Blessed is she who has believed…

The First Songs of Christmas by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is one of my reads for the month of Christmas.  The focus is on the songs of Christmas.  Years ago, a Titus 2 lady in my life encouraged me to ask the Lord for some new thought each holiday season. That has become my habit each year since.  This little devotional book has given me so much to think about.

I’ve also been thinking about how to wrap up my year with my one word for 2021, believing. The entry in the devotional for day 5 has provided much food for thought for me during this season.  

“The word translated “blessed” in Luke 1:45 is a different word than the “blessed” of verse 42, the one that equates to eulogy. This one (“Blessed is she who has believed”) is the Greek word makarios, meaning “one whom God makes fully satisfied”—not because of favorable circumstances, but because God Himself provides the satisfaction. To be makarios is to be fully content, even in situations that are less than ideal, solely because God lives in us through Christ. In other words, it’s the state of being saved. No matter what we are called to endure as Christians, we have all we need … because we have Jesus.”

“Blessed is she who has believed…” 

After meditating on something, I often write a paraphrase.  You could say, God has made her who has believed fully satisfied with Himself.  As I thought about this, I began to see some evidence of it in my life over this last year.  One of my verses for the year was Matthew 21:22. “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”  Many times I have cried out to the Lord while not necessarily believing that I will receive.  I have been convicted about that and working on changing it.  One result of that is that I have found myself talking to the Lord more and more.  Another result is that I can see that I have received.  I’m not talking about the Lord giving me everything I thought I needed or wanted.  He hasn’t answered every request the way I hoped or in the timing I desired; however, I am finding that the dissatisfaction of past “unanswered prayer” is fading and that I am becoming more satisfied with God Himself.  I have all I need because I have Jesus! 

As I was thinking about the correlation of believing and the blessing of satisfaction in the Lord, I couldn’t help but notice something.  Every time I make the choice to believe that God is good, I see more of His goodness. Every time I make the choice to believe that God is faithful, I see more of His faithfulness.  Every time I make the choice to believe that God will provide, I see more of His provision. Every time I make the choice to believe that God loves me, I see more of His love for me. This is God blessing the one who has believed. This is the joy and peace in believing (Romans 15:13).

We know that Mary experienced this satisfaction because of her beautiful song in Luke 1:46-55.  Most scholars believe that she was around 16 years old!!  Marvel over all that she believed about her God as you read.

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold,
from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things;
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him
from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm;
he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats,
and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy;
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham,
and to his seed for ever.

How about you?  What thought are you meditating on during this Christmas season?  Do you have a sense of God making you more satisfied with Himself?  Why not spend some time meditating on Elizabeth’s words about Mary, “Blessed is she who has believed…”

A Sunday Meditation

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living word
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn, and with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

When the heavens shall ring, and the angels sing,
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee.”
My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.

~E. S. Elliot


Please pray for my dear daughter over these next few weeks.  I have made a trip back to the states to be with her. This is part of my reason for being MIA here at the blog. She will be having back surgery December 14th.  Prayers for my husband would be appreciated as well.  This is our busy season in Japan and we will be apart for the holidays. I am glad that he has family there.

Christmas Apart

This year for Christmas, we will be together with all of our children for the first time in 6 years.  It is the first year with our daughter-in-law of 3 years and the first year with a grandchild.  I feel amazingly blessed.

There are many missionaries around the world that aren’t with family. The following was posted recently at In Her Shoes.

Pray for your missionaries during the holidays.  It can be some of the loneliest days as they are apart from their families. I came across a short passage in Amy Carmichael’s Rose from Brier that I often think about and share at this time of year.  If you are apart from your family this year, may it bring comfort to you as it has been to me…

Click here to read more.

Christmas Cheer

Life abroad can be challenging at times.  In Japan, Christmas is not a holiday.  New Year’s day is the big event.  The first year we were here, we told the school our children were attending that their winter holiday would begin December 24th.  There were very few Christmas decorations.  Hearing a Christmas song over the loudspeaker was so rare it was shocking.  I remember the first time I heard “He rules the world with truth and grace…” and thinking that the people don’t know know who He is.

Sometimes it’s hard to get into the Christmas spirit.  I know the focus of Christmas is not about the decorations, music, movies and events that all come with the season.  It is about the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  There are several things I am doing to keep my attention on this most important reason for this season. One is reading from Gospel Meditations for Christmas.


Times are changing as western culture meets eastern culture.  There are lots of Christmas decorations around in the shopping areas. They are definitely making use of the season in that way.  They even had a Black Friday here this year.  What?!?!?!?  How can you have a Black Friday when you don’t have a Thanksgiving??

Although people don’t understand what Christmas is, they know it has something to do with the church.  This is our busiest time of the year for ministry simply because people are interested in Christmas activities.  We have the most visitors this time of the year.  I recently posted about our Friend Party.  Last week we had our Children’s Christmas Party and Sunday the 23rd will be our Christmas program with a huge potluck afterwards.  These are highlights of our year.


I really scaled down on the decorating this year.  I was in the states until the week before Thanksgiving.  I just didn’t have the energy required to do it all, especially while recovering from jet lag.  It generally takes me at least two weeks to feel like myself again.  I did put up the Christmas tree and the Nativity.  I also displayed some of my Christmas china.  I am enjoying the simplicity this year.  I am starting to think it may be time to slow down and keep things simple every year.

If you are on Instagram, you might enjoy following #12daysofcozy2018.  It is hosted by Whitney of Come Home for Comfort.  I decided to participate this year.  I always enjoy countdowns and this one has been fun.  I’ve also enjoyed seeing everyone else’s posts.  It’s a nice way to spread that Christmas cheer!! Another thing, that I enjoy is Jacquie Lawson’s advent calendar. There is a new video or activity for each day.  There are also some games that I enjoy.  This year you were able to design your own plaid.  What fun!  You can see one of mine on the sofa.

Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 10.17.50 AM


So as I spend my 4th Christmas in a row without any of my children, I am thankful for the little things that help to make this holiday season a joyous one.  Pray for your missionaries and their families during this season. Technology is a marvelous thing.  It can bring you closer to those you love who are so far away, but it can also cause you to miss them more.  Maybe next year…





Friend Party

I love the Christmas season!  Sometimes I miss all the parties, etc. that I can experience in the USA.  We try to do some of those things here.  It is always fun to share the Christmas season with the people here in this country that we call “home.”  Recently we hosted a party. We try to do something different each year.  This year we made Christmas wreaths.  It was wonderful to see the creativity of the ladies.  Each one was so different, but beautiful!  Here are a few pictures from a wonderful evening:







O Come, All Ye Faithful


O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, alleluia,
All ye choirs of angels;
O sing, all ye blissful ones of heav’n above.
Glory to God 
In the highest glory!

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be the glory giv’n;
Word of the Father,
Now in the flesh appearing, 

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

~John Francis Wade

Christmas Past

I’ve been traveling down memory lane.  I’m feeling a little lonely for family this time of year.  Hope you don’t mind me sharing some photos with you from Christmas past…

2009, My DD is a masterful Christmas baker!!

2010, A special handmade gift from a special friend!


2011, This is my favorite picture of our dear, departed Pixie.  Her birthday was in December so we liked to dress her up for Christmas and take her picture in front of the tree.  


2012,  Our DS#1 was married this year.  This was his first Christmas as a husband.  This was also the year that our DS#2 went to college and our first Christmas without any of our children present.


2013, All of our children and DS#1’s new bride joined us in Japan for Christmas.  It was a wonderful time!!!  It was also our daughter-in-law’s first time to visit Japan.  It was fun to experience Japan through new eyes with her!

Christmas 2014_2

2014, We were stateside.  This is a favorite memory with “my girls.”

2015, The Christmas season this year started out with a house fire.  We spent a lot time doing the clean up, so we kept things simple for the holidays.  We were so thankful for the Lord’s protection that not having things the way they normally were didn’t matter to us at all.

2016, Last year, I gave you a tour of my tree and shared some of my memories.  It was another holiday without our children, but God has given us “family” to share the joyous season with.  Christmas was on a Sunday.  We had a wonderful time with our church family and some first-time visitors.

 God is so good to us.  We don’t deserve His kindness.

Now it’s time for me to get back to the present…thanks for sharing in my memories.