Sunday evening greetings from our home! The family is outside enjoying the fading evening light before they come inside to enjoy a meal together. I’m trying to wake from a much too long afternoon nap which is sure to interfere with my already unpredictable ability to fall asleep. An afternoon nap is rare any more, and I always say that it won’t be a long one when it does happen. But those naps seem to always go a bit longer than expected.
This past week we were able to gather together as a family and decorate our tree. Since our oldest son does not live at home any more and he holds a full time job with odd hours, getting us all together can a bit tricky. For ever how long I can gather my family around to decorate the Christmas tree, I’m going to do so. This may be the last year we’re able to do this together so I will savor the time of togetherness as long as I can.
Our family began our daily Advent readings which I shared about in this post. The church we are attending does an Advent candle lighting and reading every Sunday during the month of December. Our family went forward today as the family to read about Advent, read scripture, and light a candle. I don’t have a picture of that, but here is a picture of us leaving church and heading home. I am so thankful that we have found a church home here.
Another great tradition we like to partake in during the Christmas season is going to the Christmas Gala at a nearby college. (It’s actually David and my alma mater.) My Mom loves going to the Gala, and for the past two years we’ve been able to go with my Mom and my Dad. There’s Christmas music, dancing, funny skits, and more. It’s just a wonderful event and we always leave with more Christmas spirit than when we arrived.
I love this time of year! However, this time of year can be hard for so many. I’ve been there when Christmas was not a time of joy, but a time of sorrow. This week, we will remember the life of my brother as we encounter the 12th anniversary of his death. That year he passed away, and the next one after that, were just really not the most joyful, wonderful times of the year for me. This time of the year is still hard for my Mom as she struggles with the loss of her child. And we are not the only ones. There are many for whom this season brings sorrow and pain.
While in the midst of those hard times after Scott’s death, I very vividly remember that even though I was in pain and dealing with grief, I was not without hope. Those who follow Christ have a Hope that even the worst of times can not erase! Our hope lies in our Savior who came to give us eternal life. During those very sorrowful days, I know that hope kept me afloat and able to place one foot in front of the other.
Today when we lit that Advent candle at church, we were lighting the candle of hope. Today we focus on the Hope we have in the middle of our trials. We turn our hearts toward God and we trust His plan for our lives.
I pray as you go through this holiday season, if you are hurting that you will come to know the hope of Jesus Christ. You can message me if you’d like to talk or if you need prayers. And for me, when the days are dark with grief or trials, I will focus on the joy that comes from knowing I have eternal life in Heaven with my Savior and the people He’s put into my life here as we gather together to celebrate the birth of our Savior!