loud and clear

“I know we’re all about lighting the tree and candles right now, not bombs lighting the sky and the bodies of screaming children.  We’re all about saying yes to our kids right now–and there are kids in Aleppo who need all of our yeses right now.”
~Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience~

When I sit down to write, I pull up Ann’s blog, not always to read it, but to hear it.  She’s got this music that plays, and ever since I first started reading her blog three and a half years ago, I have used that music to reset my mind and write my own words.

Before I sat down, I felt the flood of Christmas anxiety.  It seems like just as the Grinch could not stop Christmas from coming, the mom in me cannot stop Christmas from being stressful.  My brain froze and I couldn’t think.  There was too much to think about.

I said, “God, I’m not organized.  I can’t think.  My mind is a blur.  I need help.”  I prayed this prayer while walking through the messy rooms and unlit trees and mental Christmas lists. God says not to be anxious, but to make our requests known to Him.

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
~Philippians 4:6~

I sat down, pulled up the music, and read Ann’s blog about the suffering in Aleppo.  I don’t watch the news, nor to I regularly read it, so I occasionally find things out by reading other people’s things.  God often answers my prayers by reading what someone else wrote.

“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand.”
~Philippians 4:5~

I’ve been really down on myself lately.  I’ve been mad at myself for my weaknesses.  There are so many things I’m not good at, and these things really come to light this time of year.

Ann’s voice for the suffering city got me thinking.  God says to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.  Christmas is the time where there’s a whole lot of both.

“Rejoice in the Lord always, I say it again, rejoice.”
~Philippians 4:4~

For all of my practical faults, He has given me the gift of His Word in my heart, a song on my lips, and His love in my life. “I thank you my Heavenly Father, for exceedingly great and precious promises have been given unto us!”

“Because for such a time as now, we are all Esthers living in our own kind of warm and safe places, Esthers called to risk everything for those bleeding and dying and crying children outside the gate.”
~Ann Voskamp~

At the risk of sounding completely heartless, I will rejoice for the children of Aleppo.

I will face the crowds for you, prepare the meals for you, I will find the gift just right for you.  And looking forward to next year, I will ask my friends to tell me more about doing all their shopping on Amazon for you.  I’m open to learn.

Praise be to the God who conquers kings, answers prayers, and rescues cities!

Go tell it on the mountain.

We can’t stop Christmas from coming, and coming He is.


“Hallelujah, the King is here
given for all men
for today the Holy Son of God
is born in Bethlehem” 

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