Thirsty Thursday: The Second Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Christmas in July)

Last year, I sent out Christmas cards in July.  This year I sent those nice picture cards that every family sends during Christmas.  The scan of the card came out awful and I didn’t want to share it.

This Christmas in July (CIJ) finds us in difficult times personally and as Americans.  Hunny and I are waiting on God to give us our new place.  Praying over our health and our family’s health.  Praying over what feels like every aspect of our lives, which you should do in good times and in tough times.  It just feels more urgent and labored.

On my CIJ card, I put the verse Matthew 1:23

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

God with us.  God is with us.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you in My righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

When thinking about the shooting that happened in Colorado, it reminds me that God is with us no matter where we are or what is going on around us.  He is with us wherever we go.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.  Psalm 23:4a

In the midst of the tragedy, there are miracles and stories of bravery and courage to embolden even the weakest of person.  Among those who died, four protected their girlfriends from the shooting.  Girlfriends.  Not wives.  One couple had only been dating for three weeks.  It makes me think of this verse that most people use to describe what Jesus did for us on the cross:

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  John 15:13

One story came out about a young woman whose life was spared by a brain “defect” she didn’t know she had and wouldn’t have known unless she had a CAT scan done (Read about that here).  That reminds me of this:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:13-14

God sent Jesus so that we could have “God with us.”  So that we would never be truly alone (Matthew 28:18-20).  So that comfort would always be within reach (Isaiah 49:13Psalm 119:50).  God with us means peace on earth and goodwill toward men (Luke 2:14).  Happy Christmas in July.

Thirsty Thursday: Christmas in July!

Yes, I know it’s not Thursday, but I didn’t want to wait!  TODAY is July 25th, which makes this post highly appropriate.  Not to mention, Hunny and I are taking a much needed weekend getaway, so there might not be a post on Thursday.

December is a busy month for most Americans who celebrate Christmas.  For my family, the holiday season (I’m including November) has five birthdays, three wedding anniversaries, and a couple weddings going down this year.  And you thought your December was crazy!  I never feel like we get to enjoy Christmas as much as we should, so this year I did something a little different.

A couple years ago, I bought Christmas cards on clearance from Hallmark.  They were just hanging out in a drawer (isn’t that sad?).  I picked out the box that featured snowflakes and mentioned miracles on the cards and went to work thinking of family and friends I wanted to send Christmas cheer to and those who I know needed some encouragement.  I mailed them out this morning, so they’ll have “July 25th” stamped on them even if they get to their destinations after July (one is going overseas and several are going out of state).

The card reads "Hundreds of miracles and no two the same"

There are two quotes that I put in the cards.  One is from Albert Einstein:

There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.

The other quote is Jesus speaking from the New Testament in the Bible:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  John 14:27

It’s easy to get all wrapped up in yourself and what you are doing, forgetting to look at what the Lord has done for you or what you can give to others.  It’s especially easy to forget that Christmas is a celebration centered on Jesus.  I am making an effort today to meditate on what God has done for me and that Jesus gives us peace, and He gives to us freely and generously.  I pray I can give of myself like that.

I had planned on making cookies for my neighbors as part of the 100th Day of Kindness celebration, but I ran out of time.  Today is the perfect day to give my neighbors peanut butter blossoms.  I only make them at Christmas time, so they are seasonal to me.

This afternoon I’m going to sing Christmas songs with Cupcake, and maybe Hunny will read the story of Jesus’ birth in the Bible to us (Matthew 1:17-25, Luke 2, John 1:1-18).

I hope this post encourages you to celebrate the Christmas spirit today and any day that you want to enjoy your family and friends and the Reason for the season – Jesus, God’s gift to us.