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Friday, September 13, 2013

Where are you Christmas?

Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you? Why have you gone away?

I think most of us can hear Faith Hill's voice carrying those phrases, right?

The wonder of Christmas dissipates as we age. We can't quite conjure up the wonderment of our childhood. We enjoy watching our kiddos in their excitement, but even that leaves us feeling a little empty, with part our soul longing for something more.

The presents, the tree, the dinners and parties and cookies- they lose their magic and sometimes even begin to drain us. We try to focus on Christ, but as soon as we close our Christmas devotional, our joy fades and hustle and bustle kick in. It leaves us tired and empty. The mess after the gift-opening frenzy fills us with grief. We always hope for some magic, but all we see are glazed eyes and spoiled children.

And I LOVE Christmas. I LIVE for Christmastime. Christmas music is the all-time-best music. Hope and magic and twinkly things. But after all that, the day after Christmas is gray. The things we wanted and wrote on our lists didn't bring us the joy we thought they would. List-making brings to mind another song,

Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies
 
Well, I'm all grown-up now
And still need help somehow
I'm not a child
But my heart still can dream
So here's my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need
 
As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree.(wrapped beneath the tree)
Well heaven surely knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul
 
What is this illusion called the innocence of youth?
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
There'd be-
 
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

Maybe that's where we can start the process of figuring this out, this lost magic of Christmas. Maybe we need to seriously grow our Christmas Lists UP.

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Let me offer you some hope for your Holyday Spirit.
Once upon a time a lady posted a link on facebook. New Horizons for Children- an organization that brings Eastern European orphans to America to spend Christmas with a real family. Magical, isn't it? Have you ever dreamed of bringing joy to an orphan? Of lifting a truly needy soul up from sadness and despair on Christmas, inviting them into your home to enjoy your blessings of a lovely tree, and cookies, and music floating on the air? Or is that just me? Tiny Tim, Anne of Green Gables, Little Orphan Annie? Just bring 'em on home to your house and do Christmas right? 
Well, I clicked that link and scrolled through some pictures of kids with no family. and suddenly, my heart stopped and there she was- Anastasija, my girl. I didn't know the Big Plan at that time, but I knew she was supposed to be in my home for Christmas. Many miracles took place, she came, and Christmas was REAL.

Really really really real. Like I cannot put it into words, but Christ came at Christmas in 2011. He came to my heart, my house, my church, and my community. People all around were blessed by the Spirit of Christmas, because their hearts were moved. You might have been one of those people. Do you remember?
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And then! God let us know she wasn't a one time deal, she was our forever girl. But that's not the story I'm telling today.

So, again:
AND THEN! In 2012, I simply posted about New Horizons on facebook and two more people I know and love were moved to host. Teenage boys, no less.
Edgars.

And Reno.
I speak their names with awe. Because God is working out His plan for them, too. To soften people's hearts, hearts that had been hard. And plans to prosper these boys and give them a future and a hope. Edgars is already adopted, not BY his host family, but THROUGH his host family. Because they hosted, another family heard the call and Edgars is THEIRS. He has a family for Christmas for the rest of his life. Talk about a Christmas gift. And Reno? God is working out that adoption right now.

And for these families, Christmas is real and will never be empty again. Because the Spirit of Christmas has come to their hearts.

God worked another miracle that year and Anastasija was HOME for Christmas.
The above picture was taken at about noon on Christmas Day. We opened our presents late last year. Our family didn't want to keep Christmas for ourselves, we wanted to give it to others. So we went to the VA hospital and sang Christmas carols to some lonely vets. And we were blessed. We were blessed. The gift we tried to give away came right back. How? The Spirit of Christmas was upon us again. Our focus was not on the gifts under the tree, it was on others. Even on Christmas morning, my kids were thinking of others. And that is an act of God, obviously. It looks like a lovely new tradition was born in our family, besides.

And this year? We're listening. God has a good plan for how we are going to give THIS Christmas away. (If you click one song link, please click this one, it changed my life!)


 I am so excited! I'm like a kid at Christmas! And that is the point.

It takes us right back to the beginning of this post.
Where are you Christmas? Give it away, and you will find it.
What is this illusion called the innocence of youth? Only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth.

Take a leap. Give your Christmas away this year, locally or globally, big or small, and watch how God gives it right back. The real thing. The Christmas you've been hungering for.

There's more to come about this Christmas thing. Stay tuned.

Peace.








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About Me

About Me
I love Jesus, my hubby, my 6 kiddos, my farm, good books and good food.