Thursday, December 15, 2016

Beth K. Vogt | Spread the Christmas Joy

The Comforting Joy of Christmas

Ready or not, here comes the fa-la-la-la-la-la of Christmas. December is the one month of the year with its own soundtrack extolling peace on earth and joy to the world played against a backdrop of decked out houses. There’s a whole lot of “festive” packed into 31 days.

But the truth is, some of us arrive at December exhausted. Or maybe we’re grieving the loss of a family member of friend. And no amount of sugar cookies and holly-jolly lyrics will put the “merry” into Christmas for us. For me, the “most wonderful time of the year” is tinged with sadness because I’ve been estranged from my extended family for four years.

So where’s the joy of Christmas when your heart hurts? When sorrow shrouds our hearts, we need to remember what’s behind the flashy details and musical soundtrack of Christmas.

My favorite name of Jesus is “Emmanuel,” which means God with us. (Matthew 1:23) Christmas celebrates His birth – the profound truth that God is with us. God knew we needed Him. He knew we would experience all sorts of difficulties. That we would hurt. That we would cry behind closed doors decorated with Christmas wreaths. That there would be times others would be celebrating and we would be stumbling through the normal, everyday motions. God knew and sent His Son to be with us.

There’s a quiet joy in that truth, especially when you realize that one of the synonyms for the word “joy” is solace or comfort.

Let’s give each other the gift of honesty this Christmas. If you’re hurting, choose a family member or trusted friend to confide in and ask them to pray for you. I call these people my “spiritual ground support.” If you know someone who’s struggling this December, be brave enough to ask how they’re doing. Maybe even send them an occasional text or write a card telling them you’re praying for them.

No matter what your circumstances, Christmas is coming. The truth is, Christmas has already come, thousands of years ago, when Jesus was born. Emmanual, God with us. May you find the joy you need in that miraculous truth.

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Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth won a 2016 Christy Award and a 2016 Carol Award for her novel Crazy Little Thing Called Love. She was also a 2015 RITA® finalist for her novel Somebody Like You. Beth continued her popular destination wedding series with You Can’t Hurry Love (May 2016) and Almost Like Being in Love (June 2016). Visit Beth at bethvogt.com.


*Giveaway*

Beth is offering a copy of Almost Like Being in Love AND a $10 Starbucks gift card! Enter below:

All giveaways run until January 2nd and winners will be announced shortly after. Use the image to the left to share on social media and don't forget the hashtag: #SpreadTheChristmasJoy16


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