Her giggle, her smile, her encouragement, her pies. Just a few of the things I’ll miss about my mom.

She went to be with Jesus on December 16th and it just doesn’t even feel like Christmas. Is that weird? Are you allowed to be down during the “most wonderful time of the year”? I mean, I’ve had a crazy tough year. I had 2 strokes out of nowhere and all the things that go along with that…like rehabilitation, learning to talk again and walk again. And having the hole in my heart fixed…only to have it broken again a few days later by the passing of my mom. It seems like I should be allowed to WALLOW! To feel sorry for myself. To be bummed. But that’s not where we’re supposed to live. How does that help spread the light of Christmas? It doesn’t.

I was reading one of my favorite books to read during December (I think my mom got it for me) “The Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp. “There’s no going back and living in the dark; you live in the impenetrable, safe Light of light, and Christmas never ends for you. A Christian never stops living Christmas. True, you cannot light Christmas-because it’s Christmas that lights you. It’s Christmas that dawns on you, and you only really believe in Christmas when you really live it. When you light a dark world and the unexpected places with a brave flame of joy; when you warm the cold, hopeless places with the daring joy that God is with us, God is for us, God is in us; when you are a wick to light hope in the dark then you believe in Christmas. When you really believe in Christmas, you believe there is really hope for everyone. When you get Christmas, people get hope from you. Unless you keep passing on the miracle of hope, you live like Christmas is a myth.”

I know you might not be feeling like it’s the BEST time of the year, but we have a responsibility to share God’s light despite what we happen to be feeling at the moment. People are looking for light and hope and joy and you might be the only person that has even a spark of that. Don’t let them down. BE that source for them. And if you can’t even muster a smile, point them to the one who can put a smile back on their face, Hope back in their heart, and JOY back into their life.

It just might help you to remember your True Joy as well.