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12 December

Christmas Survival Skills

The countdown is on. Does the date pop into your head as soon as you wake up? Or only when you look at your To-Do List?

Bowls of dough and trays of cookies surrounded Trish when her iPhone rang. She wiped her hands on the red-checked towel and pressed Accept. Two sentences in, her mother’s sweet voice suggested her cousin Sue and her kids join them for Christmas. “It’s only been a month since Joe abandoned them. They must be struggling.”

Mom said she and dad would pitch in all they could, but Sue lived hours away. Coming for the whole weekend made the most sense. Yes. It made sense. Was something Trish might have thought of on her own . . . if she had a moment to think.

She heard herself say, “Of course. I’ll call her right away.” Her thumb poked the S in Contacts then chose Home. Peter, Sue’s oldest, answered. Trish felt hollow when she asked for his mom.

“Hello?” Sue sounded frail.

“Hi, Sue. It’s me, Trish. How are you?” Her mind snapped back into place.

Photo by Sandra Allen Lovelace
The cousins chatted for a few moments before she offered an invitation for Sue and her three children to join them for the holiday. Sue hesitated. Trish described cozy pajama times with young ones around the tree, fortified by hot chocolate and hymns. “You would bless us if you come,” did the trick.

She placed her cell phone on the granite counter top as her mind threatened to collapse. On top of preparing for the traditional visits from her parents, her brother and his family, not to mention her two returning college kids, she had no idea how she’d survive. What did I just do? How could I let my mother talk me into this?

She caught the bad attitude. Holy Spirit alerted her exactly as she’d been asking Him to. She went to the blue wingback by the picture window, her devo chair. Grabbing her Bible off the side table, she settled back and opened to the next chapter in her reading plan, Isaiah 63.

Her mind raced over the endless tasks ahead as her eyes flowed across verses 1 to 8. The word distress caught her attention. She placed her finger on verse 9 to steady her thoughts.

In all their distress he [the LORD] too was distressed,
She paused to soak in the idea of God sharing her panic.

and the angel of his presence saved them.
God joins His chosen ones to rescue us.

In his love and mercy he redeemed them;
            Deliverance is based on His character, not our efforts.

he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old (Isaiah 63:9).*
            Trish relaxed into God’s presence and provision.

How about you? Has your holiday pace hit the fever pitch?
Relief is as close as prayer and an attitude change based on Biblical Truth.

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest (Exodus 33:14).*


Brief Bio

Sandra Allen Lovelace is a continuing missionary, a pastor’s wife emeritus, and a homeschool pioneer. She’s an award-winning speaker and author, and a sought-after mentor. Sandra’s a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers, and has two manuscripts underway, Wallflower Women and Naomi. She enjoys hiking with a camera in her hand, best done on an international adventure. Sandra and her husband Curt are transitioning to South Carolina.

Get to know Sandra at her website, http://sandraallenlovelace.com/
You can also connect with Sandra on Facebook. If you contact her at Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+  she’ll be delighted by a reason to practice.

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