#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

And so this is Christmas…almost

Ah, Christmas.

It’s my very favorite holiday, however frenzied and frazzled it may cause me to be.  Like you, I’m choosing gifts, sending cards, and all the rest.

And, like many of you, I’ve got a lot of other things to do, like work.  :)  

In all the hustle and bustle, it’s too easy, at least for me, to forget the simple but profound point of it all–the birth of Jesus, the Greatest Gift ever given, the living embodiment of God’s unfailing Love.  The Way (into a new beginning, and don’t we all need those?), the Truth (God loves us, warts and all) and the Life (we are offered abundant life, now and forever).  Yep.  Jesus, Whom I usually refer to as the Boss, was and is God’s own Exhibit A: How to Live, from 101 to a Phd. and far beyond.

No wonder the angels sang. 

Listen closely, in the quiet of your heart, and you might just hear them yourself.  They’re still singing, still celebrating the unfathomable fact that God has never and will never give up on a single one of us.Now, I was blessed to be raised by a Christian mom, and I’ve known the Boss for as long as I can remember, but I still need to refind the Way once in a while.  I need to be reminded of the Truth, and to be willing to receive the Life He offers.  No matter how lost I may be, I know, always, that He’s one prayer away.

I guess it was writing in my gratitude journal that put me in this reflective mood.  :)  I neglect the exercise sometimes, but I’ve made a pact with myself to do better.  Gratitude is incredibly powerful; it heals wounds, puts new life into broken dreams, AND attracts more reasons to be grateful!  Such a deal.

So, here’s my challenge to you.  Let’s keep up our gratitude journals this year.  The journal itself doesn’t need to be fancy–an ordinary notebook will do.  Let’s pause for a few minutes–morning is the best time for me, but any other time of day is fine, too–and list five things or people or blessings we’re grateful for.

I promise you, if you do this faithfully, you will see miracles happen.

On to other things.  :)  This week’s $50 giftcard and autographed book winners (2 of them), will be notified and announced today.  Ditto next Friday.  After that, we’ll switch out the prizes–giving away pieces of my “medicinal” jewelry, original artist trading cards, and fun stuff I brought home from Cowboy Christmas.  And speaking of Cowboy Christmas, I’ve been told that the NFR’s move from Las Vegas to Orlando isn’t a done deal.  I’ve been to Orlando, and it’s a wonderful place, but frankly, I’d like to see the rodeo stay in Las Vegas.  Why?  Because a lot of the fans live out here in the West, and many of them won’t be able to make the trip–it’s a financial stretch for most folks as it is.  Cowboys (and girls) are known for a lot of things, but being rich, pardon my French, ain’t one of them.

I’ve been getting up early (4:30) to get my pages written before things get too crazy around the Triple L, and it’s working.

Those of you who’ve been waiting for “Big Sky Secrets”, the final book in the series, won’t have to hold on much longer.  :)  Tuesday, December 28 (I think the last Tuesday in the month is the 28th) Landry and Ria’s story will be available practically everywhere.

Well, that’s my piece for today, so I’ll close with this wish: that you have a fantastic weekend.

50 comments to “And so this is Christmas…almost”

  1. Gwen
      · December 20th, 2013 at 9:31 am · Link

    You mean this December? If so, then the 31st is the last Tuesday in 2013.

  2. mary klemp
      · December 20th, 2013 at 9:33 am · Link

    I cant wait til the last book comes out and looking forward to the next series. I hope you have a safe and healthy holiday. The holiday season is the best time of the year, sharing and love comes out in all. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

  3. Darlene Sigala
      · December 20th, 2013 at 9:34 am · Link

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. I can’t wait for Big Sky Secrets, I love the Series and will have to re-read it over and over again until you write a Christmas Story of the whole family and town. 8)

  4. DONNA
      · December 20th, 2013 at 9:41 am · Link

    We all seemed to be crazed this time of the year. An it isn’t about the gifts. Have a wonderful holiday & keep writing you wonderful books

  5. Teresa Fordice
      · December 20th, 2013 at 9:46 am · Link

    Merry Christmas to all your Family! Have my calendar marked for 12/31 and getting that BOOK!!

  6. LynneW
      · December 20th, 2013 at 9:47 am · Link

    Thank you for this lovely reflection! As an author, you have a gift for putting into words the feelings most of us can only fumble to express.

    I don’t write my gratitude journal, but I do lovingly construct that section of my daily meditation and prayers in my head. Sometimes it’s a stretch and sometimes there are so many things to be grateful for that I am overwhelmed with His generosity and others’ kindnesses, but it does put me in the frame of mind to be more aware as I go through my day.

    And this week, I’ve been ever so grateful to have been one of last week’s winners here on your blog! :lol:

      · December 20th, 2013 at 9:48 am · Link

    i think i need to win so i can at least get a christmas present this year … poh well i tried….. i love the mcckettricks saga great read ,,

  8. Denise King
      · December 20th, 2013 at 9:52 am · Link

    Can’t wait for the next book, Love the Big Sky Series. Onof the things I’m grateful for is one friend came home for Christmas from Tx.we’ve been friends since I was 3 and she was 1,we are now 57&55 :-) ,This is the best Christmas gift ever.Merry Christmas Linda and Happ New Year’s.

  9. Brenda Erickson
      · December 20th, 2013 at 10:40 am · Link

    I get up every day at 4:15, I’ve been waiting for the last book of Big Sky. I have every book you have written. I’m retiring at the end of the month. I won’t have a computer, I’m going to miss your daily blog. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I feel like I know you personally.
    Brenda Erickson

  10. gloria bare
      · December 20th, 2013 at 10:41 am · Link

    Actually Linda the last Tuesday in this month is December 30 but that is okay, we all get confused this time of year. I can’t wait for this last book in the Big Sky series. It seems like forever since I read the last book. I really love the characters in that series, will miss them, but can’t wait to visit Mustang Creek and a whole new set of folks. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Have a safe and Happy New Year.

  11. Jeannine Klimt
      · December 20th, 2013 at 11:09 am · Link

    Thank you Linda for this blog. It’s so easy to forget the important aspects of life. It’s easy to be ungrateful when even just waking up and being able to rise from one’s bed for many is not a possibilty. :wink:

  12. Kathy
      · December 20th, 2013 at 11:17 am · Link

    Merry Christmas to you and your family and the gentle reminder of what is most important this time of year. Can’t wait to read the new book.

  13. Hilda
      · December 20th, 2013 at 11:20 am · Link

    Amen to all your thoughts Linda! I so agree with you! I hope you and your family (immediate, extended, and critters) have a wonderful Christmas and New Years. It’s snowing in Seattle!
    Continued blessings to you, and thank you for your stories!

  14. Carol Miller White
      · December 20th, 2013 at 11:48 am · Link

    Linda, I will have a journal of gratitude for the first time this year and thank you for the idea :) I have already looked around for your new book because I saw somewhere on the internet that it was due out on December 16th. Obviously, I have not found it so far. December 28th will be a Saturday. If the last Tuesday of the month, that would be the 31st. Just give the word and I will be searching :)

  15. Diane
      · December 20th, 2013 at 11:54 am · Link

    Linda, may love, joy and the blessings of Christmas come to you and yours at the Triple L!

  16. Sherry Wallace
      · December 20th, 2013 at 12:05 pm · Link

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder of our Lord’s great love in the gift of Jesus :). Do y’all usually have a white Christmas in the NW? We are lucky if it’s even cold in MS – gonna be in 70s today & tomorrow

  17. marilyn
      · December 20th, 2013 at 12:10 pm · Link

    Have a wonderful holiday to every one at the triple L

  18. Sue Hodge
      · December 20th, 2013 at 12:15 pm · Link

    Thank you Linda for your wonderful words. Everyone needs to alway be told the reason for this wonderful time of year.
    Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful time with family and friends.
    God bless. Sue

      · December 20th, 2013 at 12:21 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. I hope your holiday will be very good and safe. So glad the new book will be out at the end of month. Can’t wait. Just have a good Christmas & take care. Merry Christmas everyone

  20. Susan Lee
      · December 20th, 2013 at 12:52 pm · Link

    Thanks for those lovely Christmas thoughts. I’ve been a Christian for more than 45 years but I still was so blessed by the reminder that God does not give up on us. I enjoy my frequent glimpses into your life. In many many ways it is vastly different from mine but there is commonality as well. Buon Natale et felice capo d’anno anche.

  21. Patricia Taylor
      · December 20th, 2013 at 1:06 pm · Link

    I have been interested in your comments about how certain gems/stones affect you. I have a purple quartz-type rock, not sure what it is called, and as I held it this morning it had a powerful hold on me. I’ve been a rock collector most of my life. Something about them just draws me to them. I have several quartz sitting around on shelves just because I like their beauty. Never thought of them in any other way until now.

  22. Juanita Rice
      · December 20th, 2013 at 1:08 pm · Link

    Can’t wait for Big Sky Secrets!! Something new by a favorite author to read after the hustle of Christmas! :)

    • Juanita Rice
        · December 20th, 2013 at 1:11 pm · Link

      PS: I agree about the NFR staying in Vegas. And you are right about the “poor” cowboys. So many don’t even own their own horse and have to borrow.

  23. Janet Finlayson
      · December 20th, 2013 at 1:13 pm · Link

    With all the shopping after work and on the week-ends we tend to forget the real reason for Christmas. We can never speak of or remind one another to often of the generous gifts the good Lord gave to us all so long ago. Wishing you and yours a white Christmas, mild of course, and a good time with family and friends during this very special time of year. We’ll be trying something new this year, I’ve never cooked a prime rib before, but can’t wait to give it a try. Christmas this year is very special for us as it will be my Mother’s 90th birthday. She may have to ask us how old she is, :wink: but we are so blessed to still have her with us. Merry Christmas to all, and may the New Year is good to us all. :lol:

  24. Vicky
      · December 20th, 2013 at 1:32 pm · Link

    Thank you, Linda, for reminding me so eloquently, what the season is really about. Sometimes I get so busy trying to do for everyone that it is easy to lose track of God’s wonderful gift to us, Jesus Christ, aka, “the boss”. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas season.

  25. Jo-Ann Baker
      · December 20th, 2013 at 1:40 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas! Can’t wait for the next book to come out on the last Tuesday of Dec. Yea :) Something new to read! Thanks an have a great Holiday!

  26. Diana E
      · December 20th, 2013 at 1:51 pm · Link

    Its good to take the time to reflect on why we celebrate this season. Thank you for the beautiful words.
    Looking forward to “Secrets” coming out later this month. Blessing to you and yours.

  27. Janet Clark
      · December 20th, 2013 at 2:09 pm · Link

    I too have to remember the reason why we celebrate this wonderful season each year.
    Along with the home made cards and goodies, the traditions of youth still remain wonderful memories for me.
    It is snowing in Grand Coulee today, making it feel just a little bit more like Christmas.
    What a perfect day to bake and reflect on this holiday season
    Merry Christmas Linda to you and yours!

  28. Brenda Cates
      · December 20th, 2013 at 2:30 pm · Link

    You are so right about the gratitude journal, I’m going to try to do better this coming year. Happy holidays!

  29. Ruby Norwood
      · December 20th, 2013 at 3:32 pm · Link

    I guess we all need to remember the real reason we celebrate
    Christmas. Thank you for the beautiful words at reminding us
    Linda. I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and
    Happy New Year.


  30. Susan Mason
      · December 20th, 2013 at 4:11 pm · Link

    Planning on using some Christmas money to buy Big Sky Secrets. Just finished Big Sky Wedding and loved it!

    Thank you, Linda for writing such wonderful stories.

    Merry Christmas and all the best for 2014.


  31. Jan Buckles
      · December 20th, 2013 at 4:24 pm · Link

    Linda, I love the idea of a gratitude journal, and I’m on board with it….the beginning of the year will find me writing in one every day! What a wonderful way to remain grateful for all of the many blessings God gives us.

  32. Judy Howell
      · December 20th, 2013 at 5:06 pm · Link

    I can’t wait for Big Sky Secrets. I think I have the secret figured out, want to see if I am right. :wink: I promise to be honest.

  33. Kathleen M. McCluskey
      · December 20th, 2013 at 5:17 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas to you and your family

  34. Patricia Hann
      · December 20th, 2013 at 5:30 pm · Link

    Have a great weekend. Here in the Philadelphia Pa area we may hit 70 degrees on Sunday.

  35. zola udell
      · December 20th, 2013 at 5:31 pm · Link

    Thanks for the christmas message. I believe in it too. And I can agree thar focusing on your blessings, no matter how small will help you live a happier life. I appreciate your boldness in sharing your faith. We are all entitled to believe what we choose. Thar’s what our country was founded on. Thank you for your generosity. Even if I never win anything, you have put a smile on many faces. Have a wonderful holiday.

  36. Marie Anne
      · December 20th, 2013 at 7:08 pm · Link

    Lovely message and wanted to say how much I admire you! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  37. Gloria
      · December 20th, 2013 at 7:33 pm · Link

    Bless you Linda!! You have the “nerve” to stand up for God, our Father, and Jesus Christ.

    I have noticed that a lot more people in stores, not that I go in many, are actually saying Merry Christmas.

    I was in a Dollar Tree a couple of hours ago, and the cashier wished me a Merry Christmas and I thanked her and said…You, too. I caught myself, went back and apologized to her and said I should have said Merry Christmas, as I hate it when someone says…You, too, to me.

    I’m hoping this “trend” will continue in the years to come.

    Have a good and Godly weekend, and stay safe.

    I’m going to turn my heat back on and warm up. I might even have a cup of hot chocolate. YUMMY!!!

  38. carole
      · December 20th, 2013 at 8:00 pm · Link

    I write in my journal everyday…I sure hope that the rodeo is in Orlando next year for I maybe able to attend for I live only a few hours away but can’t plan that fair in advance. love to see a live rodeo for I miss it a lot! Anyways, so grateful for getting a job and that my family is healthy and so is my dad after 2 surgeries…he’s getting back being himself…I’ll be looking for your book this week for I’m shopping for myself and need a few good books to read! Merry Christmas to you!

  39. Donna Lohrer
      · December 20th, 2013 at 8:15 pm · Link

    Linda, Merry Christmas! I like reading your blogs, they are so peaceful. You are a gift from God.

  40. Alice Johnson
      · December 20th, 2013 at 8:50 pm · Link

    The Gratitude Journal sounds like a wonderful idea! In my daily & sometimes hourly prayers, I always thank our Lord, but writing it down will sink in more to me! Always look forward to your post, Linda :oops:

    Hope you have a Blessed Christmas & wonderful New Year. My new year will come in nicely, have the new books on pre order… I do love the ability to do that & know will be waiting for me when I wake !! That is the nice part of living on east coast :-P

  41. Laura Liberio
      · December 20th, 2013 at 9:29 pm · Link

    Linda, My priest advised me to express and show gratitude earlier this week – because this is the season when it is so appropriate and it unites us with Joy. So your advice is right on the mark. I wrote out cards for a whole slew of co-workers and got them a little gift for our Xmas party at work. I never do that- it was a like I emptied myself of regret and filled up on Christmas happiness – it transformed my day!

  42. Robin Hudson
      · December 20th, 2013 at 9:51 pm · Link

    Merry CHRISTmas and Happy New Year to you, your family and critters!

    • linda
        · December 23rd, 2013 at 12:52 pm · Link

      I love the way you amplified Christ in Christmas. Everytime I see “xmas”, it sets my teeth on edge.

  43. Diane Sallans
      · December 20th, 2013 at 10:55 pm · Link

    Just finished Big Sky Wedding so I’m all ready for Big Sky Secrets! I just found out that’s the end of the series :cry: – what’s next? :-P

  44. judy
      · December 21st, 2013 at 1:21 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas. I love your Bloge and this one is the best. I am setting on pins and needles for the last book.

  45. Suzanne Mongan
      · December 22nd, 2013 at 3:30 pm · Link

    I’ve kept a journal for years, and even though I don’t write in it every day, I still keep one. I am very thankful for everything that I have, I have a full time job, a nice home, and I can pay my bills. My family means a lot to me, and so do my many friends. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and even though it is a little sad for us, as my mom passed away a week before Christmas in 2004. When my sisters and I were little, I can remember sitting and singing happy birthday to Jesus, as well as being excited about the visit from Santa. I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas season.

  46. Andrea Lammly
      · December 23rd, 2013 at 8:46 am · Link

    Beautiful message Linda.
    Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy your time with family and friends.

  47. Becky Johnson Strobaugh
      · December 23rd, 2013 at 11:59 am · Link

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and encouragement for a gratitude journal. I have one, a prayer book, but haven’t used it as much as I should the last five years or so. And I should.

    16 years ago today a doctor told me I had multiple myeloma and have me 18-24 months to live. I knew God had this. I’ve seen many miracles just in my own life. This journey was taken with each step in His presence. I’ve seen even more miracles just in the discovery process of this disease.

    While I do give grateful Thanks every day, without fail, I haven’t been keeping up with my prayer journal. I will again, starting today. Knowing something, giving thanks for it, is one thing, but I think the writing of acknowledgment (much like a thank-you card, means so much more. Thank you for the necessary nudge.

    May you and your family have a Blessed Christmas!

  48. Linda Holmes
      · December 23rd, 2013 at 1:41 pm · Link

    I just pre-ordered the book for my Nook. The last Tuesday of the month is New Years Eve. That will be a nice gift for reading that night should we stay home.

    I’v been sitting her today (Monday) on a day off from work, working on my Bowling stuff. (league secretary) Later today I am going to start making cookies for Christmas. I am in a mood to make lots of things, but we are only having nine people over on Christmas Eve.

    Going back a couple of weeks you were mentioning some books of which I have one of those. You mentioned Trixie Beldon.

    I also have some older books from my mom one of which is called Maida’s Little Theater by Inez Haynes Irwin. copyright 1946.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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