As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

A Christmas House Tour of Sorts | 2023


This year has been one of the most difficult years of my life. One challenge following another, all flowing into one another, often overlapping. 

But that is why He came! Because this world and we who are in it are hopelessly flawed. Because we are not enough (contrary to what the memes and the social media influencers try to tell us). 

He came to save us from our sin and our selves, 

and that is great cause to rejoice! 

So even though my time and my energy and my enthusiasm have been in short supply during this Christmas season 

and even though it was a gift card season 

and there is no festive garland around my front door

and I didn't send Christmas cards 

or bake any cookies

I have done what I could . . . and I have rejoiced in His coming! 

I have made the house festive, little by little, mostly by decorating everything the same as in past years. (It was not the year for new ideas or fresh creativity.)

Christmas music, new and old, has been a highlight of this season. Attending a Collingsworth Family Christmas concert (which was amazing). Listening to music at home and in the van as I am out and about. Singing carols with my church family at an assisted living home. Learning Christmas songs for our worship team and making room for those new songs in my heart. Listening to some of Mom's favorite Christmas CDs as we run errands together. Listening to Bekah's Christmas playlist as we take coffee-drives to decompress. And even hosting a "Soup & Carols" gathering for our church music team and their families. Yes, even with my limited time and energy, it was life-giving and so worth it.

I have sipped my morning coffee out of a pretty mug that was my Daddy's and I have remembered him and his love for Christmas. I don't know if he ever drank a Starbucks coffee, but he loved their seasonal coffee mugs and had a small collection of them. Mom gave me this one and I treasure it. 

I hope you did not get whiplash on this year's "house tour" . . . as we hopped around from room to room while I talked! But I have hosted this little cyber home tour ever since I began my blog and I didn't want to stop this year. (You can find any of my other tours ~ here ~.) 

I am going to leave you with a song. 

I have heard this song all my life and have sung it countless times. But in November when Mom, my sister Linda, and I had our annual Mother/Daughter Christmas Shopping Day, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" was playing on a Spotify playlist as we drove from one store to another. I wasn't even giving it my full attention, when all of a sudden, as if it was the very first time, I heard these lyrics strong and clear and it stopped me in my tracks. 

            Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day 
           To save us all from Satan's pow'r when we were gone astray 

And before I could even say anything, Linda said, "Listen at those words!" as she, too, was hearing and feeling it afresh. 

For really, that is what our celebration is all about! That is why He came! 

And that is truly "tidings of comfort and joy!" 

Merry Christmas, my friends!
May you know the reality of those "tidings of comfort and joy!" 

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