UPDATE: Please check back later today for book prize distribution information and a special Christmas surprise!
I’ve finished drawing for all of the prizes except for the books (those will be distributed to perfect attenders plus a few special exceptions). I’m rushing to Christmas morning church, but in the meantime here is a devotional I wrote for Advent. I respect that many who come here don’t share my faith, but I also respect the faiths of everyone who visit. In that spirit, I’d like to offer this for those who would like it. No attempt at proselytizing should be assumed or understood. 🙂
The Angels of Christmas
For some people, the Advent Season brings excitement, celebrations, and happy memories. For others, it brings stress and the burdens of over-committed schedules. For still others, the festivities reinforce loneliness, isolation, and despair. Maybe we spend too much money trying to create a perfect Christmas, or gathering once a year re-ignites decades-old family feuds. Maybe we have grown estranged from our loved ones, and we face a quiet day of solitude. Maybe health issues and loss of loved ones loom over this holiday season, and we wonder how we can celebrate in the midst of grief.
Luke 1:30-31 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”
It’s easy to forget the terror and deprivation of the first Christmas. No one gave Mary an epidural, and she didn’t have her mother nearby to tell tales of generations of previous child-birthing rituals. Cut off from familiar culture, community, and family, Joseph and Mary must have felt at least some fear despite the majesty. How would it feel to give birth to the Messiah when they had to flee for their lives and feel responsible for Herod massacring the baby boys in Bethlehem?
Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold,
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
no matter your individual situation, I hope you will find comfort and joy in the birth
of our king. God’s ways may not make sense to us, just as the destruction and threats surrounding Jesus’ birth must not have made sense to his parents. I hope you will hold close the promise given to us and made true in the human presence of our Messiah who walked this earth.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. How do we find God’s promise in our lives when things are difficult?
For me, I find moments of love here on Earth. [My favorite quilting granny who died this year] showed us God’s promise in her daily smiles, phone calls, and kindness. We find love in the shared coffee shop visits, knotting of quilts, or ringing hand bells. One of my favorite songs is Uri caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Where there is love and charity, God is there. When God seems far away, we can call to us the presence we have been promised. May you find blessing in the birth of the one who came to set us free: an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, an innocent baby without judgment or demands.
Christ has come; Christ is born. Hallelujah!
- Renee M.
- Sarah Byrnes
- Tina S
*23 days on time and late for 1 day
$100 gift certificate of winner’s choice, in honor of Lambda Legal: Sassy Twatter
$50 to Vagabondia Creations, donated by Jay Odon: Abby
$25 to Amazon, donated by Jolynn Raymond: Sarah Bennett
$10 to Amazon, donated by Tara Quan: Laurel
$10 to Amazon, donated by Ameliah: Joelle
$10 to Amazon, donated by Sarah Byrnes: Roz
$10 to Amazon, donated by SH: JC
$5 to All Romance Ebooks, donated by Jessica E. Subject: Jean MP
$5 to Amazon, donated by Tina S: Katy Beth
Swag pack, donated by Eve Langlais: Anna Victoria Jones
Mini red oak paddle, donated by Katie T: Shannon
Handcrafted necklace, donated by Ruth Shulman: Renee
Painting, donated by Cat: Pieclown
Original artwork, donated by Patricia Denke: Tina
Goody bags, donated by V.s. Morgan: Katie T, PT Wyant, Sarah Byrnes, and Kyra
SPECIAL DAY PRIZES:
St. Knickerless Day knickers, donated by Ami Starsong: Mary
$10 to Amazon, donated by Kate Richards: JC
Three prizes, donated by D.L. Jackson: Leigh Smith, Ruth Shulman, and Irishey
Click the link to find a PDF file of all our holiday recipes from this year.
A huge thank you to Michelle B (aka mickeymab) who spent countless hours putting the file together. Isn’t it gorgeous?
Check back later today to find out the book prize distribution and find a super-special, top-secret surprise gift from yours truly!
If you have contact information, go ahead and make arrangements for sending/receiving prizes. If not, please wait until later today when I’ll explain how to do it.
SAVE THE DATE! Love Spanks February 6-8!
Here’s a sneak peek of the logo for Love Spanks 2015! You’ll get to meet a lineup of familiar and new-to-you authors, some who have written a ton of F/F and a few who are trying it for the first time. You’ll find a range from ultra-spicy all the way to sweet and innocent (i.e., my stories…hehe). What will be the theme, you ask? Why, love of course!
Sign up for Love Spanks and receive TWO bonuses–one for participating in Ana’s Advent Calendar 2014, and another for registering early. Plus, check out the upcoming Witty Bard flash fiction contest! (Details to follow)