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Showing posts from December, 2015

My First Christmas in Heaven

I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below,
With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars,
Reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular,
Please wipe away that tear.
For I’m spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs,
That people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can’t compare,
With the Christmas choir up here.
For I have no words to tell you,
The joy their voices bring.
For it is beyond description,
To hear an angel sing.
I can’t tell you of the splendor,
Or the peace here in this place.
Can you just imagine Christmas,
With our Savior, face to face?
I’ll ask Him to light your spirit,
As I tell Him of your love;
So then pray for one another,
As you lift your eyes above.
Please let your heart be joyful,
And let your spirit sing.
For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven,
And I’m walking with the King!
I know how much you miss me;
I see the pain inside your heart.
But I’m not so far away,
We really aren’t apart.
So be happy for me, dear…

Different Kind of Christmas

I realize what's still alive is the legacy you made. 

Just because you're up in heaven, doesn't mean that you're not here.

It's just a different kind of Christmas this year.

I love you, Mikail.

Emmanuel - God with Us

Advent is a time of waiting, a time of anticipation, a time of longing. It's a time to look past the traditions and the nostalgia, to the core of it all: God sent His son as a baby to save us from sin and death. God sent His son to dwell among us and He called him Emmanuel - God with us.

Since the morning of Mikail's death, we have found that any hope we have of getting up each morning and getting through the day and night lies in the hope that the baby in the manger brought with him. Healing can only come from God and His son. Because of his birth and subsequently his death on the cross and the grace we receive because of it, we make it through each day, one step at a time. Each day brings us one day, one step closer to glory in heaven. That's not to say that we stop living and enjoying life in the here and now. Not at all. It just fills us with a hope we never understood to this degree, before January 23, 2015.

We are finding that grief is very much a part of the purpos…

I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You

It's funny how certain Christmas songs pop into my head these days.

 I'll have a blue Christmas without you... or I'll be home for Christmas...if only in my dreams...
Nothing like a little bit of Elvis and Frank Sinatra to make me miss my boy.  These songs play on our Christmas playlist and are a surprising trigger for grief to wash over me. It's got me thinking about grief at Christmas. I feel like I have to prepare myself in advance for Christmas gatherings and programs. What if there's a trigger that will cause me to spiral into pit of mourning again? It's inevitable, really, but I'm thinking there has to be a way to prepare our hearts for these triggers.
Some triggers I'm finding already are: -his missing voice of glee -his missing face -empty chairs -presents not bought -old ornaments bringing memories back -old favourite Christmas carols or carols that have never really struck a cord, squeezing my heart in a new way.
These triggers are inevitable. …

Thoughts on Christmas Cards When You're Deep in the Muck and Mire of Grief

In 2014 Kay Warren wrote an article for Christianity Today entitled Stop Sending Cheery Christmas Cards.The main sentiment that I got from the article is that it was painful for her to receive Christmas cards after the death of their son; that everyone should send plain cards to those who grieve instead of the cheery Christmas cards that you would usually send. I found this to be a very strong personal opinion. We have learned, the past 10 months, that people grieve differently. This article held true for her, but definitely not for us.

For us, Christmas brings us hope. Because of Christmas and the 33 years of Jesus' life that followed, ending in his death and the incredible grace we now receive because of this, we get to be with Mikail again one day! Isn't that amazing hope? Isn't it great to share that joy through sending cards and letters to the people that we love and care about?

We chose to send photo cards this year, but not the letter, we usually send. We felt …

Simplifying Christmas: Family & Celebration

Until last year, our nearest family members lived 1800 kms away, the next nearest family members lived 3700 kms away and the next nearest lived 5300 kms away (and this is only immediate family within Canada), we didn't always get home for Christmas. This was difficult the first year, but we muddled through and learned a few things. The most important thing was that no matter if it's one or two of us, we need to celebrate Christmas. We need to read the love story of Christmas. We need to decorate. We need to bake. We need to make a traditional Christmas meal, even if we land up picking up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and making mashed potatoes and stuffing out of a box. These things were part of what Christmas was for us when we were growing up at home and no matter how few of us there are, it needs to be recreated so that we don't get down in the dumps about being alone.

Ever since that first Christmas, we made it a goal to have friends over for a Christma…

Simplifying Christmas: Traditions

Simplifying Christmas: The Love Story of Christmas

Another big thing for us this year is working on keeping the love story of Christmas alive. To remember the reason for the season.

Why do we celebrate? It's Jesus' birthday! Without his birth we wouldn't have the opportunity to be saved by grace. He gave so much for us through his birth, his walk here on earth, and then his death and resurrection~paying the price for our sins.

How can we not give at this time of the year? I have always cringed when I am asked 'What do you want for Christmas?' or 'Can I have your Christmas wish list?' or 'There's a gift receipt in there, if you don't like it and want to return it'. Bahhhh!! How is that true giving?

When we lived so far away from family, we have broken the bank in simply shipping a $10 gift at Christmas time. It costs more to ship a gift than the gift is actually worth. Some of our family members have around 25 people to buy gifts for. This can get quite expensive at $20 a gift and then some …

Help me to find my way home

I've been setting the DVR to record a lot of Christmas movies and somehow Twist of Faith was recorded, which isn't a Christmas movie. God makes me smile with His way of finding unique ways to touch my heart.

In the movie, Jacob Fisher an Orthodox Jewish Cantor and amateur songwriter who resides in Brooklyn, New York, witnesses the senseless murder of his wife and three children. Catatonic, Jacob walks out on his Jewish mourning ritual, leaving behind his Jewish garments, wallet and keys. Abandoning his identity, he wanders aimlessly, hoping somehow to understand his tragedy. He arrives in Brent, Alabama, where he is embraced by Nina, a single mother and the lead singer of a small gospel choir, her Uncle Moe and their gospel community who help his return to life while music brings Nina and Jacob together as they try to make sense of his past and their possible future.

The deep emotions of grief and loss are so real in this movie, but it was the music that got me. Espec…