Waking up early, while the morning was still dark, I was tempted to sleep a little longer, but then my mind jumped to the day ahead of me.  Thoughts started coming quickly – I can’t go back to sleep because I have to wake Jackson early for his semester exam, but he was sick last night, so if still sick, I’ll have to contact school.  Zach’s coming home today! Clean his room and get it ready for his arrival.  Doctor appointment for Jackson at 11:50.  Finish Christmas decorations. Clean house.  Puppy proof house for Marley (Zach’s dog).  Prepare food – lunch, bake cookies, cut up fresh fruit…what to have for dinner?  Zach will be home for dinner!  Will it be a problem if Jackson is too sick to take exam today?  I hope the doctor can help him…

Then my alarm went off.  Ugh. It was tempting to snuggle down in the covers and give myself snooze time.  Instead, I hit the snooze button and used the time to pray.

Good morning, dear Heavenly Father.  Please be with me in the day ahead.  Help me accomplish the things that need to be done.  What do You want me to do today? Your plans are more important than mine. Please be with Zach as he drives home from college.  Please be with Jackson to help him get well.  I pray he’ll be well enough to take his exam this morning. I pray also for Rex, that he can get to the doctor about his cough.  Please comfort Sheryl and her family after recent losses of three loved ones, and help them through Christmas.  Please also be with Colby’s family (Jackson’s 15-year old friend who recently “finished his race” after battling brain tumors).  Lord, what an inspiration they’ve been, choosing to live life through faith in You, not bow down to the darkness of death. I pray they will find joy in Christmas while still grieving their loss.  How painful it must be to be missing a child at Christmas.  Yes, Lord, please be with them.  Lord, I pray for all who are sick, hurting, healing, struggling, that Your presence will bless them and make a difference in their lives, that they will be drawn closer to You.  I pray for my parents and our families, …  Then the “ripples” sound of my snooze alarm called me out of prayer and into the present moment.  My mind had transitioned from planning to praying.   I was ready to get out of bed and begin my day.

It turned out that Jackson was still very sick (he has the flu and Rex has bronchitis), so while he slept, I sat down with a cup of hot tea.   Beautiful colors were spreading across the sky in the twilight of dawn. I checked my phone for my daily “Verse of the Day” from Bible Gateway.  It was perfect:

(Mary’s Song of Praise) And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.  (Luke 1:46-47,49)

Reading the words of praise from Mary, I was inspired by her faith.  After after finding herself with child out of wedlock (as a virgin, no less!) putting her engagement and future at great risk, she was still so full of faith that she wanted to magnify the Lord and praise His holy name!  Wow. The Lord reminded me that He has done great things for me, too, and I’ve witnessed His greatness in other people’s lives, also.  Being reminded of God’s goodness, especially at Christmas when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,  gave me confidence for the prayers I just prayed, and hope for whatever is to come.

Brilliant colors of orange, pink and purple lit up sky ahead of the rising sun.  It was a beautiful morning, and surely would be a blessed day.  Magnify the Lord, and praise His holy name, indeed!

CHRISTmas blessings,

Renee

To read more of the story of Mary, or read about the first Christmas when Jesus was born, go to http://www.BibleGateway. com     Search for Mary, or read about the birth and life of Jesus in the Gospels – Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

 

 

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