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…
This Christmas season, take the time to choose the best part. @Hopeful50 Click To Tweet
Choose the best part.
Wishing you and yours the best Christmas ever! xo
¹ John 3.1-21
² John 4.1-26
³ Luke 10.38-42
Susan 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.