Merry Christmas! I hope it’s full of WITH!

Emmanuel. It’s my favorite Christmas word. It means, simply, “God with us.”

And it really is. Simple, I mean.

I’m sitting here alone on Christmas morning, in those magical moments before the kids wake up and come bounding down the stairs. There’s snow on the ground outside, a fire burning in the fireplace, and I’m home. We’re all home, and most importantly, together.

Another favorite word.

Christmas morning

Corey was released from the SCCA 26 days ago and care was officially transferred back to our local oncologist, Dr. Lukas. Corey saw him the first week of December and his numbers from the labs they ran that day are excellent. His white and red blood cell counts are perfect. His neutrophils, which should be somewhere between 2-4, are at 3.5, and climbing every day. Corey was able to attend the kids’ Christmas play at church the first weekend of December. We sat in the balcony and he didn’t shake anyone’s hand, but he was able to be there. He’s attended every one of the kids basketball games, again, standing off to the side and not. touching. anything., but he’s been there.  I can neither confirm nor deny that I kept the kids home from school last Friday so we could go see an 11 AM showing of the new Star Wars film. Something we always do together, but this year needing to attend a screening where there’d be as few people there as possible. And, he has gone to work every single weekday this month, plus two Saturdays.

So yeah, Emmanuel…God with us.

God. With us.

Think about that for a second. The Creator – of. the. universe. – with us. I have felt His presence and seen His hands at work this year perhaps more than at any other time in my life. Edward Jones Investments, the company Corey works for and who our benefits are through, requires annual biometric screening each November when it’s time for our benefit renewal. It was a blip on that blood work last year that caused our family doctor to call him back in for more blood work. A blip on that round of blood work caused him to call Corey back in for another round of blood work. Repeat that cycle a couple more times and March 1 we get the diagnosis that would change our lives. But our doctor went down one track with that blood work. Just one. He could’ve gone down a hundred different directions, looking for a hundred different things, but he went down one; I believe at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

So yeah, Emmanuel. God with us.

Corey’s parents, his older brother and his family, who all live in Coeur d’Alene came back over the mountains for Christmas and are spending it here, with the two brothers who live on the west side. We all attended church yesterday for our Christmas Eve candlelight communion service. It’s my very favorite service of the year, has been since I was a little girl, and we were all able to attend it… together.

Grant Family

As we lit our candles and sang “silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright…” I was moved to tears at the simple beauty of the moment. It was the first time in several months that we were able to attend church together, and it was to celebrate the greatest gift the world has ever received.

The gift of life.

God. With us. Come to give us life.

My prayer for each of you this Christmas day is that you feel the presence of Life itself greater than you ever have. That you choose to accept that gift in a deeper and fuller way than you ever have. That you choose simplicity. That you choose with.

I’m hearing the pitter patter of feet upstairs, so I’ll sign off with a Merry Christmas wish to all of you. I hope today is full of WITH for all of you. Emmanuel. God with us. And each of you with the people you love.

Grant Family 4




33 thoughts on “Merry Christmas! I hope it’s full of WITH!

  1. MERRY CHRISTMAS! So very thankful that all’s going so well there and that you were able to do so much together as a whole family!
    Praying for you right now!
    Jeremiah 29:12-13 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.


  2. The Lord knows everything you’re going through, even every thought you have. He’s with you through whatever you have to face! Praying!
    Psalms 139:1-3 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.


  3. The Lord is going before you and behind you. You’re in His loving hands! Praying right now!
    Psalms 139:4-6 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.


  4. No matter where you are, God is always with you, holing you in His right hand! Praying!
    Psalms 139:7-10 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.


  5. Lifting up prayer for you right now!
    Psalms 84:11-12 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.


  6. He’s thinking about your right now. He knows everything that’s going on and is always with you! I’m here praying!
    Psalms 139:17-18 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.


  7. May these words give you comfort as we enter a new year! Am here praying!
    Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.


  8. Praying to the Only One Who can answer on your behalf.
    Psalms 55:16-17 As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.


  9. Let these words sink down deep. Praying hard right now!
    John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.


  10. The Lord will be with you, every second of every day. He will never leave you! Praying right now!
    Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.


  11. The Lord hears! The Lord answers! Lifting up prayer to Him on your behalf right now!
    Psalms 86:6-7 Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.


  12. The Lord knows everything that’s going to happen and is there waiting for you. Know that I’m here praying!
    Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.


  13. The Lord is with you no matter what you have to face. Continuing to pray for your family!
    Psalms 118:4-6 Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever. I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?


  14. Know that I’m here praying!
    Psalms 118:14-16 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.


  15. The Lord is always with you! Continuing to pray for you!
    Psalms 142:1-3a I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path.


  16. May the Lord wrap His loving arms around you and hold you tight! Praying!
    Psalms 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (1 John 4:18a There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.)


  17. Keep your eyes on the Lord, trust Him, and you will have peace! Am here praying!
    Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


  18. Know that I’m here praying!
    Psalms 34:6-7 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.


  19. There is One who hears our cries. Am praying to Him on your behalf!
    Psalms 34:8, 15 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (15) The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.


  20. The Lord is always with you! Am here praying right now!
    Psalms 34:17-19 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.


  21. Am here praying for you right now!
    2 Samuel 22:2-3 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.


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