The Twelve Days of Christmas - The Gift of Belonging

Let us not give up meeting together, 
as some are in the habit of doing, 
but let us encourage one another
and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:25

I wish I could sit down with every one of you this Christmas. I want us to share a cup of cocoa or coffee, to chat and to hear each other's Christmas dreams. But since I can't be with most of you in person this December, I wanted to give you a gift this year. In fact I'm giving you 12 of them. Each day - Monday through Friday for the next 12 days, I will be sharing with you the 12 gifts I most want you to have this Christmas season.

The first is the gift of belonging.

Three years ago today I wasn't trimming a tree; I was trimming our household belongings as I prepared to downsize and move from Dallas to Memphis. My hubby had already made his way here. Soon the movers would pack up my memories as I packed up our children, and move us hundreds of miles away...just in time for Christmas.

I know I purchased and wrapped Christmas presents that year but frankly I can't remember any of them. Because...

More than any toy...

Better than the latest fashion...

I wanted to give my family one gift for Christmas - the gift of belonging.

That year we attended Christmas Eve service with strangers. We unwrapped our hearts in the presence of the unknown. We stepped out in faith into a community where we knew no one.

We needed the gift of belonging.

Belonging doesn't just happen. It's one of those gifts I have to give myself. I have to choose to make time for a women's Bible study. I have schedule the hours to attend a small group. I need to select an hour to get to know Christian friends. I can only truly belong with others if I first belong to Him.

The thing is I'm not the only one who needs the gift of belonging. You need it too.

Will you let me give you this gift this year? Will you let yourself be more authentic and less concerned with appearances? Will you make time for relationships that matter and let go of ones that don't? It may require attending Christmas Eve service with strangers but if you choose belonging and stay the course, eventually belonging will choose you too.

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