Christmas Musings

Christmas is here. Looking at my life right now, though, you’d never know.

Maybe it was the 70 degree weather earlier this week or the complete lack of Christmas decorations in my house. Maybe it’s the chaos of transition, the nasty cold that hit me two weeks ago or the absence of freshly baked Christmas cookies in my kitchen.

Maybe it’s my busy-ness. I’ve been busy. So busy, in fact, that I’ve let the busy-ness of life drown out the joy that accompanies the Christmas season–the joy that comes with celebrating the birth of the One who came to redeem my sinful life.

You can hear Carrie Underwood belt “O Holy Night” and Michael Buble croon “Silent Night” in practically every shopping mall across America this time of year. That’s one of the things that I love (and hate at the same time) about Christmas: the Gospel is clearly proclaimed over and over wherever you go. Unfortunately, many, if not most of us choose not to take the time to really listen and absorb the rich, deep messages in these carols.

In church on Sunday, we sang a few songs that really made me think.

For example, in “O Holy Night,” we sing:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

I just love how this verse so beautifully paints a picture of our life before Christ and after Christ.

Life without Christ is exhausting. Sin entangles us. Our worth is found in our talents, which fail us; our relationships, which fall apart and our own good works, which are never good enough. Our hearts yearn for something more.

Life with Christ, however, is freeing. Our worth is in Christ alone.

It isn’t until we are in a relationship with Christ that we discover our true worth. Our value isn’t found in our talents, relationship status or our own good doing, it’s in Christ, who will never fail us.

This discovery brings joy and hope. It brings new life.

In “Joy to the World,” we sing these words:

Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing

The phrase, “Let every heart prepare Him room” really convicts me.

How am I preparing room for Christ in my own heart? Honestly, I’ve been doing anything but! I keep stuffing my heart and life with more and more “stuff.” I’m not taking the daily time that I should to cleanse my heart by reading the Bible, communicating with my Savior and worshipping Him.

Even after we have new life, it’s so easy to slip back into our old mindsets and behaviors. We buy back into the lies of our worth, and we become weary yet again. So, we must combat that by intentionally preparing room in our hearts for our Savior. So, let’s do that by falling on our knees and worshipping Him. O come let us adore Him!

O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

 

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Here, there and yonder

After a particularly sweet Christmas, the Groh family is here, there and yonder. I’m back at Gardner-Webb University and I start classes later today, Mommy’s back in Raleigh taking care of some last minute medical appointments for Granddaddy and Daddy’s back in Appleton bringin’ home the bacon.

We started out Christmas with a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C. Mommy, Daddy and Grandma came up to pick me up from my semester, so we spent a few days exploring our nation’s capitol.

After a fantastic weekend, we drove home, slept and repacked, then drove to Florida the next day. While in Florida, we had lunch with my Great Aunt Ellen, went to Disney world with some sweet friends and explored Cocoa Beach (where I Dream of Jeannie was set).

On the way back home, we stopped in Charleston, SC. I loved the old homes and beautiful architecture (and the seafood wasn’t bad either).

The following day, two friends and I headed up to Roanoke, VA for a semi-surprise visit with Hannah (my old roommate) and her husband. I have missed that girl too stinkin’ much!

We hosted Christmas this year and things were surprisingly peaceful and fun.

After we ate, opened presents, ate some more, and opened even more presents, the “sisters” and their families went to see Les Misérables. OH MY GOODNES! Best movie of my LIFE… no exaggeration, I PROMISE!

I got to catch up with lots of sweet friends that I haven’t seen in a long time, and my family also spent time bonding over Downton Abbey.

All in all, this Christmas was probably the best break of recent years. Unfortunately, it has come to an end. It’s time to get back to reality and to tackle my next to last semester at Gardner-Webb.

I’m excited about all the experiences this semester should bring. I have a new roommate and am living on a new hall—both seem to be good changes (although I most certainly miss the old roommate immensely). I’m meeting with two editors from the Shelby Star next week about writing for them some this semester. I also am planning to continue interning in the University Relations Office on campus. I have some really interesting classes this semester, and I also get to have some professors that I really respect.