When I was a young mother I was very ill for many, many years. Just getting out of bed and tending to the basic needs of my husband and children was overwhelming and exhausting. Merge the day to day life with all that needs to be done for Christmas...you know what I'm talking about: shopping for gifts, wrapping presents, preparing food, baking holiday treats, spending time with family and friends,etc., all great things but in doing them, it sent my body into shut down.
Year in and year out, as Christmas drew closer, my immune system would get lower and lower and eventually I would find myself sicker than a dog waiting anxiously to go back to bed the day I crossed the finish line; Christmas morning. My gentle and quiet spirit was no where to be found.
Not only did I feel like a failure as a wife and mother throughout the year but even more so during the Christmas season, which ultimately resulted in me loathing the Christmas holiday. Yet, as a Believer, I knew there was something wrong with my perspective!
Something needed to change. Seeing how I couldn't fix my body, I had no other choice but to live with my limitations which forced me to become very intentional about what we embraced as a family.
So I made the decision to be like Mary as she sat at Jesus' feet, rather than being distracted like Martha. The Lord said in the scriptures that Mary chose 'that good part' because she fixed her eyes on Him and learned from Him. I, too, wanted to fix my eyes on Christ and teach my children the same thing.
And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:39-42
I scaled things down and threw out all the fluff. Then I brought in Christ-centered activities that would strengthen our faith plus make wonderful traditions as well!
May we always seek the Messiah.
Last year I compiled all my Christ-centered activities in one place and put them in a short ebook to encourage other mothers to become like Mary, to choose 'the good part'; to seek the Messiah.
What you'll find within those pages are easy, simple and affordable activities for all ages.
It is my free gift to you and I hope you'll enjoy it!
Update: Since I wrote my ebook last year, I thought I would share with you a few things that have taken place in our lives. It's been a couple of years now since I battled those 10 long years of chronic illnesses and now I am MUCH healthier. All in the Lord's timing, not to mention, with His perfect purpose!
Also, early in 2010 my family had lost our home and then I wrote this ebook around Thanksgiving of that same year. During that time, my husband was struggling to pay our rent for the rental home we were living in. We informed our 2 boys, ages 9 and 11 at the time, that we had no money to buy them Christmas presents. They said they understood and I believe they had that heart because of all the emphasis that was put on Christ at Christmas rather than the presents under the tree. The Lord did one miracle after another during those months and He also blessed my boys with so many presents from others that my children said it was the best Christmas they ever had!
My children saw first hand Christ moving in the Body of Christ. Not only were they learning to seek Christ at Christmas, but they were beginning to see Him as well! You can read more about our story here at, How to Lose Your Dream Home Not Just Once, But Twice.
Friend, enjoy the book and continue to seek Him!
a broken vessel for the LORD,
Jolene Engle was once a feminist who denied the existence of God, until the Lord transformed her life in 1996. For the 15 years that she has walked with her King, 10 of those years she battled chronic and debilitating illnesses at the onset of motherhood. For the past 4 years of her life, Jolene and her husband have faced financial ruin and they have lost their home not just once, but twice. Even though her tiara is broken and her gown is tattered, she still lives as a daughter of the King, where she strives to be a godly wife to her ‘Beloved Solomon,’ (husband-Eric) and mother to her two boys, Seth and Noah as she raises them to live out their lives for the King of Kings. As a broken vessel herself, she serves her Savior through her on-line writing ministry of The Alabaster Jar where she loves to encourage, equip, and inspire other women to learn how to pour out their lives at the feet of Jesus like the perfume from an Alabaster Jar.