God's mysterious way . . .

It’s been a heck of a week!

I’ve been sick. Sore/scratchy throat, coughing, runny nose, headache.

I worked 68 hours! My regular forty, plus a few extra, and 21 for the Craft Fair. I scored three middle-school ball games. I went visiting teaching. The only night I had off was Wednesday and I cooked Tortellini soup to take to someone who had back surgery, and 6 loaves of poppy seed bread, which I delivered on Friday.

I was grumpy. I had more than my share of cranky moments. I offended people at work. I offended people at home.

So this morning I felt like I deserved to stay home, do nothing, cry a little and sulk all day. But it’s Leonard’s birthday today. I didn’t find time all week to run to Evanston to shop for him. I also need groceries [healthy] for the week. There’s lot’s of other things on my list I need to take care of/shop for. So I decided I’m NOT going to church today. I’m having a ME day. I’m having a shopping day! I’m having a get-everything-done day.

I lied to myself. I said it doesn’t matter if I miss a day of church once in a while. I rationalized. I procrastinated until it was virtually impossible to get there anyway. But the Spirit prompted and nagged and basically drove me nuts until, at 10:20, I jumped in the shower, blew my hair dry and applied makeup. I ran out the door and somehow got there fully dressed and reasonably coiffed at 10:55.

What a beautiful day.

I heard a lesson especially for me. It was about finding Christ through Christmas. I had been wondering where Christ was this Christmas season. I heard words and phrases I needed to hear:

You have already felt the joy of giving alms and receiving them. That joy in this life is a glimpse of what we will feel in the life to come if we are generous here out of faith in God. The Savior is our great exemplar. At the Christmas season we contemplate anew who He is and what generosity He extended to us by coming into the world to be our Savior.

As the Son of God, born to Mary, He had the power to resist all temptation to sin. He lived a perfect life so that He could be the infinite sacrifice, the unblemished Lamb promised from the foundation of the world (see Rev.13:8.) He suffered the agony of the guilt of our sins and all the sins of the children of Heavenly Father [including all MY sins during this crummy week!] that we might be forgiven and go home clean.

He gave us that gift at a price we cannot fathom. It was a gift He did not need for Himself; He was without the need for forgiveness. The joy and gratitude we feel for His gift now will be magnified and will last forever as we honor and worship Him in our heavenly home.

The Christmas season gives us encouragement to remember Him and His infinite generosity. Remembering His generosity will help us feel and respond to the inspiration that there is someone who needs our help, and it will let us see the hand of God reaching to us when He sends someone to succor us, as He so often does. There is joy in giving and in receiving the generosity that God inspires, especially at Christmas.

I needed to hear that today!

Then I went to Sunday School and heard more of what I specifically need to know. It was a lesson about putting on the whole armor of God.

The Lord has not left us unprotected in the battle against evil. Satan seeks to find any chink [do I ever have chinks!] in the armor of each person. He knows our weaknesses and knows how to exploit them if we allow him to do so. We can defend ourselves against his attacks and deceptions only by understanding the commandments and by fortifying ourselves each day through praying, studying the scriptures, and following the counsel of the Lord’s anointed.

Wow. Exactly what I needed to hear!

[Keeping the Sabbath Day holy is a blessing. Not a restriction, not a punishment. It blesses our lives! I can shop tomorrow. I can give Leonard’s present to him a day late.]

Christmas Cheer! Now I can say it and mean it.