It’s been a long hiatus. I don’t have some great story behind it. I’ve been a wife and mother, a sister and a daughter. We’ve had people in the hospital, Daddy out of town, and other transitions. I’ve been a graphic designer and an illustrator. It’s been a full year. I think that I’ll be back here more often though. A lot has changed since I last posted. It’s been just over a year. This blog has not been extremely focused or with pointed direction. It’s not about some specific craft or trade or hobby or interest. It’s not strictly about my art, or some hobby or craft, about homeschooling or parenting. It’s not solely about my life with chronic illness or a ministry God has placed on my heart. I guess I’d have to say, overall, it’s about my heart and faith. This is the musings of a Christian mom of a preschooler, with flaws and shortcomings, but with HOPE! I just want to share my heart. Christ is my Hope, my Salvation, and my Love. So, if I’ve not lost you yet… here’s my first post of 2015.
I love this time of Christmas, of Advent. It’s a time of celebrating the first coming and anticipating the second coming of Christ. It’s about hope and love.
The music and lights, the sweets and parties, the cards and decorations… these are all lovely things. Family readings and services, giving and missions are making special memories in in our lives and our children’s lives, preparing our hearts.
Thanks to AnAnchoredFaith.com my daughter and I have, in large part, been rotating back and forth between Christmas carols and a CD that I won. It’s the WOW Hits 2016 CD. Her favorite song would have to be “How Can It Be” by Lauren Daigle. Good tastes I must say. I bring this up, though, because of another song we listen to lots on the same disc titled “I’ll Keep On (featuring Jeremiah Carlson)” and while not a Christmas song, it seems so fitting this year.
It’s a song of hope and redemption. Okay, okay. Let me clarify. It’s a song of being weary and broken and open, laying out your imperfections and weariness before a loving God. Asking for help, knowing you have hope in Him, so you’ll “keep on.” How does this relate to Christmas? HOPE!
HOPE, HOPE, HOPE!
When you are are weary, when your hands are tired, your heart is tired, when your soul is tired… as a believer in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, you keep on. What keeps you on? God. Our hope is in Him. He provides. He sent Christ, our Savior. Giving us eternal HOPE.
This time of year, I know several friends carrying the burden of miscarriages. My heart aches for you with such empathy. I’ve been where you are. Anytime my daughter mentions being the oldest or only child, my heart says… no, you’re not. Not really, my sweet Gracie Loo-who. There is always a special place in your heart for the ones you’ve lost.
I know those who are left out of Christmas parties and events, uninvited and left feeling continually unwelcome. I want to stand in your defense, making those that hurt you take notice and realize what they’re doing and how unkind and unloving they have become (pointing out the logs in their eyes, despite my own forests).
I am among the families that love a clean house (who am I kidding… clean? hahaha… dreams), with music and decorations including a tree filling the house with smells and sounds of Christmas time, but for various reasons have none of those things this year. I am there with you. I am. My prayers go out to you as you spend each day in the hospital with your child, your sibling, your parent. My heart is filled with understanding as you’re gone from home lots for whatever reasons. I want to send my hugs to you as your family doesn’t share your love of the season and love of our Savior. You may not feel like it, but you are a light in the darkness. My heart goes out to you as you’ve lost everything and are staying somewhere that just isn’t home.
So many are experiencing their first Christmas as a family divided. I know your heart is broken with the changes and the separations. I cannot pretend to know the difficulties that you’ll face in the upcoming weeks. I cannot, but I love you and God loves you. I will pray for you at each remembrance. Tell me how I can pray for you, how my family can pray for yours.
I have friends without jobs in a downturned economy. It amazes me how God provides. He never ceases to amaze. I trust Him. I know He loves you and provides for you as well. I’m praying for you. It’s in the difficulties where we learn more how He provides.
There are loved ones facing cancer and terrible illnesses during these holidays. You are also in my prayers. You are strong in the Lord. He is your hope. As a believer in Christ, you will be healed one way or another. You are a light in the darkness. Your battle shines His love and hope to others.
There are many hurting this season. Yes, the widowed, the poor, and the orphans. Pray for them, PLEASE, serve them and give out of abundance and of need. During this time of year I’m seeing so clearly just how hard it is for so many. We serve where we live in the Huntsville, Alabama area, but we also have heart strings that keep us serving with our families in St. Clair County, Alabama. I have seen that not only have the poor been hit hard, with many families seeking help who’ve never been there before, but so are the families serving, giving. Less angels and ornaments have been picked up from trees. Less meals have been purchased. It’s not just in Ashville, Alabama or St. Clair County as a whole, but also in the Huntsville area, and I suspect across the US. Please remember that our hope is not in this economy or in our political leaders (using the term leader loosely). Our HOPE is in Christ. He provides. Let us let His light shine through us. If you are living in St. Clair County, please consider going by the Piggly Wiggly in Ashville, Alabama and loving on a family through the Ashville Community Mission (serves all of St. Clair) by purchasing a dinner for a family taking on surmounting odds this year. Are you in the Huntsville area? I know that the Manna House could use your assistance, the Downtown Rescue Mission, and Kids to Love as well. I could go on with ways you can give a little extra this year. There is likely a mission of some sort where ever you live. Who does your church support in your area? Is there a family your small group is adopting for the holidays? Jump in. Love on others. Shine a light. Show the HOPE.
While doing this, please don’t forget the many facing difficulties known to you or not. They may have smiles, they may be sour, you may know them, you may not. Share love with all you meet and all you remember. LOVE!
Share in the comments ways you and your family give back, showing hope and love this Advent, not to boast, but to inspire.