The Unwrapped Gift & Christmas Give-away!

In my devotion featured at Proverbs31.org and Crosswalk.com today, I shared about the year I planned for the perfect Christmas and how I almost missed what God had planned for me. Click on the title if you’d like to read “Unwrapping His Christmas Presence.”


My sadness caught me by surprise that day. I thought if I got to be with all of my family eating holiday meals, opening gifts and celebrating, it would be the perfect Christmas. But there was something missing.

When Christmas day came, my house was full yet my heart felt oh-so-empty. It wasn’t until I snuck upstairs and sat in my walk-in closet talking to God and reading my Bible that my mind was quiet enough to untangle my thoughts and process my disappointments.

That afternoon I realized I had been trying to turn my childhood Christmas disappointments into grown-up dreams come true.

You see, my family wasn’t all together for Christmas when I was growing up. My parents were divorced, so we spent our Christmas day with one or the other. Usually after all the gifts were opened and toys were played with, I felt sad as a child and always wondered why. I think I just wanted us to ALL be together. And 25 years later, as an adult, I was sure that getting my wishes was going to give me the perfect Christmas feeling I was trying to create.

I wanted all those longings from long ago to be fulfilled that Christmas day in 1999. Yet the longings were still there because I was looking to something that couldn’t give me what I longed for, not as a little girl or as a grown woman.

What I longed for was the presence of God’s Peace. What I needed was the gift of His perspective. What I craved was a renewed sense of His purpose. But I was so focused on all the people and presents that I honestly forgot to unwrap the most important present- the gift of God’s presence.

Sitting in my closet realizing what had happened, I sensed God saying it wasn’t too late. The gift of His presence was still there, always there, waiting to be unwrapped and enjoyed. So I told Jesus about the longing in my heart and how I needed and wanted Him to fill it. His peace came, washing away my anxiety and disappointment. Reminding me of His forever love and abiding presence. As I shared in my devotion today, it ended up being the perfect Christmas after all.

In the year that followed, a Christmas prayer was birthed in my spirit and ended up on the tip of my pen. By the following December it became my Christmas gift to Him. Today I’d like to share it with you ~


The Manger of My Heart
This Christmas, Lord, come to the manger of my heart.

Fill me with your presence, from the very start.

As I prepare for the holidays, and gifts to be given,

Remind me of the gift You gave,

when you sent Your Son from Heaven.

The first Christmas gift, the greatest gift ever,
You came as a baby born in a manger.

Wrapped like the gifts I find under my tree,

Waiting to be opened, to reveal Your love to me.

This Christmas, Lord, come to the manger of my heart.
Search me and know the most intimate parts.

Reveal to me if I have ever hung a sign within,

Claiming it off limits, implying “no room at the Inn.”

Restore to me the wonder that came with Jesus’ birth,
when
He left the riches of Heaven
and wrapped Himself in rags of earth.

Emmanuel, God with us, Your presence came that night.

As angels announced, “Into your darkness,
God brings His Light.”

“Do not be afraid,” they said, to shepherds in the field.
Speak to my heart today, Lord, and help me to yield.

Make me like those shepherd boys, obedient to your call.

Casting distractions and worries aside,
to You I surrender them all.

Surround me with Your presence, Lord,
I long to hear your voice.

Clear my mind of concerns and all the holiday noise.

Slow me down this Christmas, let me not be in a rush.

In the midst of parties and planning,
I want to feel Your hush.

This Christmas, Jesus, come to the manger of my heart.
Invade my soul like Bethlehem, bringing peace to every part.
Dwell within and around me,
as I unwrap Your presence each day.
Keep me close to You, Jesus.
It’s in your wonderful Name I pray.

© 2010,
Renee Swope ~ www.ReneeSwope.com

(Feel free to print or share this prayer by copying it with copyright and the link to my website please, and then paste into another document.)

**********************************
A “Christ-Centered Christmas Give-away”

  • The ADVENTure of Christmas book
  • Bath & Body Works Mint Chocolate Candle
  • Bath & Body Works festive candle holder
  • Unwrapping His Presence message on DVD
  • Rest Assured message on CD
  • $5 Starbucks Gift Card
**********************************

Enter to win by giving
the gift of encouragement and His Christmas Presence:


1) Send a copy (or link with today’s post & Christmas prayer) to a friend, co-worker, pastor, women’s ministry leader, family member or neighbor you want to encourage today.

2) Tell someone (via email, twitter or Facebook) about today’s give-away and how they can enter to win here.

3) Send today’s devotion, Unwrapping His Christmas Presence, to help someone find or keep Christ in their Christmas.

4) Click on the word “comments” below to tell me if you did one, two or all three! Each time you do, you will be entered to win!

5) Describe your perfect Christmas if you could have one for another chance to win.

Check back Friday morning for more Christmas encouragement, another holiday give-away and the name of our winner! If you’d like to be notified you can sign up in my sidebar for email updates, follow me in Google connect, or friend me on Facebook!

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am sharing your poem with my family at breakfast today. I already have it printed out!

    Laura
    lord150@comcast.net

  2. I shared teh post with my friend at work! She is such a Godly woman and is going through a lot of changes right now as she retires at the end of the year. I pray that your poem will touch her heart as it did mine.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am sharing with my friends on Facebook, and am going to copy and paste into an email with my coworkers. Thank you so much for the poem, each year I struggle with ways to really share the true meaning of Christmas with my Family that are not Christians. While I have not come up withthe "perfect gift", I have His peace that this year it will be great and there is no need to stress about it. Thank you again!

    Blessings,
    Marlene
    ittybitty14@hotmail.com

  4. Anonymous says:

    I emailed your beautiful prayer to 7 of my favorite ladies (family and friends).I pray that they (and I!) feel the peace of Jesus this season.

    My perfect Christmas would be lots of smiles, laughter, joy, giggles, presents, some good food of course, and the aroma of Christ wafting among us – passed around contagiously with all the hugs.

    May your Christmas be truly blessed and peaceful!

    Maureen F.
    ferguson 5 @ sbc global . net

  5. as always-you touch my heart- am sending to as many friends & family as i can! God bless!

  6. I am sharing this email with my friend and sister-n-law.
    I am thankful that my children know the true meaning of Christmas. My husband and I do not mention the fantasy character and although we were told by other Christians that it is ok to pretend , we strongly disagree. My children all look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus.

  7. I sent the link to your blog to my family and friends. I hope it will bless them like it has me.

    Merry Christmas,
    Jackie
    moorejn2@gmail.com

  8. Anonymous says:

    I just copied and sent your beautiful poem to all the women in my bible study class. I just loved it and pray that it blesses them all as it has me this morning. Thanks for sharing.

    Elaine
    wicksafire@hotmail.com

  9. I am sending today's devotional to someone who could use the encouragement. Thank you for encouraging me & so many others!
    Blessings,
    Karen

  10. Anonymous says:

    I shared the poem with the people in my Christcare group. I forwarded Unwrapping Christmas to the ladies in my email list. A perfect Christmas is one where Christ is glorified. Monica mheard11@frontier.com

  11. Courtney Moyer says:

    I have shared Unwrapping His Christmas Presence with numerous friends to include family. Especially after a similar experience last year.

    Merry Christmas

  12. Anonymous says:

    I shared this with some of dearest and closest friends already and plan to share with others. Thank you so much for blessing me this morning.

    Dona
    statefarm@ctc.net

  13. Anonymous says:

    The perfect Christmas:

    The perfect Christmas is happening this year. I have started homeschooling my children this year and for the first time in all the years of our family, our Christmas is Christ centered!!!! We have done an Advent study, reading a book together, studying the Christmas symbols and what they mean – it has been perfect!!!! Our family life is in perfect balance now that Jesus is the center of all we do!!!!!
    Staci Channel

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have emailed this to my family and close friends – 10 people! Love this reminder that we must keep Christ at the center of this season.
    Staci Channel
    s_channel@sbcglobal.net

  15. I have emailed this devotion to my ladies bible study group today!

  16. A perfect Christmas is a day spent with my family…laughing and playing, forgetting the worries of the world and wrapping myself in their love as we celebrate Christ's birth!

  17. Kendra Cameron-Jarvis says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am a Type A personality and have huge expectations for myself. I so related to your story of desiring the perfect Christmas. Thank you for reminding us that any Christmas is perfect as long as we focus on Him.

    Visit Me at A Busy Woman's Life

    http://www.abusywomanslife.com

  18. Kendra Cameron-Jarvis says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am a Type A personality and have huge expectations for myself. I so related to your story of desiring the perfect Christmas. Thank you for reminding us that any Christmas is perfect as long as we focus on Him.

    Visit Me at A Busy Woman's Life

    http://www.abusywomanslife.com

  19. I shared this with my friend Nancy today….she is a wonderful friend and really needs to see this today…as did I. I have printed the poem out and I am going to include it as part of my quiet time everyday this month. Thank you Renee for reminding all of us what is most important.
    Tonia
    wheeler_tonia@yahoo.com

  20. My dream Christmas is when I can be with my parents and my husband and kids opening presents, eating and hanging out together on Christmas day. I plan to share a link on my facebook profile to this website to share the wonderful, inspiring poem you have written. Thank you for sharing and touching hearts!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thank You Renee,
    Every year I pray for the peace that Christmas is meant to give us rather than what the secular world wants us to do! I have shared this with the incredible women in my bible study. We have been together for ~ 7 years and have grown so much together in our walk with the Lord.
    Sally
    snicholson1002@wi.rr.com

  22. Anonymous says:

    My dream for the perfect is Christmas is waking up early Christmas morning at a little house at the base of a ski hill in northern Michigan that my family has stayed in. We would put on our skis and ski all morning. When I ski, I feel the presence of God in the beauty of his creation. The sparkle of fresh fallen snow, crisp air, the quietness of my surroundings. After skiing, we would all come back to the house, share a "skier's lunch by the fire, enjoy each others company, pray together and open just one gift for each person. Then play games and enjoy the day as a family and be thankful for all that God has blessed us with.
    That is my "perfect" Christmas and has been a dream of mine for years. I hope that some day it will become true.
    Sally
    snicholson1002@wi.rr.com

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am going to print this!!! I hope to frame it! Thank you for sharing…almost got caught in the materials of Christmas this morning but you Prov. 31 gals helped much!!!
    On second snow day…thanking the Awesomeness of God that at 49 I can shovel and then shovel some more! Thank you!! God Bless!
    Carol
    jocajaju@yahoo.com

  24. What a great reminder in this busy season. I shared this with my coworker!
    Laura
    lcallagh@yahoo.com

  25. I am sharing this with my friends! Thank you
    Laura
    lcallagh@yahoo.com

  26. I shared with several friends and posted on Facebook!

  27. Wendy Reitnauer wbbebe@juno.com says:

    My perfect Christmas would be for everyone I know to be completely aware and acknowledge the true reason for the celebration…the miracle of the birth of Christ.

  28. I shared on Facebook, hoping it blesses many today that need an extra dose of encouragement!
    I think my perfect Christmas is spending time with my family and sharing the story of Jesus, especially with my children.

  29. I have never heard the story nor read it. My goal is to read it and share it with my kids this Christmas.

  30. I already printed your poem and can't wait to share it with my family. I sent the poem to a good friend from church and also to my "roommate" from the Women's Get-a-Way cruise 2010, whom I had just met when I arrived on the ship! Loved hearing you speak.
    Wendy
    wwalker40@frontiernet.net

  31. Courtney Moyer says:

    A perfect Christmas for me would be to have my Husband, Daughter, and Son gathered around our Christmas decorations and tree near 5AM on December 25th to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus! Read the story "What God wants for Christmas." Then as we begin to open our gifts, we take turns(one at a time) and for each gift opened a blessing is shared among the family! Once all our gifts are opened we exchange hugs/kisses for thankfulness. Our breakfast is not the typical tradition because we eat Red Velvet Cake that has been decorated with, "Happy Birthday Jesus" and every color of sprinkles imaginable(made by my 5 year old Daughter), so yes we eat cake and drink milk for breakfast! I really enjoy seeing my house a mess on Christmas because it is a reminder that God does not intend for our homes to always be neat and tidy rather his desire is for us to build relationships and I know that if I look around on Christmas to see a mess of twisty ties from toys, empty card board boxes, wrapping paper pieces, tissue paper, ripped boxes, and dishes in the sink that I am doing God's will! We would spend the afternoon surrounded by Christmas music until about 4PM when we are catered to a fancy Christmas dinner by my Chef Aunt. This would be a perfect Christmas in my home. Having small children my Husband and I are beginning to create our own family traditions. Some of this we have done in the past but this year we will be adding the tradition of sharing our blessings.

    I wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and pray that whatever tradition you and your family consider to be the perfect Christmas that this year be extra special.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I'm sharing it with my mom's Bible Study group in preparation for Christmas. Thank you for the poem and beautiful reminder to prepare ourselves for HIM.
    debosberg@gmail.com

  33. I have shared this with my Sunday School class and Bunco friends. Thank you for putting this season in perspective for me. It is so easy to get caught up in the preparations and unrealistic expectation. God bless you!
    Karen

  34. Anonymous says:

    I'm also planning to share it with my adult children when we return to the States for our Christmas visit together. May the Lord encourage your heart as you bless others with HIS Word. debosberg@gmail.com

  35. Anonymous says:

    As always, your devotion today is so timely and relevant for all of us busy moms trying to make a special holiday for our family and friends. I refuse to let Christ go missing in my Christmas despite all the crazy demands this season puts on us.
    I love that we are reminded, Emmanuel, GOD WITH US! Happy Birthday, Jesus!
    I am forwarding the devotion to several of my friends.

    Aundrea
    amilldrum@charter.net

  36. I guess my perfect Christmas would be having my mom back and my kids young again. It seems I struggle more now to keep the "reason for the season" but I'm working on it.
    Wendy
    wwalker40@frontiernet.net

  37. What a blessing It was to read the poem, I actually retrieved your email from the trash, It blessed my heart so much to read It, as a single mom Christmas can be difficult for two daughters and myself. Through the tears I prayed for God to fill me with thankfulness and peace. I also sent the poem, devotion and email to friends, I trust the Lord will touch their heart as well through the poem. May the Lord continue to bless you as you minister to others. Lori Smith lorizsmith2009@gmail.com

  38. Thank you for your devotion today and the link to your poem. I really needed it today as I have been struggling with being filled with Christmas joy. It helped me realize I need to refocus on what Christmas is truly about.

    I shared your poem with some family and friends and I forwarded the Proverbs 31 devotion to several friends.

    Thanks for the encouragement today:)

  39. I shared your website with a friend. Thanks for the encouragement today!
    debbie
    briandebbie88@bendbroadband.com

  40. I'm sharing this post with my best friend. She is 20 weeks pregnant, an at-home mom of 2 preschool-age boys, and will be losing her own father to cancer sometime over the next few weeks. I can only pray for her, as her struggle is so involved. For her, the perfect Christmas isn't even a battle worth engaging in. I am just praying for peace, and moments for her to reflect on her Savior, and the promise found in the nativity.

    Thank you for your post and devotion. I was blessed.

    Erin
    Zumpsmom@gmail.com

  41. I've been awake since 2 am, praying for everyone situation on my heart and the ability to get through my to-do list, so your devotional really hit me this morning.

    I have shared it with my Bible study groups, and I encouraged my sisters and mom to stop over to check out the great giveaway!

    My amazing Christmas would be a big snowfall that starts on Christmas Eve and keeps us home on Christmas day. A day to rejoice in Jesus' arrival to save us and a day to enjoy my family with no running around.

  42. Thank you for that! I can't wait to read it to my kiddos. I shared it on Facebook and pray it blesses so many more!

  43. I am sharing this poem with a member from church who is going through some stuff right now. I pray she gets a blessing from your poem.
    Kristy
    squeak732000@yahoo.com

  44. Emily B (emleepc@yahoo.com) says:

    Shared your poem via email with family and friends.

    may we all be reminded of Jesus' birth!

  45. I'm sharing your poem as a note on my facebook page, copying it to share with my Bible Study later this week, and then emailing it, with some winter pictures to my family. The perfect Christmas-is the one I celebrate only focusing on the Christ Child, and not all the trappings. There yet-no

  46. My perfect Christmas…there are so many pictures that run through my mind of that…caroling, sitting around a fireplace reading the Christmas story….enjoying one another…

    I have learned that nothing lines up with my "dream Christmas"…I can relate to your "revelation"…So…my perfect Christmas would be to be at peace with an awareness of His presence with me…

  47. I shared your article/blog with all my F.B. friends and your post with my daughter…

  48. plan to share your poem with my women's group at our Christmas gathering. thanks!
    michelle in seattle

  49. I sent a copy of the Christmas prayer and the devo to several of my friends!!!

    I linked your post on facebook!

    My favorite Christmas memories are camping out under the tree with my brother! As far as my idea of a perfect Christmas… It's being thrown out the window this year. I end up feeling the same way you described in this post every single year!!! Not this year!!!!

    Melissa C

  50. I am sharing your Christmas poem to members of my extended family,hoping they can experience a truly blessed Christmas with the right heart…

  51. I am sharing your Christmas poem to members of my extended family,hoping they can experience a truly blessed Christmas with the right heart…

  52. My perfect christmas is one with all my family and sharing good food! tracietrump@yahoo.com

  53. Renee~I'm sitting here (on the floor next to my closet too) and feeling empty. It's hard to imagine that I can feel empty when I look around and see so much to be thankful for. But I long for His peace and perspective to fill me up also. Thank you so much for sharing this. It makes the story of Christ's birth alive in all of our lives right here and now. I can't wait to share this poem with family and friends and think I'll print it out for my fridge too! Merry Christmas! Margaret

  54. I have just done the 1st three….. via email and facebook… planning to do more….

    The perfect Christmas …..I guess in some ways despite missing my dad since he passed away in July that this year is because he is no longer sick but in his heavenly home.. no more sickness and is fellowshipping with his Savior..

  55. My perfect Christmas – my extended family aould agree to forgo the presents in lieu of donations made in each others' names, spend some time together sharing a meal, then I would like the rest of my day to myself,a quiet day of reading and relaxing and taking in God's presence in a soft winter snow.

  56. I've been in good shape, mentally, while preparing for Christmas this year UNTIL I watched a Martha Stewart's Christmas special yesterday – all night I was dreaming up "improvements" to make to our holiday…I know we're right where we need to be and this was a great encouragement to me.

    Thank you!

  57. My Perfect Christmas – This is easy…I am the mother of five grown children, and Grandmother of six almost seven grandchildren. Two of my sons and one daughter-in-law serve in the United State Air Force. Another daughter and her husband live in Denver. My perfect Christmas would to be to have them all home at the same time. It has happened one time in the last 10 years.

  58. My favorite Christmas is easy. It would be to have all five of my children and all six of my grandchildren with us at the same time. I have two sons and 1 daughter in law in the United States Air Force and a daughter in Denver. We have been all together once in the last ten years.

  59. My favorite Christmas is easy. It would be to have all five of my children and all six of my grandchildren with us at the same time. I have two sons and 1 daughter in law in the United States Air Force and a daughter in Denver. We have been all together once in the last ten years.

  60. I shared your story with my knitting group from church

  61. I am passing your post along to my sister and our pastor's wife. In my mind I am always picturing a Martha Stewart Christmas…thank you for the reminder that it CHRISTmas that I need to celebrate. My perfect Christmas would be shared with my side of the family all together just like when we were growing up. We haven't been together for a holiday in over 10 years.

  62. I forwarded your devotional to my mom and to my friend (who is a counselor and can share with those who need their hearts filled this Christmas).

    My perfect Christmas would be to have my family together. My husband has a disorder that makes it very hard for him to be around people and so we celebrate by ourselves. Add some kitties and some hot cocoa, and I'm a happy Jesus-girl!

    God bless you.
    Jennifer

  63. Shared this on my Facebook page and sent to several friends. My PERFECT CHRISTMAS would be one where there were no more orphans waiting for their forever families and all would be with their family for Christmas and not alone in an orphanage. Where they would KNOW HIS LOVE and never be ALONE again on Christmas.
    Blessings, Kim mom to 8, soon to be 9 via adoption!

  64. Hi Renee! Love the poem the Lord gave you… I posted it to my notes on FB for everyone to read!

  65. I shared this poem thru e-mail with some close women friends. I also shared it with the folks on Facebook to read the poem and try their luck at winning the great prizes.

    My perfect Christmas – silly but true, that the Christmas lights – ALL of them would work at the SAME time =)

  66. I sent your Christmas prayer to my sister. We both tend to get overwhelmed by too many commitments and need to refocus on the Peace of Christ. Thank you.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I emailed the link to my sister.

    Amy V.

  68. Anonymous says:

    The "perfect" Christmas for me would be smiles all day-sharing love and joy w/o expecting anything in return. Simply letting Jesus shine through all of us.

    Amy V.

  69. I sent your poem to my sister, I thought that it would cheer her up at this time of year. I also printed it out and I am giving it to a friend of mine, and to the people that I have come in contact with. I know that they will enjoy the poem as much as i am.

  70. Anonymous says:

    This was a beautiful post and poem- I am sharing on my own blog (with your copyright) and to mom's in our MOPS group at church, Thanks so much!

  71. I told everyone on FB how to enter todays drawing!!!

  72. I shared today's devotion on FB so everyone will know the secret of a Christ centered Christmas!

  73. My perfect Christmas hasn't happened in its entirety yet – but this is how it would go… All my kids would be home for Christmas and we would read the Christmas story and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus like we used to do when they were little. Then we would have a big breakfast. After we eat and open gifts, we would volunteer somewhere to help make someone's Christmas a little more special.

  74. Renee… I did all 4!!!!

  75. Anonymous says:

    I shared the devotional with 24 people, including my father, who I'm not sure is a Christian. I shared in the email how anyone who read the devo could get more info on winning a prize. Some of the woman I shared this with say they are Christian, but don't really practice it. So I guess I did ALL 3.
    Thank you for sharing your poem with us. It really hits home!

    Rita Presser
    rjpresser@verizon.net

  76. I FB'd about it!

  77. I shared with three friends via email. A perfect Christmas would be one where there was lots of love, laughter, and fellowship. Holidays are usually a lonely time of year for me.
    The poem was very touching, and I hope my friends like it as much as I did. It certainly touched my heart. Thank you.

  78. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely love the poem!! I'm sending it to all of my friends!

    My perfect Christmas is one where everyone is together instead of all over!

    Melissa
    melissam1107@yahoo.com

  79. Thank you for this great reminder today! All my family will be visiting the week of and week after Christmas, so I know I'll need this reminder!

  80. Anonymous says:

    1. I e-mailed your lovely Christmas poem to some friends and co-workers. 2. I shared your devotional with my daughter and daughter-in-law. 3. The perfect Christmas would include spending time with my husband, children and grandchildren. My grandchildren are just babies, but I hope to start a tradition of sharing the real "Christmas story" with them year after year. Have a blessed Christmas!
    Myra mbankston@ecmhci.com

  81. Anonymous says:

    I replied to all three comments. Loved your poem and sent it to several people. My perfect Christmas would be for my 84 year old dad who is taking chemo treatments for prostate cancer would soften his hard heart and accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. I will pray for him until he takes his last breath and keep trusting God to be faithful.

    Sweet Blessings,
    Donna

  82. I copied and pasted it and put a pretty border around it. I gave it to my co workers and I am going to give it out at our ladies church social next week. Thanks for sharing this…it is exactly what I needed to hear.

  83. I shared on FB

  84. My perfect Christmas happens every year because I get to share it with my husband and three (this year thanks to Charlie who arrived in August) boys

  85. Made a copy to post at work…

  86. I am going to email this to my family I think it will keep us all focused on why we are celebrating. Thank you for reminding us.

  87. I have done steps 1-3. I love the poem and I am going to share it with my family and friends that donot have email.

    A perfect Christmas to me would be being with all my family and friends. I would like to make it one big birthday party for Jesus's birthday. I would like to sing hyms and have everyone to tell what Jesu's birth means to them.I would like to hear how it has afected there lives. This to me is the true meaning of christmas.

  88. I have done steps 1-3. I love the poem and I am going to share it with my family and friends that donot have email.

    A perfect Christmas to me would be being with all my family and friends. I would like to make it one big birthday party for Jesus's birthday. I would like to sing hyms and have everyone to tell what Jesu's birth means to them.I would like to hear how it has afected there lives. This to me is the true meaning of christmas.

  89. What a beautiful poem/prayer, thank you! My perfect Christmas would be peace in my family, a healed marriage and a teen that was walking with God.
    I had to forward your post to our Pastor's wife who is also walking a painful road right now!
    Blessings!
    I will be sharing the good news with many, it really is beautiful!
    Blessings,
    karen

  90. I shared your prayer on Facebook and my blog! Thank you! Your P31 devotion today was wonderful. Praying that we all remember the true meaning of Christmas! Love to you and your family.

  91. Heidi Johnson says:

    I shared the giveaway link with my friends on FB and shared Unwrapping His Christmas Presence with them also!

    :)
    Heidi
    avolker@juno.com

  92. Thanks for sharing! I have shared devotion/link with 6 family/friends and pray that it will touch their hearts as it has mine!

  93. Your poem was very heartwarming and made the Christmas story very personal as you asked the Lord to make you make room for Him and not deny Him a room in the inn. I am sure you brought Christ to many with this poem. I am planning to send this poem out as well as send to my e-mail list the Proverbs 31 devotional on the Unwrapped Gift. May God continue to use you as His pen for others to know Jesus in a personal way. Love, Kathy

  94. Honestly, I can't forward your devo because all my friends get the Prov 31 devos by now. However, you described my perfect Christmas in your prayer…one where I would focus on the great gift of Jesus, my Savior and friend, and one in which I would not let busyness pervade my life but let His peace reign. I hope that by doing this I can be a good example to my kids on how to really celebrate Christmas. Thanks, Renee, for the wonderful reminder and prayer.

  95. Thank you so much for sharing this. I took the lovely picture above the prayer and used it as a background, enlarged and muted, then centered the prayer on it. I'm printing out for my daughter and emailing it to some dear friends who value their intimate relationship with God.

  96. What a beautiful reminder! With Christ at the center, every Christmas will be "perfect."
    I e-mailed this to my parents and a dear friend and posted the link to Facebook.

  97. I also told a friend about the website!

  98. What an awesome reminder, especially for me right now when it is so easy to concentrate on stress you know will happen thanks to the negative attitudes and actions of family that may or may not be around this year.

    I also shared this with my Prov 31 yahoo group and my WBTB forum. Along with the Unwrapping His Christmas Presence devotional. I know that they will get as much out of this as I have, or at least hope so! :)

    Kathy
    kathy_everman@sbcglobal.net

  99. I shared your link (beautiful post) with a family memeber.

  100. I just posted about your contest on facebook.

  101. I sent a friend request on facebook for you too.

  102. My perfect Christmas would be reading the Christmas story as a family. Not stressing over gifts. Not stressing over Christmas period! Just keeping Him in my heart, and thoughts every minute of the day!

  103. I did all 3 of these things to be entered to win this beautiful Christmas gift. I would share it too (with loved ones).
    Thanks for being such a gift from God, Renee!

  104. The poem is beautiful, I am going to email it to several friends and most especially my son who is having a hard time with a divorce from someone who thought was the love of his life and he is drawing closer to God and I believe this poem will help him a great deal this Christmas. You have blessed many people by sharing your heart. Mary Lou at dlowran1(at)comcast(dot)net

  105. As the worship leader at my church, I'm going to open worship with this poem. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem and for the chance to win your giveaway. God bless and Merry Christmas!

    koinonia572001@yahoo.com

  106. Your poem is beautiful. I am sharing it with our entire staff at work. I am also sharing your site with my friends on Facebook. Thank you for sharing the poem with us and allowing us to pass it along.

    My ideal Christmas is our family spending time together sharing laughter and making memories for the next generation.

  107. Anonymous says:

    I am sharing your poem with my Mom's Group and my Small Group. I will also be adding in to my facebook, if I can figure it out. lOL>Thanks!

  108. sending this to women in our church. Thank you for encouraging "realistic advice" from a practical woman. We have all had the color light saga and desire to have the perfect Christmas. Wendy mwhurst5@gmail.com

  109. My perfect Christmas would be to have all the children together at one time.

  110. i am sending your poem to all the girls i work with and i'm going to include it in my christmas cards. thank you for sharing something so personel with us.
    Cheryl
    hooks2@wbnorriselectric.com

  111. Hi…I received your poem in my inbox today. Read it and let it soak in. I looked to see who wrote it and lo and behold!!!!!! I thought…I know who that is!! So now I'm going to pass down the poem, too.

  112. Thank you for that beautiful poem and this giveaway!

    I tweeted about the giveaway: http://twitter.com/Keep_Tha_Faith/status/12730933950025729

    A perfect Christmas would be surrounded by family, snow on the ground, and joyful, loving time together. In this perfect day would also be the strength (and not hesitation) in me to boldly share God's Word and love with my family. My husband and I have been discussing how we can lovingly do this!

    Merry Christmas!

  113. I did #2!

  114. Thank you so much!!! This prayer is EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED! After the hustle & bustle is over I always feel disappointed & like something is missing. This is my ANSWER & I can't thank you enough!!!!!!!!

  115. I am glad that the Lord give you this poem. It spoke to my heart this morning and I shared it with my friends on FB. May he feel our hearts and homes this Christmas!Jesus, this is the longing of our hearts!

  116. I have received this blog from a friend & feel blessed/thankful to have received it on today. I asked our LORD to use me to encourage my father's spirit's in that his wife, my step mother, is hospitalized once again with pnemonia in both of her lungs. She handle's most of holiday decorating & gift buying. My Dad feels "bah hum bugged" at this time and I forwarded this blog to him for encouragement and would like to share scripture/uplifting words with him by opening my heart to endless miracles & possibilities in Him and through Him. Thank you for all that you share and for allowing him to use you which encourages others.

    dwiencke@adv-polymer.com

  117. Merry Christmas! I pray you have a Christ-filled, blessed holiday with family and friends. I printed the prayer to give members of my Sunday school class. I attempted to email it, but my computer skills are highly lacking! So, I forwarded the entire devotion to all 79 people in my address book and told them where to look to find the prayer.

    You have such a gift for saying the words that God lays on your heart. This message is one we all need to remember each and every day, not just at Christmas. Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

    My idea of the perfect Christmas is for all my family to be healthy, happy, present, and enjoying ALL the blessings God gives us each day. My husband had a kidney transplant in August; a brother-in-law has had a bout with colon cancer and congestive heart failure; my Mom has had knee surgery; a sister broke her collar bone. AND God is good!!!!!! They are all doing well, and they are all planning to be at our house to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    God bless you and yours,
    Cindy
    cynballard@yahoo.com

  118. Thank you so much for sharing this..I feel I have already won! But, I did email it to a friend and shared it on FB!!! I could relate so much to your story and poem..I'm trying to not get so "caught up" and focus on the real meaning of Christmas! Thanks again, Sherry

  119. I thought what you said was quite interesting; I have sent it on to a dear family member in hopes that it will bring encouragement to her.

  120. I shared your post with 8 lovely women, most who are going through challenging times in their life. This was a great devotional – thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

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