Merry Christmas
sandy willoughby

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord'."  Luke 2:8-11

Dearest Family in Christ Jesus,

For many of us, the Christmas holiday and cold weather are holding hands and lit up with activity, decorations, gifts of all sorts, and light sparkles from every direction. There are glittery ornaments to hang on trees, twinkling lights indoors and out, shining stars, and much more that serve as illuminating glows for us to see.

An amazing truth is that all the created lights here on earth don't hold a candle to the true source of all real light. Jesus Christ brought light into a very dark world, loving ones, and His light shines more brilliant than any other.

The country shepherds the Bible tells us about had the golden gift of having the glory of the Lord shine around them. An angel... can we imagine?!...
calmed them by letting them know that they didn't have to be afraid bec/ a Saviour was born! A tiny manger sheltered *the* Light of the world and things would never be the same!

If I had a spacious home I would collect nativity scenes for Christmas time.
Every time I gaze upon the manger with the baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and sometimes the wise men and more... my spirit moves and draws toward Jesus. I am in awe over it all and can't seem to get enough. I find myself stopping to touch the tiny ceramic head cradled in the makeshift cradle in different sets.
My mother loved these too and collected what she could all my life. Now she has a few lovely nativity sets in different textures to feast eyes upon during the holidays.
I have four sets now and they are the most important part of our Christmas decorating. Right now, the glass set that was given to us 13 or 14 years ago is without the round mirror it once was placed on and has only one of the wise men. The important figures... the baby Jesus, Joseph, and Mary are there and they light up my dresser.

A large set Blake got for an unbelievably low price at Sam's a couple of years ago is the center decoration on my china hutch. On each side of it the more humble manger sets nestle in tiny lights with little cloth angels hanging over them.

When I stop in the midst of so much activity and take the time to soak in the reality of what happened that moment so many years ago ... when a Savior was born on our earth from His heaven... I am stopped in my tracks. All around me seems to fade away as the amazing truth washes over and through me.

"O little town of Bethlehem..."

***Well,*** I didn't get this finished in time for Christmas but CHRIST was born and we should celebrate that event every day of our lives so that is my prayer for all of us today and every one to follow: Dearest Father, may we celebrate the birth, life, lessons, love, and all of Christ Jesus!

My niece got a book/kit on learning to knit and asked me to please help her yesterday. I don't know how to knit and only know very basic crochet skills but I want such domestic art to be learned by my niece so I worked with this and another niece and learned far more than I taught. I still don't think I'll grab any knitting needles but my passion to learn crochet, hand embroidery, and sewing has been revived:) and I'm excited about getting started and have decided to teach my daughter and nieces along with me!

The reason I'm sharing this with you is pour out the "blesson" (blessing and lesson slowly stirred together:) that God has shown me. The "blesson" is that we can crochet our lives in many different ways, colors, designs, styles, and so on but we must always remember that our LORD IS the THREAD and the HOOK is His Hand ... guiding us in, around, and through His beautiful and perfect will for us. When He is done... what a lovely work of art we will be!

"Begin to weave and God will give you the thread."
--German Proverb

Merry Christmas and God's blessings upon you!


2004 Sandy Willoughby

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