How to Smell Christmas
Hello, blog-readin' family. How is your Christmas holiday shaping up?
I had a rough Monday to start, but I cried out to God and He helped me. You know, He always does when I cry out to Him. Go figure ... being GOD and all. ;-) I encourage you to cry out to Him, too, if you're going through a rough time or just having a rough day!
It's Christmastime, and that means so many different things to people. It may not be "the most wonderful time of the year"--for some, anyway, maybe you. This time of year is often filled with mixed emotions for many people. It can bring happiness and joy, or it might be a season where we feel sadness overwhelming us because our loved ones have passed on from this world--either way there will always come some kind-hearted feeling deep within your heart when thinking about those who are no longer here anymore (especially if they were very close). What has yours been like so far in 2019? Have you had more good moments than bad ones thus far during these months celebrations; let me know what kinds thoughts come up in the comments below this post...
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." -Psalm 34:18
God, give me grace. Sometimes life can be so difficult and overwhelming with all of the expectations we have for ourselves that sometimes others also seem to share in this belief- even though they don't actually know what it's like on an everyday basis! It is way too easy then - looking around at other people who seem happy while our own world falls apart--to think "they're doing better than I am."
The gift of grace we give ourselves is the most important one. Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with your life that it's difficult to take care of everything? You may find yourself giving more and getting less in return, or maybe just barely getting by while others enjoy themselves without any regard for what they put out there (i e., other people).
We can always use some grace towards ourselves every now again; sometimes when things feel like they're falling apart at sea - which happens more often than we want them too-it feels impossible not make promises but then break them later on because no matter how hard WE try there will always be another task coming up. This is happening right now! Why are we still living this way? Lack of sleep, poor diet and exercise habits have led to disease epidemics. Our over-committed lifestyles make it difficult for people today because they work until their bodies give out or something else happens that causes them stress.
Even if health if poor or money is tight you can still have a VERY meaningful Christmas.
I wrote this holiday tale before the Christmas of 1994 in Lincoln, Nebraska as a Christmas present for dear friends' kids Sarah, James, Jonathan and their friends, Claire and Max. That next Christmas my father illustrated it for me as a gift as I visited my parents in LeMars, Iowa.
Who knows if they remember it as they were pretty young. But I kept it and many years later that same collection of images was saved from the Nashville flood while found floating in a plastic folder in our living room in 2010.
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
My father is an amazing artist so I kinda had to beg him to share his early work. It is certainly not perfect and water damage is still evident in a few pictures (you can spot a few places below) but it was decided that they be kept in the story because ...
GOD MAKES BEAUTY OUT OF BROKEN THINGS.
And He does. YOU know He does.
"For a child is born to us, A son is given to us;
And the government Is upon His shoulder;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of PEACE."
After you get a chance to read this story, you will also know exactly what I mean when I say this: I wish you a very, very ... smelly Christmas! *wink*
"What an incredible story to teach the love for one another at an important time of the year! I love how Anne-Geri' weaves an inspirational tale for readers and incorporates the birth of Christ. This would make an ideal gift for a family to share."
-MARY LOU S.
"I just finished reading this book and omigosh! I loved everything about it.
The story, the artwork, even the feel of the pages...! And when I finished it ...
I COULD SMELL PINE."
“Such a delightful book! I just read this adorable story
and kept thinking what a great story to read with my family sitting
in our home over Christmas break! Let us love generously and give generously! I highly recommend this book. An inspiration to both young and old.”
"What a lovely Christmas story when a bratty younger brother
surprises his sister while teaching her the true meaning of giving."
"We have been learning verses from the Sermon on the Mount…and so, yesterday, we read the verses about 'consider the lilies…' Then, I told them, we were going to gather in a circle, I had a special treat. I only had four children present, out of 6, which was a little disappointing …
but the reaction from those four was so special.
- One little boy absolutely cannot sit still but was still REALLY listening.
- Another 'perfect little student,' the only little girl in the class, was completely enthralled.
- A little boy who kind of 'goes his own way' at times really got into the story, and even pointed out he recognized the verses we had read earlier!
- Now the fourth little boy, who has the tenderest heart, I was afraid might burst into tears.
They all listened intently, and could answer all the questions at the end of the book. In fact, the first little boy who appeared to think it was going to be long had obviously completely absorbed the message!
How’s that for a special Christmas class?"
Read, enjoy, and consider a timeless story with your family this Christmas about how finding a particularly memorable scent during the holiday actually brought hope to a very special family.
- Several additional images were drawn by our son Avary three months after he and his brother, Bradon were adopted as Fanns in 2016. There is a musical theatre version for churches too. You may reach someone at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.