In the Advent season of 2015, Jennifer Rothschild graciously wrote a heartwarming guest post for my blog that was nearing the completion of its first year. Six years have passed since this post appeared on my blog and many readers were not yet here in those early days. I’ve decided to share Jennifer’s beautiful words again, especially for those that missed her post the first time around my little space of the Internet. I hope you will be blessed by her wisdom as I, too, have been blessed by her. It is my great honor to welcome author and speaker, Jennifer Rothschild to the blog this morning. Jennifer is a precious teacher of the Bible with a beautiful testimony that she uses to the glory of God. May this morning’s post find you with a cup of coffee in a quiet moment with our Heavenly Father. Wherever you are right now, sweet friend? I pray that your heart will be encouraged.
Guest Post by Jennifer Rothschild
When our boys were little, we made homemade ornaments each year at Christmastime. You know, we mixed up that sticky dough that you bake and paint? And, of course, we went through can after can of that glittery gold spray paint — plastering it all over crunchy fall leaves and pine cones (and a few unlucky action figures!)
So, the Christmas when Connor was 3 and Clayton was 13, we took the easy route! We sat at the kitchen table and sorted glitter, construction paper, pipe cleaners and whatever craft paraphernalia we could find in the closet.
Connor, pumped up with Christmas cheer, grabbed a lavender piece of construction paper and asked me to cut it into the shape of an ornament. Now, there are two problems here. One, the paper was lavender — not red or green! Two, I am blind and who knows what that ornament would look like once I finished trying to cut it out!
As Connor sat waiting with a bottle of Elmer’s glue and some red and green glitter, I fashioned the odd colored paper into an equally odd shape, then handed it to him. After his big brother, Clayton, helped him write his name with glue, he generously sprinkled glitter all over it (and all over himself, and the table, and the floor, and his brother), then glued 2 fuzzy yellow pom-poms onto it.
Finally, he found one of those googly eyeballs in the bottom of the craft basket and fastened it to the top of his creation! It was quite the eclectic expression of yuletide spirit! Okay, it was freaky! It was weird…and it was adorable!
While we glued and glittered, I asked the boys what they wanted for Christmas. You can imagine that they answered right away with very specific lists! Then I asked what they wanted to give others for Christmas. I listed each by name. “How about Dad?” I asked. “A new office!” Connor blurted out! Clayton and I laughed as Connor’s list of gifts for his people continued to grow in extravagance and generosity.
Then I asked, “What about Jesus, after all, it’s His birthday, right? What can you give Him?” Connor sighed, “Mom,” he said, “Jesus is too high up in Heaven, we can’t reach Him to give Him a present!” Of course I explained about Jesus being everywhere, and the gifts He wants are ones of the heart, like love and obedience. But I realized, Connor’s childlike answer is exactly why we celebrate this holiday laden with glittery, googly-eyeballed, lavender paper ornaments.
We celebrate because He came down.
Before Christmas, God was too high to be reached! There was no way we could reach Him to give Him a gift. We couldn’t touch Him, and that’s why He came down. He clothed himself in humility, was cradled in a manger, walked dusty roads, and willingly bore the cross. He was reaching, reaching long and hard, deep and wide. Making access to Himself completely available to all who would simply respond to His reach.
God reached down to give us the greatest gift of all… Himself! And the greatest gift we can give to God this holiday season is ourselves.
During the hustle and bustle this season, recognize the gift that God has already placed within
you when you received His son! Celebrate Him often, revel in His generosity, and share His hope with others!
“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” John 1:16-17
Jennifer Rothschild is a recovering perfectionist who has learned to live beyond limits ever since her life drastically changed at the age of fifteen, when she lost her sight. Now, more than 30 years later, she boldly and compassionately teaches women how to find contentment, walk with endurance, and celebrate the ordinary.
Known for her substance, signature wit, and down-to-earth style, Jennifer weaves together colorful illustrations, Biblical principles, and music to help women live empowered.
As a speaker, author and accomplished singer-songwriter she travels internationally, offering fresh, sensible, Biblical advice to audiences who, like her, are determined to pursue healthy and fulfilling lives in spite of their circumstances. She has shared her practical and inspiring messages to arena-sized audiences across the country, and media outlets including Dr. Phil, Good Morning America, Life Today, The Learning Channel and The Billy Graham Television Special.
Jennifer is an avid listener of audio books, a C.S. Lewis junkie, and has a weakness for dark chocolate and robust coffee. She and her Dr. Phil live in Springfield, Missouri, and have two sons Connor and Clayton and a lovely daughter-in-law, Caroline. When she is not traveling, Jennifer enjoys nature walks, and riding a bicycle built for two.
She’s the author of 11 books, including the best-selling Lessons I Learned in the Dark, Self Talk, Soul Talk, God Is Just Not Fair, the popular Me, Myself and Lies Bible study, the Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything Bible study, and her recently released book Invisible: How You Feel is Not Who You Are.
Jennifer is also the featured teacher and founder of Fresh Grounded Faith Conferences, and Publisher of the popular online magazine for women in ministry called womensministry.net.