December 12, 2014

O Come Emmanuel and A Giveaway

It happened again today!  While I was in the post office mailing a package, the postal clerk was humming the tune, O Come O Come Emmanuel.  Tears started to well up in my eyes, but I guess I should back up to the beginning of the story.  It was  just a few weeks ago, on Sunday morning, November 30.  I was sitting up in the balcony (the nosebleed section) of our large church.  Before the service even started, the tears were rolling down my cheeks.  I don't know about you, but once I start crying, it can be  hard to stop the flow, even if I'm laughing so hard that it makes me cry.  However, this was not the case.  Let me explain.

Did you ever ride on a bus where there were no seats left and you had to stand.  When the road gets bumpy, you reach out to grasp the back of a seat or anything within reach.  Not the most pleasant thing to deal with.  For the last 20 years I have been on that bus, day in and day out.  I feel like I am in constant motion.  The doctors call it Vertigo--from inner ear problems.   So there I was sitting in church  and having an all too familiar bumpy moment.

The sermon was about loss and the hardships we face in life.  Our pastor shared a video of two women in our church who have both gone through the tragic loss of their husbands this last year.  (See the first of several very helpful video sermons here): .  Then he made some comment about our struggles and that we may not understand why God allows difficulties in our lives but, "God is With You."  I don't know about you, but sometimes when God is speaking to me, I don't always hear him right away.  He has to repeat it to me 2 to 3 times until it clicks.  So the next morning, I wake up to the radio playing, "O Come O Come Emmanuel"  and I know that Emmanuel means "God With Us".  Okay, it's starting to register.  Over the next 2 weeks I heard it OVER and OVER again umpteen times in so many different way that "God is With Me" and I not only heard God speak to me through all these reminders, but I'm to the point where I BELIEVE that He "IS" with me--it sunk in.

If you are a believer in Jesus and have "Emmanuel" as your savior and friend, then you can be assured that "He IS With You" no matter what struggles or losses you are going through.   Knowing Christ in a personal way is like "Emmanuel WITH us and IN us" and his incredible peace and grace is available to us no matter what difficulty we are facing.  So this year, remember that you don't have to be alone in your struggles or if you just feel lonely.  He is there waiting for you.  Just invite him into your life.  It's a free gift.

Speaking of gifts--I'm having a giveaway.  To enter, sign up to receive my emails and then leave a comment below.  Winner will receive a set of two of my handmade and hand-painted ornaments.  I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, Dec. 16. 


  1. I love these ornaments! I have the beautiful one from new years last year on my tree. I'm so glad your work is something you really enjoy!

  2. Very pretty ornaments! You're a talented artist... I love your style :)

  3. Before I forget, I subscribe to your blog.

    Mary, your thoughts are so very meaningful and I appreciate you sharing with us. I read somewhere recently that we always think that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, when the reality is that He doesn't give us more than HE can handle - and that goes right along with what you said.

    Handmade ornaments mean a lot to me, Mary, and one of my favorites is a German ornament my daughter gave me. She leads a campus ministry in Germany, and took me to a Christmas shop filled with handmade decorations on one of my visits. I chose a little wooden ornament with the cutout of a church and star overhead. I adore your artwork also and would be honored to place these two paper art ornaments beside my daughter's.

    1. Thanks for your kind comments. Yes, I agree. God can handle it! Sometimes God puts us in a situation where we can only depend on Him. I know God has reasons I may not understand fully, but I am thankful because he has blessed me in so many ways with an awesome husband, a daughter that God surprised us with after I had to leave a fast paced secretarial job and I'm thankful for the gift of creativity. It has been a blessing to help others by using this gift that I would not have been able to use and it is a wonderful therapy.

      I love German ornaments and vintage German ephemera! I have several
      vintage Santa figure music boxes that are made from German ephemera.
      Good luck and thanks for entering.

    2. To leave a stressful job, be blessed with a daughter, and then use your creative talents the way you are sounds wonderful, Mary. I will enjoy keeping up with you!

  4. Mary, I'm excited to see your blog. I haven't had time to peruse it yet, but definitely will follow it. Your artwork continues to amaze me! I would be happy to be considered in the drawing for the ornament. Your neighbor.... Esther

    1. Thanks so much, Esther. I'm thankful for such wonderful neighbors! Good luck in the drawing.