A New & Glorious Morn

The December skies leading up to Christmas Day were beautiful. My husband would text me to go look at the sky. Vibrant colors melting into each other. Breathtaking.

Christmas Day was, perhaps, one of my most favorite Christmases I have ever experienced. I’ve been reading in John recently, and I found myself in John 10 for Christmas. It was perfect. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” What beautiful words! How true! I have tasted this truth and known it.

Ben and I had such fun exchanging gifts. There’s just something special about your fourth married Christmas and feeling more at home and loving these quiet family celebrations. Ben made eggs and bacon and we discovered that apple-wood bacon has the scent of Christmas.  Read more

A Place for Beginning

People walk into the holiday season holding the heaviness of a year. Grief and joy collide. They enter in feeling certain they may be swallowed whole. The days string long and tiresome. The burdens are heavy, cumbersome. They walk in the “out -of-place” world of singleness, marriage, divorce, infertility, unplanned pregnancy, motherhood. Each one brings its own set of loneliness. Each one is its own wilderness-way. And these out-of-place worlds feel sharp and jagged at Christmastime.

But then we remember God.

We realize that while this season may punctuate our pain and grief, it is not about our pain and grief. We recall how God sent His Son to earth for us. We realize the only Reason we can find for celebration is the sole Cause for any and all celebration–Jesus, our Savior. We see the beginning of Hope and Joy and Peace. We ponder the work of God’s hands and we stretch out our hands to Him.

It is all we can do.

As we attempt to reconcile with with another year and bravely face the end of 365 days, God reminds us, “This is the beginning. I sent hope and joy and peace with the birth of my Son. And this carries into your life year after year….a beginning, a beginning, a beginning…just when you thought everything was ending.”

So we celebrate the birth of Jesus and not the birth of our hopes and dreams! We celebrate the beginning of full hope, great joy, and everlasting peace! And just when we try to stamp an ending on our year and in our hearts, we celebrate the Beginning of Hope. Just when the year is too heavy and too hard to bear, we celebrate the Beginning of great Joy.

December becomes a beautiful pause. A place for remembering. A place for rejoicing. A place for beginning all over again.

This is life with God.

This Merry & Bright Christmas

I entered this Christmas holiday rather naively…AS IF I WOULD TAKE A LOT OF PHOTOS WHEN MY WHOLE FAMILY IS JUST CHILLING TOGETHER. Oh, excuse my yelling.

I was just so busy catching up, drinking coffee, inhaling whip cream, laughing, joking, acting 15x more immature than usual, talking late at night, waiting for my brother to get engaged, wedding planning with Ember pretty much as soon as that engagement took place, looking at our wedding photos, laughing with my sister about the awkward photos we both received…and well OK! You get it! At what point did I have time to take photos? I do have a hap-hazard amount, but I kind of love that.

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Healing & Hope for Your Christmas

While I grabbed the ornaments out of our pantry, I couldn’t believe that Christmastime was already here. Already here! But I didn’t feel disappointment. While this year couldn’t have possibly gone more crazy or wild, it was life. And it was full. And it was covered everywhere by God.

Full of God not because I earnestly sought Him, but because I was forced to fall flat on my face and recognize Him. My heart was grossly independent and full of pride. With my face in the dirt during springtime, I found God as my Rest. I had to grow again…in little green sprouts. I had to let go of all my self-constructed walls and battle plans, and fall into the shadow of God’s wings.  Read more