December 1st. Ready or not, Christmas is on the way. I don’t think I’m ever really ready with everything done, but Christmas gets here anyway. Thank goodness. I wouldn’t want the special season of joy to have to wait on me. But I will get some of the Christmas preparations done. Actually the grandkids were here Friday night and helped me get out the first phase of my decorating. I’ve got a Santa collection that I put up on a shelf and then the kids love to set up my nativity sets.
I bought a special wooden one so they could move everything around without their parents holding their breath. I mean don’t you think Jesus wants to be a hands on Savior even as a baby in the manger? I don’t think He wants to be on a shelf just to be admired and dusted off now and again. He wants to be right there in the middle of our lives every day, holding our hands, cheering us on, loving us.
I don’t have the tree up yet, but I brought the ornaments down from the attic. That’s a first step. Actually several steps. Now when I get tired of tripping over the box, I might actually drag the tree up from the basement and put it up. As you can tell, I’m not a big decorator. I admire people who are and love to look at their beautiful trees and yard decorations, but I’m quite satisfied with the one tree (when I get it up), the nativity scene, and my shelf of Santas. As I told another writer on a blog this morning, I’d rather write. Any day.
And I need to be writing to get my new story going. The characters are beginning to talk in my head, but I need to do some more fleshing out for them so I can know them well enough to introduce them to you. And then there’s all that research to get things right. I suppose time management and carving out that writing time has always been my biggest challenge in my writing career from way back when I was just beginning to seriously try to sell my writing. It’s often been a juggling act, but I wouldn’t change much. Except I would have begun to write for the inspirational market long before I did. But it does no good to regret the wrong turns I might have taken. I can only look forward and hope to take the right turns ahead.
I did get the Baker Books summer catalogue with my new book, The Believer, featured along with all the other new publications for the summer months. The cover and spread looked good. I hope the story will sound good to readers and bookstore buyers.
I also got an anonymous letter in regard to my non-fiction book, Angels at the Crossroads, about the life of my friend, Jerry Shepherd. The letter writer said the book and Jerry’s testimony had helped him realize he wasn’t worthless and that the Lord hadn’t turned His back on him. (I’m saying he, but the letter writer could be a she.) It is such a gift to know that the book and Jerry’s story is helping someone to find the good in his life and to feel loved. Isn’t that what we all want? To feel loved. And to love. That’s what Christmas is all about. Joy and love in its purest forms.
That’s what the Patriots sing about at their concerts. The love of the Lord. I spent most of the day with the guys yesterday as they sang in Sulphur Wells. Don’t ask me where that was. I was just riding along. No, actually it’s down past Campbellsville, Ky. The Sulphur Wells Methodist Church has a beautiful church built in 1916 with narrow wooden strips as the entire wall and ceiling. I talked to one of the men there who had been attending since he was a baby fifty plus years ago. He told me a story that I want to share.
Some years back, the church was heated by two wood stoves and there was a member who got up early every Sunday to start the fires so the church would be warm when the members arrived. He lived about a mile from the church and he would walk down to the church in all sorts of winter weather. Sometimes he would feel discouraged because the attendance would be low and he’d wonder if he should just stay in bed or by his own warm fire and not bother going down to warm up the church building. But he stayed faithful and kept the church fires burning. Years later a neighbor of his surrendered his life to Christ and he told this man who got up early every winter Sunday morning to start the fires in the church stoves that it was seeing his faithfulness through the years as he watched him walking to church that made such an impression that he decided he wanted to know the Lord this man served so loyally. So you see even when we don’t know it, somebody is watching us. Somebody is reading us for their Bible. Are we true to the Word?
That’s my devotional for the week. Now I’d better go trip over that Christmas ornament box on the way to my desk to do some writing. And thanks for reading. Remember, I’m doing the book giveaway for your choice of one of my books and Virginia Smith’s Stuck in the Middle. Just send me an e-mail from my website, http://www.annhgabhart.com/ or leave a comment here to put your name in the drawing.
Talk to you Wednesday.