Merry Christmas one month later

Lauren sleeps, along with all her stuffed animals.

Lauren sleeps, along with all her stuffed animals.

Every day before nap time or after nighttime prayers with Lauren, she leaves me with these parting words: “Merry Christmas, Mommy!”

It is January 28, and she is still wishing us a merry Christmas.

December was an amazing month for our family! It was full of fun, activity and family time (click here to read about our adventures). Most of all, it was full of Jesus. That joy continues to impress Lauren’s heart.

That’s the change Christmas should make in our lives. Jesus entered our world to spend time with us, to be with us. His name, Emmanuel, literally means “God with us.” He came to rescue us and show us what it means to truly live. And, it began at Christmas.

Every time Lauren leaves me with her “Merry Christmas” exclamation, I have to smile. Her joy is contagious, and it reminds me of what great love my Heavenly Father has for me.

Yes, all the decorations have been put away for more than a month. There are no twinkle lights on the houses any more, and it is actually above 70 degrees today.

But, in case you need that dose of cheer and goodwill and the reminder that Jesus is there with you today, let me repeat my sweet daughter’s words:

Merry Christmas!

The strength you have

Scripture Crumb from Judges 6:14

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the power of Midian. Am I not sending you?”

In my weakness, God is strong. When God calls me according to His purpose, He doesn’t expect me to completely understand, to have the exact gifting or ability expected, or even have the confidence or strength to get the job done.

Look at Gideon (his story is found in Judges 6-8). He was not important among his people. He was young. He continually second guessed God and doubted himself.

But, God chose Gideon. He sent him to deliver an entire people group from oppression.

God’s instructions for Gideon were to “go in the strength you have.” Not what you think you should have or what others will want of a leader. He was to go in the midst of his reality, because God’s calling was greater.

Look around you. The world lies in ruin, ravaged and enslaved by Satan. God is calling you and me to go in the strength we have and deliver people from the power of sin. We may feel unqualified, inadequate and unimportant, but the Creator of the universe has chosen us to carry His message of hope and grace to those who desperately need freedom.

Go in your reality today. Believe God’s promise of presence and power.

Move forward in the strength you have, and fight for deliverance.