Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ralene Burke | Spread the Christmas Joy

Joy in All Situations

When I was a kid, my dad was in the army. In the middle of my sophomore year, he received PCS orders for Fort Knox, Kentucky. When were we moving? Christmas break.

Now Christmas is, and always has been, my favorite time of the year. I love celebrating Christ’s birth. I cherish the family traditions—from decorating the tree to fixing monkey bread for breakfast to hearing the Christmas story one more time. How were we going to maintain those traditions if we were “on the road”?

Not only that, but I was leaving my friends, my school, everything that was familiar to me. We had been lucky, my family and I, as we had been in the same place for 9 years. As a high school student, you can imagine the overdramatic reaction I had to the idea of leaving.

Over 2000 years ago, a young man faced a situation he dreaded as well. Joseph found out he was engaged to a woman who was already with child, a mark of shame in their culture. He struggled with the idea of marrying her.

But God had plans for this perceived scandal.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).
Matthew 1:20-23

An angel appeared to Joseph and revealed the joy in his situation. This baby was the answer to the prophecies of old. His destiny would be to save the nations from sin. I’ll bet that gave Joseph a whole new perspective!
As for me, my parents made the trip memorable. They gave my sisters and I a set of small ornaments and strung a wire around the interior of our van—our mobile Christmas tree. They stocked up on Christmas CDs, goodies, and a couple of presents. We got to spend two weeks visiting family, both in Kansas and Virginia.

What I had anticipated to be a horrible holiday turned into one of the best. Even in the darkest of moments, there is joy to be found. Is your heart searching for those possibilities?

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to help everyone SHINE BEYOND! Her first novel, Bellanok, is available on Amazon!

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, or at her website.


Ralene has offered up a copy of Bellanok! Enter today.

All giveaways run until January 2nd and winners will be announced shortly after. Use the image to the left to share on social media and don't forget the hashtag: #SpreadTheChristmasJoy16

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