The frenzied count-down has begun... we're only days away to Christmas!  Is that causing some of you to panic? It's always amazing to me that I can make such good and noble goals of reducing the Christmas chaos - telling myself that this year it will be simple and quiet - that the real meaning of this Season will be the focus for myself and my family.  

But somehow as the date draws near, I seem to find myself amping up in productivity  rather than drawing inward into a time of reflection.  The sense of Sacredness I so crave disappears into the holiday traffic and frenzy in the stores.   Instead of holding my children close and snuggling while we drink cocoa in our jammies and stare at the lights on the tree and talk about a Baby born to set us free, ... lists pass through my head of all the family members left to buy gifts for, the goodies to be baked for the cookie-exchange, the dreaded visit to the post office to be made.  

It wasn't like this when I was a child, but I'm guessing that my mother felt just as stressed and frantic and I feel so sad that I am managing to carry on this undesirable family tradition.  But let me tell you a bit about my Christmas memories from my childhood.  I am blessed to come from a marvelous family- not perfect by any means- but packed full of love and support.  

A few years back as I watched snow falling outside, miraculously just before Christmas (here in the NW that's a rarity), I wave of nostalgia swept me back in time to when I was a little girl. My family wasn't wealthy and Christmas was very carefully budgeted and planned for... but the things I remember have nothing to do with gifts.  I remember spending far too long trying to find the perfect Christmas tree with my sisters. I remember the big huge fireplace with a roaring fire.  I remember my Mom playing Christmas songs on the piano and us girls gathered round and singing with her.  I remember Christmas eve by candlelight while my Dad read from the book of Luke about the birth of Christ.  I remember us 3 girls creeping down the stairs in the middle of the night, trying to catch Santa, until we invariably giggled too much and got caught and sent back to bed.

These memories have nothing to do with decorations, perfect or expensive gifts, school productions, church events, but rather the sweetness of family... a family focused on a Savior who gave us a reason to celebrate.  My song "Christmas in my heart" was birthed out of these memories and I pray that I can pass on to my own children the real meaning of the season and memories that are just as precious.  May you find moments of peace and rest this Holiday season as you build some memories of your own.   

Share with me your own memories and experiences by leaving a comment.  Your information is COMPLETELY private and only your name will appear on the blog (just leave your first name if you like).  First one to respond wins another Starlight CD !

A couple of summers ago I was camping with my family up at a beautiful isolated lake in British Columbia.  It was a giant lake where the only access to most of it was on long, bumpy (and dusty) logging roads.  We traveled for a good two brain-rattling hours before we were rewarded with a pristine beach in the middle of nowhere.  Now to some of you this might sound terrible, but we happen to like the Wild and will go to great lengths to be out in it.  The weather was simply gorgeous and that night we were able to see more stars at one time than I have ever seen in my life, and counted numerous shooting stars and satellites.  In that silent stillness, with a vast twinkling sky above us and water gently lapping the shore, a profound sense of awe and wonder and hope settled on me.  I sensed the majesty of our Creator, his breath hovering above us.  

I began to realize that this night sky is what many people in the world are privileged to see  most of the time... away from city lights.  And that throughout history, the night sky has had a greater importance because it has been far more visible without our modern light-polution.  People must have been much more familiar with the stars and constellations than many of us are nowadays.

The stars are so breath-taking and make us feel so small - how much more so for ancient people who were well-acquainted with them - steering their ships, judging the seasons, keeping them company in absolute darkness without the benefits of electric light.  What must it have been like to have a strange star suddenly appear in the sky 2000 years ago?  What must it have felt like to have your world changed by the appearance of Light?  It was out of these musings that summer night in the Canadian wilderness, that the ideas for my Christmas song "Starlight" were born.

 

Now... first person to comment on this and share their thoughts wins a "Starlight" CD!  Hurry so you can get it before Christmas!

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Here he is, folks, our newest family member.  He is such an incredible blessing and we constantly marvel at this perfect little baby - such a gift from God.  We've rejoined the ranks of parents who never sleep and somehow function during the daytime.  Plenty of coffee and the wild energy of our other rambunctious boys are keeping us going.  Exhausted and wouldn't trade it for anything!

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Hello everyone!  Can you believe the Month of December is upon us already?  Somehow it completely snuck up on me and I feel caught off guard, wondering where my Fall went.  But maybe that has something to do with the huge life change I've experienced.  In the last few weeks my husband and I welcomed to the world our third son, Gabriel.  He is pure delight and we feel so incredibly blessed.  Check back here and I might be able to get some pictures posted in the near future.

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