I really should be cleaning, but I'm not! I got everything clean yesterday but the living room and Chase's bathroom. I did do all the dishes, but then we just had to eat again last night, so the sink got filled back up. I let them go last night and they are still sitting there as I type. But, oh well, they will get done. I also have quite a few things that need to be ironed, but I'm not too worried at the present.
This morning, I finished writing James in the King James Version, and got about half of the first chapter in the New International Version. In about a month, give or take, I will be leading my wonderful sisters at Garner in another Beth Moore Bible study. Obviously, James. This is a new study, Beth's latest, and I am so excited! Mom and I have been watching the videos together in preparation, and each time we sit down and I get ready to hit "play" I am already about to come out of my seat.
Beth Moore is just another human being, like the rest of us. She too is a sinner, saved only by the grace of our loving Lord. But, she really allows the Lord to use her, and she thrives on His word. Her love for the Lord and His Word is contagious. We have only watched three sessions so far, but I have already learned so much.
It is one option of the study to write the entire book of James. It's really not all that long, only five chapters. As a matter of fact, I wrote two chapters while having my oil changed the other day. I decided, for myself, to write it in both versions because I mostly use the KJ, but in the studies we mostly use NIV. Another option of the study is to memorize the entire book. She suggests doing it over a five month period, a chapter per month. I haven't decided whether or not I will attempt that one.
On another subject, today is Christmas Eve, Eve. Yesterday was the first day of winter, so we should start seeing the days getting a little longer each day, slowly but surely.....Tonight, we will be spending with family and tomorrow will be the same. I am really looking forward to that. I love being with everyone and catching up and getting hugs and eating! I love seeing my nieces and nephews and younger cousins open their gifts, and offering to hold the littlest ones so their mommas can eat or just take a break.
I guess everyone makes the same progression with their feelings of Christmas, but it seems to be ringing so true to me this year. As I reflect, I remember my brother and I trying to convince my parents and grandparents to open gifts before we ate. I know that as soon as my mom got the gifts wrapped and put under the tree, my brother and I thoroughly inspected all of them. We would lift them to weigh them, shake them, even smell them. The anticipation was almost too much. My mom would compromise a little and let us open our stocking as soon as we got up.
Then, as I got a little older, I started wanting to give out gifts of my own. Actually, I remember the first year I got gifts for others. I have no clue how old I was, but I'm pretty sure I was still riding in the cart. (Maybe not though.) I was shopping with my mom and granny, and it was somewhere like "Hearts" or "Hills." They had these round tables in the aisles with small prewrapped gifts sitting on them. I showed them to my Granny and asked her if I could get them. Of course, she was eager to encourage my generosity. I know that I got my dad and papaw these little screw drivers that had changeable heads. And, I think I got my Granny a paper weight with a red rose in it. That's all I really remember.
As I got older, and had a job, I couldn't wait to start buying......or giving. Everyone teased me because even before Thanksgiving, I was dying for them to open what I had got them. I would beg them to "just open this one, you'll still have another one to open on Christmas Day."
You know, I'm not so sure that God was anxious for His Son to die, but I think He was anxious to save us. I think He was ready for all to know His Son, and I know He is anxious for us all to receive His gift of salvation.
In the past years, mostly since I've become a parent myself, I am fine to wait till the right time to open gifts. I still get a little excited about giving others something I hope they'll like. For the most part, however, I tend to forget about the gifts. They're more of an after-thought, or a bonus to the festivities. When I think of Christmas, I think of the special services at church, and being with the ones I love. (and my aunt's million dollar fudge.) I think of Jesus. Why does it take so long to come around? Why is it a process? Why do we not have those feelings when we first give out hearts to Christ?
It's all a process really. We do not come to Christ fully accepting of all that entails. It takes growth. It takes a desire to seek Him daily. It takes steps. Can you imagine the progression from start to finish? Once we get to Heaven, it will be Christmas forever. We will celebrate Jesus for all eternity. Right now, we are just getting prepared for the ultimate CHRISTmas festivities!
Celebrate Jesus! Merry CHRISTmas!