Dear Ones,                                                                                                                                                                Hope you are having a good day as you prepare for Christmas. I cleaned the apartment this morning, went to Super One and downstairs for coffee etc. We plan to walk with friends this afternoon and are going to the Lake tomorrow to celebrate Christmas Eve day with Ann’s family; all 3 grandsons are home! Emoji 
Devotions from Judy’s heart                                                                                                                           This is a hard Christmas for so many people who have lost loved ones, as they feel the emptiness of their presence no longer with them.  Many of you have prayed for my cousin Susie who died and like us, you also have friends who have lost their spouses and children. As families go through grief, tears spill out unexpectedly when they are flooded with memories of times past when their loved ones were present. If you are one of them, then perhaps Dena Johnson’s prayer may express to the Lord what you feel.                                                                                     “Lord Jesus, 
 I am so overwhelmed. My heart is heavy, burdened. The losses this year are crushing me, overcoming my peace and joy. I know you tell us you are close to the brokenhearted, but I don’t feel you. I feel lost, hopeless, abandoned.                                             I know this is a season, a season that has a beginning and an end. But right now it feels like it will never end. I need hope, hope to believe you will truly restore me, strengthen me. I need hope to believe you will one day have me put together and on my feet for good. I need a vision of the future you have for me, a future of hope and blessings from you.                                                                                                                                                 It’s so easy to become distracted, to focus on the many losses I have experienced. Forgive me. Help me to put my thoughts, my attention on you. Help me cling to you, to your word, to your promises. Help me be fixed on you because I know it’s the only way to enjoy your perfect peace.  As I walk through this holiday season, give me a fresh glimpse of who You are. Help me remember the suffering You experienced as You watched your Son on the cross, a gift given just for me. Help me remember with joy and wonder the amazing gifts we have simply because you gave, a precious baby born that Christmas morning. Help me focus my heart and mind on Immanuel, God with me.                                                                                                                                                                                      You are my hope, my only hope, for Christmas and every day on this earth. May I always carry your hope with me.   In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen pray.                                            Challenge for today: Pray for those who are grieving and thank the Lord that He is our hope.