Dear Ones,
Happy Weekend to you! In just 2 weeks it is Christmas Eve! I have been baking more cookies for our relative gathering. Today I cleaned the apt and this afternoon we go to Costco to get my new glasses and other errands. Tonight our grandson Paul graduates from Art school in the cities and we hope that the weather cooperates!! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
We all come to know both times of joy and times of sorrow and yet we can praise the Lord in both situations.  In fact, in times of darkness and pain, we can sing a new song as David wrote in Psalm 40:3(ESV), “He put a new song in my mouth a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” 
I received a poem early one morning from our friend David who walks the Paul Bunyan trail with us, along with his wife who has Alzheimer’s. He has experienced a lot of pain as he lost his son and is watching his lovely wife slowly fade. He writes poetry that helps him in dealing with his sorrow and God speaks to him through it and teaches him.
A few of the words he wrote of his loss: “A season of loss and the coming despair./ Around the dinner table is a half chair./ Alzheimer’s disease visited my wife./ The  light from her candle will leave, ending her life./ I find myself in a difficult place./ I ask where is God’s grace?/ I feel my home will never be the same as it was known./ I feel all alone.”
But he doesn’t leave it there and goes on to write about a powerful transformation of his attitude after he turns to the Lord for help and finds comfort in his despair. Instead of the stone in his heart, God uses it as a stepping stone for a new heart. He realizes God is controlling his destiny and thanks him for both sunshine and rain. He senses he has a covered bridge over earthly rain and pain.
He writes, “A season of gain as we turn to Jesus to help overcome our despair./ Around our table, with Jesus’ presence, we need an extra chair./ Alzheimer’s will never be the total of my wife./ With her life dedicated to Christ, her candle shines bright, lighting up her life.”
Then one day when he is cleaning a closet, he finds her wedding dress and is emotionally spent. But he remembers how he purposed to her and all the love and happiness they have experienced together, and the promise of his love to her always.  Instead of feelings of despair he thanks the Lord for the person she was before her illness and how His love is shining on her. God used the wedding dress to change his attitude and help him remember the precious memories of her life. His heart was opened and now resting in prayer and Jesus care.
Wherever we are at in life, know that Jesus will take us through the darkest times and give us a new song to sing.
Challenge for today: Give God your pain and ask Him to give you a new song!
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy