Thursday, December 10, 2009


I always feel nostalgic this time of year.

I suppose everyone does to some degree or another. My dreams and daydreams and quiet moments, rare as they may be, are flooded with memories.

I remember my first Christmas as Jason's wife. Life was new, again. I woke up with my best friend next to me, and yet, he was a stranger. I'd only known him as my husband for 10 days, and I couldn't get enough of how wonderful and new he was to me.

I remember my Dad. Over and over, again. I remember my Dad.

I remember the first Christmas I spent with a broken heart. Everyone around me wore happy, plastic faces, and I wore grief. I was an unlikely Grinch, only my heart had been trampled on and refused to grow, and I desperately wanted to sing with the Whos. I couldn't find my song.

I remember the year I got a baby carriage. It's the first Christmas I remember. I wore my Chatterbox nightgown, perfect attire for me at age six and still appropriate at age 34, as I pushed my new baby doll around our house on Sherman Avenue. It snowed that year.

I remember Christmas 2004 - my first as a mother. Jack was my world. He was the baby in every manger I saw, and "For unto us a child is born; a son is given" made my heart cry out a thousand thanks to God every time I heard or sang or read it.

I remember my Playdoh Fun Factory, and my hand sewn Cabbage Patch Doll because a "real" one couldn't be found. I remember my first pair of Guess jeans and my karaoke machine. I remember the mixed emotions of Mom's new engagement ring and our new Atari and all of it blends together in one big mental montage of Christmases past.

While we decorated our Christmas tree this year, I sat and wept for what had been. I wept for my Dad, whom I miss so much. I wept because I now have three sons, and they are the best gifts I've ever gotten. I wept for the beautiful sacrifice my parents made to give us a toy-filled Christmas each year. I wept for my broken heart 15 years ago.

I wept because I would never go back, but I want to close my eyes and relive the moments and gifts that took my breath away.

I opened my computer today to share with you some pictures of my family decorating our Christmas tree.

But, as my memory-filled montage plays over and over this morning, this week, this Christmas season - this one picture so tellingly illustrates my heart's prayer:

Lord, change my focus.

Allow my memories of the past, the joy and sorrow of yesterday, to fade into the background.

And, bring into perfect focus in my heart and mind Your blessings of love and laughter that fill my home today.


  1. Again---amazing---you nailed my Christmas tree decorating this year! I found myself doing the same thing as I pulled out ornament after ornament that held a story. I miss my mom profoundly at Christmas...especially when I struggle with being a good mommy-wish she was here to encourage and listen. Focus is so important! Thanks again for seemingly putting my own thoughts down in writing.

  2. Wow, what an amazing post. You have certainly touched my heart this morning. You are such an inspiration.

  3. This is so beautifully written, Sarah. And the picture of Jack is perfect. Thank you for sharing these moments.

  4. so, so true. and so well said. people tend to complain so much about what christmas has become... and yet, for better or for worse, what christmas IS for our culture is still such a huge part of our memories and overall existence. i wouldn't trade a bit...

  5. Sar! Dangit! I'm all teary-bleary eyed now.
    Beautiful post. Love you my friend!

  6. Beautiful, Sarah. I just heard a little devotion on the radio that was very similar. Taking time to enjoy the routine of our life now, for we do not know what tomorrow holds. They read a letter from a cancer patient that was wishing for the mundane, everyday, normal-ness. Even folding a load of laundry can be special, as we thank the Lord for the children and husband He has blessed us with.

  7. You have such a gift, many gifts actually Sarah. But your way with words is such a blessing.

    Beautiful post... loved it. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. You are a gift girlie.

  8. Sarah,
    You have such a gift and talent in writing from the heart! Thank you for the wonderful reminder!

  9. sniff, true! I keep looking forward (as you might look back) and gotta remind myself that what God has given me now is so special :) Love you all - not too much longer!!

  10. I wish I could share my heart the way you do. I tried on my blog and it bombed. Instead of people hearing my heart they heard pain and disappointment which was not what I was trying to share. I ended up deleting the post. One more reason to journal in a book and not on the internet for me, LOL.

    I long for the days of years gone by. I'm thankful for where God is leading me each day even if the path is totally foreign to me. I am blessed for what was and for what is yet to come!

    Love you Sarah and I'm thankful that you could share what my heart feels.

  11. Wonderful post from the heart!!!
    I think we can all see ourselves in it.

  12. I feel you on this one sister. One thing I always think about at Christmas time is Mary. I think of her delivering a baby in such rough circumstances. I think of her nursing her new baby and wrapping him up tightly. I think of how I have done with same with my own babies.

    This Sunday at church, my husband is singing "Mary, Did You Know". It is going to be beautiful and so powerful. And I am going to need extra tissues. That song explains so much about how I feel about Christmas.

  13. It's always good to start the day by cleaning out the tear ducts. :) good reminder; we are very blessed. I get sad that things are moving too fast. I want to freeze time right now and keep the kids little and Scott and I young; keep our grandparents with us, our parents healthy-- We'll let time move forward for Rach and Em, but you'll want to freeze it soon enough sisters. Each day is such a wonderful gift.

  14. I usually read your posts during my lunch break because I'm pretty much guaranteed to laugh about something you wrote. However, today you've got me fighting back tears because I can relate so well to some of your "I wept" comments. Thank you for the much needed reminder to look for the blessings in today rather than dwelling on the past. I'd give you a hug of thanks right now if I could!

  15. Beautiful memories...even the hard ones. I love your heart.