There’s a saying that goes, “It hit me like a mac truck.” How many of you can relate to that quote this holiday season? Well, this gal certainly can—literally. Last Thursday morning as I was walking in to speak at a high school FCA, I was literally hit by an SUV! The security cameras verified what my aching body felt; a direct hit that lifted me upward before throwing me onto the rainy pavement. There’s no doubt that it was totally God’s grace that allowed me to slowly (and sorely) walk away from that accident. As the Christmas season barrels its way toward us, how many of you have been hit by some big unexpected “hard” and “hurt” this year physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually? Rather than “WALKING in a Winter Wonderland” this Christmas you may be like me “LIMPING through a Winter Wonderland” in December of 2022.
Limping in a Winter WONDER-land
If that describes you in some way, then you are limping in the right direction because this blog is all about how God wants to strengthen the feeble legs of His limping daughters so we can regain our strength to finish this season “walking and leaping and praising God” as His Wonder Women!
After I got hit by the car on Thursday, as I was straining and determined to get up and make sure nothing was broken, I whispered this prayer under my breath, “God, I really don’t have time for this! There’s so much to prepare and do.” Can you relate? Yep. My first shallow prayer involved frustration over interruptions to my busy schedule.
As I struggled to walk into the school, the truth God spoke to my soul was, “Kim—as the pace of life and this season has increased—what you don’t have time for is Me.” (Wow! That truth hit me harder than the SUV!) His Spirit gently prodded, “This accident will actually prepare you most—to do what’s most important. It will slow you down for WHO is most important—that’s ME!”
During my required “down time” icing and elevating my injured legs, God keeps elevating these thoughts in my soul:
- Over-activity cripples our Awe of God,
- Worry weakens our Wonder of God and
- Distractions disable our Adoration of God.
No wonder my soul craved the reclaiming of WONDER this Christmas!
Shepherding our hearts and homes
So, if you are limping through December this year too, limp out with me on a “field” trip to the “fields” of Bethlehem and let’s learn from the shepherds. Why? Because they were the ones who truly experienced God’s WONDER that first Christmas. Together we can re-capture the WONDER of Jesus too!
But, before reading the familiar passage from Luke 2, consider this researched possibility: In biblical times the job of shepherding was definitely a “low man on the totem pole” kinda job. That’s why youngest kiddos (like David) were assigned that dirty work. But women were also “low on totem poles” too. Therefore, sometimes it was daughters who were given the job of caring for the sheep. Think about it-whenever we read the Christmas story it doesn’t specify gender, right? So today, as women, let’s picture ourselves in the story as shepherds.
Luke 2: 8 “And there were shepherds LIVING out in the fields nearby…”
- First question: What was the shepherds’ address? The fields nearby.
- Next question: What’s your address? (yes, you can say it out loud.)
- Last question (for both you and this shepherdess): “Are we LIVING at our houses or have they become more of a bed and breakfast?”
My mentor years ago would remind me in her sweet southern Georgia drawl, “Kim, if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy. Even the good is evil if it keeps you from what’s best.” (Her truth always hit me like a velvet covered brick.) Now, does this mean we cannot experience God’s wonder in many places? Of course not. But this limping mom needs to be reminded that if we want our homes to be places where God’s WONDER is welcomed—we’ve got to LIVE there!
Wonder Women WELCOME and WATCH for His Wonder
Luke 2:8b “…keeping WATCH over their flocks at night…”
The shepherds that first Christmas were keeping watch over their flocks. As shepherdesses, who are your flocks? Whether its toddlers, teens, co-workers, neighbors, or even aging parents—our primary job is to KEEP WATCH. We are called to be Watchwomen! Also, notice the time mentioned in this verse. Like moms, our job is 24/7. Yep. We are night watchwomen. I’m not sure what time it is when you are reading this, but we can all agree that in our current world, it’s nighttime—and getting darker every day.
Picture being a watchful shepherd. Take one minute and sit totally still. That’s kind of hard, isn’t it? Now, consider what shepherds may see, hear, and do while watching their flocks each night.
- bright shining moon…
- thousands of twinkling stars…
- occasional sheep braying…
- hours of stillness and silence…
- time to wonder…
Like the beloved carol Silent Night describes—“All. Is. Calm.” The shepherds understood that—-stillness welcomes WONDER. This quote slows me down: “A calm lake best reflects the wonder of the heavens.” Same with our hearts. Same with our lives. God reveals His WONDER to those who have margins for miracles. It’s no wonder that first Christmas God chose to show His glory and WONDER to shepherds who had time and attentiveness for Him.
The shepherds made room for His WONDER and God showed up—WONDER-fully.
Wonder Women WORSHIP His Wonder
Luke 2:13-14 “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Don’t you love that the shepherds and angels understood that the WONDER wasn’t the wrappings of that holy night? It wasn’t the angels filling the sky, the multitude singing, the good news spoken. No ma’am. They understood that God’s Son—JESUS. IS. THE. WONDER.
For years, our church presented an amazing pageant (cast of 300) that depicted Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. At a high point in the Christmas story, the stage was filled with Mary, Joseph, shepherds (with a whole flock of live sheep), angels suspended from the ceiling, a choir of 200 singing, and of course three wisemen bringing their gifts while riding in on live camels. One year, our pastor’s preschool boy was “standing” on tippy toes on the church pew beside his dad, singing along with the choir. But as the attendants of the wisemen spread their long trains filling the sanctuary, little Sam turned to his dad and with disappointment exclaimed, “But dad, I can’t see Jesus!”
Wow! Even the good is evil if it keeps us from what’s best. I pray that my kiddos see a mom who is far more thrilled about my Wonderful Savior than all the wrappings of Christmas. I so enjoy trimming the tree, baking cookies, hosting parties, wrapping gifts, watching holiday shows, etc. But as a co-shepherd of our flock, do our sheep see momma getting more excited about Christmas traditions, feelings, and festivities rather than in awe of Christ—who is THE WONDER of all Wonders? I pray that our families SEE JESUS this Christmas. I want to join little Sam on tippy toes worshipping Jesus for the “wonders and wonders of His love.”
Wonder Women SEEK to SEE His Wonder
Luke 2:15-16 “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and SEE this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So, they HURRIED off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.”
Moms, I like this verse. It shows that there was some definite “hurry and flurry” in the first Christmas too. However notice that the shepherds didn’t hurry to stop by mall, order or wrap an Amazon gift, put on an ugly Christmas sweater, or make another batch of cookies; their hurry was all about getting to be with Jesus as THE. WONDER. Period. We need daily “wonder worship” of Jesus.
Author Ann VosKamp calls this “Glory Soaking.” She explains, “Daily time for Glory Soaking washes our souls clean and makes our eyes see our problems as small since God is over all. (Wonder) makes us feel both insignificant and significant at the same time. Little but oh so loved. (Wonder) calms my fears, life’s flurry, life’s fury. (Wonder) is when God overwhelms us—so that this world and this season won’t.”
And finally, Wonder Women SHARE His Wonder
Luke 2:17-20 “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them…The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
The shepherds of the first Christmas show us God’s wonderful plan. His pattern. First, we are invited to “come and see” Jesus. Then, as His shepherdesses, we want to “go and tell” of our Savior (“…called Wonderful”-Isaiah 9:6) with all our flocks, friends, and family. Wonder-filled by His Holy Spirit we can live as His Wonder Women, daily welcoming, watching, seeking, and sharing His WONDER to a world that is limping by.
The good news we share? With Jesus as our WONDER, it can always be “the most WONDER-ful time of the year.”
Yes. It’s a WONDERful life with Jesus!
P.S. For creative interactive Bible Studies to encourage your daughters to become God’s “Wonder” Girls all year long, go to https://heartofwomanhood.org/about/