Christmas 2016

christmas-2016Late this afternoon as the sun was beginning to set, my Beloved and I went to the cemetery to lay Lizz and the boys wreaths.  It’s hard to believe we were sharing our last Christmas with the family 5 years ago.  As I shake my head writing that statement, it feels like yesterday and then it’s hard to believe we have passed 5 years, but so is the calendar of the bereaved.  Fischer would be 8 this Christmas, Ben 6, and Hayes a few weeks shy of turning 4.    I got this Facebook memory today and it filled my heart with their love and again the reminder of the loss.

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So, what have the last 5 Christmas’ taught me that I wish I knew previously?

  1.  We spend too much time on the commercial aspect of this holiday.  We should spend it with our family and those relationships that matter most.
  2. Christmas should become less and less about the decorations and the shopping.  Through these last 5 years, I prefer not to get gifts.  The best gift is sharing the gift of Christ with family.
  3. Hug tighter
  4. Linger Longer
  5. And let the tears of joy and sorrow flow as a gift to Jesus.

It is this day that begins the journey to his purpose……the cross…the suffering…..but oh the love.  I don’t comprehend His love totally, but I do understand love and the suffering of a different kind.  It is that Christmas promise of his love that has tremendous meaning.  You see, without the birth, there is no cross, without the cross there is no Easter.  Without Easter there is no resurrection.  It is that amazing love that continues to humble me.

So, on this day I am so thankful for the love that came down.  Emmanuel, God with us.  Oh what amazing love….to step out of eternity and heaven to be born in a barn because we, I needed a Savior.    It is that love and his amazing grace that continues to support me moment by moment, day by day and year to year.  The words of “Merry Christmas” are tough at times, but, the Peace and abiding Joy of Christ is very present this year.

For those that these holidays are difficult, may the peace of Christ draw near and may you peer in the messiness of the manger and see the face of a Savior who will heal the blind, raise the dead and walk on water.  I don’t want to be like others in Bethlehem that night……they missed him.   I have missed him in the past.  I don’t want to miss him and the significance of this day anymore.

As John and I left the cemetery this evening, this song came on the radio, and it stirred my heart and the tears began to fall.  I’ll close with the title of the song that speaks to my heart…..All is well.

All is Well – Michael W Smith/Carrie Underwood

May the joy and peace of Christ be with you,

Julie