joy, tension, worst, doubts, bleak future, same struggle - ever end? These are sad images of hopelessness. Then you bring us wonderfully full circle with tears of joy for God’s great love and compassion for Carley (as for all God’s children), with prayers for an abiding trust and obedience in God (our will be done -- Matt 6:10) to take care of our every need.

    Your story truly pulls at my heart strings, as I can’t imagine not having God the Father (and Mother), God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit with me at any stage of my life. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by a talented Christian family all my life. My God parents also played a key role in making sure we had a Christian upbringing.

    Thanksgiving has become more like a daily activity, while that day of the same name in November becomes is a special opportunity to break bread with family.

    My Dad grew up in a family of fifteen people, which made for a large and supportive family growing up with WWII. My immediate family has become so small now, that I can’t say I have yet been “busy” with the signs of the Christmas Season. Christmas, like Thanksgiving, should represent a season of hope, joy, and thanksgiving for the entire year. Now that I have more than I need and appreciate a growing and developing faith (emphasis on active faith) life, I’ll have my 3.5” tree up and a few jingle bells nearby, along with some wrapped packages. I’ll even bake lots of lemony Spritz when I return from Holiday to give friends and neighbors. I know that my love and I will spend Christmas Eve with my Dad and in years past, we usually bring a couple international students with us.

    I praise God for people like you who are able to share the Word of God through their personal story. I also praise God that I’m learning to incorporate the joys of Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving into my daily prayer and faith life. May we all share God’s great love through all that we give, as a part of actively releasing our faith with every gift.

  37. Evelyn: Thank you so much. You are a blessing to me for sure. You put so much time into writing to me with feedback and support. Thank you seems so tiny compared to that. I've often said that I believe God uses me to write. I start typing and suddenly there it is... a message that seems to bless so many. You've given me insight into my own blog. Seriously! Thank you. That's why I think God uses me to write... the details and how they all fit together and flow into a complete message is not always what I focus on when I'm writing. It just seems to come out that way. I do pray that God gives me the words because I do want to bless others and to show His wonderful glory. Obviously He's doing just that. It's so awesome that I get excited about it sometimes. I've often wondered who I would be now if I could have grown up in a situation where I knew Jesus and had a real relationship with him; or if I could have seen others around me who did. I knew about Jesus; but I didn't know Him. I never knew there was such a thing until I was in my mid twenties. Even then it's taken me fifteen years to understand what it meant and to finally develop a relationship. I still feel so new sometimes. It's only been a few years, really. But God is good, and I can feel that He is using me through my writing. Praise Him! Again, thanks. BIG HUGZZZZZZ

  38. RSSSLHB - You are very welcome! I'm glad you liked it. I hope you have a very blessed Christmas!

  39. JENS75 - I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback. Hugs.

  40. Give a gift to those in need

    It may be a smile
    It may be a hug
    It may be a prayer
    Let it shine as a reminder of the gift God gave to each of us!

    Merry Christmas

  41. HANNAHSMOMMA123December 20, 2011

    thanks for the, "Cheer."

  42. Prayer changes things!
    Thank you Lord for a path to salvation

  43. CHERYLSBUTT - Thanks so much for the support and the feedback. The power of prayer is amazing. Sometimes I wish I would have found it earlier in my life; but God is good... at least I found it! Merry Christmas. I hope you have an awesome Christmas. Hugs.

  44. HANNASMOMMA123 - You are so very welcome for the cheer. Thank you for sharing it back with me. I hope you have a very blessed Christmas. Hugs.