As we wind down the year and the holidays approach us with all its glitz and glimmer, everyone just seems so holly and jolly. Unless you are the one cautiously walking into the holiday season with the heavy weight of grief and sorrow. All you may see through misty eyes are hues of memories that are muted and grey.Last year was the year of “firsts,” as my mom passed four days after Easter in 2022. Stepping into the holidays seemed anything but cheerful. I can still vividly remember going to the hardware store with my hubby. He practically begged me to tag along, and most likely, it was to get out of the house, so I “sorta” happily obliged.Unfortunately, I was taken by surprise the minute I stepped into that store, a place I thought could in no way, shape, or form remind me of my mom. Yet, there I was, quickly immersed in all things Christmas and surrounded by a bunch of cute, smiley snowmen with twinkling lights. I froze. I stood there and felt the heat wave of grief wash over me and the hot tears forming. The room started to spin, and all I could do was eventually get enough energy to put one foot in front of the other and step outside.Like many, my momma loved Christmas! She had a knack for making it so special and magical. Not only that, but she etched the love for cute snowman creatures as part of my décor since I was little. Which is funny since we live in a place that never sees snow. Between the two of us, we have a plethora of snowmen ranging in all shapes and sizes, from lonely snowman figurines to a family of snowmen that graced our dining room tables.Can you relate?Maybe you are wading through a season of grief this holiday. Perhaps you can’t seem to bring out the decorations or get in the “cheerful spirit.” Let me first say two words I often needed to hear last year when I couldn’t manage to take out my snowmen or tap into any merriment– It’s okay. It’s okay to give yourself time, to feel “all the feels,” and to not really get into the spirit of it all. It’s okay.Friend, if I could take your hand and tell you anything about mourning during the holiday season, it would be that this is going to be hard, really hard. But, there is so much comfort when we lean into a God that knows exactly how to comfort us. His promise to draw close and be near (Psalm 34:18) was (and still is) the only thing that brought me joy and continues to bring me joy as we step into another year without my beloved momma.So, as you find your bearings and do your best to muster enough energy to just get through the discomfort of each new and emerging day, here are some prayers to lean on, my precious friend.
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If a child walks away from the faith, it will not be because they believed in a man who wore a red suit and lived at the North Pole. It will be because they believe their sin is too great to forgive or because they're too rebellious in their ways. Both Jesus and Santa give us the gift of freedom. But Jesus had to give his life up for it.
Some people may know that Advent serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas. That's only part of the story.
The story of the Magi began centuries before Christ’s birth. Since the beginning of kingdoms, kings have sought advice from their advisors and prophets. Babylon, however, perfected a council of advisors. It included well-trained “magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers” (Daniel 2:2). This council became known as the Magi.
Advent is an opportunity to focus our homes on Jesus as we countdown to the joyous Christmas day. It's a four-week invitation to pause, reflect, celebrate, and enjoy this season while remembering its glorious meaning. All ages can enjoy the Advent tradition. Let your creativity guide your home as you enjoy the holidays.Each week of Advent has a theme. In the first week, we light a purple candle for hope (or promise); in week two, we light a purple candle for preparation (or waiting or prophecy); in week three, we light a pink or purple candle for joy (or peace), and week four we light a purple or pink candle is for love (or adoration).We can take this tradition and modify it to work in our homes. Our prayers, crafts, discussions, and planned activities can be catered to meet the needs of our homes. Let the themes of each week guide you as you explore what God's Word tells us about who Jesus is and what his life and death accomplished for us all!Here are some creative Advent calendar ideas for your family's Christmas countdown:
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1. In our house, Christmas is about Jesus. That first. The rest follows. 2. The stuff goes away. Relationships do not.
Discover 10 of the most famous Christmas Poems and Hymns in this collection, poems such as "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and hymns like "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "Silent Night." May these Christmas poems and hymns bring you great joy as you sing with family and friends or read them as a reminder of the gift of Jesus!
Holidays with family can stir up all kinds of emotions. For some it’s a time of gift giving and thankful reflection. For others it means stressful family gatherings or a grievous reminder of loved ones lost.
It’s proven that people are more stressed out at Christmas time than at any other time of the year. But not only is December supposed to be the happiest time of the year, it can also be your healthiest time of the year if you get rid of the stress that tends to overtake you.
Discover the purpose, symbolism, and history of the Advent Wreath used in the season of Christmas by Christians around the world.