Joyful Christmas


Joyeux Noël

December 2013

“I bring you good tiding of great joy, which shall be to all people. (Luke 2:10-11).

JOY is the theme the Mahars have chosen for this Christmas of 2013. It appears on some stakes on our front lawn, and on our dining table in the form of a snow-globe that chimes, “Joy to the World.” These re the greetings we wish to transmit to you, family, friends, supporters, readers, and all who drop by this blog site.

2013 has been a year in which everything has gone according to plan—though not our plan. One priority of the year was for Joanne to finish Book Two of her ancient trilogy. Alas, this has not happened. On July 3 she was standing on a step-ladder; while washing the kitchen window over the sink, when the ladder slipped and she found herself on the floor with a hand that looked like a leaf barely hanging onto a branch. It was, of course, a broken wrist. This event was the beginning of a series of new challenges. After two months in a cast, beginning with one that extended from armpit to mid-finger,  followed by two months of therapy, she then learned from a foot-doctor that she had  tenosynovitis. Following more therapy, she was fitted with a cast on her foot and leg. Then, as she neared the date for the removal of the cast, she slipped on the wood floor of our kitchen and fell smack on her face. We learned—after a cat scan—that there were no broken bones, though her face looked witch-like with two black eyes, a huge egg on her forehead and an oversized nose and lip. We were grateful that the previously injured wrist was spared, though the other hand had some injury. The foot doctor is presently recommending another cast, but we have decided to postpone this for a while as we try out a sturdy boot instead.

Throughout these months of running from appointment to appointment, each of us has attempted to keep up the moral. Every new day has brought encouragements from God’s Word, from friends, and even strangers, but there came a night when Joanne was finally back on her computer, with Frank following up by critiquing each chapter, when a minor disagreement arose over a character. Suddenly we found ourselves locked by the “Giant of Despair” in his “Doubting Castle” (see :”Pilgrim’s Progress).

We spent a night there where we struggled in prayer. By morning, however,  the “Key of Promise” had unlocked the door. Frank had found a solutionA few days later we celebrated one of our happiest Thanksgiving celebrations that fell, this year, on our 15th wedding anniversary. It also, so happened, that we’d just received from cousins a tape recording of our wedding that we watched that evening with teary eyes. We’re realizing anew that JOY is not the absence of trials. The Bible hero and writer James, suggests that we should rather “count them all joy,” because of the spiritual benefits they produce.

While we may not know what might be happening in your lives, we wish for you that the cheery words of that old Christmas carol, “Joy to the world” will lift your heart above the hustle, worries and concerns of the season, to the true meaning of Christmas which is the “peace on earth” that the Christ child came to bring to all hearts that are wiling to receive Him. We thus wish you a “Joyful Christmas,” or as the French say,

“Joyeux Noël.”

From Frank and Joanne Mahar


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