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Just Stop!

Do you feel frustrated with all the busyness of the Christmas season? We try to buy just the right gift for those we love, to decorate our homes so they are welcoming and lovely, to send Christmas cards to those we contact annually to keep in touch, to plan the perfect menu–and sometimes it all gets to be too much.

I was frustrated last week, but for another reason. Did you know you can, at least in California, look up Unclaimed Property held by the State to see if there are funds owed to you?

One of my friends saw that there were some funds due my late husband, therefore to me. Nothing major, just a little here and there. It’s taken me several months just to get to this since I knew I would have to find backup to support my claim to these funds, and my time was limited.

Last one!

Finally I started looking for the right documentation–proof of my social security number, mailing address, death certificate, marriage certificate, etc., etc., etc. It took quite a bit of time. Don and I searched the attic for legal documents we stored there after our move a year ago. And every time I said “I think I have everything I need now,” something else popped up and the search continued. Practically grinding my teeth at having this stack of documents cluttering my desk and mind last week, I finally said “Enough. If they need more information they’ll contact me.” And I put the claims in this morning’s mail.

What if God’s grace was like that? To prove my worth I would have to provide documentation of who I am, how strong my faith is (or isn’t), and why I was entitled to this grace.

But God’s grace is free to us–certainly at great cost to His Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life for our salvation. Grace means good will, loving-kindness, and favor, often undeserved. And we receive God’s grace simply by faith.

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. “

Ephesians 2:7-9, The Message

His grace, His way … through Jesus, our Savior who came to this earth as a wee babe in a manger, grew up to perform miracles among those who knew they needed help, died on the Cross and rose again, conquering death for all who trust in Him. So when we feel harried and overwhelmed, let’s stop. Just stop. And refocus on the Christ who gave Himself for us. For that’s the greatest gift of Christmas.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16, NIV

Blessed Christmas season to you!


  1. Karen O'Connor says:

    A beautiful reminder of God’s grace. A blessed Christmas to you and Don, as well. I love the two of you.

  2. Karen O'Connor says:

    A beautiful reminder. A blessed Christmas to you and Don. I love the two of you.

    1. carolnl says:

      And we both love you Karen. Thank you, and blessed Christmas to you and yours!

  3. Kathleen Schultz says:

    Thank you Carol!!

    1. carolnl says:

      Thank you for your comment Kathy. Blessings!

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