To Those With An Empty Chair This Holiday Season

To Those With An Empty Chair This Holiday Season

Today we remember those who could not join us for the holidays.
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The holiday season is a time for giving and joy. A time to gather with the ones you love most. Unfortunately for some, the sight of one empty chair looms over them.

The same chair where they used to sit every year. They could light up a room with their presence. Their memory both fills and breaks your heart. But you know deep down that they want you to carry on.

Your first Christmas without that someone may be particularly hard, and that's okay. There may be some traditions that don't continue or a song that doesn't sound the same. But believe me when I say that the joy will return. It's understandable that you may not feel like celebrating, because it doesn't feel the same without them.

So, when you look at that empty chair, I hope that it can greet you with the happy memories that that person brought you. Remember the smile on their face when they unwrapped gifts or the same jokes that they made every year.

Make the most of every moment. Start your own traditions and pass them on. Cherish every family gathering. Appreciate those who are there and remember those who have passed.

I wish comfort to all those grieving at this time. I hope that you may find peace and hold your fond memories close.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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10 Bible Verses For Thanksgiving

Psalm 34:1
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The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. Here are 20 Bible verses that remind us of what Thanksgiving is all about:

1) 1 Chronicles 16:34

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

2) Colossians 3:15-17

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

3) Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

4) Psalm 30:12

That my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

5) Isaiah 12:4-5

And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.

6) Hebrews 12:28-29

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

7) Jonah 2:9

But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay Salvation is from the Lord."

8) 1 Timothy 4:4-5

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

9) Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

10) Psalm 100:4

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpapers Pro

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What Christmas Means To Me: An Atypical Prayer

You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.
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This last Christmas, my grandfather gave me the opportunity to write the grace and prayer that is read before Christmas Dinner. Though it may not sound much like a typical prayer or a traditional grace, it sounded a little something like this:

"When I think of Christmas, I think of this moment right here. The one where we are all gathered together, bound together by love in a place where so many memories have been made. It’s the time that we get to spend together that makes Christmas so special, not the presents, not the food (though it is delicious and I’ll never say no to another one of Grandma’s cookies), but instead the bond that we continue to strengthen each and every year when we come together.

So this Christmas, I am thankful to be surrounded by a family that loves me. As I said in an article of mine that came out earlier this week, “never is the love in my house one-sided”, and that rings true here today. God has given us this holiday not only to celebrate Christ’s birth but also to remind us that the love of this family is never one-sided. It reminds us how special this family is, and how lucky we are to have one another.

I could not ask for better people to have in my life. I could not ask for better grandparents to teach me so many life lessons and to be there whenever I needed someone to turn to, parents that raised me into the strong, independent, and loving young woman that I am today, and a sister that I’ve become so much closer to this year and am proud to call my best friend. I could not ask for a better aunt and uncle that have never failed to make me feel loved and are always there to support me in everything that I do, and cousins that always take time to make sure I’m ok and give life advice that has helped shape who I am as I grow up. I could not ask for better little boys to be my little boys and bring joy and laughter to my life, and a dog that makes me happy to come home and I can always count on for kisses.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, but not for the reasons many people may think. It’s not because of the presents, or the cookies (though I do love them so please make as many as you can Grandma), but because of the love, I get to experience on this day. Family is where life starts and the love never ends, and in this family, this rings true. You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never-ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.

Merry Christmas, I love you all with all my heart."

Christmas may be over, but the words in this prayer still ring true. Though people change and every holiday is different in its own way, these words will forever ring true.

Cover Image Credit: Nancy Summer

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