About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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  1. God’s grace came one Christmas season when my two grandsons & I were attending a Sunday morning church service. Tevin was 8 and seemed to be struggling with going to church. I remember the embarrassed feeling I had as he slumped his way into the church santuary. It was a Christmas singing service & the only seat Tev wanted to take was in the far back row. I thought to myself, “Oh great, real serious Christians don’t even sit back there but having no choice, we took our seats. He wouldn’t stand to sing – he just sat arms crossed, hood on, head down throughout most of the singing. While the congregation was singing I was praying! Praying for Tevin. I could see his stubbornness softening ever so slowly. It was the end of the service and the pastor gave the alter call. “Is there anyone who is struggling?” he said
    “Is there anyone who needs to come closer to the Lord?” he asked Much to my surprise, my grandson whispered in my ear that that was him! My heart melted for him. Just at that moment, my youngest grandson who had been left in the nursery needed my attention. That meant I had to leave Tevin alone just at such a critical time. Could the timing have been worse? I left to attend the youngest and upon my return, I found several of the backseat congregation hovered around my grandson – praying for him and giving him encouragement! Remember, these were the backseat Christians that in my opinion weren’t even serious about God! I learned a lesson that day that I shall never forget! God could have been so dissappointed with me in my judgement of those people that He could have choosen not to help my grandson. But, His grace loved me and Tevin in spite of my sin. Our God is truely a loving God over and over again! I love Him so!

    • What a wonderful story Debbie and such a beautiful example of God’s grace. Tevin, oh bless his sweet heart that he said he needed to come closer to the Lord! Love it!

  2. Slow down, look, and listen. During this advent season, I have heard the most Wonderfull stories. The dreams of a college student on a plane who is starting his own business while attending college. A woman excited about a niece’s wedding in Lebanon. A woman who shared Christ with a teen while he carried her food through the line at a food truck. A widow who was having pictures of her husband framed at a local JoAnn’s.
    People are hungry to share with others if we look around and take time to listen

    • That is beautiful Cheryl! How wonderful to take the time to listen to these people that are hungry to share. What a blessing you were to each of them!

  3. So true. I always feel like I am not giving enough in the way of presents. But, looking back on my childhood and the last-minute stress, I would have rather had the gift of time.

  4. What a great post…. Thank you for the reminder that Jesus is the best Christmas gift, and that His love is the most important thing we can give anyone…. and that’s certainly more meaningful than anything you could put under the tree….. good stuff. Thanks for sharing this. Merry Christmas!

  5. God’s grace amazes me each day. That he never gives up on us. so glad that he is a God of second chances

  6. It’s so easy to get caught up in buying gifts. I love this reminder! My favorite Christmas was the year we had a party on Christmas Eve for the orphans in a nearby community in S. Africa. We handed out gifts, we painted faces, we had a meal. It was so fun and much more rewarding than opening a gift.

  7. Wow! This surely hit home! I’ve been stressing so much that I’ve lost the true meaning of Christmas. And I’ve even said that I wished it weren’t Christmas. Well, this helped! My heart feels full again. And I will see what this season is about. And to those who expect too much, bah humbug! Thank you for this post 🙂

  8. Grace is an amazing word and as it is, my life has been filled with Grace of God. Just when I gave up and stopped doing things my own way and not having success in my relationships, I met my best friend, who became my husband almost 6 years ago. I know God has provided much Grace in my life even before I got to know Him.
    I’m so very grateful for my life with Him.
    Blessings,
    Lya
    (mypaperidea@gmail.com)

    • That is so wonderful Lya! I love how it works like that, when we stop doing things our own way… His work shines through! Happened to me that same way!

  9. Wow, you must have been reading my mind this week! I was just thinking that this year would be a bit ‘less’ under the tree due to financial circumstance and that I hope that the kids don’t notice. When we talk about the meaning of Christmas and are teaching them what is most important, I feel as if we are experiencing Christ in those moments perfectly. And then I go and second guess myself about the ‘stuff’ that will bring momentary ‘excitement’, when the real JOY and HOPE of the season is the exact opposite of everything that I worry about. The lesson, the gift, the story, the time together is the gift. Thanks for reminding me!

    • Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job Stephanie… teaching them what is most important and the true meaning of Christmas! You are so right when you said the stuff brings momentary excitement. The time together is such a special gift!

  10. My daughter and I were talking last week about the stress of finding the ‘perfect’ gift… and the fear of disappointing our loved ones. I think if we could keep our focus on the Greatest Gift, we could enjoy the wonderful blessing of that Grace which is given to us. Thank you for this beautiful reminder. blessings ~ tanna

    • I know exactly what you mean by that stress and worry of disappointing someone. I have to keep reminding myself to focus on sharing God’s love and grace instead. It has really changed my season!

  11. Breathing out His name…Jesus. I love the time of year when His name is spoken, shared, remembered, and breathed in silent prayers. I think the powerful moments are those quiet ones when all else fades away and we feel His powerful and overwhelming love.

    I pray this for my family and friends — to want and to meet and to know Jesus. This is a blessed time for sharing and praying. I pray to be very real and hope-filled hands and feet to them during this season. To everyone I meet. So many people need His hope & healing~

    thank you Jennifer…I adore you~

  12. a friend is going to Barcelona for a new back… six titanium vertebrae and my daughter has been asked to go along as a support… friend, prayer warrior, just someone to be at their side through this very scary time… all the way from a little inconsequential village in Northern Canada to a big swarming city in Spain. Reminds me of the difficult journey Joseph and Mary had from their little home town to the city of David, Bethlehem…
    May we all have room for Jesus this season… may we be special to someone in their time of need.

    • What a wonderful way your daughter is extending the love and grace of God! Such a blessing she is with her support of being there. Beautiful!

  13. I am thinking this may be one of the easiest year to concenstrate on His prescence instead of the present since we are not even putting up a tree to put presents under. We are giving our a few, very few though since we have a major move after the first of the year. Both our our children who are the keepers of our grand children will not be with us this Christmas. Our Christmas day will be spent with my mother in the nursing home. Even though we are busy getting ready to move, the move has caused us to have more time to think about priorities, what is really needed for living after our move. Our perspective has changed so drastically over the years of living in a third world country. There is a deep down longing in me to sit still and listen more then any time in my life…..listen for Him to tell me who to encourage today…wait for the encounter and then take courage and open my self up to give out of a well of living water.
    Great reminder Jennifer…Merry Christmas

    • Moving certainly has a way of helping us to sort out what is really needed. I can only imagine how your perspective would change after living in a third world country. I love that you are listening for you are meant to encourage! What a wonderful gift you are giving! Merry Christmas Betty!