I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?
Listen to this message I gave at a women's retreat to gain the fresh perspective you need to see Jesus in a new way! My FREE gift to you!
It was a warm December morning just a mere three years ago. I remember pacing with excitement as the silence my mommy ears cherished soon became echoes of laughter, screaming and the patter of smelly boy feet.
It was the day I no longer had control. I was resigning my leadership over to Gabe, our 3-inch elf.
Gabe is our version of “Elf on the Shelf.” He first appeared on our doorstep right before we moved into our current home. My kids were trying to process all the changes shifting around them between a new place to live, moving boxes everywhere, new friends, a new school for our middle child and daddy’s new job schedule. Gabe came as a constant security in the middle of change. The boys loved finding him, even in the chaos. He greeted us into our new home and every December he returns.
Gabe, like other elves, cannot be handled by human hands – especially little boy hands. He moves around our house when nobody is watching but avoids too much trouble. Although Gabe does notice behavior issues, our kids know that is not his primary role.
Our Gabe is named after the angel Gabriel in the Bible. His mission at our house is to help prepare our hearts for Jesus’ birth.
Sometimes he shares scripture passages.
Sometimes he helps to remind mommy to read our evening devotion.
Sometimes he makes us laugh by moving several times in the same day.
But Gabe is always here; reminding, smiling, present and pointing to true joy.
But on that warm Christmas eve day three years ago, as my three boys wrestled down the hallway, they were met with a new note from Gabe.
The problem was, Gabe was nowhere to be found. Little did they know that daddy (Santa) was putting together a new swing set in the backyard. My job was to get our clan out of the house so that the surprise could be constructed.
Gabe and I hatched quite the plan. The longest scavenger hunt ever.
Gabe met us in the van and our first stop was to deliver cookies to the fire department and the police station.
Then we headed to Bass Pro Shop to get a few pictures taken as well as burn off some energy.
Then we headed to lunch and the park!
We concluded with fun at the mall.
Three years later our older boys (now 7 and 9) still talk about how “Gabe took us all over town and mommy had no clue where we were going!” (Only cool moms can walk up to complete strangers and ask them to hand one of your children a note from an elf…I mean really, that takes mommy guts!).
Gabe gets even more exciting just a few days before Christmas. He begins to deliver pieces of our manger scene and our family blanket (more about these Stones of Remembrance to come later). All three of our guys love Gabe and still seem completely amazed when as he moves and delivers messages. As a mom, I capture these moments in my heart and pray that God can use each surprise to bring our family closer to Him.
God uses Gabe to remind me of His continual presence.
God uses Gabe to calm my worry around the holidays.
God uses Gabe to help me focus on Him.
God uses Gabe to speak to my childlike heart.
God uses Gabe to remind me to smile.
God uses Gabe to fire my heart for adventure.
God uses Gabe to fight for my kids.
God uses Gabe to unite our family with the Savior of the world.
This Christmas, dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!
Do you have the Elf on the Shelf in your house?
Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a wife to Steve and a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always – dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!
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