Thursday, December 27, 2007

I'm 27...and still not grown up.

Greetings! Thank you all for all the wonderful birthday wishes! My birthday was great and I have been so blessed by the HUGE mass of encouragements and witty messages....thank you.

Like Tim stated in the last post....Christmas was amazing this year....hard at times, but God was so faithful.

But it hit me a bit differently. Although I could definitely relate to the feelings and experiences Tim was sharing about...I felt somewhat challenged by Christmas this year. I realized half way through Christmas day that I had not even heard, read or seen any "advent play", read the Christmas story....that is, the birth of Jesus....NOT Santa or the movie "A Christmas Story"....I hadn't even cracked open my Bible in almost a week. I didn't see any mangers or baby Jesus reminders....I didn't even think much or ponder the powerful birth of the Messiah.

Even though I sang every Christmas carol known to man....EVERY ONE of them at least 10 times in the last month, I didn't really ever thank God for giving me His Son....I never thanked Him for the sacrifice....for the miracle of the star....for the courageous example of Mary....or the faithful humility of the shepherds.....I didn't even give notice to the glory sung out by the angels or the sacrificial blessing of the magi....nope....didn't even go there....I enjoyed the peacefulness of God's greatest gift and His lavish provision and faithfulness without ever giving thanks for His Son on His Son's birthday. What a loser. I so enjoyed the Christmas movies and the 'nice' messages they shared, but even they didn't give thanks for the Son of God.

I was so pulverized by the love of Jesus the day after Christmas, my birthday. I had so many people wish me a happy day and received countless text messages from friends encouraging me on my "special day"....and I felt pretty convicted. I didn't even text my most special friend on His birthday.....not that I could....but you get the idea. Mmmm.

But I'll tell you what the Lord showed remember my continuity....MJ? She's the one who was thinking about becoming a Jehovah's Witness.....baptized into the church this Christmas.....well, the prayers must have worked! She came in for prenatals on my birthday and had said that her birthday is the 27th of December so we should have a party in prenatals!

I laughed and said, "Sure! I'll bake a cake!" She was so excited about that, but I think she might've thought I was joking because when she came into prenatals, I had cupcakes and a candle lit and a present...ready for action....she was STUNNED and overwhelmed! I even had my fellow midwives sing "Happy Birthday" to her....she started to cry! I laughed so hard...she really didn't think I would follow through. It was check out the pics....that's my dear MJ, due in March. I just love her.....

And I asked her if she ended up getting baptized in tot he Jehu church and she said, "no...I thought about what you said about knowing Jesus better before making any BIG decisions....I think I need to wait." I was thrilled. And blessed. Jesus answered my prayers....and then I offered to take her to church with me sometime....she LOVED that idea and we talked a but more about Jesus...His faithfulness....His goodness.

As I walked home on my birthday....feeling so guilty for wishing MJ a happy birthday with cake, presents and candles and not at all wishing my precious Savior a Happy Birthday and a thank you....I felt Him whisper, "Whatever you did to the least of these, you did unto ME." And I cried.

I felt forgiven. And He lavishly poured out His loving kindness on me again.

Thanks for all the comments again and please continue to pray for us...things are heating up with Tim trying to finish water filters, me trying to finish homework and birth room shifts....and life happening everyday! May the Lord give you all a peaceful and joyful New Year and may He lavishly cover you with His love.
Be blessed.


Anonymous said...

I knew He'd say that...that's so like the Lord. He knows your heart is first for Him. What a wonderful way to celebrate His birthday.
You truely are blessed and loved.

Anonymous said...

I knew he'd say that, too! And you do bless so many others each day of your life without even recognizing that Jesus lives in you - BIG!

Love you,

Anonymous said...

Bethany you and Tim are remembering His birth, death and resurrection every day by the choices you are making. Jesus loves you so much and will always have words of encouragement for you. I pray for a few quiet moments with His word and His presence. Be blessed, Mum

Anonymous said...

I met your mom, Bethany, at Dr. Hoff's office. After hearing about you and Tim, I felt led to pray for you. I feel a kindred spirit with you, as my husband and I are retired missionaries, having served the Lord for 37 years in Indonesia. I'd love to chat with you in person. How well I remember our first Christmas away from family and friends, as well as birthdays and other special days. May the Lord richly bless you as you serve Him. May 2008 be a wonderful and happy year for you. Praying for you,

Bethany said...

Carolyn....thank you so much for your prayers....Oh how we covet them! May the Lord bless you for all the hard work you have put in while on the mission field and on the mission field at home! Blessings to you and thank you again for the encouragement!

Kate said...

Happy Belated Birthday Bethany
I apologize for the delay in writing but I was up in Kamloops for Christmas and was without internet!

I am so glad to hear that your day was so wonderful and you and MJ had a party together! You are such a blessing and are wonderfully used by God everyday.
My prayers are with you for an amazingly blessed year filled with joy, good health and lots of laughter.
with love, kate

heather said...

I love you and miss you lots! Happy, happy New Year!

Thank you for sharing!