When Christmas Is In Full Bloom

It's Christmas Day here and it's been a full weekend of baking and cooking, giving and laughing, eating and celebrating.  And there might not be any strength left for finding words, but on this Day of Hope I can't help but slip in to whisper "Merry Christmas" to each and every one of you.

Some of you are the dear real-life friends who've walked a bit of hard road with me.  Some of you are the family who've known me through all the years of growing and struggling and becoming.  Some of you are readers who've stepped out of the shadows to speak into my story and now I've nothing but joy in calling you Friends.

And, yes, there are still more of you who've been faithful visitors here at Growing Is Beautiful but you're still slipping in quietly, not yet ready to make your presence known.  You may not understand this--but I'm grateful for you, too.  If we never meet or even exchange words of Hope and Love and Wisdom, I still count you as Gift.  I still count you as Grace, pouring down from the One Who Loves.  And, oh, does He love well!

Wherever you are on this Christmas Day, may you feel Him near and know without one shadow of doubt that you are loved, that your life matters, that you--yes, you--are His gift to a hurting, Christ-starved world.

Even in the dead of Winter, when all seems lost and we wonder if there'll ever be light again--even then, He is here and alive and oh-so-full of Grace.  He came to us once, a babe in a stable, and He's promised to come to us again, gather us in His arms, take us to the only Home we'll ever need.

But what really matters most of all?  He's here with us now.

Yes.  Emmanuel.

God is with us.

May you know it today more than you've ever known it in all the years before.

Merry Christmas, Dearest Friends!

{Photographs taken at Molbak's earlier this week, where Christmas was in full bloom and I couldn't take my eyes off all the beauty}


  1. hi Courtney--

    "being a gift to a hurting, Christ-starved world"--a wonderful thought, and one to build my whole life around! thank you so much for all the fellowship and encouragement. may you too bask in the joy of His loving presence, all through the twelve days of Christmas and beyond..


  2. @chris: Wow--a thought to build your whole life around? I am so humbled to be a vessel for His Truth to find its way into others' lives. But yes, this is the thing I've been learning this year--that accepting who we are, that seeing ourselves as a gift from Him, this is what lets us really engage with the world and believe that who He's made us to be and what He's given us are enough to change the world--one day/one person/one step at a time.

    And thank *you* for faithful reading and speaking back into my story. It wouldn't be "fellowship" without you! So glad to have "met" you this year--you're one of those I wrote about here whom I count it nothing but joy to call Friend.


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