Christmas Gift from God?

So, what is this special Christmas Gift from God?

Is this a special gift just for me?

Can I open it now?

Do I have to wait until Christmas Day?

Are you ready to go on another camino journey with me to find out?

I never know where this path will lead us; however, let’s just start down this path and be led by the Spirit on which way to go and what action to take, if necessary.

First, Let’s Do our Research

In Historical writings, what can we find out about the Gifts God wants to give us?

Let’s keep in mind, once we are Aware of each of these gifts, we have a choice whether to Accept or Reject each gift. Your choice?

Please be willing to keep an open mind, heart and spirit

We each have our own concept of who God really is?  I will start with a concept that most of us can agree with, the creator of the universe

Gift of Life


Ok, I guess we will start with the Gift of Life. I don’t think I was aware or acknowledged this as a gift from God before. Thank you for this revelation. You created me and you gave me life.

Science still has no scientific origin or explanation for the breath of life entering and leaving the body.

Where does it come from? Where does it go? Important questions. Our eternal destiny is at stake here. If there is an eternity and we need to do something, then I think we need to pay attention.

Can we manufacture the breath of life in the lab? No?

So I guess I would have to deduct that the Breath of Life that was breathed into me and into everyone of us when we were born, was indeed a gift from God. God Thank you for this awareness.

Just as God breathed life into the first man He created, Adam, God continues to create life and breathe life into each human being that He creates today. God created each and every one of us. God Himself breathes life into all human beings

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7


I choose to accept this gift of life. How about you?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to grow, to learn my spiritual lessons and to mature.


First , I want to say thanks for giving me the Gift of Life.

How do I live my life to the fullest? Help me to do the next right thing.


Honest (be real)

Open (open my heart, mind, spirit and soul)

Willing (to put in the time and effort to learn the life lessons for self and then pass what I have learned on to others)

Dear God, Please help me accept this gift of life and help me live this life to the fullest with a humble and grateful heart.

Gift of Jesus Christ

Ok, One of God’s Gift is Jesus. I guess we need to know a little more about who Jesus is and why God would send Him to earth.

It is written that Jesus is the Son of God. The Spirit of God impregnated the Virgin Mary, so according to that, Jesus is half man and Half God. It is written like this, God who became flesh.

What earthly reason would God want to show up as part man?

First All, maybe a definition of who God is in the scriptures would give clarity on this subject. God is referred to One God (three persons)

Many parishes and churches believe in the Trinity Concept shown here. One God (three persons) All God, yet separate being with separate functions.

Father God, Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit of God. Notice they are all separate yet one.

Similar to the design of our bodies. We have a mind, body and spirit yet they all make up the one person who we are.

Three parts with different functions yet one living breathing person. Three parts of God yet one living breathing God.

I think we need to let this concept sink into our spirits and maybe revisit it later.

I am now going to take you on my spiritual journey to find a personal God who I can accept and love and seek guidance from.

A “God of My Understanding”.

I believe that deep down inside we all have a longing to find God. If you could choose your God, what qualities would you want your God to have?

My Spiritual Journey

Awareness of Jesus

I grew up in a very religious family, which meant we all dressed up in our Sunday best, all 11 of us, 9 children and my parents. Off to church every Sunday. We would attend Sunday School and then sit quietly while the preacher gave his sermon in the church service with the adults.

I was taught that Jesus was the son of God, who loved all the little children, red and yellow, black and white and we were all precious in his sight.

That was a cute “Jesus loves the little children” song, that was fun to sing.

Another song I learned about Jesus was “Jesus Loves Me”

I was taught that Jesus loved me. It felt so good because my mother and father did not say they loved me. They did not hug us either. I know my parents loved us but could not verbalize it, at least to me. So, knowing that the son of God, Jesus loved me, was very special and needed in my spiritual growth.

I was so grateful to have two aunts (my father’s sisters) Aunt Mary and Aunt Anna Mae who would always give me a hug and tell me they loved me. Those were two angels of love divinely placed in my life to role model love. Thank you, Aunt Mary and Aunt Anna Mae. They called me Esther Mae which is still endearing to me today. My Aunt Mary is still alive at age 102.

This religious upbringing and training and discipline developed love and compassion for others in my spirit. Jesus was my role-model. I loved Jesus and I knew Jesus loved me.

I wanted to be just like Him when I grew up. A desire to help and love others who are wounded, hurting and lost was burned into my heart and spirit.

As I am writing and recalling this, I am once again feeling this wonderful feeling of love and compassion and euphoria that I felt at this magical age.

Even though my parents and siblings had a hard time showing or verbalizing that they loved me, I at least had Jesus who loved me unconditionally.

Thank you God for this recall and this wonderful loving memory of my childhood.

I always wanted to please God and Jesus and I tried to be a good girl. I was taught about Good and Evil, black and white thinking, right and wrong, Heaven and Hell and to fear evil by quoting the church doctrines.

When I got old enough, around 12 years old, as part of our religious training in the Church of the Brethren, I was taught that in order to become a Christian, when the preacher asked anyone who wanted to accept Christ as their savior and if I wanted to do that, I would have to walk up in front of the church in front of everyone and accept Christ as my personal savior.

Acceptance that Jesus is the Son of God and the Way for My sins to be forgiven

It was preached that if I died without accepting Christ, I would go to Hell.

Action Taken

I did not want to go to Hell, so at one Evangelistic tent meeting, I did just that, I walked up front and accepted Christ as my savior. Later I was water immersion baptized in front of the church in a pool of water. Now I was assured that I was going to heaven and not Hell. Hallelujah.

Parental Rules Imposed on me because I Accepted Christ

Now, my life got a little more complicated to say the least.

Because I had accepted Christ, my mother and father’s core beliefs and rules started to restrict my free will to practice what I believed.

Interpretation of Scripture:

1 Corinthians 11:6 NIV

If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

Religious Doctrine: At that time in religious history, The Catholics and many protestants faith interpreted the scriptures to mean that in order to worship God, as a sign of submission, a woman’s head needed to be covered.

Those of you my age or older recall the beautiful lace veils the catholic women would wear to mass.

The Catholic veil worn at all masses.

The protestants were plain. This is the covering they would wear on their heads.

This is the covering my mother wore all of her life and this is the type of covering my mother and father forced me to wear, even though I did not want to wear it.  I was not given a choice on how to practice my faith and religious beliefs. 

 Protestants took it a little further than the Catholics.  Certain Protestant faiths mandated that the women wear it all the time, because you never know when you would want to pray and in order to pray, a women’s head was to be covered.  


 This would not have been so hard if the rest of the young girls in my church wore their coverings on their head all the time.   Then I would have had community support.

The Church of the Brethren was becoming more liberal and none of the young girls wore a covering, so needless to say, they did not want to hang out with me. 

I was not allowed to cut my hair either.  Another scripture the religious sect took literally from the Bible and my parents adopted as their religious belief and in turn I was mandated to practice.  I was trying to fit in and be accepted by my peers.  


 In this picture I took a hair net and put all my long hair in that.  Now looking at this, I looked ridiculous.  If you look deep into this picture you will see a deep sadness.  

I was held captive and held in bondage by my parents religious rules. In order to keep in compliance with these rules, they threatened me with one of the biggest commandments, which is honor your parents.

I did not believe that I had to wear a covering to be a good Christian. My belief was that a person should practice what the Bible teaches and judge a person by their character and not by whether or not they had their head covered. However, I had to follow their rules.

This became a very oppressive and sad time in my life. I felt like my spirit was chained and held captive. I was held captive by religious rules that made no sense at all to me. It labeled me and set me apart from others and isolated me from others.

Bullying and Rejection occurred Because I Accepted Christ and had to wear a head covering

Now, public school was another matter entirely. You can imagine the bullying and name calling that happened to me because I wore this covering. Now you may say, well there were other plain (religious groups where the women wore coverings) groups like the Amish and the Mennonites and many other small plain religious sects where the young girls still wore their coverings. Well that was true, however, I was not Mennonite and I was not Amish, so they did not accept me into their clan.

I was all alone on this journey.

I did not have a close relationship with my sisters so they were not supportive. There were many years I felt so bad that I wished I was never born. I do not know how I made it through those teenage years.

Rebellion Because of Parental Rules of Religion

This is when my spirit started to rebel against organized religion and rebel against my parents for not allowing me to make that choice for myself. My older sister who was 9 years older than me, turned 21 and that was supposedly the magical year that gave her the right to make her own decisions out from under parental rule. My sister made a decision to no longer wear her covering. This gave me the courage to take a stand for my own beliefs no matter what the consequences.

Took Action – Made a choice to Disrespect Parental Rules thus breaking God’s Commandments of Respect for Parents

I just could not take the bullying anymore. I was called “tillie” and made fun of. I told my mom and pop that I was not going to wear my covering anymore and my pop threatened me with the words that if I did that, I would go to Hell for disrespecting my parents, breaking one of the commandments of God. Folks, this was a big sin to break. A commandment of God. I did it anyway. I have since asked my parents for forgiveness and I have forgiven my parents for their parenting choices that affected my life immensely.

Turned away from God – Viewed God as a punishing God

You can imagine the guilt I carried with me for many years, thinking that I was out of favor with God because of disrespecting my parents’ commands. I started to see God as a punishing God.

Felt Rejection and Abandonment from God when I needed Him the Most

I still tried to do the next right thing; however, I never truly felt loved and accepted by God or anyone because of that incident.

Several other traumas happened in my life where I felt God did not protect me from the abuse.

Growing up sheltered and protected and with no street smarts set me up to be unguarded and vulnerable. I kept saying,

Why did this happen? Why would a God All powerful allow these things to happen? I was seeking answers?

Faulty Teachings

Some people in the church would say that everything that happens is God’s Will. If that is true, then God really is a punishing God.

Blaming others and Becoming a Victim

I started to develop a blaming mentality (blaming God, blaming my parents, blaming my husband, blaming the organized church, blaming my brothers and sisters, blaming life) which drew me into the victim role. I survived in this role for many years. I knew no other way.

Felt Guilty, Unworthy and Unacceptable to a Perfect God

Several more wrong decisions piled on the guilt and shame (developing a mindset of being unaccepted and unworthy). Sadness crept into my spirit.

I was once again held captive by religious principles, staying in a toxic marriage for years. I needed something to help me cope.

Alcohol Helped Me Survive

Alcohol called my name and alcohol helped me survive those years of the illusive rejection and abandonment by God and rejection and abandonment of people until the alcohol turned on me. Alcohol no longer worked to numb the pain. I thought I was going crazy. It is said that we get help when we finally say “Enough is Enough” and repeat these words, “God Help Me”

Someone Prayed for Me

I now know that one or many people were praying for me. I was caught in a web of manipulation and control and denial. I could not see a way out. Today I believe in the power of intercessory prayer because I know I was rescued by intercessory prayer. Someone prayed for God to help me and then an Angel of Light heard the cry and took action to help me go where I needed to go to get help.

An angel of light showed up in my life

She took me to my first Alonan meeting, where for the first time since my childhood Jesus days, I felt loved and accepted. I knew my husband had a drinking problem and was later to realize that I had a drinking problem as well.

People loved me until I could love myself

They said they would love me until I could love myself.   Who knew I did not love myself?   

I was in denial on how messed up I was and how bad my marriage had gotten.  When you hear negative words and putdowns, year after year, it wears on your spirit.  You start to believe them.  You minimize what is happening.  You deny reality so you can survive. 


I could not be the one to file for a divorce, because once again, I would be breaking a religious commandment.  I did not want to add anymore guilt and shame on God’s judgment slate.  My husband was the one that filed for divorce and then took me in and out of court for many harassing years.  


As I am writing this I go in and out of tears for my inner self for what I had to endure.  I have since processed and worked through the spiritual lessons I learned from all the chaos.  If we have the courage to revisit the past and let go of the hold the past has on us, we can forgive self and others.  In the midst of the healing, we get a chance to be aware of and learn the spiritual lessons so as to not repeat the same lesson over and over again.  

Spiritually, I went from euphoric love for Jesus to rejecting, blaming and turning my back on God for what others did to me.

You see, I bypassed Jesus and went straight to the main man, God himself.

The relationship I had with Jesus was still at the childhood stage of spiritual maturity.

I needed the God in charge of everything.

I had a lot of anger towards God for what I thought was abandonment and rejection by Him.

This rejection was an illusion but still held the sting of real rejection.

My Spiritual Journey went from Jesus to God and then to a God of My Own Understanding

( I call it going back to God through the back door of Love and Acceptance.)

When I got into Alanon and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), they told me that I could have a “God of my own Understanding”.

They told me I needed to get a power greater than myself to help me heal.

Since they role-modeled love and acceptance to me, I choose a Higher Power, who is a God of Love and Acceptance.

I wanted to please God just liked I wanted to please Jesus years ago, however, there were many hurdles to jump over and go through to get rid of the anger and spiritual blockages I had towards God, whether an illusion or real, they were real to me.

Faulty religious beliefs which caused me to blame God.

I learned in AA that there was God’s Will and our own Will. Now this concept seems so simple, yet the impact it had on my spiritual progress was tremendous

After many years in recovery I decided to go back to the church and attend a two year intense Bible School. I knew I still harbored resentments and judgments towards organized religion, so I knew I had to go to the source. I finally got my answer.

Faulty Belief Systems and Statements that re-injure the people who were abused.

Many churches and many people in and out of recovery say and believe that everything that happens is God’s Will. I am here to tell you that is not the case. When you say this statement, anyone who has ever been abused gets the message that God allowed and approved of the abuse. Please don’t ever say that again to anyone. You never know who can be reinjured by this statement.

Wrong Choices done by things said or things done to others can cause injury to them. God is not to Blame

I learned that God gave us free will. We have the choice to do the right thing or the wrong thing. When we step out of God’s Will and do the wrong thing, innocent people get hurt.

So, the abuse that happened in my life was because those people did the wrong thing and I know that God cried when that happened to me and when any of his children get hurt or abused by other people.

God cried when his son, Jesus was beaten and bruised and crucified. I know God’s heart. He loves us so. I came to realize and feel the divine love and heart of God.

God created us with the ability to cry when we are sad and we are created in His image, so God can cry also. He is the creator of crying.

He can get angry too. God has emotions.

God had to watch His Son, a part of him, suffer through severe pain so each and every one of us could be forgiven. How painful that must have been.

Because of Jesus’s willingness to feel the pain and carry our pain and sins and suffering, we can be forgiven. What greater love is that?

I felt that on the Camino. I will never be able to thank you for taking my sins and pain so I can be cleansed as white as snow. This was one of my favorite songs.

As I went in and out of the cathedrals with detailed statues of Jesus in pain, I started to realize that part of Jesus’s pain were the sins I committed.  

He paid the price so each of us could be forgiven and have a clear channel and communion with God.  

We do not have to carry all of our mistakes and sins around with us anymore.  

We can accept Jesus and turn it over to God and we are forgiven.

  Therefore, when we die and enter Heaven we go with a clean slate of forgiveness, because we accept Jesus’s sacrifice.    

I also realized that the reason for Jesus: God wanted us all to know that He understands our human dilemmas, God can feel our pain, God has suffered rejection and God wants a personal relationship with us.

God wants to love us through the forgiveness Jesus provided.

Remember, we have always talked about the AAA

Aware: You are now aware of the Gift of Jesus that God has sacrificed to give us

Accept: Are you willing to Accept this Gift of Jesus from God?

Action: If you are then you need to take the action necessary to Accept Christ as part of the Godhead and ask Jesus to forgive your sins so your slate of sins and mistakes are washed clean.

Gift of God’s Love

So with God’s first Gift – Jesus, we receive many, many more gifts.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Once you make that decision to accept the greatest gift of love for God, the gift of Jesus, you then have access to the rest of the gifts: personal relationship with Jesus, faith, forgiveness, salvation, love, grace, mercy, righteousness, eternal life, inheritance, Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts

I am so grateful today to have come around full circle back to loving Jesus with all my mind, body, spirit and soul.

If you know me well, you know that I do not go around trying to convert people to Christianity.

However, if what the bible says is true and you do not accept Christ, I will not get to see you again in Heaven.

That would make me real sad.

Please pray about this.

The world is at unrest. There might not be a tomorrow. Are you willing to take that chance?

The best gift I can give to the people who ask me to walk with them for awhile on their spiritual walk is to help them find their way back to a God they choose.

They eventually end up back with Jesus because Christianity is the only religion that promises forgiveness and eternal life.

Don’t get me wrong, my spirit still has a lot of unanswered questions. I will only get those answers when I meet God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit when I cross over the portal of glory someday.

Accept: I accept God’s Gift of Love today and continue to develop my heart and love for God

I accept his Gift of Jesus and I continue to develop that personal relationship

I accept God’s Forgiveness of my sins

I accept the peace after turning over the sins of others I was carrying

Thank you Jesus for paying the ultimate price.

One final piece of advice. Do not let anyone or any doctrine in the church turn you away from God and Jesus.

The people in the churches are broken trying to get fixed. So if you expect them to be perfect, you will be disappointed. They are just human. They make mistakes. There are so many different churches out there. Find one that you like and learn more about God…

Your choice whether you open the Christmas Gifts from God.  

My prayer for you is that you do.

Love you all,  Esther Mae

Published by Esther Mae

Happy, Joyous and Free. Enjoying life and retirement. Oct 5, 202, I completed the FEl Camino de Santiago de Frances, over 550 miles, beginning August 15, 2021 in St-Jean-Pied-De-Port, France and ending in Santiago and walked through the Holy Door. I am 70 year young. Read about some of my adventures. I have a close relationship with my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Spiritual growth and enlightenment are my priorities in life. Please jump on the spiritual soul train with me as I walk and try to practice a spiritual way of life. Esther Mae

2 thoughts on “Christmas Gift from God?

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