Monday, December 7, 2020

Season of Joy

 


Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice! ~Philippians 4:4

Christmas is the season of hope, love, peace, and especially, joy.  I must confess, however, that this year, my joy-meter is having trouble cranking up to full speed.  This is understandable because due to the virus, this will be the first Christmas ever without my daughter being with me since the day she was born.  And of course, I will miss having the granddaughters and son-in-law over for the holidays, too.

Last year, my husband, Danny, and I opt not to put up a Christmas tree.  I don't know how Scrooge got to us last December, but this year, I'm having none of it!  I insist that we have a tree, fully decorated for the first time with the fancy, breakable ornaments, as I'm certain it will will bring cheer to my heart and soul.  And it does!





As I'm decorating, my mind hearkens back to precious memories of oldest granddaughter, Virginia Rose, helping with the ornaments for the first time.  I ask her in a recent Face Time chat if she remembers how old she was when she decorated with us that Christmas.  "I was seven, Gammie," she offers without hesitation.  As it turns out, she is absolutely correct!  Here are some blast-from-the-past photos of that event.






Here she is flocking herself instead of the tree!


Oh, behold the joy and wonder in Virginia's expression as she gazes at the finished product!


Yes, that's the joy I long to feel this Christmas, my friends, and I'll bet you do, too.  So let's take Paul's sage advice, and rejoice in the Lord always!

Amen!

40 comments:

  1. Yes, you are right to decorate a Christmas tree and prepare for Christmas. I believe this year especially, it is important to put up decorations as a sign of hope in our Lord. No matter what happens in the world; He is in control.

    We've decorated a tree and put up lights outside the house as a sign to the neighbours that it is "business as usual" here. God is still alive and well as He always was.

    God bless you and your family, Martha.

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    1. It's so important, Victor, to show the world in anyway we can that for Christians, it is, indeed, "business as usual." We know God is large and in charge, and always will be. Christmas is a time for celebration for us all!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. May we all experience that joy and wonder Martha. The virus cannot kill our joy since it comes from within and is not dependent on right circumstances. I'm glad you decided to put up the tree. Jo decided to put ours up before Thanksgiving! I think she needed some cheer since we missed out on seeing Janna and our grandson due to not being able to travel. It shines brightly in our living room. The whole house looks nice.

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    1. I can fully understand Jo's need to put up the tree so early, Bill. We all need the joy and peace it brings to our troubled hearts. And you are so right - the virus can't stamp out that joy that comes from within us, the joy that comes from Jesus.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Your tree is beautiful, I'm so glad you decided to put it up. How sweet that Virginia Rose remembered exactly how old she was when she helped you decorate. I love all the sweet photos of her, especially that last one.

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    1. Yes, Martha, that last photo of Virginia is one of my favorites, too! She certainly does have a fantastic memory, and I'm so grateful for that.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Yes, AMEN!! I sometimes think decorating the house is silly since we don't have family with us anymore and certainly no little ones with those precious looks of wonder when they see the decorated tree. But, I get it all out and decorate the tree, set out the Nativity and the Advent candles and turn the Bible to Luke. It is not the people, it is our Lord and Savior who brings the peace of the season to each believer. I do believe!! I really enjoyed your post and the photos!! xo

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    1. Oh, yes, Terri, it is Jesus who brings true peace and joy to this season! All the decorations remind us that He is at the center of everything, and our focus should be on Him. Glad you enjoyed the post!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Oh Martha, what a beautiful tree. Yeah, let's get the whole house full of light! Rejoice in the Lord always, may that be our motto this Christmas.

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    1. A house full of light . . . that's the ticket, Marja! And let us rejoice always in the Lord.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I feel for you Martha as this will be the first unique Christmas void. I do pray however that you and Danny will feel the joy of the Lord and know He mercifully understands your situation. Some day soon I hope this virus will be a thing of the past and that God will give you double for your lack and trouble. Stay strong dear woman of God! Prayers and blessings I extend to you😀🌹🎅🤶🎶🙏🙏🙏🙌🙌🎁

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    1. Thank you, Valerie, for your prayers and your kind words here. Yes, I'm feeling the joy of the Lord at this point more than I thought possible, and I'm so thankful to Him for all He has done and is doing. May His peace fill you this Christmas, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. I love this, and I am happy you chose to go ahead with a tree this year! We are all little children on Christmas, or we should be! I delight in decorating the tree and the house, even if no one is coming to see it. We enjoy the lights and the beauty of Christmas surrounding us, making us glad and merry and bright! Deck the Halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la! Praying that 2021 will be a much better year and your sweet family will be able to come visit again, or you go to them and see their new home. They will be so excited to see you there someday, but until then, enjoy the facetime moments every chance you get.

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    1. I'm happy I decided to set up our tree, too, Pamela. Christmas should be the season when we are most aware of our inner child, and approach the season with light and joyful hearts. Yes, with you, I'm praying that 2021 will be a much better year than this one has been, and I'm so excited that the vaccines will soon be available for us. God has certainly worked a miracle through Operation Warp Speed, hasn't He? Loved seeing your home so festively decorated, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Oh, I love these images of Virginia helping transform your home! Isn't that grand that she immediately recalled the year?!
    So glad you elected to put up your tree. That's a glorious symbol of hope! Matter of fact, I'm sending a PM titled "Hope" I hope you'll enjoy.

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    1. I will most certainly look for your PM, Myra! Glad, too, that you enjoyed seeing the photos of Virginia helping us with the decorations three years ago. Praying that she, and the other girls, will be here next year to all help.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. I love these precious pictures—especially that last one. Virginia looks like a Christmas angel.

    And I'm so happy you went ahead with decorating the three!

    Christmas blessings to you and yours!

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    1. Beckie, that's one of my favorite photos of Virginia, because she looks angelic, indeed! Yes, I'm so thankful I chose to decorate the tree, too. It's been such a source of comfort and joy, knowing God will never leave us bereft.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. This is precious, Martha. Your tree is beautiful and I love all the precious memories of Virginia Rose decorating the tree at seven. So sorry your daughter and family will not be with you this Christmas, asking the Lord to send a blast to your joy meter with His deep joy like none other.

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    1. Thanks so much, Karen, for the joy meter blast wishes. Yes, God has certainly come through, and my heart has been lightened and filled with hope. May we all rejoice in this season of Jesus' birth, and the coming of love and grace into the world.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Your tree is so pretty! And, that look on Virginia's face is priceless. I know you miss them terribly - so sad. May God bless all of you to be together again soon, my friend.

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    1. The look on Virginia's face IS priceless, Cheryl, I have to agree. Yes, I miss them all, but know that God has a great reunion planned in the future. I'll just wait a little longer.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Merry Merry Christmas dear Martha! Celebrate anyway you want to that brings your heart to the Christ Child. Love you!!

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    1. Merry Christmas to you, too, Jean! Yes, let us celebrate the coming of Jesus, the light of the world.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. I'm so sorry, Martha. It's so hard to not have family gatherings that we have had for so many years. Meanwhile, keep those precious memories and pics alive in your heart. :) I tell myself Christmas is never cancelled. Thank You, Jesus! Love and blessings to you!

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    1. You are so right, Trudy - Christmas is never cancelled. Yes, it's difficult to fit into this new mold thrust upon us, but as God's children, we will make it through. His promises prevail.
      Love and blessings!

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    2. I feel your pain and then some. Absolutely, rejoice in The Lord always!!
      “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” Blessings and Merry CHRISTmas, Martha.

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    3. Amen, Nells! Let us rejoice in the Lord always!
      Love and blessings!

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  14. Oh how cheerful, and joy-filled, your CHRISTmas looks. I pray you and Mr. Danny a wonderful season, filled with lots of hope, joy, love, and peace. I too think CHRISTmas gives us a renewed hope for the future. God's blessings ma'am.

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    1. Thank you, J. D., for your kind words and your prayers. I'm praying the same for you and Ms. Diane. Christmas is a time of renewed hope and joy.
      Love and blessings!

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  15. Martha, good morning! Yes and amen to that passage in Philippians 4 ... so recalibrating, especially in these seasons of upheaval and uncertainty. More than ever I'm craving the lights on the tree, in the windows, on the mantle.

    But He is the light I cherish most.

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    1. You sound exactly like me, Linda. The lights are doing wonders for my spirit, and reminding me every day that Jesus is the one light I need in my life. Let us rejoice!
      Love and blessings!

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  16. Awww...so sorry you won't be spending Christmas with your daughter and family this year. I think you made the right decision to put the tree up. I have allowed the Grinch to take hold of my heart some years too. My mom died a few days before Christmas and that is always a hard anniversary for me. This year, we have the tree up and lights outside. We need those joyful traditions!

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    1. Yes, we sure do need those joyful traditions, Laurie, now more than ever! And I so feel for you having lost your mother near Christmas time - makes things a lot harder and more difficult to even begin to feel joy. My dad's birthday was on Christmas Day, so the day, itself is always bittersweet.
      Love and blessings!

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  17. Boa noite, meus queridos amigos. A árvore ficou muito linda, o melhor tudo em família. Deus abençoe vocês.

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    1. Thank you, Luiz. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
      Love and blessings!

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  18. Dear Martha much in prayer for your country, may God arise and His enemies be scattered as His word says. Love your tree and yes I have a weeny tiny one but it’s up, decorated and brining joy to my heart too, loved your granddaughters rapt expression on her face, and her prompt reply to your query.
    Let’s keep looking up dear Martha it is only mud underneath!
    Thanks for sharing, and God bless, Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

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    1. Thanks so much for your prayers and your kind words here, Shaz. Yes, I will keep looking up and never wallow in the mud of hopelessness. May the season of joy fill your heart, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  19. Martha, what a beautiful and touching post. Your tree is beautiful! For some reason, I'm struggling this year with truly getting into the spirit of the season, even with doing some very good things (such as Advent studies). At this point, I've not decorated (save one little elf from a dollar store craft kit); I'm not sure that I'll be doing more.

    Merry Christmas, dear friend!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. This has been a year that has squelched and tried to snuff out our joy, that's for sure. I do hope you'll decide to do a bit more decorating just for the cheer of it, Kim.
      Love and blessings!

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