My best friends birthday was approaching, It was a significant milestone. I remembered planning ahead trying to figure out what we’re going to do for her.
I contacted her to find out what she had planned, I persisted in asking her until she said “I won’t be having any celebration”.
I sort of expected it because I’ve known for over 20 years and I have never celebrated a birthday with her or celebrated her birthday. I knew her reasons. However, I did not think that such a milestone would go uncelebrated.
She’s single and not currently in a relationship, she’s approaching the age where having children is considered risky, she’s premenopausal. She is in between jobs and between homes.
The last few years have been really difficult for her having lost her dad, which means both parents will not be around when and if she eventually gets married and have children.
Lack of success and achievement in certain areas of our lives, leaves us disappointed and robbed.
You too may be asking yourself as Christmas approaches, what’s there to celebrate?
There is a perceived natural progression of ones life, grow up, go to school, meet your partner, graduate, get married, have children and live happily ever after.
As I’ve come to know, life isn’t always a straight line from A to Z. Life will take you from N to B and, from S to W and back again from V to K.
Live doesn’t give you what you order, God does. Life doesn’t give you what you expect, faith in God does. Life doesn’t give you what you think you should have, trust and hope in God does.
And as a result of not getting to those milestones we decide what, when to celebrate and how to celebrate.
Celebration is not about things. We celebrate because we look inside ourselves and we know that regardless of where we are and how far we still have to go, we have a reason to be thankful because a lot of people did not get as far as we have come.
We are thankful because against all odds, are still standing. we reflect on the good we have in our lives.
I want to encourage you today, If you find yourself void of joy, void of any enthusiasm to celebrate let the births of Christ inspire you.
What is there to celebrate?
For starters, your health, Your amazing support group, The families in your life. For the strength to keep going, your nieces and nephews, for your job.
Count your blessings, and let your focus well on God’s goodness, not on the absence of should have been.
Our cup is not half empty but half full.
This Christmas rejoice in the fullness of joy that Christ brought when he came into our world. This is why we celebrate.
In The western world it is reported that lights the will be rationed as the cost of living crisis looms which has affected the cost of living.
What this may entails is that some people might have lights during the day and others during the night.
As one who previously lived in Africa And experience extended period of darkness, both day and night, living Without electricity or being in darkness isn’t pleasant.
I also know having lights, transforms the atmosphere, light give life, brings a spring to one’s steps. Light gives excitement, light makes vision better as everything becomes clearer. Back then in African, whenever light comes back on, our collective mood is transformed, we scream for joy.
The opposite is true when we experience darkness, our joy is decreased, our spirit is down.
This Christmas we have decided to limit the decorations outside our house to just two items . The nativity scene and Angels immediately lit up our front lawn, what a beautiful sight.
Jesus is the true light of Christmas.Jesus in your heart will bring hope and joy.
He said, I am the light of the world, whoever follows me, will never walk in darkness but have the light of life. Jesus in your heart and your situation will replace the dark and gloomy feeling of depression.
Everyone gravitates towards a tiny candle for the light it brings. So let the light of God’s son, shine through you to others. Be a model example for all to see regardless of your situation.
If you make Jesus the Lord of your life he said, those who walk with him we’ll never see darkness.
As a child of God, you will never have to stumble around in darkness, wondering what will be and we can boldly step into our world as light, because we carry the light of life in us Jesus.
We can be encouraged in our situation because we know we carry the light of God that illuminates our darkness and shines in our heart, dispelling every myth and sadness and threatens to drag us down to the lowest debts of darkness.
Your Partner in Hope
This Christmas Celebratory seasonscelebrate Him, as the true light of the world that brings hope.
It’s the season of giving and receiving gifts. I have been trying to find the most thoughtful presents for my loved ones and I am sure you are as well.
What will it cost you to do something for someone else? Time, money, your possessions or skills. Going through trying times leaves us focus on ourselves, often too drained to consider giving any of these to others.
I realized this during the most difficult periods of my life, I couldn’t give of myself to anything, I was focused on getting through the stage of infertility, but I knew there were so many in need of my skills and thankfully I decide to keep a journal of my experiences which started faithful wait
Although God freely gives us gifts of love, grace, mercies, forgiveness, protection, provision and love. He makes no demands made of us, because it already cost Him, His Son. It was and remains the most costly gift of all time. The person we now celebrate at Christmas was give. as a gift for many.
His life bought our freedom from sin, sickness, loss, disappointment and gave us a living hope.
His paid once so that we can enjoy his gifts eternally.
So this Christmas consider someone in worse situation than yourself and give them a gift you can afford, or go a step further, give a gift that will cost you something.
Remember Christ promised to surround you with with favor like a shield in the mist of your situation.
He is with you through every circumstance shielding you, so that you can also respond by helping others.
As you receive Gods blessings during this time, and all through the years, find time to share your gift with others.. because what you receive freely cost him everything.
Frozen eggs beats fertility treatment for women. according to post in Futility today.
The number of US women having children at older ages has been increasing for three decades, with evidence that the trend will continue. Birth rates have declined for women in their 20s and jumped for women in their late 30s and early 40s, according to the US Census Bureau. The average age at first birth has risen from 19 years old in 1984 to 30 years old in 2021 and is higher in many metropolitan areas.
Here we are, the last day of 2021. We were given 375 days, but not everyone made it to the end.
My prayer at the start of 2021 was for protection, to remain in health and strength. Looking back I can see that my prayers were answered. Of course I asked for other blessings, but I have come to know that lasting blessings are worth more than material wealth or comfort.
As you look back over the year, what blessings stand out to you?
What battles did you overcome? Where there small mile stones you celebrated?
We sometimes over look some blessings because they don’t seem to come front and centre. compared to the big things we asked for.
I get it. For years having a child of my own was front and centre for me as well, it was my number one prayer at the beginning and end of each year.
At some point, I yielded my expectations, dreams and hope to God. I prayed for strength and he gave me strength to continue to expect, I prayed for wisdom and he directed my steps to the right places, he placed good friends in my path a support system through trying times.
These blessings were not front and centre non did they featured in my prayer list at the beginning of the year, but taking stock at the time, they were answers to prayers.
So as you look back, to 2021. Give thanks for those who helped you on this journey, the spouse/partner who stayed and support you. The Holy Spirits leading and the strength to continue and hope on into 2022.
Hope is defined by Webster: “to desire with expectation of fulfil.” Continue to hope in 2022, but give hope wings, infuse your hope with faith in the God who makes all things possible.
Because hope expects, faith believes and receives.
The Birth of Christ brought profound joy as well as grim news of a saviour who would die and rescue the world.
Mary felt Joy for Her saviour and child was born. But she also knew that he will be opposed for he’s appointed for the rise and fall of many. Luke 2.34-35.
I imagined she was sad/thorn because of the impending danger he faced early and later years in life.
Yes, Christmas morning brought both joy and sadness. And as the years rolled by Mary watched her baby the saviour slept, with teary eyes, she knew the holy one of Israel would pay for the sins of the world.
So why she was happy at his birth. The long awaited arrival of the saviour meant joy for Many, but for Mary his arrival ended her peace. Her heart felt pain each time he went out of the house.
Every time he left the house, She anticipated, she wondered at every knock, every greeting, her heart skipped a beat. Has the time come?
So for you Christmas morning may mean so many things it maybe mixed with Joy and happiness, you are here still standing, a loving partner, family and friends, a job, and hope for the future.
Or you may have lost your marriages, had another miscarriage, loss a child, received the dreaded news of blocked tubes, ageing eggs, No job, no funds. Yes Christmas came, but your reality is one of fear for the future.
On this Christmas day, let your heart be quiet and still, be reassured that you are His priced possession.
Your celebration maybe with gratitude, joy, dissatisfaction or disappointment. Just know that “you are His and He is yours”.
Christmas is more than just physical gifts it is an eternal gift of Hope, Joy, deep contentment in knowing that He who has promised will be faithful as He said:
“I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you”.That’s the true gift of ChristmasHis abiding presence with us, which is our reassuring Hope.
When you think of Christmas and the period leading up to it, I am sure you are not thinking of variants, lockdowns and isolating. .
Lately all we read about is how far covid has spread, the various variants, numbers infected and living under the threat of lockdowns.
Christmas and the time leading up to it, use to be a time of excitement, anticipation, waiting for that gift, looking forward to carol services, the dread of secret santa, expecting friends and family for the pre- Christmas lunch/parties and post Christmas visits.
After the Christmas festivities we begin to plan for the year ahead. But the uncertainty of Covid has caused panic around the globe, the question on everyone’s lips-
“Is another lockdown coming or not”.
The present situation makes me pause and wonder about the few days before Christ birth,
How did Mary and Joseph felt at the coming of a baby at a time of great uncertainty? They had to travel to Bethlehem for the censors.
Making that journey miles away, with Mary only a few days from birth was no small feat. Only to arrive with no room anywhere in town not even in the inn, but in the manger in the inn.
The uncertainty surrounding Christ birth is nothing compared to what we face today.
Mary must have uttered a silent prayer to God. “Remember us lord” Help us God”.“Protect us God”.
I am sure she did, because they had to flee a few days after his birth, on the run to save His life. She must have constantly prayed for safety carrying the promised child.
You too may have had your procedure cancelled or postponed, or maybe expecting after a long wait and living under the uncertainty of what the future holds for you and your child. Under the threat of Covid and other external factors.
During times of stress and distress we often cry out for help, we ask God the higher power for intervention, to step in and often he does.
Just like He stepped into Rachel’s situation and she became pregnant. God stepped in and saved Jesus from being slaughtered.
He will remember you and step in.
He does and has not forgotten you, he knows your name, your situation and location.
Draw near to him now and stay close, and be enclosed in His peace. He will come and he will help you.
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14