I boxed up all of the Christmas decorations yesterday.
I'm sad to see the Christmas season come to an end.
In many ways this Christmas looked much like every other Christmas.
We enjoyed many of our favorite traditions.
We hung decorations!
We ate Christmas cookies, (Oh I do so enjoy Christmas cookies!!)
we left a trail of Nestle Crunch Bells for the girls to find on Christmas morning, and before any gifts were opened, a candle was lit to remind us that we celebrate Jesus...the Light of the world.(John 8:12a)
Yes, Christmas looked much the same this year as it has in years past. But in so many ways it looked very different too. A few tough years of loss and struggle caused me to enter this Christmas season heavy hearted.
I met the new year feeling as though I had left something behind, like something was forgotten and I needed to go back for it. It was unsettling to say the least.
This beautifully made box was a Christmas gift from a very dear friend.
I love that the word hope is inscribed on the lid. But even more than the inscription, I love that it was filled with hope!
Not some pie in the sky, empty, maybe this will help you feel good kind of hope mind you! But a real, rock solid, covered in truth kind of hope!
It was filled with Bible verses...promises(Romans 8:28)...strength(Joshua 1:9)...encouragement(Deuteronomy 31:8)...peace(Philippians 4:6-7)
I have spent much time thinking about these verses and wondering what new verses I will add to the hope box. As I've wondered I've begun to realize, I needed this Christmas season more than ever before. Or more accurately, I needed to recall the hope of this Christmas season more than ever before!
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life! For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved! John 3:16-17
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:1-5
There may be times that feel unsettling, but whatever may come in 2014, I will find comfort as I fill my box with reminders that my hope is secure!