Giveaway and Guest Blogger: Pat Ennis

Renee Ann Smith —  December 15, 2010 — 10 Comments

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas! Enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” plus a giveaway! Please follow along through Christmas Eve as some lovely Christian authors share their heartfelt stories of how God has touched their lives during this most wonderful time of the year.

Don’t forget that there’s a giveaway! Fill out the quick form at the link located at the bottom of this post to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET, AND EARRINGS! The pearls are meant to be a tangible reminder of God’s grace to us all. You may enter this giveaway once a day. The winner will be announced on New Year’s Day at the Pearl Girls Blog!

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The First Christmas by Pat Ennis

It was October of my eighteenth year of life when my Dad stepped into eternity. As a college freshman I not only had to deal with my own grief, I also was faced with the responsibility of helping my mother adjust to a new lifestyle. You see, when Dad died, she not only lost her husband of thirty years, she also lost her circle of friends. Suddenly the married couples (my Dad was the first of their group to die) didn’t know what to do about Mother—so they did nothing. Her grieving process was actually extended because of the withdrawal of her friends, many with whom she and Dad had enjoyed fellowship for years.

Our plight was magnified by the reality that we did not have extended family and I was an only child. Quite frankly, the outlook for the holiday season appeared pretty dismal!

As the holidays approached our neighbors, who embraced a different faith than we, graciously invited us to share their Christmas celebration with them. The sincere invitation, their effort to fold us into their family, inclusion in the gift exchange, and intentional conversation that focused on recounting the blessings of the year as well as looking forward to the next turned what could have been a miserable day into one of joy. Of course we missed our husband and Dad but the focus on the Lord’s provision for us through the hospitality of our neighbors (Philippians 4:8-9, 19) soothed our grieving spirits.

I have a happy ending to my Mother’s loss of her circle of friends that I described at the beginning of this story! Ever the gracious southern hostess, she did not cease to extend hospitality because of the change in her marital status—in the five years that she lived beyond Dad’s death, we entertained frequently, and eventually our guest list included widows from the group that had earlier excluded my Mother. Though her arthritic condition precluded her engaging in as much of the food preparation as she was accustomed to doing, she continued to help me hone the skills that were second nature to her.

The loving hospitality extended to us on that first lonely Christmas served as a catalyst for Mom and me to open our home throughout the year—especially during the holiday season! Will you consider displaying biblical compassion by including some of the “others”—singles, widows, and the grieving in your holiday celebrations? Who, knows, you might be entertaining an angel incognito (Hebrews 13:2)!

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About Pat: Dr. Patricia Ennis, author of Precious in His Sight, the Fine Art of Becoming a Godly Woman, co-author of Practicing Hospitality, the Joy of Serving Others,  and contributor to Pearl Girls, Experiencing Grit, Experiencing Grace as well as professor and establishing chairperson of the Department of Home Economics at The Master’s College. Visit Pat’s blog, Unfading Beauty for more information.

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A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year’s Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}. The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog (http://margaretmcsweeney.blogspot.com) on New Years Day!

Since you can enter once a day, feel free to return to this post later this week to do so!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

10 responses to Giveaway and Guest Blogger: Pat Ennis

  1. I’m going to have to start from the beginning. This made me cry. My father is still alive but my mother has a terrible time making friends…what a wonderful story.

    • I loved yesterday’s devotional and this one. I was an adult when my dad died, and yet I felt like a child again. It changed Christmas for us, too–even that late in our lives! Dad was a life-of-party kind of guy, and Mother is definitely the introvert and has trouble similar to your mother. So we can relate . . .

  2. Hey Renee, thanks for your sweet comment and the link back to your blog. Hope to read more of your blog!!

  3. Renee, I’m stopping by and following and subscribing back from Feed Me Friday. I’m so sorry that it has taken me so long. I was at my in-laws’ all weekend and am so scatterbrained that I completely forgot. Well, better late than never I guess.

  4. Hi, I’m following from the blog hop.
    I’d love a follow back at http://www.mikaspantry.blogspot.com
    Thanks,
    Mika

  5. That’s a happy ending to a sad story. I’m so glad she was able to overcome what could have been a very isolating time.

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