Belief · Hope · moment of truth monday

Moment of Truth Monday

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Despite difficult relationships, circumstances, and emotions, the season offers a renewed sense of hope and wonder. There is a mix of mystery and whimsy that begins budding and stirs memories as soon as the Thanksgiving meal ends.

I delight in remembering the time at my grandparent’s house when I stirred from my slumber and witnessed Santa placing presents under the tree. One year, I woke before my sisters to discover the cowgirl boots we had pined for from K-mart were under the tree! They weren’t so thrilled with me waking them up to share my discovery. I admit {gah}, I carefully unwrapped and rewrapped gifts one year for a sneak peek at the bounty.

The first year I was parenting my kids alone was filled with a mix of sorrow and wonder. My mother flew down {on Christmas day} to help me prepare gifts for the children’s return. They were young enough that we decided to celebrate Christmas morning again on December 27th. The sadness of my own broken dreams paled in the light of presence and enthusiasm.

Years later, my {then} boyfriend planned an elaborate day of pampering and surprised me with a Christmas Eve proposal. While I wasn’t sure I was cut out for any more potential heartache, I couldn’t help but dream of the life we might build together. Possibility abated fear, and I said yes.

Circumstances surrounding Christmas are often equal parts painful and magical. Hard memories coupled with nostalgia of years gone by. Longing paired with the surprise of presence. Unfulfilled expectations followed by the possibility of future endeavors.

Every year, for as long as I can remember, I’ve attended a Christmas Eve service. Sometimes it was at midnight. Sometimes it included candles and bells. Always the focus was Jesus. The mystery of a simple birth and an ordinary couple. The wonder of a child born to be a Savior. The hope for all mankind.

Don’t you know a flood of emotions surrounded that night? Fear, pain, joy, and mystery must have lingered in the hearts of the new parents. The quiet of the night intermingled with the wonder of their new reality.

I don’t know where you find yourself this Christmas, friend. If you’re vacillating between confusion and sorrow, fear and loneliness, or excitement and promise, you are free to feel all the things, ask all the questions, and mourn each loss.

Maybe you’d like to consider the common birth so many years ago, too. Jesus doesn’t take all the difficult situations and relationships away, but knowing him clarifies the pathway through the pain. The manger isn’t about tying a pretty bow on life, it’s about enduring the daily for the eternal.

May the wonder, whimsy, and hope of Christmas fill you all year.

Merry Christmas!

Family Pic 2017


#MomentofTruthMonday #NeverTooOldToBelieve #ChristmasMemories #OholyNight #Christmas2017

5 thoughts on “Moment of Truth Monday

  1. Just reading this today, six months too late for Christmas 2017…or is it perfect timing? Sort of like watching Christmas movies in the summer on the Hallmark Channel, this blog entry was a delightful pre-view of celebrating the real meaning behind Christmas. I love how your words create a movie reel in my mind and conjure both the delight and the angst of messy lives which don’t suddenly clean up just because a holiday rolls around. I think, too, of the Amy Grant song lyrics, “We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody. Beautiful the mess we are, the honest cries of breaking hearts…are better than a hallelujah.” Hallelujah! Praise be to Jesus for the gift of speech and authorship He has given you, Alyssa. As always, Alyssa, you are A Listener’s Delight! oxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your thoughts here, Denise. It’s true, the tension that exists doesn’t just flee because a holiday or great photo opportunities arise. We grow by learning how to live and love in that tension. #christmasinjuly


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