1. A lovely article.Seems you have had your share of heartaches.I too have been in some pretty tough places so I can relate.Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour!

  2. Jolene ~ My heart broke as I read your story and I had new tears as I read it. I cried for your pain and I cried for the reminder of mine. Eight years ago I found myself in the same situation. My dad had surgery to remove cancer, the surgery went well, but afterwards he developed ARDS (hardening of the lungs). He was put on a ventilator with a breathing tube so he was unable to talk. He was like that for three months, this included Thanksgiving and Christmas. He died January fourth. The whole world was happy and celebrating and my world was falling apart. Yet, through it all God showed Himself strong. With each new sorrow he brought comfort. Just like your post said, Christ is our only hope and only reason for joy. May we all look to Him – in easy times and in the not so easy. Thanks for sharing – it blessed my heart!
    God bless and have a very blessed Christmas!

    1. Yes, Ronda, in the hard times and the easy times let’s always look to Him. Thanks for sharing your story with those that come here as well. May Christ be glorified through our lives.

  3. You have hit the really high notes here, Jolene. Sometimes the hardest lessons we learn are the most precious. We, too, have simplified our Christmas. It is pure joy to gather with our two girls and our son-in-law, exchange just a few simple gifts, and enjoy our time together with the beautiful music running in the background. Our girls (in their twenties) even said last year that this way of doing Christmas was just so much better: less stress, more time to just spend together.

    1. Oh thanks for sharing what your Christmas looks like, Kim! Yes, it is a lot less stressful when you have less to do! One of the benefits of not having much money!

  4. Dear Jolene,

    This was SUCH a beautiful and inspiring article (I was it on Pinterest!)

    I host a weekly party, Inspire Me Monday over at Create With Joy. I would LOVE for you to share this and to join us each week as I know you would be an inspiration to us all!

    Have a blessed Christmas!

    Create With Joy

    P.S. Listening to Christ-centered music also centers my soul!

  5. this is such an inspiration. It’s hard t go through a rough spot, especially at Christmas. thanks for opening up, and being honest and sharing with us. Hugs! thanks for the link up too. I host a Tuesday pinterest link up, you are invited to link up any craft projects you have. 🙂

  6. Jolene,
    What a beautiful message about faith, particularly at this time of year. We are struggling in the wake of some unanticipated difficulties (health and finances), and I continue to be grateful for the faith that sustains us.
    Bless you for sharing your message and your heart.
    Peace and good to you along with abundant blessings now and into the New Year.

  7. Great post, Jolene! I’ve been hearing a lot about the Isaiah 9 passage lately, and accepting the Lord’s peace this season. It can be incredibly stressful that’s for sure. I feel buried in potlucks right now, but it’s wonderful to know that the Lord’s peace surpasses understanding. Tonight while I was baking, I enjoyed 2 fun games of Star Wars Monopoly (a birthday present from my husband yesterday) and it helped the time pass faster and we got to spend quality time together. We listened to Casting Crowns Peace on Earth – appropriate and it ministered to our hearts. Thank You, Lord, for little moments of peace on earth. I think the thing I get caught up in is needing to feel peace all the time… and trying to make peace happen when in reality, it’s God who makes peace happen, and it’s only in Him that we can find true lasting peace.

    I’m working on taking out little moments just to reflect on the Lord’s goodness and the beauty of His Name this season. I started late, but a lady from my church suggested taking one letter of the alphabet for each day in December and finding a name of Jesus that corresponds with that letter to meditate on for 5 minutes a day, and to find a Bible verse corresponding with it. Here’s my list so far…
    A- Advocate
    B – Bread of Life
    C – Christ
    D – Deliverer
    E – Emmanuel

    I pray that God’s peace that surpasses understanding will be poured out upon you this Christmas season in abundance, and you will be able to experience true joy and true peace during the holidays.

  8. Beautiful Jolene, I couldn’t help but notice your PEACE stocking hangars! Your words always touch my heart. Thx for the continued conviction about the true priorities in life. They are not of this world. AMEN, sister!

  9. Great post and so relatable. I lost my Dad 3 yr ago today, two weeks before Christmas, and on that Christmas Day my Mum (who had been estranged from my Dad for 25 years) lost the plot and divorced me from her life. I have noticed a different type of Christmas since then. I still enjoy it yet now it is not so much focused on what everyone wants and expectations of lavish abundance. It is now about enjoying my little family and serving the Lord on HIS special day! Great post…p.s. We have a 2 ft tree too 🙂 Blessings to you!

  10. Jolene, once more I wanted to let you know how special I thought this post was. I have featured you this week at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy. I hope this Christmas season is filled with much joy and blessings for you and your family! 🙂

  11. My husband and I are struggling with our decision in regards to Christmas. I was raised in a Christian home where there was a Santa Claus, Easter bunny, tooth fairy and Halloween. My husband was raised in a Christian home where they did not recognize any of those holidays. My husband feels that our new family should not recognize any of these holidays, because it is not the Christian way of living, that my parents lied to me about fictional characters and that it is all very pagan. I am devistated by his words and it is leaving me very empty on the inside knowing that my children are not going to have those childhood memories that I so cherish. What is your Christian view on Christmas time and/or other holidays??

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