Christmas Is Exactly What We Need Right Now

Christmas Is Exactly What We Need Right Now

It's time for a reminder

There are many reasons to love Christmas time:

The music.

The food.

The movies.

The decorations.

The gifts.

The lights.

Above all, there is one reason I love Christmas more than any other holiday:

The hope.

Christmas is a time to stop and remind ourselves of that little baby who changed the world forever. With Him came the Kingdom of God to this Earth, and we will never be the same.

This world is shaking. My world is shaking. Hurt, pain, anger, sadness, confusion seem to be fueling the globe, and we are all feeling the consequences.

In response, we cry, lament, maybe we even end up hurting one another. Our human bodies don't know how to handle this. That is because we were created for good.

We were intended to be beings of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We were made to live a life with God. We are all bearers of the image of God, and this world is keeping us from living into that.

Every part of us hates the hate because we were made for love. It is against our nature to endure hate.

There is good news, friends: when that tiny little baby entered this world, he brought a message with Him.

"Repent, for the Kingdom of the Heavens has come near." Matthew 3:2

It has come near. We can live the life we were meant to live right now. There is hope for this world that seems so hopeless.

Jesus' intention was not simply for us to live with Him in Heaven when we die; He wants us to live with him - in the life we were created for - right now.

So, as we approach this election, or whatever is causing pain in our lives, let us remember the hope that we have. That little baby didn't just bring us a list of ways to enhance our lives.

I started celebrating Christmas long before it was time; there have been trees (yes, plural) up in my apartment since school started. While it is fun to listen to Christmas music and watch people's faces as they see a tree up in September, that's not why I do it and it's not why I love it.

I do it for the reminder of hope. This is Good News of great joy. This election does not determine the purpose or value of my life. My friendships do not determine my happiness. There is peace in the Kingdom, and I need that reminder every day.

Let's celebrate Christmas a little early this year, shall we?

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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What A Blessing It Is To Have Been Loved By A Grandpa Like You

No one could ever replace your contagious giggle and radiating love.


To my newest angel in heaven...

Grandpa Norb, I just wanted to write to you to let you know how great it is to be loved by a grandpa like you. With 4 children, 4 children in-law, 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, we all know in our different ways your love for us. While you are no longer here, I am certain that you will always be watching over us and in our hearts.

Knowing you for 20 years, I can't imagine feeling more loved. Every holiday gathering started with you wishing a Merry Christmas, no matter the actual holiday. You always welcomed with a hug, and said goodbye with open arms, a kiss on the cheek and a whispered reminder that I am always in your prayers. Even with you no longer with us, I know you'll be watching over and praying for me as I carry on my steps in life.

Like a sunflower, you were always bright and smiling when I saw you. You showed your excitement when I walked in the room and made me feel lucky to be around you and overjoyed to know you just through your smile. You were the patriarch of our wonderful family standing tall and showering us with radiating love and goofiness.

Among us all, you loved Grandma with your whole heart and were married for 68 beautiful years. Watching her say goodbye has been one of the hardest things to see, but completely overpowering, the love you had for each other. As long as I knew you, I don't think I ever saw the two of you apart. The unconditional love that you had and always will feel for each other is one that I envy to have in my own relationships.

As almost two weeks have passed since God brought you to him, this is my goodbye to you. I will never forget the last good day I spent with you and Grandma together. I will think of you when I see yellow sunflowers standing tall and bright, and during thunderstorms as if it is you Grandpa Ray bowling together up in heaven.

I feel incredibly lucky to know you and have been loved by you for 20 of your 94 years, and I will always miss you.



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