Posted by: bree1972 | December 21, 2012

Christmas Joy 12/21/2012

I have to admit my Christmas spirit has been seriously lagging this year.  A combination of a sad event in our family, being sick for a week, having family and special friends either struggling with serious illnesses or trying to “just get through” the first Christmas without a loved one, and the terrible tragedy in Connecticut snowballed into days of numbness, grief and  helplessness.  Instead of a happiness-filled trip to on-line merchants, where I normally spend a couple of days picking out “just the right” gift for each family member, gift buying became a chore I couldn’t wrap my mind around.  When Ted called me “Scrooge” for the third time, and wonderful friend Jill told me to “snap out of it!”, I knew I had to sit myself down and address the issues.  But I couldn’t make myself do it.

The start back up into joyfulness began with a totally insignificant conversation with my son Blake.  He called a few nights ago from a bookstore in Ft. Collins, asking if I had any  books on my Christmas list.  He was standing in the Christian book aisle and asked if I might need a new Bible.  I smiled inwardly.  Most people have one Bible.  Blake has  . . . well, he has quite a few.  In fact, he gave me a new Bible for Christmas a few years ago.  It sits under “my” Bible – the one I read cover to cover a few years ago.  That one is marked on nearly every page, verses highlighted, notes written in white spaces, favorite verses jotted down on blank pages in the back.  Probably every Bible Blake owns looks like that because he purchases study Bibles.  With the middle space between two rows of verses filled with links to other verses a subject may relate to, he travels back and forth, learning something new.  He never tires of it.  It is truly his guide in life.

I read “my” Bible through when Blake first went to China and I was struggling with him being there – worrying constantly about his safety.  That year brought me peace about his life’s journey and gave me a closeness to God like I have never had before.  I truly became a Christian that year.

It came to me that in all my numbness, I had not had one serious conversation with the Lord about my worries.  Oh, I had bowed my head and prayed a quick, “Help me, Lord” – mumbled a couple of dozen times a day, leaving not one window or door open for His answer.  Why is it we always think we can handle everything by ourselves?  Why do we think we’re that strong?  When will we learn that we’re not strong at all without God’s help?  How hurt do we have to be before we acknowledge, “With Him, all things are possible” and “Without Him, we are nothing.”

We are human.  We think we can handle anything all by ourselves.  We can’t.

My answer to Blake that night was, “No, don’t get me another Bible. How about a book of devotionals for women?”

“Ok,” he said. “I’ll look for one.”

But what I was thinking, as I clicked off the phone, was, “Get back to God’s word, Brenda.  Take that brand spanking new Bible Blake gave you years ago and read it through – starting January 1.  Mark it up, search for meaning and peace and hopefulness and love . . . . find your joy again.”

Blake flies in tonight and Jason arrives tomorrow.  With them will come laughter and fun and hearty appetites wanting all their favorite “mom” dinners.  I can’t wait to see them walk in the door.  I can’t wait to feel those first bear hugs they reserve just for me.

My smile is big today.  Scrooge has gone on vacation.

God bless.



  1. Brenda, God bless you and yours – have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Sooo glad you found your smile. 🙂 Having the boys there will make it right.
    I’ve been working through something similiar. After the Newtown shootings last weekend, my heart has been so heavy. Then, this happened. We went to the movies last weekend, and I saw something that looked like it was a Bible mark, it wasn’t, but it made me come home & look up the verse. That God is a funny guy! It said…”Where are you?” I instantly smiled & read on. A peace came over me & I realized, I too needed some quiet time w/God and His word. 🙂

  3. Beautiful, Brenda, as always. Thank you for the reminder!!

  4. Merry Christmas Brenda. Glad you found your way to inner peace once more. Blessings to you and your family – human and canine. All the best for 2013.

  5. Scrooge better have purchased a ONE WAY TICKET for that “vacation”!!! Just knowing you will have ALL your boys home safely is going to cheer EVERYONE up…”HAPPY HOLIDAYS”…to EVERYONE.

  6. Beautifully said Brenda, and I so agree with you…we need God back in our lives. I believe that is what is wrong with this world today.
    Have a wonderful holiday with your family and Merry CHRISTmas. Love ya!

  7. You are on the way, and you’ll soon hear the sleigh…..bells in your mind and in your heart.

  8. Brenda, I pray all of you have a very Blessed Christmas, I know it’s hard with the feelings when there is so much bad happening in the world today. I have been been fighting that too & too this is the first Christmas without my sister, June but I know she is having Christmas with Jesus but I sure do miss her. I sure do enjoy reading your blog all the time, I live all this through you, Thank you & God Bless you & yours & your furry buddies too.

    • Peggy, I can’t tell you how often I think of June. I know Christmas will be hard, but I just bet she and Mama and Daddy are having a grand time in Heaven!

      • Yes, Brenda, I know they are, so glad we have the Hope that we will be there one day.

  9. Bree, I too have had a rough time finding the spirit this year. I am experiencing some serious health issues with my significant other, that do not seem to end. Also experiencing some added job and family pressures that have made me question why life is so difficult. Like everyone else, everytime I see a young child, I am reminded of the awful unthinkable events in CT. Your words have helped me focus on what is important, God, and how he can help my family find peace and joy in the upcoming year. You have given me a wonderful holiday gift. I wish the same comfort for you and your family and of course, all of our loyal and furry puppy friends.

    • Thanks for your sweet words, Laurie. Prays lifting for you and yours.

  10. God’s Word will give you the umpth you need every day!

  11. So glad you`re having both of your boys for Christmas this year; treasure every second and make videos along with the pictures. Wish I`d made more videos. You`ll never be sorry you did that.

    • Brenda, I know exactly how you feel. I went to Sharon’s a couple of weeks ago to spend the weekend. I cried a lot of the way there and continued crying when I got to her house. Sharon told me we had to get me in better spirits that weekend! I have felt better since coming home, but still haven’t enjoyed getting ready for Christmas like I did in previous times. Even though Tracey drove me crazy at times, I loved her and can’t believe it has been a year since that awful night. I have prayed for peace in my heart about her death and I am feeling better. Just trying to stay positive for Daylon and Brad.

      You have really had a bummer of a Christmas, but I’m sure you will feel better when the boys get there. How can we complain after what happened in Conn.? So many tears shed over those poor children and their grieving parents.

      Daylon and I are going to Sharon’s in the morning for the family Christmas, and I know we will have a great time. We always do. It will be the best medicine ever. Brad is on call with the railroad and Wyatt has a fever.

      Gosh, I got started and couldn’t stop! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  12. Merry Christmas to your family as we celebrate Jesus — the Reason for the Season~~~!!!

  13. Finding joy in everyday life can be a challenge. As long as you remember that Jesus walks with you every step of the way, it is easier. I read a book this summer, One Thousand Gifts by Anna Voskamp. I highly recommend it. Have a blessed Christmas with your family!

    • I will check this book out, Rebecca. Thanks for sharing, and a very Merry Christmas!

  14. Well, hello Brenda. Glad you’re back. I hope you told Scrooge there was no reason for him to ever come back.

    Welcome home to the boys. It’s alright if I call them boys, isn’t it? One thing for sure, I know from experience that you’ll always be their mother, no matter how old they get.

    Now, don’t forget, Santa will be coming to your house in a few days. Yes, Brenda, there really is a Santa Claus.

    We will be going up the road to Faye’s sister’s house for Christmas. Two of her brothers will also be there and many from the families. Probably about 25 people, maybe more. I am counting on a lot of enjoyment.

  15. Have a glorious Christmas with your precious family and a happy and healthy new year to follow!

  16. I have a meeting I’m dreading on the 23rd. This really resonates with me this year.

    • Lifting a prayer for you, Lauri, for tomorrow’s meeting. God bless.

  17. I am glad I know you. Your words brought beauty and peace to my day. I so look forward to meeting you next June when our whole clan will be on the Island for a week.

    • Looking forward to that too, Mary! Merry Christmas!

  18. Love ya, babe ;).

    • Love you more, “Babe”!

  19. Joy and peace to you and your family this Christmas, Brenda. I’m also praying for relaxation and the restoration of your sleep which will help you a lot. And a happy birthday to Jesus our Lord!

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