Abby Shields
Abby Shields

Dear Friend,

Recently, as I was cleaning out my file cabinet, I came upon a poem that my daughter Alicia and I wrote years ago.   I would like to share it with you.

Twas the night before Christmas I’m still at the mall, frantically shopping for Mom, Dad and Paul. All creatures were stirring, the mouse was awake, for Abby was up with cookies to bake. The stockings aren’t hung, my in-laws are near, I must clean my house before they appear! The kids are in bed, they’re doing their best, there’s only one problem their rooms are a mess. With I in my kerchief and Dad in his cap, we wished how we longed for a wee little nap. When out on the lawn there arose this slight matter, our neighbors were fighting over ruined cookie batter. Away to the door I flew like a flash, to tell my dear neighbors that this too shall pass. Needing things to be perfect causes lots of distress, why do we do it, my nerves are a mess. Oh Christmas how merry?? Where’s the holiday cheer?? I must remember the meaning of Christmas this year!

Oh Christmas how merry? Where’s the holiday cheer? These are two question often asked as the holiday season brings with it the stress of picking out the perfect gift, the perfect decorations and let’s not forget the many hours spent driving from lot to lot for the perfect Christmas tree. If the “merry” is gone from your holidays may we take a moment to pause and get refocused on the fact that the birth of Jesus was like no other moment in history where humanity and the divine came together, took on flesh, in the form of a baby, so we could have hope, and we could have life. Can you imagine what it would have been like to be there?!

As we enter into this Christmas season, let us remember what it is he came to do. He came to serve, he came to love, he came to enter in to our pain and suffering and ultimately redeem all of us through a cross. 

During the business of the holidays, I love that our Adopt a Family gives me opportunity to follow Christ’s example and “enter in” on some level to people’s pain and suffering and encourage people with God’s love. Through this program, I meet single mom’s who have to decide to pay an electric bill or buy a gift for their child. I meet fathers who are unemployed or struck by illness and carry the shame and burden of not being able to provide for their families. I meet kids who have woken up to no presents under the tree wondering what they did wrong and why Santa missed their house. And while presents don’t bring true happiness and certainly not eternal salvation, Adopt a Family is an incredible opportunity to enter into their struggle, even in this small way, and remind them that Christ sees their struggle and is present in their pain in greater ways than I ever could. We send the message that he cares and he provides. 

Our Adopt a Family program is in full swing, and there is still time to get involved.  If you would like to Adopt a Family or find out other ways to participate, please visit our website, www.noheartleftbehind.comAll gifts and donations need to be collected by December 9th!

In closing, I can think of no better words as we ponder the events of the first Christmas than those of Dr. Charles Swindoll when he says, “Christmas is an invitation to slow down and think deeper.” I invite you to touch the infant skin of the God-Man with your imagination. I invite you to wonder as the shepherds wondered and to worship as the wise men did.” 

This Christmas my prayer is that you would be blessed with new wonder when you think about our Savior’s birth. Merry Christmas from No Heart Left Behind! We love and appreciate you.

In His Grip,
Abby Shields 

PS: We ask that you prayerfully consider a financial gift to No Heart Left behind for your end of year giving. End of year giving is crucial to sustaining the ministry through the first few months of the upcoming  year. A gift of any amount is a huge blessing to us. All gifts are tax deductible.