Tag Archives: Christmas

The Power of a Song

Last Christmas a friend posted the song below on her Facebook page. My kids were gone for a few days and I was scrolling through my feed to pass time. That’s when I came across the true power of a song. It literally changed Christmas last year from a sad, lonely time to one of worship.

This year I’m starting with this song, in hopes that December will be filled with all things Christ. Because He is literally my everything.

One

Coloring-Pages-Stencil-of-Number-1Christmas is one of my all-time favorite holidays. I love everything about it. The time with family, the fun events, the shopping, the giving, the eating (oh, the eating!), the music, the sweatpants on a cold night (Because I need them from all the eating – HA. No, seriously.), the time off work, the lights… every.single.thing.

With Christmas, there also comes a flood of emotions. Unpacking Christmas ornaments and remembering a whole life-time ago, or so it seems. Each ornament a glimpse of a previous life. A life I don’t even recognize anymore. A box upstairs holds ornaments I’ve not been able to even unpack. Too many memories. Of all the things, it’s the one Christmas thing I kept. One.

This year has been no different. I so long to rest in the real reason for this season. We have been focusing our nightly bible studies on the names of Christ… hanging each name as an ornament on our tree. A tradition that began last year. A human attempt to not miss the baby. The King. The Savior. The Lord.┬áThe One.┬áDetermined this year not to get so caught up in all the fun traditions that I forget the one thing that matters. One.

And yet, our Christmas traditions are in full swing. And oh how I love a good tradition! It’s been a wonderful December, in that regard. Christmas parties, decorating the tree, cards, concerts, Journey to Bethlehem, hanging lights, festivals and fake snow, candy making, shopping, wrapping, light searching, caroling, Crazy Christmas Show … wonderful.

But here’s the thing… although things have been so wonderful, I knew deep in my heart I was missing it. A part of my heart I kind of closed, not wanting to hurt or feel. It wasn’t intentional and I didn’t even realize it had happened. Things I had boxed up and put away. Until tonight.

Sitting in the quiet and sipping hot tea, I clicked to listen to Hallelujah. A version of this song that I LOVE. As I watched the Christmas lights on the tree and listened to the words the tears began to fall. The Christmas story is amazing. More than amazing, really. A story my mind cannot even fathom.

And that’s when it happened. A whisper in my heart. A voice I needed to hear that reminded me of the one thing that never changes…

God’s love for his people.

All throughout the Old Testament you see God’s undying love for his people. Even when they screwed up, he always had a way for them to return. Always. Over and over again. And then He sends a baby. The one baby in history that literally changed the world. And still does.

In fact, He still changes hearts. Even those that have been closed and boxed away. Those marked “trash” or “donate”. Those too emotional to bear. He would gladly take them all. No hiding. No embarrassment.

Only love.

So tonight, for the first time this season, I am refreshed. The traditions are fun and I’ve loved them, but a bit of perspective about it all has helped.

Because He is the only one that matters.

And we are the only ones that matters to Him.

Broken at Christmas

Why oh why must Christmas bring out the broken places in our lives?

Are you lonely? Christmas will remind you of that. Over and over again. Ugh.

Is their strife in your family? Rockwell certainly didn’t paint a portrait of that for a Christmas card.

Are you in debt? Um… yeah, Christmas will illuminate that one like a beacon in the night.

Do you have a habitual sin that plagues you when stress comes? Smoking, eating, drinking, not eating, exercising too much, shopping, etc. AA and Alanon rooms are packed during the holidays and I’m sure other programs are as well. Something about the expectation of the season seems to bring out the worst in each of us.

Is your family broken? Christmas has a way of declaring to the world that your family is not together. That you are somehow marked as different since you don’t have the “complete” family that others have at Christmas Eve services, Christmas Day, etc.

You never really know what others are dealing with or going through. The outside often masks the true story.

But… Christmas can also bring healing to the brokenness and joy in the midst of it all.

This Christmas was strategically different. After hearing about the Christmas Adorenaments® on KSBJ, I purchased them online. Each one of us took turns (including our dog, lol) hanging an ornament on the tree which featured 7 names of Christ from the book of Luke. We read from the book that came with it describing that particular name. It was a great way to keep our minds focused on the real meaning of Christmas during the month of December.

We also participated in our church‘s Advent Conspiracy again this year. After discussing it, the decision was made to “save” one girl in India which would be $381 through a ministry called As Our Own. The kids didn’t think we could do it but I encouraged them to ask God for the money. So they did. Sure enough… we had ABUNDANTLY more than what we had asked God to provide. Not only could we save one girl, but we could bless two other families as well. Talk about a life lesson in faith! And what a joy to be able to bless others just as we have been blessed. :)

And… we also celebrated Christmas morning all together. Meaning, their dad joined us as we opened gifts, ate breakfast at Denny’s, and went to a movie. There was something so right about it… but also so sad. I’m thankful that we can do that for our kids. They were obviously happy with our morning together and I have to say I was as well. To those in Denny’s and at the movies, we were just another family out enjoying Christmas. It was nice to feel “normal”.

So, although Christmas CAN be a time that highlights our brokenness, it can also be a time of miracles, joy, and celebration – but it’s a choice. It all starts with simply asking. Humbly asking God to change our hearts. To heal our broken places.