“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Once again, the year has flown and somehow, we are already back to the month of December. Throughout this month, we will each be sharing some of our favorite Christmas carols. For me, Christmas music is my favorite part of the season, so it was tricky to pick out just one song. However, I finally chose “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” I love how the words throughout are very descriptive of what that night in Bethlehem would have been like, with phrases like, “How still we see Thee lie,” and “The silent stars go by.” It was a quiet city, without a lot of excitement. Except for Mary and Joseph, no one was expecting their Savior to be born that night. Yet what a beautiful thought that at Jesus’s first cry, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.”
Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophesied these words found in Isaiah 9:6: “For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” They were given the promise of the coming Messiah, however, they didn’t know how long they would have to wait for His arrival. I’m sure over the course of hundreds of years, they began to doubt if the prophecy was actually going to be fulfilled. When He was finally born, it was probably not how they would have envisioned a prince’s birth. As the song says, “How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given.” His arrival was not announced throughout a kingdom, but instead to lowly shepherds. Maybe they thought that He was going to be an earthly King, like David, and bring freedom and peace, not peace to their souls. Perhaps the Israelites were confused or disappointed in the way God’s promises came to be, losing trust that Jesus really was who He was prophesied to be.
Like the Israelites, there are times in our lives, where we know the promises filled throughout Scripture, and yet struggle with doubt as we wait to see how God fulfills those promises. We sometimes think we know what God’s plans will be and envision how He’s going to answer our prayers, instead of releasing control to Him and trusting His plan. Lastly, sometimes we can get confused or angry with God when He finally gives us the answer to our request, but it’s not what we wanted or expected.
We can know that even in the quietness, while we wait to see His plan unfold, He is working in our waiting. Just like the Israelites had to wait for the Messiah, He came when they least expected, and in a way they didn't envision, but it was God’s perfect timing and plan. Even in the waiting, God is working all things out for His glory and our good. We can trust that His plan is perfect, even when it doesn’t look like what we thought it would.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.