13 In Featured Guests

Choose The Best Part // Featured Guest – Susan Chamberlain Shipe

I am so excited to share my space today with Susan Chamberlain Shipe. I’ve known Susan by way of blogging for a while now. We interact through different link ups and Facebook pages and she is one of the most helpful and encouraging bloggers I know. I know that you will love what she has to share today. Be sure to stop by her blog and have a look around.

Last year on December first I embarked on a writing project, 31 Days of Christmas! Talk about putting pressure on myself during one of the busiest months of the year – but I was committed and posted a blog every single day of December. I consider it one of my best and favorite pieces of writing; however, ambitious.

Women can easily get discouraged and disenchanted in the early weeks of December – the pressure to perform seems at an all-time high. House decorating; baking; cookie exchanges; school programs; gift shopping; church plays – the list is quite endless. When I was a young mom I only had magazines to contend with, now, the web is crowded with decorating bloggers doing home tours presenting their gorgeously decorated rooms in their gorgeous homes, sitting on their gorgeous yards! And, food bloggers? Over the top opportunities to make a girl feel guilty and inadequate.

Maybe those things don’t bother you, but they sure have a way of stirring up envy and jealousy in this grandma! They are two things I want no part of. When those twins come hovering around me I run to the One who can calm me faster than a hot bath on a cold night!


Jesus had a way of never allowing the status quo, the crowds, the popular beliefs to rattle Him. He just went along, knowing truth (after all, HE WAS TRUTH!) and speaking truth to everyone in His path. Let’s take a look:

Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, went secretly to Jesus in the cover of darkness. Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.

Jesus answered him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

I wonder what Nicodemus thought of that answer? Born again? What on earth does that mean? Nic’ wanted to know how He was doing the signs and wonders…but Jesus just did what Jesus did (and still does via The Word) – He talked Truth.¹


Sam, the Samaritan woman, had it all figured out – if she went to the well for water at high noon no one would be there. She wouldn’t have to be the focus of the other women’s stares. Sam would just go, get her pot full of water and return home. She was dipping the water when she heard, Give Me a drink.

Sam, shocked by this request, answers Him, Why on earth would You, a Jew, ask me a Samaritan woman for a drink of water?

Jesus proceeded to tell her that if she only knew WHO was asking her for a drink of water, and if she knew God was a gift-giver, Sam would have asked Jesus for Living Water! The story continues with Jesus and Sam going back and forth about Living Water and everlasting life, Sam finally says, Sir, give me this water that I might never thirst nor have to come back here to draw water again.

Then, the zinger. Go, call your husband, and come back here. Maybe at this point in the story, Sam hung her head down and whispered, I have no husband. Then, Truth spoke again, You have well said, I have no husband, because truth be told you’ve had five husbands and the one you’re living with now? Is not your husband.

In faith, I believe this story had a happy ending as we read Sam’s final statement.

I know that Messiah is coming, the One who is called Christ, and when He comes, He will tell us all things. 

I who speak to you am HE. Jesus spoke Truth.²


And, finally, the story of all stories that women love (or not-so-much). Jesus was in the small village of Bethany near Jerusalem when He was invited by Martha to visit at their home. Martha had a sister, Mary. Jesus went to their house and Martha got busy cooking a meal for the three of them. She was in the kitchen banging pots and pans, while her sister, Mary, was in the living room sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him tell her wondrous things about His ministry.

Martha had had enough and stomps out to the living room and says, Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Please tell her to help me.

Jesus, with great love in His eyes, looked at Martha and said, Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.³


This Christmas season, amidst the busyness – the cooking, the baking, the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating – and there is NOTHING wrong with those things – just remember to take the time, make the time to…

Choose the best part.

This Christmas season, take the time to choose the best part. @Hopeful50 Click To Tweet

Wishing you and yours the best Christmas ever! xo

¹ John 3.1-21

² John 4.1-26

³ Luke 10.38-42


SusanShipe.1Susan Chamberlain Shipe, a writer since the age of eight when she and her neighborhood friend wrote, edited, published, and distributed The Manor News. Things have changed since publishing with the five and dime stamp lettering set! Today, Susan enjoys blogging at Hope, Heart, Home, writing short devotions and short stories from her home in the Appalachian Mountain Range of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwestern North Carolina, which she shares with her husband of thirty-one years, Lowell, and their beloved dog, Sam. Susan’s author page on Amazon can be found here. You can also find Susan on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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  • Reply
    Susan Shipe
    December 2, 2015 at 8:10 am

    An honor and privilege to post today’s blog! I am striving to choose the “best part.” xo

  • Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 8:19 am

    How fun to find two of my favorite humans hanging out together in this lovely little corner of the interwebs! Love to you both! Here’s to some Mary sitting in the midst of all of Martha doings!

    • Reply
      Susan Shipe
      December 2, 2015 at 9:28 am

      All we need are some cuppas and we can have a party!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 8:54 am

    It is so easy to get caught up chasing perfection, but that is not at all what this season is about. Thanks for a great post, friend!

    • Reply
      Susan Shipe
      December 2, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Tara, thanks for visiting me at Barbie’s house!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Yes, “choose the best part!” That’s what I want. I want to remember to put Jesus first and not worry if all the other holiday related things don’t get done. I will try to take time to relax and just enjoy the season doing what brings me joy or will help bring joy to others. At least that’s my goal. 🙂 Blessings to you, Susan!

    • Reply
      Susan Shipe
      December 3, 2015 at 5:46 am

      Gayl, it requires intentionality!

  • Reply
    Karen Sebastian
    December 2, 2015 at 11:50 am

    This is truly a beautiful post. I love the inspiration to keep our hearts pure and let the peace of God permeate every aspect of what we do. I would gladly join the party!

    • Reply
      Susan Shipe
      December 3, 2015 at 5:45 am

      Karen, such kind words. Can you even imagine the party we will have in Heaven when Advent comes full circle and WE SEE HIS FACE. Oh GLORY!

  • Reply
    Anita Ojeda
    December 2, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    I love your retellings of those stories! I’ve learned to let my expectations go and to focus solely on my family and how I can serve them. I will never be Martha Stuart. (and I love the reference to Bob–it’s one of our family’s favorite movies and we just watched it on Thanksgiving Day 🙂 ).

  • Reply
    Dianne Thornton
    December 3, 2015 at 4:17 am

    Oh, yes. My heart agrees with this.

    • Reply
      Susan Shipe
      December 16, 2015 at 9:58 am

      Thanks for coming by to visit me at Barbie’s!

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