I Need A Silent Night

Every December I begin the month wanting to prepare. Not for the get-togethers with family and friends, or for all the baking or gift wrapping, but I want to prepare my heart.

I Need A Silent Night

I don’t want to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle and miss the most important part of this holy season.

The world is trying hard to make us forget. To not let us celebrate His birth. But for me, it’s about Jesus’ birth. Scripture says,

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7

Today, slow down and soak up the gift of Christmas. A baby born to save the world. Maybe you need a Silent Night.

 

Have a blessed Sunday!

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Sunday Encouragement-Christmas Memories

Merry Christmas! I think we all love traditions this time of the year. We have traditions with our families and with our friends.

As we unpack our Christmas decorations many of them bring back memories of Christmas’ past. I’m sure you have a special ornament or decoration that reminds you of someone special.

One of the sweetest Christmas memories I have is of our Nativity scene. Growing up, Mom always made setting  it out special.

for unto us a child
Mom wrote an article about it in 1991 when she was the food editor at our local newspaper. I want to share that article with you.

“Christmas is a family all bundled up in love.”
We usually trim the Christmas tree the second week in December. The night’s a special one for our whole family because the beginning of the yuletide season finally becomes a reality.

The excitement of the night has everyone scurrying about in each direction. As my husband Doug, brings in the tree, the excitement mounts. Next, he gets the laborious job of digging the decorations out of the attic. The children start the Christmas music, and I make the hot chocolate and arrange the sugar cookies and buckeyes on a pretty plate.

As Doug brings the boxes down from the attic, they’re quickly opened and the carpet disappears as the decorations soon cover the floor. We all enjoy reminiscing over the handmade ornaments, the candy cane/lifesaver garland, the twinkle lights, the red bows, and the wonderful smell of the Christmas tree.

Before we trim the tree, though, we set up our “treasured” crèche (a manger scene). Doug and I bought the manger scene twenty-six years ago in downtown Lexington. It was our first Christmas together. We found the beautiful hand-painted crèche on a sale table in the back of Ben Snyder’s Department Store.

manger scene

 It had a price tag of $10.98. We bought the crèche and placed it on top of our television set in our new home – a trailer. Little did we realize how much that nativity scene would mean to us in the years that lay ahead.

For several years, however, it was treated like the other decorations at Christmastime. We just got it out and set it in its old familiar place – on the TV. It didn’t seem to take on the special meaning until our children were old enough to help arrange the figurines in their places.

During their growing –up years, the children carefully unwrapped the figurines and Doug and I retold the Christmas story and discussed the real meaning of Christmas as they placed each figure in its proper place. I’m not sure the little lamb was in its proper place, though. Blake insisted on placing the little lamb up in the loft. (How a lamb could climb up there in real life is beyond me!)

Traci loved hanging the angel on the nail where it belonged – at the top of the stable. Across the front of the angel’s robe is a banner that says, “Gloria!”. I laughed so hard the year Traci said, “Let me put Gloria up!” (She thought the angel’s name was Gloria!)

Cyndi gently placed the baby Jesus in the manger between Mary and Joseph. Then one by one we all unwrapped the other figurines and placed them in the nativity. When we finished, Doug slipped a new, white bulb in the back of the stable. The reflection from the light causes the glitter to sparkle brightly in the shape of a star, behind where the Christ Child lay.

Immediately, Doug turned all the lights out in the room, except the one in the nativity scene. As “Silent Night, Holy Night” or some other hymn plays in the background, we all stand back in awe and gratitude and reflect on God’s greatest gift to mankind – His son, Jesus!

Approximately five years ago, I came across another manger scene (identical to ours) at Hillenmeyer Nurseries. Inflation had sky-rocketed the price to over $300.00. Would I sell ours for $300.00? No way…I wouldn’t take a million dollars for the loving memories our family has already experienced and will experience in the years to come – not only family memories, but also memories of our Savior’s birth!

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Such sweet memories! I’ll never forget those Christmas’.

Christmas seems to be less and less about Jesus these days. Have you noticed how few nativity scenes you see in the stores. It’s not politically correct to have them anymore.

Let me encourage you today to NOT miss it. Don’t miss His birth, don’t miss the precious gift that God gave us. 

A tradition on my blog, is to play this song. Some of you have heard it, but there are many of you who are knew around here and you might not have heard it.

Either way, it’s a beautiful song that reminds that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

 

Have a blessed Sunday!

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Sunday Encouragement

My niece recently gave birth to a baby boy. I’m not sure there’s anything sweeter than a newborn baby. I still think it’s a miracle how we can carry them for 9 months while they grow and then at just the right time, they enter the world.

As Mom’s, we love our children deeply and we want to protect them as much as we can from this harsh world. I imagine Mary, the mother of Jesus, felt the same way.

I’ve often wondered what Mary felt the first time she held Jesus in her arms, the first time she smelled His sweet scent, the first time she felt His tiny fingers curl around hers.

Luke 2:19 (NLT) says, “but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.”

Isn’t that just like a Mom to remember all those precious first moments of meeting your baby? How many times do we talk about their birth and share it with others?

I read this quote about Mary, Most Moms think their children can walk on water. Mary’s Son actually did.

Sunday Encouragement

I wonder if Mary knew, really knew, that her Son would change the lives of so many–one pair of blind eyes, one set of broken limbs, one soul at a time.

Did she know that her Son would save the world?

I heard this song a few weeks ago and couldn’t wait to share it with you. I don’t know if this group of singers are christians but I think God can use anyone to give hime glory, amen?

Enjoy!!!

 

Have a blessed Sunday!

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Sunday Encouragement-Thanksgiving Thoughts

It’s Thanksgiving week. Yes, we get to eat some turkey and stuffing. But that’s not all. This week comes with all kinds of emotions for each of us.

It’s a time to look at our life. We look at the blessings but we also look at the difficult seasons. It’s knowing through all of it Jesus was with us and that’s what we’re thankful for.

Sunday Encouragement-Thanksgiving Thoughts

I remember my first Thanksgiving without my Mom. It was hard and I wanted to get through it quickly.

Right before Thanksgiving week we sang, Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redmon, in church. The words were hard to sing…

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say, Lord
Blessed be Your name, Lord

Those words pierced me. Jesus gives and he takes away but I will choose to say Blessed Be Your Name. For the first time I understood those words.

Let’s be honest, none of us like the “taking away” part. Loss is never easy.

I’m learning more and more that thankfulness doesn’t mean that life is easy. But thankfulness is a choice. No matter what the journey brings, I want to choose to say, Lord Blessed Be Your Name.

I know many of you have lost loved ones this year and Thanksgiving is going to be different. There’s one less seat around the table.

Please know that I’m praying for you! I may not know your name but Jesus does. Trust Him. He is always faithful.

Of course, I’m going to share, Blessed Be the Name Of The Lord. Maybe listen to it today with a different perspective. It’s easy to praise Him on the good days but can we praise Him during the difficult days?

 

Have a blessed Sunday friends!

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Sunday Encouragement-Jesus Loves Us

I’ve recently mentioned to you all about how I’m missing my Mom a little more than usual lately. I know partly it has to do with the upcoming holidays.

I think it also has to do with all the changes. This past year has been one of the most difficult for our family. I shared last year about God’s Faithfulness in our Struggles. The consequences of sin and mistakes still linger. I’ve needed her guidance. Mom always knew what to say and of course she’d be praying.

I also wish she could see her grandkids. They have all grown up so much! She would be so proud of each one of them.

She also has a great grandchild. Goodness gracious, how did that happen?? That makes me a grandmother. What??? Not possible!

Sunday Encouragement-He Love Us

Anyway, one of Mom’s prayers that she wrote over and over in prayer journals and in her Bibles was about Jonathan. Jonathan is my sister’s oldest son. She has 4 boys. Yep, that’s right 4 and they’re precious.

Jonathan has moderate hearing loss in both ears and wears hearing aids in both ears. I think it’s moderate to severe hearing loss. Oh how Mom worried over Jonathan. She begged God to heal him.

I know it’s not the worst thing in the world but Mom was afraid he wouldn’t talk. She worried he’d be made fun of and the list goes on.

Jonathan is able to talk and more than that, he has a beautiful singing voice and most importantly a heart for Jesus.

Mom knew before she passed away that Jonathan had a gift for singing, which we all feel is a miracle. Every time he sang anywhere Mom and Dad were there.

Jonathan even sang at Mom’s funeral. He was 10 and it was beautiful.

Today, I wanted to share this video that Jonathan recently did all by himself. Traci tried to tell me how he did it. Basically, he recorded himself singing outside four different times. He recorded himself singing on the computer and he downloaded the music.

Let’s just say it was A LOT of work. It’s really good for a 15 year old doing it all by himself. He’s singing Chris Tomlin’s song, Jesus, He loves me.

 

Let me end by saying what Mom would want me to say. Jesus loves us and he wants us to know Him!

Sunday Encouragement-He Love Us

Have a blessed Sunday friends!

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Sunday Encouragement-Choose Today

Many of you know I lost my Mom to gastric cancer in 2009. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. I have this blog because Mom introduced me to blogging.

This time of the year I especially think of her and all the things we would be planning. We’d be talking about Thanksgiving, and what we wanted to fix this year.

We’d be going to some Christmas open houses at some of our favorite stores. She’d be telling me all the things she’d like us to do before Christmas gets here. Mom made the holidays special.

One thing for sure, all of our activities and family get togethers would be centered around Christ. Mom was passionate about her relationship with Christ and if you were around her for very long, you would know that.

This is a snapshot of Mom’s devotional book. (Mom was a writer at heart and we have hundreds of books that Mom has written in. She also wrote for Home Life Magazine and in our local newspaper.)

Sunday Encouragement-Choose Today

I love that she wrote out, “I’m taking a definite stand.” It makes me smile because she didn’t have to write that for me to know she was taking a stand for the Lord. Her life showed it.

Oh how I love and miss her!! But how blessed I am to have the assurance that she is with Jesus.

I guess it’s appropriate to ask whom do you serve? As we prepare for the all the festivities over the next two months will it be evident to those around you, whom you serve?

Sunday Encouragement-Choose Today

I know it’s early for Christmas music but I can’t help but think of this song. Maybe you’ve lost someone this year and you’re wondering what Christmas in Heaven is like.

 

Have a blessed Sunday!

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