Once upon a time, Christmas had a magic all its own.
They say that Christmas is for children. To a certain extent, I think that’s true. There’s nothing quite like the memory of minutes ticking away late on Christmas Eve and as a child, waiting anxiously to hear the sound of jingle bells on the roof while the snow falls outside the window. I remember fighting to stay awake. Straining to hear something – anything that would indicate presents were being pulled down the chimney. And almost without notice… you can’t recall when you fell asleep. And then, you wake! It’s morning and the festivities begin. The smell of coffee perfumes the air. My father’s deep voice reading Luke Chapter 2 turns into the sweetest, softest lullaby of a tradition for our family. The living room becomes a sea of brightly-colored wrapping paper, an enormous holiday breakfast spreads the table, and smiling faces of loved ones soon begin appearing with a knock at the front door. You might even snack on sugar cookies all day long. With all of that – with the smiles and the overabundance of joy – I can think of no better time of year.
So that’s why this Christmas took me completely by surprise. I never would have thought this one would be the one that’s the best ever. The one I know I’ll always remember. The December 25th that has gone deeper into my heart than the rest ever could… I always thought Christmas was for children and while that’s true –at thirty-five years old, I feel more like a child (His child) than ever.
Our budget is a little squeezed this year, so we cut back on some things we’d become used to. We’re feeling the loss of my Dad in 2013, now more than ever. Our family had a cancer scare of our own. A couple of surgeries. A major career change for me. A first-time book launch as an author. And of all years to reflect on, we’ve had more of the big ups-and-downs than I can ever remember in a single calendar year. That’s why this year owns it in the magic category.
It’s all about our eyes being opened.
Christmas isn’t about the jingle bells or wrapping paper. It’s never been about the shopping list or the red and green sugar cookies we eat at all times of the day. I have to confess that this year, in doing without so many things, I hadn’t realized all these years just when it was that I fell asleep. And then in 2014 – we wake! We’ve spent more time with our church family this year. More time with each other. We’ve held tighter, laughed easier, and loved deeper, especially with our fresh loss and the fear of what might have been had some medical tests turned out very differently. We’ll open less presents and eat fewer treats, but we’ve given and cared for others outside our home more than any other year in our marriage. And as if my Dad’s favorite Christmas Bible verses became the resounding lullaby for our lives anew, Luke Chapter 2 is more celebrated in our home than ever.
Who would have ever thought that less actually is more? That less control means more growth. That my pride needed a knocking down before my heart could understand a building up? That the uneven paths of life that stretch our faith muscles would have such value against the things we always thought defined Christmas in our hearts. That less of ourselves, over and over again, equals so much more of Him.
I’ll wrap a few gifts and bake a few cookies today. And as we lay our heads down on the pillow tonight, this magical Christmas Eve, I won’t have to wonder when I fell asleep. And I won’t be surprised when I wake up on the best Christmas ever.
In His Love,
Emilie here: I love this CD. It has been on repeat more than once this Christmas season so I thought I'd offer up a copy of it as a giveaway.
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Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with history since hearing her grandfather's stories of his experiences as a B-17 co-pilot in WWII. She writes vintage-inspired, historical Christian fiction titles, which placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations & 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and finaled in the 2013 Lauries. Her debut novel, THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN (Thomas Nelson, 2014), is a nominee for the RT Reviewers' Choice Best Inspirational Novel of 2014, and was named to Library Journal Reviews' Best Books of 2014 (for Genre Fiction). A SPARROW IN TEREZIN (Hidden Masterpiece #2) will release from Thomas Nelson in April, 2015.
Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.
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A SPARROW IN TEREZIN (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel #2)
Coming out: April 7, 2015
Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor's story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.
Present Day—With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairytale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she's stumbled into a charmed life—until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she’s planned before it even begins. Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future.
1942—Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939, and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, Kája has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.
Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.
** And here’s a teaser for a new Women’s ministry/story community that’s COMING in early 2015… Including feature storytellers: Katherine Reay, Beth Vogt, Sarah Ladd, Katie Ganshert, Cara Putman, Melissa Tagg, Courtney Walsh, and Kristy Cambron.
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