Rethinking Christmas

Hello Blog-Friends:  If you’re like me, you might have a whole lot of expectations (I prefer to call them “hopes”– it sounds kinder) about Christmas ahead–what the best Christmas should look like to you.  It’s all about lists.  Making them & checking them twice.

But this year we’ve had a shift.  Last Monday, our son called from Ojai.  They were pulling out from home, evacuating because of the wildfires closing in on their small community.  The family finally made their way down to our house, and we spent some days watching blazes on t.v. news and checking Facebook posts detailing damages.

The school where Micah teaches lost the science building (his physics lab & robotics program) and the girls’s dorm burned to the ground.  Their home had some damage, but much was saved by fire fighters.  So thankful.

So our hopes have changed some.  Christmas will look a little different.  The to do lists are shorter.  And things that matter– being together, remembering God’s gift of his son to the world shine brighter.

I’ve been reading a daily Christmas email from my favorite blogger, Shannan Martin.  She writes it so well:

“There in the wonderful, terrible thick of December, the furniture of my heart was shifting. Things that had lurked in the shadows were snapping into focus. As Christmas drew nearer, the new rhythms of my soul were bumping against my old ideas about how to celebrate, why we celebrate, and what a new way of living the “thrill of hope” might look like practically.

Basically, I cleaned out my Christmas closet. I did that thing where you hold up each old shirt and decide if it still fits, and whether or not it’s worth the space it occupies.”

So my Christmas hopes for you (and me) are that we’re able to see that “thrill of hope” and rest in God’s love for us in the middle of all the Christmas storm of activity.  Merry Christmas Blessings to you, dear friends.

P.S. To find Shannan’s blog and the link to her “12 Ways of Christmas Emails” click here.  I think you’ll love her as much as I do.


41 thoughts on “Rethinking Christmas

  1. Merry Christmas to you all, Rhonda…so glad Micah and family are ok. They were the first people I thought of when I heard about the fire. I love Shannan Martin also and am enjoying her 12 Ways of Christmas too.

    Blessings to you and may the new year bring you new adventures!

    • Oh Debi– hope your Christmas is the best with your dear family. Are you the Christmas cook?? And– I’m loving the Shannon emails too. Micah & family are fine. They have to empty out their house this week for repairs, paint etc. (big job) and are with us for a few more weeks. It’s going well– Jodi’s in doing “Chinese homework” with the girls right now! Hugs hugs to you dear friend. Merry Christmas!

      • Hola Rhonda! We have arrived yesterday and recovering from long flight and jetlag… Mainly our little one is struggling 🙃 However, we are having great time so far and enjoying many nice Mexican dishes and their warm welcoming! Merry Christmas to you too! ❤️❤️❤️

        • So glad you made the trip Vero!! And yep, it’s hard to explain jet lag to little kids!! When we moved from here to Spain our 2 year old was up every night for a couple weeks!! Hoping you are enjoying every minute with the family there!! Have a blessed Christmas!! hugs!

      • Thanks Rhonda 🙂 I have missed blogging, it’s been a busy time indeed and I’ve also been having internet issues which has been a bit of a stumbling block. I’ll be travelling from London four hours up north to Sunderland where my family lives now (North East England). Are you hosting for Christmas? Have a lovely time! xxx

        • Hi Becca– We’re up in San Francisco with most of our kids for an early Christmas here– lots of wonderful food and little cousins running around. Tomorrow we head home to celebrate over Christmas with kids and our older parents– stuffed into our little house. Should be chaotic good times! Hope you enjoy every minute with your family Becca! I’ll keep checking in on your blog! Merry Christmas!! xo

  2. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Rhonda. God I love this. I am sending you and your whole family much love and Light and blessings!!!! ❤ I am in Santa Monica so the air quality was bad. Been sending prayers for days.

    I'll be off line for a few weeks – going on a retreat! So please feel free to do a Forgiving Fridays (if you want to – just an idea!) and I plan to post all sharings upon my return. Gratitude is really up for me in regards to forgiveness.

    Love and hugs,

    • Hi Debbie– oh, I can imagine how the fires would affect you all there! How are you holding up?? And the retreat sounds perfect for this time of year. Is it at you Peace Ranch? Hope it’s an instructive, wonderful time for you friend. Merry Christmas!! xo

  3. Merry Christmas Rhonda and family. I’m so glad to heart your kids are safe. That is most important.
    “Thrill of Hope” the weary world rejoices. Wonderful post. Full of hope – so great that we know the hope-bringer.
    Hugs and love….

    • I love that Cate– “we know the hope-bringer.” so true and comforting. Hope your Christmas is the best with your dear family. Are you traveling up to your son’s?? Or or you doing Christmas at home?? Is there pie involved??! Love you friend. Merry Christmas! xo

    • Thanks thanks Jasmine. You’re right. So many people have lost everything. We are thankful the kids are here– and people are working on their house. You are so kind (like always!). Merry Christmas to you are your dear family! xox

  4. Your attitude is a priceless gift in such difficult times. I’m so glad your family is safe and it’s wonderful that their home is not gone. I cannot imagine being in such shoes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and positivity.

  5. I’m glad that all in your family are safe. Things can be replaced. That being said, my heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the fires because the recovery phase is tough. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

    • Hi Delinda– So fun to hear from you here! It’s true– there are so many people who lost homes. Hope your Christmas is the best. Do you travel for Christmas?? Or celebrate at home? And — I saw on facebook you mentioning retirement. That’s awesome. I loved teaching– but being retired is better!! take care & Merry Christmas! xox

  6. Hi Rhonda – so, so true. A crisis like this will have you re-evaluating what is important. Friends and family are so much more important than decorating your house, baking cookies and finding that perfect present. Hold your dear ones close! Glad everyone is safe! -Kat

    • Thanks Kat- yep, it will be a simpler Christmas this year. Having the grand-girls here, we’ve pretty much gone through the cookies we baked. And my sewing projects got set aside (maybe Valentines presents instead??). But it’s OK. Hope you are enjoying a blessed Christmas time. Do you have snow?? hugs hugs!

  7. Oh, Rhonda, so sorry your kids had damage to their house, but happy to hear they’re fine. It does change our perspective when those kind of things happen, doesn’t it? So thankful that you can be together and share during this special time. Maybe it’ll be the sweetest Christmas for you all.

    • Hi Daisy– It has been a good time together. They won’t have their house repaired til Jan 5th (hopefully) so we’ll be together til then. It’s good to get the day to day time with the girls. Hope you and your dear family have a blessed Christmas. What are you doing?? Staying home? traveling? xox

    • Hi Marcia– that fire is still not out yet– but has moved further north. So much loss along the coast. But thankfully they are working on our son’s house and hopefully they can move back in a Jan 5th. It’s been good to have them with us these weeks. Hugs hugs Marcia!

  8. Pingback: Ten Blogging Years | The Thankful Heart

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