Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Spread the Christmas Joy with Jennifer Slattery and Giveaway | Day 24

Joy from Jennifer Slattery


It was ten AM Saturday. I was in my jammies, feeling unwell, nursing a big ol’ mug of chicken broth. My husband, on the other hand, had been up for hours, ready to tackle everything on his (and, it seemed, my) to-do list long before lunch. Me? I was ready to go back to bed, like for the entire weekend. Unfortunately, he needed me. I’m pretty sure every married woman can relate.

Hubby: “Honey, where’s my socks? You know the thick ones I like so much?”

Me: “In the back bottom of your sock drawer.”

Hubby: “Have you seen my jacket?”

Me: “Yeah. I hung it up.”
He darts in and out, upstairs and down, and soon lugs the box containing our fake Christmas tree upstairs.

“What’s this?” Face contorted, he holds up a mass of tree limbs conglomerated by some wiry, netting gunk. We didn’t know what it was, but one thing was certain—that tree was going back.

Forty-five minutes later, he returns with a four foot, pre-lit Christmas tree, which now sits, neatly decorated, near our window. Pleased the tree drama is over, I settle deeper into the couch cushions, ready to finish my now cold broth.

But the questions keep coming, and he shows no signs of slowing.

Me: “That’s good, hon. I think you can be done now.”

He looks from the mantle to me to the mantle again. “You think the nativity scene is good?”

Without looking, I reply, “Yep. It’s fine.” I pause. “Do you have baby Jesus?”

“No.”

Me: “No baby Jesus?”

“Nope. I can’t find Jesus.”
 
--> Apparently, we’re awaiting His return.

Not wanting to be sacrilegious, we decide to forego the manger scene that is now missing the most important aspect of Christmas. (Chew on that for a moment.)

So, he carries the incomplete set to the trash then returns to tackle a new project—going through the ornaments stored in the basement.

You better believe this got me off my toosh, and quick. I lurch downstairs and form a human barricade between him and our decorations.

 
--> “You can’t throw these away!” I say, because I know what’s in there. Every ornament, and where they came from.

The first ornament I ever received, given to me sixteen years ago by a special friend from high school, a woman now married and preparing for the mission field. The delicate angel is missing one arm and half of the other.

And it stays.

Then there’s the ornament made for us by my mother-in-law, sent to us in December of 1997. Our daughter’s first Christmas where we took a billion pictures of her playing with wrapping paper and discarded boxes.
 
--> And then there’s this one, given to me by a special woman named Iris Peters. She was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, inside and out. She loved books, food, Mt. Dew, and her three adorable little boys. More than that, she loved Jesus, and the Christmas of 2011, after a brave and valiant fight against brain cancer, she realized she’d meet Him sooner than anticipated.

So how does a dying woman spend her last Christmas?

Simply, making sure her friends and family know how much they are loved. And that she’ll be waiting for them. Because they’ll see her again.

And that, my friends, is what Christmas is about.

_______________________________
--> Jennifer Slattery is a novelist who writes missional romance novels, her first of which will be released by New Hope Publishers in 2014. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet CafĂ© Devotions, and writes and edits for an international ministry called Christ to the World Ministries. When she’s not working on her own projects, she’s helping other authors grow in their craft. Find out more about her and her writing at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com and find out more about her editing services at http://wordsthatkeep.wordpress.com/experience/




I've got to take a second to brag. My mom, Connie, is pretty amazing. She's a quilter and crafter and has offered one of her small quilts to be one of my giveaway items! Check it out and comment below to enter for your chance to win it :)

**Giveaway rules: To enter, comment on each the post (or posts) in the month of December that offer giveaway items you wish to win. One entry per person per giveaway item is permitted. All winners will be drawn in January (after the holiday craziness) and will be notified shortly thereafter.