"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The First Christmas - 12 Pearls of Christmas

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!
Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom"! Please follow along through Christmas day as Melody Carlson, Lauraine Snelling, Rachel Hauck, Tricia Goyer, Maureen Lang, and more share their heartfelt
stories of how God has touched their life during this most wonderful time of the year.

AND BEST OF ALL ... there's also a giveaway!!!! Fill out the quick form
at the link located at the bottom of this post to be entered to win a PEARL
NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS! You may enter once a day.
The winner will be announced on New Year's Day at the Pearl Girls Blog! Pearls - a tangible reminder
of God's grace to us all.

The First Christmas
by Pat Ennis

It was October of my eighteenth year of life when my Dad stepped into eternity. As a
college freshman I not only had to deal with my own grief, I also was faced with the
responsibility of helping my mother adjust to a new lifestyle. You see, when Dad died,
she not only lost her husband of thirty years, she also lost her circle of friends. Suddenly
the married couples (my Dad was the first of their group to die) didn’t know what to do
about Mother—so they did nothing. Her grieving process was actually extended because
of the withdrawal of her friends, many with whom she and Dad had enjoyed fellowship
for years.

Our plight was magnified by the reality that we did not have extended family and I was
an only child. Quite frankly, the outlook for the holiday season appeared pretty dismal!

As the holidays approached our neighbors, who embraced a different faith than we,
graciously invited us to share their Christmas celebration with them. The sincere
invitation, their effort to fold us into their family, inclusion in the gift exchange, and
intentional conversation that focused on recounting the blessings of the year as well as
looking forward to the next turned what could have been a miserable day into one of
joy. Of course we missed our husband and Dad but the focus on the Lord’s provision for
us through the hospitality of our neighbors (Philippians 4:8-9, 19) soothed our grieving

I have a happy ending to my Mother’s loss of her circle of friends that I described at
the beginning of this story! Ever the gracious southern hostess, she did not cease to
extend hospitality because of the change in her marital status—in the five years that
she lived beyond Dad’s death, we entertained frequently, and eventually our guest list
included widows from the group that had earlier excluded my Mother. Though her
arthritic condition precluded her engaging in as much of the food preparation as she was
accustomed to doing, she continued to help me hone the skills that were second nature to

The loving hospitality extended to us on that first lonely Christmas served as a catalyst
for Mom and me to open our home throughout the year—especially during the holiday
season! Will you consider displaying biblical compassion by including some of
the “others”—singles, widows, and the grieving in your holiday celebrations? Who,
knows, you might be entertaining an angel incognito (Hebrews 13:2)!


About Pat: Dr. Patricia Ennis, author of Precious in His Sight, the Fine
Art of Becoming a Godly Woman
, co-author of Practicing Hospitality, the
Joy of Serving Others
,  and contributor to Pearl Girls, Experiencing
Grit, Experiencing Grace
as well as professor and establishing chairperson of the
Department of Home Economics at The
Master’s College.
Visit Pat's blog, Unfading Beauty for more information.


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you
need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}. The winner will be announced on
the Pearl Girls Blog (
) on New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more
information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

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