The Innkeeper’s Son

“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:4-7 NKJV).

~Caesar Augustus requires the world to register, and Bethlehem, the City of David, is teeming with people who must comply by the deadline Augustus has set. Places for the registrants to stay are few and full.

One inn at the edge of town is no exception. Inside the overflowing structure, a precocious little boy lives with his parents, owners of the rustic inn. He senses much more within the crowd . . .

The Innkeeper’s Son

I am five and it is late
Noisy, crowded, at the gate
Pushing at my father’s knee
He ignores my whispered plea
“A Baby’s coming soon,” I said
Anxious urgent words I pled.
“Go to bed my little son
I have much that must be done.”

Mother’s sitting at the table
I reach as high as I am able
My hands encircle her sweet face
Her eyes are filled with love and grace
I draw her face down close to mine
“A Baby’s coming—there is a sign.”
“It’s time for sleep my dear, good son
You’re tired and dreaming, little one.”

Joseph’s knocking at the door
Mary cannot travel more.
“I’m sorry, sir, there is no room—”
But I am here with my small broom.
“Father I have cleaned the stable
They can stay if they are able
Never mind the ox and sheep
They will sing the Babe to sleep.”

A star turns night back into day
My father slowly leads the way
Mary smiles and takes my hand
Joseph bends to help her stand.
My mother stays there thru the night,
And lingers till the morning light
Then at dawn she looks toward me,
“Come here my son come here and see.”

Silently I near His bed
“You may touch Him,” Mary said.
Doves are watching from the loft,
I smooth and hold His hand so soft.
He looks at me, and in His eyes
Shines light as bright as morning skies.
“Thank you, God, this Baby came,
And that Jesus is His name.”

Manger-Baby Blessed One
Gentle Shepherd Precious Son
May we on Your day of birth
Speak Good News throughout the earth.

Sally Chambers

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

God bless each of you, and have a joyous, Merry Christmas!

See you in January~

Love,

Sally

A First Christmas

I’m honored to have author, writer, speaker, and consultant, Sharon Brani as my guest. She relates the story of a day remembered, a day just prior to her trip to Russia which began an Unforgettable Christmas Journey.

Here’s Sharon in her own words . . .

It seems like yesterday since I first hung this decoration on my Christmas tree, but it’s been twenty-one years.

I remember the day so vividly.

My mom and I were busy shopping that day, buying cute little outfits for a six month old baby girl who waited in Russia to be adopted.

I had been notified three days earlier to buy my plane ticket to fly to Russia on December 19th.

My feet seemed to walk on air as we pushed the shopping cart around the store.

There was so much still to be done.

Buying gifts to take with me to Russia.

Diapers, bottles, blankets, and clothing for my soon-to-be adopted little baby girl.

Packing, paperwork.

Mom and I chuckled together as we loaded the cart with boxes and boxes of cigarettes (my brother insisted they’d come in handy as peace offerings), perfumes, and various other items.

As I walked around the baby department, my thoughts wandered back to the small photo I had been given of precious baby girl with big, brown, serious eyes.

Lord, she needs to smile.
She needs to know she is loved.
She needs to know about You.

Suddenly my eyes were drawn to a pink baby blanket on display.

I reached out and felt how incredibly soft it was and held it up for my mom to see.

We knew immediately that this was the blanket I would take with me to bring my little girl home.

And along with the blanket, I purchased a small Christmas ornament, Baby’s First Christmas.

I’ll never forget my excitement as we shopped that day.

The pink blanket was packed in my suitcase awaiting the special day,

and the ornament was hung on my tree in hope—

that one day soon, my baby girl would celebrate her first Christmas—at home.

Meet my friend and guest, the author of this beautiful story, Sharon Brani, and daughter, Noelle.

Sharon is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Virginia, a Board Certified Coach, an educator, published freelance writer, and speaker whose life is committed to helping people discover the way life is meant to be. She’s written over 300 articles, stories, and devotionals for a variety of inspirational publications, and has contributed stories to the Chicken Soup series.

Sharon is the mother of two amazing daughters whom she adopted from Russia. As a nurturer she is well equipped to coach parents at every stage of the adoption process.

Here is a link to Sharon’s website, Discover Life, her blog, Shining Moments, and a link to her brand new book,

The Unforgettable Christmas Journey. Sharon Brani's Book The Unforgettable Christmas Journey

Congratulations, Sharon, and thank you, it is a joy to have you share part of your wondrous Christmas Journey with us.

And here’s one more photo of Sharon and (check out that beautiful smile!) Noelle.

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings” (Psalm 36:7).

We’re all on this path of life together. Our prayer is that the Lord will blanket you with the beauty of His peace and fill you with His joy this Christmas season.

Where do you hope your journey will take you this in this new year to come? Please share your comments with us.

Love and Merry Christmas!

Sally and Sharon

Peace Seekers

How about a post to warm you up and to turn your thoughts toward peace this cold December week? Most of us have so much to be thankful for, including warmth and peace. But maybe you’re edgy today.

Want to go boating with me? —well, maybe just curling up with a cup of something warm and tagging along in your imagination for a few minutes would be saner.

Does the stress of life sometimes send you searching for a little peace of mind and heart?

My husband and I needed a break. Time away.

A near-perfect day. Springtime, warm, early morning. I stuffed a cooler with water bottles, soft drinks, thick sandwiches, chips, and cookies while my husband loaded the car and boat with our gear. It had been a stressful couple of weeks, and I prayed that we’d truly relax and enjoy this time we’d carved out for some recreation. The coastline was beautiful as we drove to the inlet and launched the boat from a ramp near the south jetty. From there, we glided past buoys and markers, into the mouth of the inlet, and out into the Atlantic.

Jerry wanted to do some fishing, and I couldn’t wait to relax and soak up some fresh air and sunshine. As we moved farther away from Sebastian Inlet, and with the shoreline no longer in view, he idled down the purring engine, slowing the boat. I settled myself face down on the bow of the boat and let the warm breeze feather over me as I watched the water slide by. The face of the ocean was unusually smooth and mirrored huge fluffy clouds, more like the clouds of June than those of early April. I pushed close to the rail and watched the light swells of the sea, mesmerized.

“Hey, Sal, check that out!” Jerry pointed starboard across the water. I sat up and followed his gaze, not yet seeing what he saw.

But seconds later, we had company. Right beside the boat. Right beside me!

Dolphins! I could have touched them as they played in the foamy wake from the bow as we cut through the blue salt water. Satiny gray, arching, sounding, seeming to study me as much as I studied them. Three or four of them stayed with the boat maybe five minutes before Jerry cut the engine. We drifted, watching them until they disappeared beneath the azure waters, only to burst upward again, airborne, glistening in the sun a few yards away for more fun minutes of play—or maybe feeding.

Then, except for the gentle lapping of water against the sides of the boat, peaceful silence dropped around us. No breeze, no gulls, no splashes, only tranquil quietness, a calm in the midst of a blue sea that blended into the lighter blue of the sky from horizon to horizon.

Jerry sat in the stern, baiting a hook, rapt in his thoughts, and I melted into that silence, laying back on the bow letting praise and thankfulness rise, and body, mind, soul, and spirit bask in God’s precious gift of peace. Sweet, healing peace.

True Peace cannot be found apart from God. He offers us the gift of His Peace in the wondrous mysterious truth of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—sometimes through the crystalline purity of silence, sometimes through the beauty of His creation—always through His countless, limitless ways.

“This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. There the ships sail about; there is that Leviathan which You have made to play there” (Psalm 104:26).

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

What do you do when you when you’re looking for a little Peace?

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace”

(Isaiah 9:6).

A Baby is coming! So open your heart

Get ready with joy for the season to start

Stand aside for the angels, listen for their song

Let their melody fill you with praise all day long

Peace

Love,

Sally