Wednesday, December 15, 2010

~pondering in the heart~

Checklist:
1) decorations in place
2) gift list made
3) menu planning
4) calendar dates filled in
5) shopping
6) attend Christmas musical
7) watch favorite Christmas movies
8) view Christmas lights around area
9) shopping
10) wrapping
11) groceries to be bought
12) baking
13) packing
14) last minute shopping & stocking stuffers
***

Your list may look similiar to my list
but if not
Preparations are being made for Christmas.


But, when all is checked off
and December 26th dawns
will I have satisfying & heart-warming memories
for 2010?



Excitement seems to diminsh with the years.
The children have grown, no grandchildren in our household,
and our traditions are having to be altered.

I do not do well with change.
~just a traditional~
red & green
girl


I have pondered alot lately,  like Mary.
Asking deep questions to
the Only One
who can answer these.

How do I capture the excitement once again?

When did it leave?

Why did Christmas become filled with Heartache
instead of
being filled with Hallelujah?



I share my answers with you, only hoping if you've experienced
some of the same, may these give light to yours.

Ponderings & More Questions
What warm & heart-filling moments of the true meaning of Christmas do I remember?
~~~
Since moving here to MS, we were invited to one of the
 small community churches
for a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.

Our family went as a whole shared a bench with friends,
who had extended the invitation.

It was very cold, hardly any heat in the building
but the warmness was felt as we joined hands & hearts
and sang Silent Night, while holding the flickering candles.



The familiar words from Luke chapter 2
came to life
"For there is born to you this day
 in the city of David a Savior,
 who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11



memories are vivid for sounds of
laughter from friends and music shared
from house to house
while Christmas caroling.

"Hark, the Herald Angels Sang"
&
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
were sang from our hearts.

These two fond memories share a
 common thread
"the heart of Christmas".

~Preparing my Heart for a Christmas filled with changes~

I can remember as a child being so amazed with
 the sights, sounds & smells
of Christmas.


  Amazement could be accomplished through the simplest.

This is such a reminder of the way Our Saviour came to us,
no fancy birthing room, just a humble arrival.

Am I still being amazed by the simple?



I was the child who would be listening & looking
for the slightest hints or catch someone
 trying to hide a gift or wrap a gift.

Am I still looking?

Gratitude is born by a heart that is looking.
I need to remember the minor is meant
to be counted as major,
when numbering blessings.

What a perfect reminder of how to prepare our hearts.


Gifts are given to us each day.
As a child Christmas was so exciting
opening that special gift,
 for some it may have been small,
but, it still made our eyes glow.

Luke 6:38
"Give, and it will be given to you:
 good measure, pressed down, shaken together,
 and running over will be put into your bosom.
 For with the same measure that you use,
 it will be measured back to you."


Our hearts are blessed when we give.

My "perfect gift" has reminded me this week
of the ultimate gift that He gave.
He was born and laid in a manger,
grew and became a carpenter
and then gave us the most
wonderful gift
the greatest gift
of all
Salvation.

John 3:16

"For God so loved the world,
 that He gave His only Son, (Jesus Christ),
that whoever believes in Him,
will not perish, but will have eternal life.

I pray your heart and my heart is being prepared this Christmas,
to share in the true meaning of Christmas.

"Family & Friends"
these two
are what make
Christmas meaningful.


if you have room at your family table
or under your tree,
there are many who are in need
 to be remembered




22 comments:

Vanessa said...

Karen, this was an absolutely beautifully written piece and I so understand what you are saying about trying to recapture the excitement and magic of it all. And yet, I feel like I have finally reached a stage in my faith where I realize that my full understanding of my Savior's birth, life, death and resurrection allows me to not just feel the brief moments of thrill and excitement at Christmastime because I know the story didn't end there...and it still hasn't ended! I love how you talked about really preparing our hearts to receive from Him this time of year and then to give to others of what we receive. You are a gifted writer Karen and you are always such an encouragement and blessing to me! :-)
Thank you for this today!
Vanessa

Mildred said...

Beautifully written Karen. Blessings to you this Christmas.

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

Karen, I resonate with so much of what you've written here. The wanting to be excited and yet not feeling it so much. Let's struggle against that and truly feel joyous this year. I know I need to just remember that. Thank you.

Debbie said...

Karen, you made me cry.I understand exactly what you are saying, and I love the way you expressed it.

What a beautiful post to read, especially with the backdrop of that lovely and SIMPLE music on your blog. May you and I both find the simple joy of Christmas.

Marla @ Always Nesting said...

This is an incredible post. I, too, don't have that loving feeling about Christmas. This year it's just been very sad for me, no matter how hard I try to be joyous and thankful. It's just not fun. Life changes and I have to change along with it.

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Karen, SO WELL DONE! I agree, sometimes we lose the magic of it all don't we.
I am also trying to keep in mind what is really important this year.
Have a pretty day!
Kristin

MTJ said...

Hi Karen,

I hadn't reflected on previous Christmases, but I can see how the memories might re-kindle the excitement and anticipation of those good memories. I think there has been joy and sorrow for my family. Some years ago one of my brothers was murdered, (on December 23rd), but I'm looking forward this year. I can't explain it but I have joy even though most of my family are in Chicago and Texas.

Perhaps I'm just grateful to God for extending grace to me, giving me an appreciation which I love to express.

I hope that we get the opportunity to visit family and friends in 2011, but for now I'll continue to lift them up in prayer, thanking God for each.

I thank God for you and your family as well. Your posts always convey an aura of hospitality that I find refreshing.

Blessings and peace.

MTJ

elizabeth said...

Lovely Karen!
I have got to know where you got those dishes...I have a vintage bowl that used to be my mama's with what appears to be that same pattern!

My Bright Corner said...

I love your pictures especially the ones of churches. They're beautiful!

Julie Harward said...

Yes, it is such a busy-glorious time...I love the red lanterns in with the greenery! I love the words of Luke, I can still hear my daddy reading them to us on Christmas eve! Have a great Christmas! ;D

Paula said...

Beautiful post! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

Dianne said...

Good morning dear Karen,
A very thought-provoking and nostalgic post--one to ponder upon--such truth and beauty included. Thank you.
Love,
Dianne

Karen said...

Beautiful post. Perfectly timed for those of us who are getting *older* and the sparkle no longer envokes the magic of the season. It is and always has been about Jesus, the Savior who came humbly into this sin filled world to save us from that sin. He who gives us hope and redemption. Thank you for the gentle reminder to hold memories close. And refreshment in the thought of the true reason for this season. Blessings to you and yours.

Richella said...

As always, I am blown away by your beautiful photos. And your penetrating words. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Well first of all you are a very talented lady...in word, your decor and your photos...please teach me.LOL Beautifully said...transitions are hard for me...after the loss of our home I didn't want to celebrate anything...but having a small one kept me nudging forward. This year I am rejoice in my spirit, because God has walked me through the dark and allowing me to see His light again, and I rejoice over celebrating His birth this year.

I love, love your stockings...they are wonderful!

Tomorrow night we head out to carol...a 73 year old lady (neighbor) went through a horrible accident and she is now in a wheelchair for months..we have the honor of singing for her...she can't wait for us to arrive.

So this year God has brought the excitement back...because He has been restoring me!!
Glory to God in the Highest!!!!

Tammy@beatrice banks said...

Wow! This is an amazing post! I was hinting at this in my post but this is so much deeper. You really analyzed it and couldn't me more right. The real focus is Jesus. Thanks for the reminder!

Christine said...

Bless you!
I am going to reread this post again.
I'm sure I will find more, much, much more.

Kathleen said...

The winds of change are always blowing. How true that is. Our children grow up before we are ready for it to happen don't they? It's the same old question, where did the years go? I still want to wish you a happy Christmas! One lighter note, I think your two Christmas stockings are gorgeous!

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

Just beautiful Karen!!~I count my blessings everyday!!~ Many blessings to you and your family.

Shilo said...

When were the hallelujahs replaced by heartache? Oh, that phrase reverberated in my heart...All your questions reminded me of a favorite C.S. Lewis quote, "I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer.
Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?" May He be sufficient for you today, my friend.
Much love and MERRY CHRISTMAS,
Shilo

Jackie said...

Children are part of the magic! grandchildren will bring it back fivefold!lol! I forgot you moved to MS, and in another post I commented about your Louisisana Christmas...my bad..!

Vee said...

Such a pleasant time I've enjoyed reading this post, seeing your beautiful pictures, listening to the sweet music, and reading your precious words. Thank you.