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Have you ever wondered what it was like that first Christmas? Let your imagination wander.

A young engaged couple have to go to Bethlehem and register to be taxed. When they arrive, there’s no place to stay. Finally, they find a stable to bed down. Then Mary goes into labor. What obstacles!

(Did Joseph find a midwife or did he help Mary himself? In those days, men didn’t attend a birthing, so what did Joseph think?)

Then after all that excitement dies down, shepherds show up saying they heard the news of the birth from angels singing in the sky. Angels. Not just one—a choir!

I’d be overwhelmed and groping for answers, as I’m sure Mary and Joseph must have been. But God didn’t leave them out in left field without any help or forewarning. Mary had received a visit from Gabriel (not just any angel). Joseph had a vision reassuring him everything was all right. They might not have understood in the beginning, but God had prepared them.

What situation are you facing right now? Think back and see how God has prepared you for the challenge. For me, it’s a second round of cancer. I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma before. Now it’s non-Hodgkin’s.

I think of the blessing I’ve been given through these trials. With the first round of cancer, I had no grandchildren. Now I am blessed with two little bundles of joy one year apart.

There is nothing too hard for our God. So give the gift of your smile and heart to those around you. It’s the gift they will cherish for years.

Leann Harris, an author and a teacher of the deaf, has always had stories running around her head. She started writing when her youngest child started school. Her first book was published in 1993. She’s published Harlequin through her eighteenth book. She’s written romantic suspense, inspirational romantic suspense, futuristic and inspirational romance. She has also ventured into Indi books. Her series Legacy of Lies includes The Last Lie and The Last Truth. A cancer survivor, she rejoices in each day.

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