As I wrap presents and make cookies and listen to carols, I remember.
I remember my childhood. Snowfall and twinkling lights and surprises. The anticipation on Christmas Eve and the magic of feeling loved. Saying my little poem at the church Christmas program. Learning about the Babe in the manger and wondering. Ribbon candy and cookies and oranges. Family. My Daddy’s laughter. And always my mother quietly working behind the scenes to make things warm and delightful. How I miss her gentle serving and selfless giving. How I miss my father’s joy.
I remember when my children were young. Ah, the imperfect chaos of life with littles. And somehow it was now up to me to make the magic. I was both grateful and overwhelmed with all of it. Babies and toddlers and then bodies growing tall. Noise and excitement, treats and traditions. Joy in serving my small crowd of humans, learning how to give and love. And a growing understanding of Christmas and the Christ child and the richness of that best gift given long ago. An opening of my heart to the rest He offers. Rest from inability and doubt and heaviness. From frantic doing. From sin and all of its reaching.
A fresh welcoming of Him as Lord.
And now? No phone calls from my mama asking if I have all the presents wrapped. None of my daddy’s story-telling or exuberant joy. No trips to the snowy north to spend Christmas with them. No one to love me like a mama loves her children.
And part of my heart is missing. Marissa. All the Christmas memories of her a swirl of joy and pain. How I wish I could hold her and laugh with her. Share coffee and talk deep. Watch her sleep. Give her one last surprise. Tell her how much she is loved.
So now I remember with tears.
And yet I know. I know the Dayspring and the Sunrise. I have been brought out of such deep darkness to a gentle, eternal light. He has shined on me through all the dark places. The cold, impossibly hard paths. The valley full of death’s shadows, full of death itself.
And though my grief has changed me and stays with me and will always be part of who I am, I rejoice. That God became flesh to dwell among us, full of grace and truth. That He came to rescue us from sin and all its miseries. That because He came, death is ultimately defeated.
And so I sing the old carols with joy. I remember my blessings, the abundance of all I’ve been given.
I am filled with hope in believing.
Christmas! A Savior is born!
My heart will always remember.
O Savior, Child of Mary,
Who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory,
Who dost our weakness know;
This Flow’r, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens ev’ry load.
From “Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming”
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
12 thoughts on “Remembering Christmas”
Sending you enough love from the snowy north to fill your empty spots. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Colleen!)
Thank you, Kim! Merry Christmas!
Praise God, Marissa, and our loved ones in Heaven whom we are missing are SAFE from “all the dark places. The cold, impossibly hard paths. The valley full of death’s shadows, full of death itself.” They ARE LIVING PERFECTLY in the “rest He offers. Rest from inability and doubt and heaviness. From frantic doing. From sin and all of its reaching. He came to rescue us from sin and all its miseries. . . . Because He came, death IS ultimately defeated” for Marissa, for US if we are His child! Thank you, Colleen, because you have reminded me “to sing the old carols with joy. . .. [to] remember my blessings, the abundance of all I’ve been given. . ..
[to be] filled with hope in believing.
Christmas! A Savior is born!”
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Yes! Safe and loved and HOME! We long for that eternal rest when we shall be with them and forever with the Lord! Merry Christmas to you, Rose Mary!
My greetings come from the north as well. Snowflakes were falling yesterday. Mon we laid my father to rest. My final parent. He was at peace and longed for heaven. He was a hero of the faith. That mix of emotions, peace that he’s gone on, sad because he’s no longer here. We now must continue to carry the torch. Marlita’s absence is always felt but have been blessed with God’s grace and healing, little by little as we journey on.
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Diane, I am so sorry for this deep loss. But I know he is whole, happily singing praise to our God, and reunited with Marlita! Soon we will all be together again. Until then, thank you for the reminder to “carry the torch.” We have work to do while we tarry, and we are witnesses that God gives grace for every trial.
Colleen, our Lord certainly has blessed us with great Christmas memories!
You have done an awesome job again writing about yours and God’s grace and continual healing.
I have prayed for all you and your Christmas this year! A great gift we could receive this year would be the Rapture! If not, what an awesome privilege we have to walk with our Lord and continue to love and serve Him along with experiencing every type of grace needed!
Thank you for writing tthis blog!
Thank you! The Rapture would be a lovely gift, but until then “our hearts will go on singing!” Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Merry Christmas Colleen! This is such a beautiful reflection! Thank you for your encouraging joy filled words !
Thank you, Dottie! Merry Christmas to you and your family, and I pray this new year is filled with evidences of God’s kind faithfulness!
This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read in a long time. Thank you for sharing 🖤
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Thank you, Kari! I appreciated, too, your thoughts on contentment in this new year. May the Lord find us faithful! ❤