How are you with expectations? I'm an expectation kinda gal. For example, my hubby and I took a parenting class before my first son was born and they explained that if you followed the plan, your child should sleep through the night at three months. Well, being the rule follower that I am, I did what the plan said. And when he didn't sleep through the night, I was devastated. Can any of you relate to being devastated when your expectations weren't met?
My pastor, Buddy Howard, gave a powerful sermon on how the birth of Jesus was unexpected in many ways. For example, the fact that Jesus, the King, was born in a stable in Bethlehem was unexpected. The fact that Jesus' birth was announced to shepherds, who were outcasts in society was unexpected. And the thing that really struck me was the unexpected response of the shepherds after meeting Baby Jesus. They went around town telling everyone what they had witnessed (Luke 2:17, 20).
When we had our children, we spread the word to our friends and family, but we didn't go around to everyone at the hospital announcing their birth. And when we brought them home, we didn't go door to door to let our neighbors in on the good news. The shepherds saw that Jesus was special...that they needed to tell the world that Emmanuel had arrived. And quite honestly, shouldn't we be the same way? Shouldn't we be sharing the good news of Jesus with abandon like the shepherds? I know I'm not there yet, but what a great example they are to us. We need to " Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born." Let's make sure to keep Jesus' birth as our main focus as we celebrate His birthday and take time to give thanks to God for the most amazing gift we could ever receive.
Tonight, I am thankful for...
1. Not getting more than a bruise when I slipped on ice this morning
2. A sermon that was so encouraging to me
3. Unexpected treasures in friendships that I have
4. Safe travels
5. Something I expected to happen today didn't, and I was able to prepare to handle it, just in case, through prayer and my hubby's compassion and grace
6. Gifts given that were appreciated
7. Hot chocolate that I love and the effort put into getting the gift for me
8. Watching my boys open presents that delighted them
9. My sons getting to play with their uncle
10. Boys laughing
11. Watching a Christmas movie with extended family and laughing together
12. A beautiful sunset
13. Receiving an unexpected gift today... A beautiful handmade Christmas tree
14. Diet Dr. Pepper
16. Jesus... His birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection
Here's to 10,000 reasons... Only 4,176 to go...