Joyous Response

A Very Diva Christmas 2016

Joyous Response

[Editor’s Note: A Very Diva Christmas is here! This is a guest post by Alisha Ritchie, who we are welcoming back to kick off the series! As you recall, (or not if you are new…welcome!) this is the 3rd annual Christmas series at Devotional Diva. All of the posts will be focused on the Christmas story, specifically Luke 1 or 2. This guest post devotional series will span three weeks, and I truly hope it can inspire you this Christmas season. I am so thrilled with all of the submissions and writers that helped me put this together. Thank you! Also, all of the photos that will be featured in this series were taken at local Italian Christmas lights displays! Merry Christmas, everyone. Enjoy.]

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.’”

Luke 1:46-47 ESV

I stood in the bathroom, perched over the sink countertop, intently staring at the little white applicator.  My pulse quickened and my palms grew sweaty as I waited for the answer I’d been agonizing over for the past few days.

Could I possibly be pregnant? Was this really happening?

Did the nausea I’d been experiencing have meaning to it? Now, all my questions lingered in this moment, as my fate hung on the appearance of two little pink lines.

I stood there for three minutes, my mind buzzing with all the possibilities of what this pregnancy could mean, and they suddenly appeared on the applicator.

Two pink lines. Two pink lines that would change my world and heart forever.

I was pregnant!  A baby! My husband and I were going to have a baby! We had officially started our little family and I was overcome by hormones and emotions.

Tears of joy streamed down my face as I gave thanks to God for the blessing I beheld inside me.  Even now, fifteen years later, it’s hard to fully describe the happiness I felt that morning.  All I knew is that good things were about to happen and I was glad that God was with me on the journey.

I soon began thinking of how to tell my husband and family members the good news of our upcoming bundle of joy.  I really didn’t know if I could contain my excitement until after my pregnancy had been confirmed by the doctor.  I had wonderful news and I just had to share it with those I loved most.

No doubt, so many years ago, a young girl named Mary had some of those same emotions I felt.  The virgin had learned of her miraculous pregnancy through the incredible visit of an angel.  I cannot begin to even fathom the wonder, awe, and pure joy that she felt upon receiving that news.  And of course, she wanted to share it with her family.

She traveled to Judea to visit her cousin and was greeted with a warm response, as Elizabeth already knew she was carrying the child of the Lord. Mary didn’t respond to Elizabeth with panic or anxious questions of why was this happening to me? Or how can this even be possible?  She responded in complete submission with joy and praise to God for what He was doing in her.  Surely Mary’s delight caused her to speak those words to Elizabeth saying,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.  How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior (Luke 1:46-47 NIV).”

The mother-to-be rejoiced, exulting God for not only the child in her womb but also for what He meant to the world.  He would be a Savior for all of mankind, One who would bring joy in the days to come and for all of eternity.

As we prepare our hearts for the Christmas season, let’s not forget the true joy that Jesus brings to each of us.  Soon you will decorate trees and hang lights.  You will shop till you drop and spend late nights wrapping gifts.  You will attend holiday parties and eat lots of yummy goodies.  But in all the splendor and busyness of Christmas, don’t let your joy, immense jubilation and delight, be dulled this year.  Remember Mary’s response thousands of years ago.  Praise God for the Joy God gave us so many Christmases ago, that still lives in our hearts today.

Is there someone in your life who needs to hear about the hope that Jesus Christ brings into your life?  Be inspired to share the best gift you can give them this season, an opportunity for a personal relationship with God.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son and Mary’s willingness to be a part of Your plan.  Help me remember to praise You, igniting joy within my soul this season, shining brightly so that others may be pointed to You.  Guide me in honoring You in all I say and do, on Christmas and always.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

alisha-ritchieAlisha Ritchie writes from North Carolina where she enjoys spending time with her husband, Brandon, of almost twenty years, and two busy but wonderful teenagers, Zack and Abby.  She is a Physical Therapy Assistant by profession but in recent years has also become a multi-published author of devotions and inspirational stories to inspire others in their walk with God. Alisha’s stories and devotions have appeared in numerous publications, and you can follow her on her new blog www.seekhimdaily.wordpress.comfor details about the release of her upcoming devotional book in January 2017 or on her Snuggle Sessions with God Facebook page.