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Advent 2015: Born Is The King: Day 17

Jesus Is The True & Better Boaz

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Today's Text: Ruth 2:1-12, Ruth 3:1-13, Ruth 4:1-6, 13-17, Isaiah 54:4-8, Matthew 1:5-6, Matthew 1:16

Text: Ruth 2:1-12, Ruth 3:1-13, Ruth 4:1-6, 13-17, Isaiah 54:4-8, Matthew 1:5-6, 16

I’ve seen some seriously rough Christmases. I can think of at least one that ended in actual violence. I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and our families every year to make this Christmas PERFECT. Since perfection isn’t possible (and since our perfection isn’t the point of Christmas anyway), I often find myself disappointed on Christmas morning instead of grateful and merry.

My family is broken in so many big and small ways. And since my husband and I have tried our hand at parenting, we have further shattered our ideals of Christmas morning bliss. We are never enough, and our children can never get it quite right either.

Isn’t it startling that even our Christmases are broken—the most joyful day of the year? We can’t hold it together for even that one day.

We, like Ruth, live in a world of brokenness. She was a Moabite and, therefore, foreign and out-of-place, widowed and alone, and supporting an aging mother-in-law.

Do you feel foreign or out-of-place this Christmas? Boaz gave Ruth a home and a place. And Jesus gives us a home and a place.

Do you feel alone? Boaz brought intimacy and companionship to Ruth. We as the Church get to be the “bride of Christ,” and Jesus brings us into closest, most intimate relationship we’ll ever know.

Do you feel the weight of caring for children or parents? Boaz brought relief and help to Ruth. Jesus brings relief to the weary heart.

As it turns out, the point of Christmas isn’t to make it perfect. It’s that we deeply need Christ’s redemption, so that even the weary world can rejoice. Jesus sees our brokenness, and He comes to redeem us, bind up every wound, and wipe away every tear. Thanks be to God!

Boaz was the kinsman redeemer for Ruth; he rescued and redeemed her life. But Jesus is the Kinsman Redeemer for all of us. When I read Ruth’s story, I am filled with a blushing joy for her. Her suffering ended like all fairytales end—with a wedding.

And in Jesus, Ruth’s story is my own. All my suffering, my deflated Christmas mornings, and my deep loneliness are all leading to the end of my very real fairytale—the marriage supper of the Lamb.

And that Christmas morning—as the completion of the first—will be everything I’ve ever dreamed of. At the marriage supper of the Lamb, we will sit with our Kinsman Redeemer, and there our hearts will be truly merry.

Merry Christmas!

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  • Be blessed Bethany! Holy Spirit will fill you with everything you need for today and next. He knows your heart! Take comfort in Christ who in the very nature God did not count equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him…

  • Bethany

    Thank you for this! I am a little behind on Advent reading, but I’m reading this on Christmas Eve as I spend my first Christmas away from my family. I’m with my in-laws and their situation is pretty tumultuous right now, and for months, it has been hard for me to bear the thought of being here in the midst of a difficult situation instead of with my family at our most fun and full of tradition time of the year. This was such a great reminder that “Jesus gives us a home and a place,” and this time of year is all about Him, although we often make it about family and traditions. Thank you for the reminder that it’s in Christ where I belong!

  • I love the story of Boaz and Ruth. I did some research and saw that there was 40 years difference in their age. My daughter is in a relationship with a man 9 years older than her. He is such a great man of God. We have certainly taken some flack from people for blessing this relationship. No one means any harm, if they don’t fully know her, him and us, I get it. When you read the genealogy of Jesus, it reminds me that the things of God look so strange to the world. How awesome is it to know when we make a prayerful, thought out, God confirmed decision (like when Boaz made sure there wasn’t another man for Ruth) it isn’t all about us. Jesus was in the genealogy of Boaz and Ruth. When I stop to think about my own husbands decision to marry me it was some crazy circumstances. Thank goodness he did. God has blessed us with so much and that decision has affected so many, for the good. Merry Christmas ladies! Be blessed in His name.

    • Lalo

      Wendy I love what you had to say. Sometimes I wonder why God has certain things happen but it’s all for His Glory and Purpose. It isn’t until after the fact that I turn and see that He has planned it out wonderfully and perfectly, even though at the time it seemed quite strange.

  • Natalie

    My husband broke his foot two weeks ago and it’s been so difficult to let go of the “perfect Christmas” in our first home. We haven’t been able to decorate, put up a tree or hang lights because of it. But I’ve realized that letting go of all that has given us the space and freedom to spend time with one another, grow in our new faith and cut through the busyness to relearn what Christmas means. I really needed to read this today – thank you.

    • BennyB

      Such a beautiful reminder of what’s really important in our lives…time with each other and growth in faith. Be blessed in the New Year!

  • This Was exactly what I needed to hear this morning. So thankful that we have a God who loves with an everlasting love and who redeems. I appreciate Rebecca’s honestly about the sometimes not prefect-ness of Christmas. 4 months into marriage I am learning that my expectations and desires for things to be perfect are leaving me feeling hopeless and let down. We can try so hard and yet in the end the truth is that we are not able to do it on our own, but that God loves us deeply and perfectly and that he has come to make all things new. He is our redeemer, loves us in our brokenness with a love that is intimate and unending. I need to confess my disappointments and rest in the truth that with compassion and everlasting love Jesus is enough.

    • Anna

      Alyssa, I can relate! I am also 4 months into marriage. I’m discovering (again) that perfectionism kills any and ALL joy! I am saying a prayer for you today.

  • Stacia Dancsak

    This was a wonderful devotional

  • Stephanie

    Beyond going to church on Christmas Eve, my family’s Christmas traditions didn’t center around Christ. This devotional makes me think about my future family and how I might bring the focus of the day back to its true purpose. Any ideas?

    • Kaitlyn

      My family often prays at meal times to help keep our focus on Christ during the Advent season. This has helped remind me to take time to look past the commercialism of Christmas and keep my eyes on the Lord. Also, every year my dad reads the Luke passage of Jesus’ birth before my family sits and exchanges gifts. It helped set the tone for the day and is something I want to do with my own kids in the future. These are just a few suggestions I have!

    • Emily

      I’m still learning with my 3 young children, but I think taking the focus away from all the toys (we bought our kids 2 toys each this year) and on spending time together as a family, reading the Christmas story, listening to Christian Christmas songs, is a great small way to start! And to not feel guilty when your own heart is turned away from Christ at Christmas, but to simply repent and thank God that he died for our sins, and thank him that we don’t have to live in guilt!

      • Stephanie

        Thank you both, I love hearing from other family’s traditions!

    • Jenna

      Have you heard of a Jesse Tree?

    • Holly

      We do a birthday cake for Jesus. We also do a family advent reading each night leading up to Christmas. We also try to do some service projects and include our kids in year-end giving decisions.

  • Breanna

    I love this encouragement. Through ever hard time, all the loneliness, & pain we have a Father who says, “but I will have compassion on you with everlasting love.” Because of Him we have hope, redemption, love… We are filled as nothing else could ever fill us before. Praise the Lamb!

  • Beth Rayburn

    So this year is the Christmas some of my children spend with their ‘other’ families. The traditions I have of cookie baking, decorating the tree and the house, preparing goodie bags for close friends, all these were laid aside as my husband and I have traveled out of state for knee replacement surgeries. I have not spent a lot of time thinking about what is not going to happen because I have plenty of things to think about….medication schedule, PT schedule, as well as an eye on the weather for the drive home. Then I read this devotional and there was a full stop. The holiday is not about perfection, the holiday is about celebrating what is here now, and what the future holds. God is with us.

    • Amber

      Thank you for this reply. I’ve been very busy this season and feel like I haven’t rested joyously in this season. I enjoy making candy and such like you but this year it feels rushed I feel rushed and I don’t like it. But the truth is I need to rest on Jesus Christ and the rest and salvation HE brings.

  • Melanie

    Beautifully written. We are loved. We are not alone.

  • This brought me to tears. The Lord is constantly reminding us that he loves us deeply! His tapestry of love throughout history is astounding. I wrote a blog recently with this same conclusion (not sure if I’m allowed to post the link, but here it is anyway) http://logoscommunity.com/blogs/happily-ever-after/
    Thank you so much for the reminder that Jesus is our prize, our present, our hope, and our future.

  • This sung to my heart this evening. It wasn’t the day that I wanted it to be. I didn’t get enough done, didn’t do enough, and couldn’t be enough. I have such high expectations of this long break (I’m in college), but I fear it, in a way. I fear not being enough this Christmas.

    But Christ draws me in. He hugs me and says: “Look to heaven. See how big I AM. Put your hope in me, Immanuel, coming to you as a Kinsmen Redeemer, coming to bring you home, and coming to be your enough.” The verses in Isaiah brought tears to my eyes. Thank-you for such a beautiful study!

    • Kayleigh

      I’m in college too and I 100% relate to how you feel regarding getting things done and break and being enough! Your words about Christ’s comfort and being our enough spoke to me. Thanks for comfort. I hope you have a merry, blessed, and light Christmas and a rejuvenating break!

    • Meagan

      I am also a college student just getting off of the hardest semester I have had for a while! I have high expectations as well, and it is such a relief to know that I am enough because God is enough and maybe I will have days where I wonder where my friends went while I was away and my brothers grew up somehow these past few weeks but Christmas this year is so much more than a decorated tree and presents.

  • Megan Shaffer

    Just what I needed to hear this day! Beautiful story.

  • Mallory

    I am spending my first Christmas away from my family. Although incredibly imperfect, I sense a deep longing for their presence and the imperfection that holidays bring together. I am on the other side of the world and more lonely than I’ve felt in a very long time. I lack a strong Christian support system near by and I have been ever-so aware of my imperfections these past few months living here. In the loneliness and the change away from all I used to be unhappy in, I can see how infinitely beautiful the moments with our families are, no matter how dysfunctional. The Lord has been using the distance and uncomfortableness of my situation to bring me closer to Him. And for that, I am forever grateful and fulfilled. He is always teaching me how to let go of worldly comforts and standards and to rely fully on His presence, love, and peace. I pray that no matter what situation you or I are in that we will always find completion in Jesus and wait for His comfort, instead of searching for it in other places. ❤️

    • Hannah

      Mallory, I am praying for you. I don’t want to imagine Christmas away from home, but what you said about God being our comfort apart from the world is so true and a great reminder!

    • Meagan

      Amen amen amen! (coming from a 20 year old STILL trying to figure this thing out with family) Girl, I get it. Lifting us both up in prayer tonight.

    • Margot

      Mallroy, where are you living now? Who knows maybe there is a fellow srt reader nearby!

    • Lauren

      Thank you so much for sharing – I too have been away and overseas apart from my family on Christmas. In my loneliness I drew much closer to the Lord and will always dearly remember my time with Him away from all my comforts. Know you’re not alone.

  • Abby Turner

    For me, making Christmas “perfect” as a single twenty-something is quite easy.. I don’t have kids, I don’t really have a stressful life, and thanks to social media I can decorate my tree, wrap Christmas presents and make sure my mantle is insta-ready all before December 1 rolls around. However, as I read this devotion and the passages for today… I learned something about myself. My Christmas is insta-perfect because I am masking the loneliness and imperfect nature of my life. Christmas is the loneliest holiday because everyone around you is full of love and intimacy with their special someone. Transforming your thoughts to Christ this Christmas and the hope He alone has and the fulfillment he brings to my life is the meaning of Christmas. I no longer have to feel inadequate or insufficient – but complete because Jesus came. Christ completes me. I need to remember that every time I begin to feel inadequate and lonely.

    • Jillian Carlson

      Love this!

    • Madilene

      Love this!! I’m feeling the same way / going through the same thing now. Thank you for such a wise perspective!

    • Katie

      Wow, great post, I can totally relate. Christ completes me- let me remember that. Thanks

    • Meagan

      Ugh I cannot get over how the past three posts have knocked so closely to my own heart. Dear young single 20-somethings, we are all the same. Sometimes I have to force myself to stay off on Insta for awhile (especially with the Christmas posts) because they make me long for something that God doesn’t have in His current plans for me. And I think He does that for my own protection because I think I would forget the peace that I find in God in the meaning of Christmas. So, thanks for nailing that one on the head.

    • Molly J

      Thank you for sharing this truth! I am a 27-year-old single and I GET IT. Christmas is often such a struggle for me with all the couple-y parties… But it’s not about that. Our lives weren’t meant to be Insta-perfect. He has a far greater plan for us. Such a sweet reminder.

  • Every Christmas is filled with joy and sorrow for me. The brokenness of my family makes it so difficult. I know I am not alone. And I have been dealing with this for years. But it still cuts anew every year. My family are not Christians. Christmas does not mean for them what it means for me. It feels like they ruin it every year for me. That sounds like an awful thing to say. It is more likely that I let them ruin it. I wish it could be different. I wish they would embrace Christ. I wish I could be a better example of Christ to them. My humanness gets in the way I guess. Feeling sad about this today.

    • Cindy

      O my dear sister in Christ, if only I could give you a big hug I would. Tears are in my own eyes for you, I feel your sadness. All I can offer are words from my own experiences which are similar – He is you redeemer, He is the Only One who can fill the empty places, He is the One who can truly comfort your soul. Cling tightly to Him my dear sister, cling tightly. Big hugs to you across the web :)

  • so encouraged today! what a timely message of hope and daily reminder to refocus on Christ and what He has done and is doing and will do for us! thanks for sharing!

  • Grace Procopio

    This passage and devotional is especially meaningful to me. I feel like Christmas is never what it should be because of the brokenness of my family but it’s SO sweet knowing that it’s not about how jolly family gatherings are…but celebrating the birth of my savior -the only one who can fill me completely! Thank you for your wise and caring words!

    • She Reads Truth

      Grace, thank you so much for sharing your heart today. So grateful to spend Advent with you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Caroline @ In Due Time

    The brokenness is too much sometimes. I am so thankful that even when it feels like I can’t handle anymore, I am reminded that God heals our brokenness. He is in the middle of it and He understands! He has compassion on us!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Florence Francis

    Today’s readings are just what I needed to hear this morning. I have felt as Ruth felt, but reminding myself each morning that the Jesus is always with me helps me get through anything!

  • Rochelle

    Wow. I prayed before starting today’s devotional that God would speak to me, and reveal to me what he wanted me to know. The verse from Isaiah in particular hit me so hard. We are going through a rough time right now, and I realized that I have a tendency to fully rely on my husband to the point of almost seeing him as my protector and redeemer. God has opened my eyes to this before, and He did it again today. Of course I don’t always realize this, but when I read that verse amazing at today, I was moved to tears. My *Maker* is my husband. He is my redeemer, my protector and my provider. I must never make (man) be or do what only Christ can.

    • Jesie

      Thank you so much for writing these vulnerable words. I cannot accurately express how much I relate to the danger of “leaning on man for all.” The pressure I’ve placed before on My Love in this way has had such a difficult impact on on us both. Now I find myself in a wilderness season, learning to lean wholly and completely on my Maker. Thank you, thank you!

  • Beverly

    This year, I really wanted to still my heart during Advent. By the second day of December, my husband and I had finished all our Christmas shopping (hooray!) and had our tree trimmed. I was ready to quietly & joyfully welcome in a little peace and soul stillness. But oh the best laid plans… I discovered that a list perfectly checked off did not lead to the quiet my soul craved. My head and heart have been constantly distracted and wrangled in to this season of consumption. So many sales and we do have our own home space that needs filling… Oh, my heart. Just typing this, I realize how much in need of grace and redeeming I need.every.day. Not just for Advent. Not just for a quiet heart. Not just to ease the burden, lessen the holiday stress.
    His grace washes over me. And I pray that it consumes me. More than my perfectly planned Advent respite. More than the emptied home space that surrounds me. And most certainly more than the despair that tries to sneak into my heart reminding me of lack, guilt, shame or all three at once.
    Because His grace is bigger. His love is greater. And He is my soul’s true & steadfast kinsman-redeemer. He is good. His promises are everlasting. Eternally grateful.

    • Hope

      Thank you for this! I had the same kind of plans for this holiday season…quiet my soul…focus on what really matters…but instead I have felt more distracted than ever. Thanking God for His grace…even when I don’t deserve it.

      Fix my eyes on you, Lord!

      • Beverly

        I’m right there with you, Hope! Saying a prayer for peace over you right now. A peace that only He can give. May your day be full of His unending grace.

    • Hannah

      I think that, without putting it in so many words, I wanted the same thing, a still Advent, but I didn’t even try. I knew that I would end up busy, what with finals, ballet, and the hundreds of other things all the time. But I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be on top of things and finally get the list checked off. After reading your comment I realized that I was chasing the wrong goal. My goal shouldn’t be to get everything done, but to rely on the One who has already done everything that I need! Oh how we need Him, and He knows that, so HE CAME! I repeat what you said, Beverly. He is good. His promises are everlasting. Eternally grateful.

      • Beverly

        Chasing the wrong goal… so true! To instead, as you say, rely on the One who has already done everything that I need! Thanks for your words, Hannah.

  • On another note….Ruth is my favorite…a Biblical Cinderella…that led to the King of Kings!

  • I thank you for reminding me, the perfect Christmas doesn’t happen apart from Jesus Christ. And yes, I have felt the Christmas’s with conflict, like this year. Every other year we have Christmas together with our daughters and families but this year our youngest has decided they will stay home just her little family. I have struggled that my son- in- law will have his family as a part of it , (my problem)so is it
    just about them not wanting to be with us. There are so many things involved but this is not a book. I have to decide, what do I want to remember this Christmas. The choice is mine. This Christmas I don’t want pressures on anyone, I want to see Jesus, I want the joy He alone can bring,
    I want all my daughters to have joy in a whisper of love that will grow ever louder until we see JESUS. I want freedom for each family member, to celebrate in the birth of that baby who came as redeemer and KING.
    Open my heart Lord Jesus, I give you my all.
    Blessing to each of you today and throughout the Christmas season.

  • So thankful for truth! Jesus comes to where we are, holds our hands, and lifts us up. Excited about this Christmas to share with my family and children, especially my little man who I prayed 10 years to join our family. God is so good and faithful. He hears our cries, comforts us, and blesses us beyond measure. May the love of Christ fill your hearts during the hustle and bustle of the season.

  • Perfection is a recipe for disaster! I’ve had some ugly holidays too, some unspeakable family drama & violence & wrongs I never thought could be righted. Too often my focus was on “getting it perfect” but blowing past what we are actually doing to each other to get there…but God restores, redeems, secures our inheritance and gives us a glimpse of it on earth in the form of peace around the holidays! Even if we’ve gotten it wrong in the past, He still finds a way to work through our mess and make it beautiful. The holidays look a lot different around here now, after surrendering my IDEA of perfection to His actual perfect work on the cross. Nobody does perfect like Jesus, and we can rest in that perfection rather than chasing our own version of perfect here on earth. Happy holidays, friends. I invite you to “let go and let God” as they say, because He really is the ultimate redeemer!

  • What could be a better time to hear of longing for true belonging and fitting in. Thanks so much for touching me and all of us with where and when we will really belong with Christ at his bringing us home. I so pray for us all that we can relax this Christmas and cherish the relationships we have no matter where they are. Blessings on all of you.

  • Elisabeth

    Still no decorations on the tree…gifts still to be bought and wrapped….and a house that is not as tidy as I’d like it. All these things are minor as our family and friends pray for my Mom today. It’s the day of her surgery and the last 2 days have been hard. This devotional has been a big help to me and as I pray that the Lord will do his will…I’m still scared. In many ways I’m so looking forward to the end of this day …to the uncertainty I’ve been feeling. I so want a Christmas with my Mom here with us.

    • Deb

      I am praying for God’s hand to be with the doctors and with all who wait.
      Blessings for each moment.

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for peace for you, your mom and all your family during this storm. Lord, heal please!

    • Carly B

      Praying that the surgery goes well today and that you know God with you in the uncertainty and experience his peace.

    • Tina

      Praying boldly then that your prayer be answered that your mom email here for Christmas and that her operation is successful. ..Emmanuel..God be with you and yours…

  • Tarisai

    Thank you so much for this reminder; for this message. It hit home in so many ways, it was just what I needed as I’ve been struggling with the prospect of Christmas this year…to be honest I’ve been teetering on the edge of a mild depression (as you put it ‘a deep loneliness’). I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy or prepare for Christmas, and just couldn’t explain why to anyone. But this message today just explained it all in words that I fully understood. I now feel loosed to enjoy Christmas or to at least get some enjoyment from it.

    Christmas isn’t about being it being a perfect day, gifts or commercial commodities. It is about our Redeemer Jesus Christ and the reason that he was sent to earth for…his mission. When the pressure of Christmas is getting to us we need to remember that it is about Jesus’ arrival to start and complete his mission. No matter how deeply lonely we may be, we truly aren’t alone at this time of year or ever. We have the ultimate tag team partner with us every day, we have Jesus and he paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could rejoice and celebrate in eternity.

    Happy Christmas ladies…SRT thank you for the blessing of your community…I thank the Lord for leading me to find this forum…all praise be to God.

    • Debbie

      Tarisai Beautifully said! Love the tag team partner thought, you are spot my friend! Blessings to you.

  • Carol Walter

    Christmas in my family has never been a Hallmark holiday. It’s as broken as it can get. I feel rejected and alone. Pray that I keep my focus on the Redeemer.

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for you, Carol, to remind yourself of your true identity from Scripture. You are His beloved child. He calls you His friend. You are a daughter of the King. (that makes you Princess Carol!) He will never leave you. He loves you with an everlasting love.

    • Missy

      Praying for you Carol…… That your focus would be on Him and Him alone. That you would truly feel His great live for you and that you would have time to relish in that Truth!
      Blessings to you!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying with you, sweet friend. Asking God to cover you in His peace and presence and hold you close.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Churchmouse

    I’m sure this is not at all how Ruth imagined her life story! Makes me smile to read how it all occurred. The twists and turns, the sorrow, the decision to follow and listen to her mother in law – a decision that changed the course of her life and all down through the ages. May I very prayerfully make my decisions because God knows that they could be defining ones for me!

  • This is so edifying to my heart! I struggle with loneliness and depression! Thank you!

    • Churchmouse

      Sending you a hug this morning along with prayers that you will feel His loving presence all around you.

  • Thankful for my Kinsman Redeemer and for the reminder of this “name of Jesus” during this time of personal study for me about the many names of our Lord. He truly is EVERYthing!!!

  • candacejo

    So thankful for our Kinsman Redeemer! And the beautiful story of a “nobody” such as Ruth who was in the lineage of Christ. He does the magnificent!

    If you have a moment to pray for me, I am in Haiti with resident missionaries, visiting orphanages and churches here. We are enjoying ourselves so much but a bit overwhelmed with what we have seen. So thankful God is God everywhere and we see Him in the big and little things here. Their churches are amazing and the people are so beautiful. Love to all. ♥

    • Carole

      Praying for you now!

      • candacejo

        Thank you so much, we have had such sporadic internet that I haven’t been able to be on SRT. It is a breath of fresh air to receive your prayers and words of encouragement. ♥

    • JJ

      Lord, be with Candacejo as she is very literally You hands a feet. Open her eyes to see You working continually and remind her, You need NO rest but she does. Give her strength in You and make her a wee of what she can do now, in this moment in Haiti, to further Your kingdom!! Amen!

    • Jessica Love

      Praying for you, your ministry and the people of Haiti, Nannette.

    • Courtney C.

      Praying for you!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Lifting you up in prayer this morning Nannette <3 Love, hugs & peace to you!!!

    • Laresa

      You’re in my prayers, Candacejo!

    • Becky Kiser

      We were just in Haiti, right before Thanksgiving! It is overwhelming, but wonderful. My heart is there with you sister. Praying for you.

    • Mamajonk

      Praying for you everyday friend, our wonderful God is using you and your family in such a beautiful way.

    • Brenda

      I pray the Lord fill you with His strength and peace as you and your family minister to others that are hurting and broken. God bless you sister!

    • Tina

      Praying for you my dear…God is God for sure and his hand is over you and the sweetheart. ..
      Go bless them…be the light. .love and hugs to you both ..Emmanuel…God be with you..xx

    • Hope

      Praying for you and your team! I was just in Guatemala, and I definitely understand the overwhelmed feeling. God’s love is so universal and has no limits! Enjoy loving on those sweet kiddos!

  • The story of Ruth and Boaz is one of my very favorites. I love that God always has redemption in mind and used marriages of the Old Testament to lead to the line of Jesus, and that He can still use marriages to bring Him glory!

    • She Reads Truth

      Me too, Dee! What a wonderful story of Christ’s redemption for us all. Grateful for you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Hillary

    I second this! I’ve tried for so many years to make Christmas ‘perfect'; meticulously decorate the tree, stress myself out in the attempt to buy the right presents, then wrap them in perfectly coordinated wrapping paper and ribbon. And that’s not even to mention the baking of hoards of homemade goodies! You get so worked up preparing for this one special day out of the year, that when its over, you almost mourn it’s ‘passing’ – How different from what Abba wants for us! I’ve begun to wake up to the meaning behind this day and realize how tightly I’ve clung to Christmas traditions and looked to them to make me happy and joyful, only to have something go wrong and end up feeling like a deflated balloon… the world will tell you it’s all about spending time with family and friends- but without Jesus at the forefront, it’s a hollow holiday. Jesus is truly the greatest gift we could ever have been given!

    • Trinity

      Good word! Im discovering the same truth this year.

    • Mandee

      Thank you for giving words to the feelings I’ve been holding in my heart–a huge AMEN to “without Jesus at the forefront, it’s a hollow holiday”
      Being intentional this year about focusing on and celebrating the greatest gift with you, sister!

  • Caitlin Anderson

    The first Christmas wasn’t picture perfect either. God meets us in our messes and lets His glory leak out.

    • MJ

      Caitlin, you are so right! Mary, riding an uncomfortable donkey, no room in the inn, birthing in a stable and the King of Kings being laid in a feeding trough. Not perfect at all, if we really think about it, but to those who got to SEE, to those who believed, wow! What a glorious time it was. It’s all about WHO we choose to seek and savor, not only at this time of year, but all year round.

    • Brandi

      Love this!

    • Debbie

      Thank you Caitlin. That is just what I needed to be reminded of this morning.

  • Up until three Christmases ago, I was a Christmas recluse…I could not celebrate it as we used to….it was hard to celebrate when my house did not have its correct number round the table…, or that specific joy filled laughter was not to be heard…my heart and head struggled to accept invitations to other homes away from mine…my thinking was I can’t start my Christmas day, not visiting or spending time with my daughter…she was a part of so many Christmases, and to be away from being able to stand alongside her on Christmas day would be too painful for me…
    My youngest moved away, for work…He had a lovely house and wanted to spend Christmas there…He had never not spent a Christmas away from me..so this was big for him…thing was he wanted me to be there with him…as soon as the words left his mouth, I felt I was having to choose ….because I couldn’t leave Jules, but my boy….but his next words, were…’ I know you have your thing you have to do with Jules, so how about I come home on the 23rd help you with all you need to do, we’ll go to midnight mass as we always have, visit Jules on Christmas morning, visit Bruv and the family then we head on up to mine for Christmas…’ He knew the importance of how I got through the day of Christmas…I had to have my daughter as part of that day somehow…and this young man had incorporated that into his invitation to spend Christmas in his new home….
    I k now this is not what God wants for me, to be in the prison I call’ This is how I do Christmas’ , so I am thankful for every gift He gives me…big or small that moves me closer to Him…but ever so very very thankful for the greatest gift if all…Jesus the Kinsman Redeemer, who rescues and redeems us, fills us with joy and gives us HOPE…
    Thankful for everything…
    Thankful…
    Thankful…

    Thankful for you my Sister s, praying God Grace and peace over you and for you…Blessings..xxx

    • Tina

      Forgot to mention…we did all and headed off to my son’s singing Christmas songs and carols…a very special day…
      Thank you Jesus…x

      • Libby

        Merry Christmas Tina! I love your comments! I don’t know if you will see this but I’ve been praying for you and “your Boaz” ever since we did the SRT Ruth!

        • Tina

          Still waiting Libby..lol…but God has a plan..right. ..
          Thank you for you kind words. .hugs..xx

      • Lisa

        tears to my eyes this morning too… God bless you Tina!

    • candacejo

      Love your son! Blessings to you in this Christmas season, friend.

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Tears are welling in my eyes sweet Tina…..love, love ,love to you….xoxoxo

    • Churchmouse

      Your son has your tender spirit! How lovely, Tina and so glad he blessed you with his very sensitive suggestion. And that you took him up on it. Yes, following a great grief, the holidays look and feel so different but when we lean into God and those who love us, we get through grace-fully. Love and hugs to you today

    • Joanna

      What a delicate and tender way of remembering Jules. God bless you and your son.

  • Lauren R

    Our hearts will be truly merry. This was so lovely to read. It brings hope- especially to this girl who constantly seeks perfection and sets up expectations like the one you mentioned. Thank you!

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