Christmas Devos Day 3: You Get to Choose Joy

By Dannah Gresh

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By Dannah Gresh, Creator of True Girl

Read Luke 1:48-56

“My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

Luke 1:46, 47

Today was a challenging day.

It is December. This morning I left sunny, beautiful Orlando, Florida where I got to speak at an outside Christmas tea party on a private ranch. But there’s no place like home even if it is under a blanket of snow with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees. I could not wait to cozy up on my own sofa with my new, cuddly puppy Moose! I just prayed my two flights would get me home before the big snowstorm hit. I made it from Orlando to Philadelphia and the skies were still clear and the ground dry. In Philadelphia, I boarded my plane and we headed out to the tarmac for take-off when suddenly a snowflake fluttered by my window. It was of little concern to me. We often fly out in much heavier snow. I texted Bob: “See you in thirty minutes. We’re about to take off.” I was so excited! I was going to make it.

Then came an announcement: “Uhm, apparently, they want us to de-ice the plane so we need to taxi over to that area.” In the short time, it took us to get to the de-icing area, a blizzard hit. We waited on the plane for an hour and a half for it to settle, but it never did. We got 4 inches of snow in that short time and it was still coming.

And I wasn’t going to be going anywhere but to a lonely hotel near the airport.

It wasn’t what I hoped for. Not what I’d planned.

But I had just read Mary’s Magnificat. That’s what they call the passage of scripture you may have read in today’s verse. It’s one of the most beautiful, poetic songs of praise to God in all of the Bible. And perhaps in all of history.

It occurred to me that Mary chose this song and sang it with joy even though her circumstances were not what she hoped for and planned. In fact, being a pregnant young woman who was not yet married was going to bring Mary a lot of hardships. (It’s quite possible that during the time she was with Elizabeth she was wondering if Joseph would even marry her at all or if he’d reject her along with the rest of her community.)

When we read the Christmas story, we tend to leave out the hard stuff. Mary’s fears when she found out she was pregnant. Joseph’s questions about her pregnancy. The long, uncomfortable journey to pay taxes. The horse poop in the manager scene.

And it is in this story…this hard place…that Mary’s soul “magnifies the Lord.” She chose joy.

I fear we go through much lesser "hard things"—like the disappointment of not getting home before a big snowstorm—without choosing joy. I’m guilty. Are you?

Tonight at a hotel in Philadelphia, I’m choosing joy.

I’m putting on my pj’s and writing devos for you…

…and then I’m going to sing Christmas carols with Jesus before bed!

Mom+Daughter mini-date: Bundle up! You’re going Christmas caroling. You may opt to just stay in and sing, like me. Or you may hit the neighborhood or your grandma's or your favorite teacher or pastor. Just let your souls practice the art of magnifying the Lord. Here’s the key: before you start singing, pray together as mother and daughter about a hard situation in your life. Something you didn’t hope for or plan. Then, sing anyway!


If you’ve enjoyed this Mother+Daughter Devo, consider having devos with your daughter all year long using the True Girl subscription, her new Bible Study BFF! Intentionally packed with your tween (7-12) girl in mind, it’s full of daily devos to get her in the Word, mom+daughter dates that get you connecting, and exclusive bonus items from True Girl and other ministries we trust! It’s the most fun you’ll ever have digging into God’s Word together at home. Order now to get it in time to start her first devo on January 1st!


True Girl theme verse:

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32

Mom, the best way to teach your daughter to live like an authentic True Girl is to live like an authentic True Woman. And to do that, you've got to get your life lined up with the Truth of the Bible. Listen to Dannah Gresh every weekday on Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's Revive Our Hearts podcast. The program features biblical teaching, interviews that offer godly advice, and other opportunities to abide in God's Word.


This devo is an excerpt from the One Year Mother-Daughter Devos by Dannah Gresh.



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