Christmas Day, December 25th

I stood on my favorite hilltop during my walk yesterday as tears flowed. We had so hoped to finally have our family reunited for Christmas after six years, to see our sons after more than two years. As we anticipated the joy, we were almost afraid to hope it could happen, as we had weathered several cancelations and disappointments in recent years. Our concerns proved true when we learned earlier this week that our reunion was not to be. Our hearts are broken, disappointed, and especially concerned for the ones who cannot be with us. My afternoon walk was a melancholy one.

This hilltop has become a sacred space for me, as it is the place where I pause to thank God for each new bonus day of life. Yesterday it proved to be the same, as I was surprised to find that my deep grief was accompanied by my deep gratitude. My tears opened the floodgates of emotion, as I cried for the ones we are missing for this time and cried for the ones I will continue to miss in this earthly life. But then I cried with such overwhelming thankfulness for two dear friends who came to stay, for all the people I have loved, and then for Love itself. I cried with sadness for the moments we are missing but also with appreciation for the precious ones we have enjoyed. I cried out of heartache and then cried that I am alive to experience the heartache.

Suddenly I was reminded of the most precious gift we have from God through Jesus. In this roller-coaster ride of life, with all of its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, anticipations and disappointments, love and loss, Jesus has come to live among and within us. He comes to bring us so much more to life, he makes life a rich and glorious journey, and he goes with us to bless every step of the way.

Yes, there is grief. But oh my, there is gratitude.

Christmas brings the sacred to the sadness,
the holy to the heartache.
Christmas is the meaning in the mess
and the mystery in the mourning.
Christmas is the inner peace amid the pain,
the eternal hope against the hurt,
the surprising joy along the journey.
Christmas is the vulnerable infant
born in humble surroundings,
God with us,
bringing grace, goodness, and gratitude
for every grief we bear.

Thank you, Jesus.

(KLW, 12-25-2021)

(Photo by Karen, Hurricane, WV)


  1. The poobahs want no celebration,
    it’s not worth the risk, they say,
    and so a sad benighted nation
    is denied its Christmas Day,
    and I do not trust their motive;
    is it just to keep us safe,
    or would they put out the votive,
    hope of triumph over grave,
    set themselves as holy power,
    follow science that they write,
    have us build their Babel’s tower
    fast arising in the night,
    and give them all our faith and trust,
    throwing our King beneath the bus?


    • My friend, I admire your writing skill
      and delight to see you here –
      for I appreciate your quiet strength,
      your faith so deep and dear.
      Yet today I kindly disagree
      with your skeptical observations
      because science is what has kept me alive
      for all these celebrations.
      And whether we have family here
      or choose to remain apart
      I will always feel such glorious joy
      by having Christ within my heart.

      (Couldn’t resist a poem! Peace, Andrew. May your new year bring many blessings.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Karen –  Good morning – again!  Just responded to your sweet comment…and I have had this post in my inbox since it arrived.  I have been meaning to respond.  This post so spoke to my heart.  Grief at the holidays can be so exhausting and depleting.  Oh, but what an exercise to allow gratitude to fill our thoughts, our hearts and to replenish our souls.  For so many years, I clung to my grief during the holidays as if it were my privilege to do so.  It not only suffocated me but, obviously, affected those I love…and lingered way past the holiday.  God has given much grace and He is constantly showing me how to enjoy Christmas (and other holidays) rather simply endure them.   I pray that you had a peace-filled Christmas – even as plans were not as you hoped.  I prayed for you.  Thanks for sharing your heart…especially in this post. Jennifer


    • Wow… thank you, my writing friend. I am so grateful to know this post blessed you, and that you have prayed for me. I will pray that your healing, gratitude, and joy continue to flourish. And please keep writing! You are a blessing to your readers, including me. Thank you!


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