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With all the hustle and bustle during the holiday season, combined with hectic daily schedules, it’s not easy to always be on top of things.

One year in my attempt to be on top of Christmas, I made lists of gifts, charity projects and party invitations complete with matching maps of subdivisions. I soon discovered that I had too many lists so I made a master list. I began carrying a daily organizer (resembling the planned invasion of Normandy), which let me view and review throughout my day the entire month of December. I was Super Woman storming into Christmas!

Then came the night of our company Christmas party. Not only had I prepared a map, it was also color-coded. As my husband, Terry, and I headed off toward our destination, I gasped: “I knew I forgot something!” My lists, master list, organizer and color-coded map were back home on the kitchen counter!

With God’s grace we were able to locate the right subdivision and the house with the party going on! Greeters standing on the porch called out to us, “Welcome!” A chorus of people from inside the house yelled to us: “Hey, it’s about time!”

Before we knew it, Terry and I were swept up in a torrent of hugs, kisses and then—dead silence. The entire room and all activities had suddenly ground to a halt. People were staring. “This is a rough crowd,” whispered Terry out of the side of his mouth. Then it hit both of us at the same time: it was the wrong crowd! Our party was several doors down. The laugh we had over the whole goof-up was worth its weight in gold. It became a fun memory (thankfully, not a tradition)!

I’m coming to the awareness that things don’t have to be “just so” for our Christmases to be joyous and wonderful. Our cookies don’t have to be baked picture-perfect—or made at all! I recall one year in an attempt to make “the best cookies ever” I wound up with little hockey pucks. But we all survived (probably because no one ate them). When it comes to perfection at Christmas perhaps we should remember that there is only One who is perfect—and He is the reason for the season. His name is Jesus!

So what if our house isn’t decorated just right. So what if we can’t hit all the high notes of the choir’s Christmas program. As we put all of our trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus—who has promised to never leave us or forsake us (see Deut. 31:6)—we’ll find comfort and joy this season and in the days beyond!

As your sister in the Lord, I wish you a Merry Christmas! May the wonder of His birth, the power of His ever-abiding grace and presence fill your days with peace and joy! May your faith rest in the bright promises of God Almighty!

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 12/23/2013

Pray for those who are without family and loved ones this Christmas, as well as for the many who need to hear, understand and receive the gift of salvation and eternal life through Christ.

Pray for the survivors of this year’s fires, tornadoes and snowstorms that have not yet recovered from their losses. Pray that God’s people would show His love by their giving and sharing with those affected by these disasters, job losses and ongoing poverty. Continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the Middle East when you remember the persecuted church and other nations of the world. Pray for a spirit of repentance and revival to engulf our nation, and for our leaders to recognize their need to seek God for His will, favor and wisdom. Luke 2; Isa. 9:6; Deut. 31:6.

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