One of my favorite things about Christmas time is our tradition for advent. Since the kids were really little, we have rotated through these wonderful books- "Jotham's Journey, Bartholomew's Passage, and Tabitha's Travels". We light our advent wreath and read one chapter of the book each night, with the exciting story ending on Christmas morning. Before we open any presents, we complete the book- and the author has done such a fantastic job with joining the characters into the biblical story of the birth of Jesus. Jotham is a shepherd boy, Bartholomew is working in the inn, and Tabitha arrives with the wise men from the east. It's such a wonderful time for our family, to read a story, have a devotion, sing a carol and pray- I look forward to it every night no matter how tired I might be.
Tonight the devotion at the end of the chapter talks about grief, and the author uses scripture to encourage his readers to trust Jesus to heal all the hurts. He encourages us to talk with friends or family, and know that until we have gotten rid of all our anger and unforgiveness, true healing can never take place. It was so awesome, and such a reminder of what God has for us. He doesn't want us to be dried up, bitter people- lacking in love and zeal. He wants us to give and rejoice in the life He has provided, whether it is easy or not. What a blessing to be free to worship this amazing God- Merry Christmas!