When Life and Christmas Collide

by | Dec 12, 2011 | Uncategorized

When your kids can’t seem to get out of bed and your running late.

When the milk has gone bad and you forgot to run the dishwasher,

And the sink is already full of dirty dishes from the night before.

When you can’t find a place to sit down because the folded clothes from the laundry sit in piles all around,

And all you want to do is just sit down and think.

When a stray dog is clomping and digging through your flower beds,

And the flowers you planted a few weeks ago are dying because you don’t have the time to water them.

When you haven’t had time to look at the photos you had taken on the beach for a Christmas card two weeks ago and you know it’s not going to happen . . .  doing a Christmas card that is.

When Christmas shopping with your husband means stopping in the middle of the sidewalk, or in the aisle of a store every few minutes  because the phone calls and emails don’t stop from the craziness.

And he says to you, “we have to go now, I have hit a wall and I can’t do this anymore” because all that just sucks the life out of you.

When going to church feels like too much work,

And God speaks to you from a Christmas movie made fifty years ago instead.

When feeding your dog isn’t just pouring dry dog food in a bowl anymore, because he walks with a lemon sized lump in his throat that is killing him slowly,

And you just can’t get on your knees to clean all the stuff a sick dog leaves on the carpet one. more. time.

When being hungry sounds better than trying to decide what to fix for dinner.

And the presents you bought lay in bags strewn all over your bedroom floor and the thought of wrapping them, putting them in boxes and standing in line for an hour at the post office brings a lump to your throat.

When your teenager finally decides to talk and her genuine lovely heart makes the tears spill because being a teenager is really hard.

When your friend can’t tell you the truth and your heart hurts because you already know the truth – and well, it isn’t good.

When the cashier at Trader Joes tells you about all the people living in hotels because they are homeless.

And hearing that makes you want to go put everything back on the shelf that you just bought and help them all instead.

When all these things happen at once,

And you feel like you want to go scream in the middle of a field of flowers but then you realize what you really want to do is just sit and think,

and read and think,

and pray and think,

and write and think,

and have a long conversation with God, not just random thoughts.

You just thank God that he sent His son Jesus to take care of all the mess.

You thank Him while you spin dog food in a blender, look at the twinkle lights on the mantle, breathe deep and find peace.  Because of this . . .

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners  . . .
so now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because
our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.  ~Romans 5:6,11

That baby that came wrapped in a rag, lying in a manger.  He is my friend and knowing Him is all that matters. He is our only hope.  He is peace.

Linking with Ann, Graceful, Playdates with God.  Their words encourage me every day.  Hope you’ll check them out and be blessed!








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  1. kelly

    LOVE. this is a picture of so many days. Christ is in the middle of it, in the middle of me. in the middle of my kids. in the middle of you. i am so grateful.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Kelly, just love that you are here with me responding to what I write. It blesses me and makes me realize how much I miss you!

  2. Robin

    As I read your blog this morning I thought. “Can Shelly see into my life?” I am walking through some of of those thoughts. Trusting God is walking with my, carrying me as I push my way through this time of year. To sit and reflect, pray, read, and just enjoy the season would be a gift in itself.
    Thank you for mentoring me over the last few months through this gift of writing that the Lord has given you. Love you my friend.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Robin, just knowing you are here and praying and believing in me is such a gift. Thank you!

  3. Jennifer

    A beautiful post. It seems that all of life’s messes seem to happen at Christmastime, don’t they? Thank God for the gift of His Son!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I think that the messes are there, just more evident at Christmas because we are more alert to what goes on around us during this season. So very glad you visited today!

  4. kd sullivan

    This is so monumentally moving. Especially as women, the keeper of Christmas traditions, we’ve all had moments like these. May you find Him in everything you do this season…because that is why He came in the first place.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I think your right, about women being the keeper of traditions and I hadnt really thought about it until you mentioned it. It can be a heavy weight to bear, especially when we take on things God never intended. Thanks for the insight!

  5. Michelle

    Thank you for sharing…so thankful He came to bear all that I cannot.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Amen. And when seasons of heaviness like this one come along, my need of Him becomes even more evident which is a gift.

  6. Holly

    Breathtakingly real. So sad and yet so hopeful too.

    Thank you, ~ H

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you Holly . . .for your friendship, faithfulness, for hearing God and for your generous heart. You are a blessing friend.

  7. Lisa

    I found your blog last week, and have been reading it every chance I get. I love your words!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lisa, what a great compliment. I treasure this little comment you left and thank God for what He is whispering in your ears as you read what He inspires. Thank you my friend.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Kari, thank you and isn’t this whole blogging world just amazing. So glad to find you today.

  8. Barbie

    Your words moved my heart this morning. Thank you so much!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      All is grace Barbie and I am rejoicing that God used my pouring out to bless you. Your comment makes this all worth it!

  9. roseann elliott

    I love the honesty…I love how your vision came cleared…like ann says…the remedy is in the retina….
    blessings as you keep your eyes on Jesus…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Roseann, thanks for all your support and encouragement. I feel your genuine heart for people in what you write and to have you here just makes me happy. Don’t you just love Ann. So many quotes from her that transform.

  10. Paula

    You said when I read your blog I’d “know” and I do get it. Wish I were there to help you. Even those who do not have a house full of kids and a sick dog, “get it” when they read your words. It is, indeed sad, that the holidays bring so much stress to everyone’s lives……it just doesn’t seem right. I’m feeling a little stress too, just in different ways. Love you and your words, though touched by some despair today, bring comfort to many.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Well, you do help me by just being you. And Geri has been a God send. Helping me tons, easing the load, doing menial things for me that feel huge. Look forward to seeing you in January.

  11. Dea Moore

    Shelly, I always love your pictures—but all those words bring a real life alive. Some things are captured better with words than pictures because there are things (like what you cleaned up) that we don’t want to see. Thank you for sharing this—I hope you get time to read, pray, write and THINK. Maybe the people beside you in the post office won’t be talkers and you can think there? 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Dea, what an encouragement you are! You always have so much insight in what you leave in the comments. It is like a gift when I see your name there. I am sure to get the time when I need it, sometimes I just have to fight harder for it than others. Blessings to you my friend.

  12. Sherri

    Ditto. And a professional friend committed suicide. I feel so sad, on top of December sadness/craziness. Writing is the only thing that lets me get my thoughts out. Thank you Shelly for being so human.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Sherri, how tragic and I am so sorry to hear this. It makes one feel heavy and I know how you feel about writing it all out. So glad you are doing that. You know I am here if you need someone to talk to or pray with. Love you sweet friend.

  13. michelle derusha

    Oh man can I relate to this Shelly. Thanks for putting it all out there and reminding us that only He can fix the big fat mess.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Michelle. I know you have a lot of blogs to read. Always appreciate it when you stop by my place. Still thinking about your throwing that laundry basket down the stairs and just standing there watching it bang into the wall. Makes me laugh.

  14. Brenda Chance

    Have you been spying on me? Seriously, this captures my life right now. So nice to know I’m not alone! And what a beautiful reminder that all the junky stuff in life is exactly the reason Jesus came. Thanks for reminding me to treasure Him.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Brenda, getting a lot of that with this post which goes to show you that even though we think we are the only one, we are in good company. We are all just sinners in need of a Saviour, trying to make the pilgrimmage as graceful as possible! So glad to have you along the journey.

  15. Mary


    I came over from Michelle’s weekly round-up. Beautifully written and I can relate.


    • Redemption's Beauty

      Don’t you just love Michelle. So blessed by her words and generosity. So glad you popped over from her place.

  16. Courtney

    Visiting from Michele’s place – this touched me. It sounds so familiar, and then the comfort that comes from Jesus sounds so wonderful. Thank you for putting it all in perspective like this.

  17. Pam

    Lovely. So easy to relate to. I am late to the post, but it is still applicable. Thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Pam. In someways, life feels like this a lot – and I am learning – for most of us! Glad you stopped by, even now.

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