Friday, December 23, 2011

12 Days of Christmas day 11


Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom" from some of today's most beloved
writer's (Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson,

Sibella Giorello and more)! Please follow the series through Christmas day as
each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during
this most wonderful time of the year.

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and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450
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***

Inside Out Christmas
by Debora M. Coty

My veterinarian friend, Dr. Katie, tells the story about the December when
a woman brought a very sick black lab into her clinic. The dog was only
ten months old, so she was really just a big puppy, but she’d been vomiting
incessantly and her worried owner didn’t know what was wrong.

“Why don’t you go on home?” Dr. Katie told the owner. “I’ll need to run tests
for about four hours. We’ll give you a call when we’re finished.”

Dr. Katie’s assistant took x-rays and hung them on the light panel for Dr. Katie
to examine. Hmm. Something looked a little peculiar. Dr. Katie called her
assistant over.

“Is it just me, or does that look like a … a camel to you?” she asked
incredulously.

“Matter of fact, it does,” replied the astute assistant. “And look, there’s an
angel here, a shepherd there, and down there in the colon, it’s Baby Jesus!”

At that moment the phone rang. It was the dog’s distraught owner. “I can’t
believe this! I just got home and glanced at the coffee table where I put my
manger scene yesterday. There’s nothing there but an empty stable!”

As I thought about this quite literal technique for internalizing the true meaning
of Christmas, it occurred to me that sometimes I have the opposite problem.
With all the bustling busyness, my inner joy in celebration of my savior’s birth
never really makes it to the outside.

Oh, I have plenty of glittery, festive evidences of the holiday in decorations,
baking galore, and gifts under my tree. But those things are for show. They’re
merely the pretty wrappings, not the gift itself.

Can people really see the core-deep joy that radiates within me when I think of
the true gift that Papa God sent the world in his son, Jesus? Is my immeasurable
gratitude for eternal life evident as I dash through this hectic season?

I’m afraid all too often, the answer is no.

I’m just too preoccupied to allow my outside to reflect my inside so that
nonbelievers recognize that I rejoice because of the hope that is within me. My
joy is obscured by the mounds of clutter. Gratefulness is sucked out of my soul
by the vacuum called urgency.

“But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be
filled with joy” (Psalm 68:3, NLT).

This verse has become my prayer this Christmas season – that I would make
the time to give priority to rejoicing, being glad in God’s presence, and letting
my inner joy show for those who may be silently desperate to know the giver of
true joy.

Yep, there’s a better way to internalize the gift of Christmas than the black
lab technique. We can lodge the Little Lord Jesus in our hearts rather than
our colons.

***
Debora M. Coty is a humorist, inspirational speaker, and award-winning
author of twelve books, including Too Blessed to be Stressed, and coming in
March, More Beauty, Less Beast: Transforming Your Inner Ogre. Debora
would love to swap Christmas hugs with you at www.DeboraCoty.com.

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