Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Spread the Christmas Joy with Mary Hamilton | Day 11

Joy from Mary Hamilton

--> Most Christmas gifts are soon forgotten, but two special ones stand out in my memory.

When I was four or five, I was quite a tomboy. Like many young girls, I loved horses and dreamed of owning one someday. To prepare for that event, I “practiced” riding on the back of the couch. This, of course, put a burr under my parents’ saddle, so I took my riding down to the basement where we’d go to watch television. The old green armchair we’d curl up in to watch TV was the most comfortable and least attractive chair in the house. The chair’s back was higher than all our other chairs, making it perfect for imitating my hero, Roy Rogers. Like him, I’d take a running leap onto my “horse” before racing off in pursuit of imaginary bad guys.

On Christmas Eve, after all the presents had been opened, my dad claimed he heard noises out on the porch. The rest of us couldn’t hear anything, but Dad insisted someone was out there and went to check. He returned with a spring-mounted hobbyhorse, claiming Santa had left it. The horse was in full gallop and I fell in love. My chair-riding days were over.

Years later as a young adult shopping with my fiancé, I again fell in love with a picture on the wall of a furniture store. In old style dress, a little girl with long blonde tresses pouts as she stands in a corner. Behind her, a large collie approaches while looking back, as if wanting to comfort her but fearing he may end up in the doghouse as well. I knew we couldn’t afford the picture but oh, how I loved it. I even returned to the store to see if they might sell me the unframed print, but it was gone. No one even remembered having such an item. Five years later at Christmas, my husband presented me with that very same print and it still hangs on our wall today.

What made those gifts so memorable? Besides being a complete surprise (I love surprises!), they were personal. Each one touched a deep part of my heart, satisfied a longing.

This time of year symbolizes God’s plan to meet our deepest longings with the gift of His own son. An innocent baby touches our hearts, a personal gift to each one of us. But we must choose to accept or reject the gift. When we accept, God reaches into the deepest parts of our heart and satisfies our most intense longings. Not longings for horses or pictures that fade, desires that change with time. No, He satisfies our longings for unconditional love. He declares us righteous, though the world condemns us. He alone supplies our need for salvation and eternal life.
Truly, every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights (James 1:17).
This Christmas, celebrate with me the most memorable gift ever given, ever received, ever accepted. The gift of Messiah, God’s only son, Jesus Christ our Savior.

Mary L. Hamilton is an award-winning author who started out writing articles for magazines and a Christmas play, Homespun Angel. Her faith is a strong influence in her life and writing.

Mary grew up at a camp much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. When she’s not writing, she loves the outdoors and nature as well as opening her home to youth Bible studies, pancake suppers and breakfast with her special recipe waffles. She and her husband live near Houston, TX, within range of her three grown children. Her debut novel, Hear No Evil, can be ordered here:

Connect with Mary:
Twitter: @mhamilton122
Pinterest (for a peek at her characters):

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