Writing a blog has been on my to-do list for weeks. Unfortunately, it seems to be the thing that never quite gets done… does anyone every actually finish what’s on their to-do list, by the way? If so….send me your secrets. And coffee.
It has been a CRAZY month. And I know you know what I mean… December always turns up faster than we think it should, and whatever activities we have going on in our lives that year seem a little exhausting and overwhelming, but hopefully also a little bit wonderful. Lucky me…I have had a whole lot of wonderful this year. And some not-so-wonderful, too…which is usually the way life goes, right?
Somehow my album release was nearly a month ago! I can’t believe how quickly the day came and went. I enjoyed playing the entire album live for a fantastic, attentive, supportive and loving audience back on November 27th at Festival Hall. I was joined by dear friends on stage, served my favourite home-made Christmas treats (thanks to my Mom and brother!), and loved every minute of sharing songs and stories. Performing is pretty much the best thing ever.
If you haven’t heard the album yet…check it out! Download or stream it and let it play in the background of whatever you have going on these next couple of days! I hope you are blessed by it!
In the short 4 weeks since then, somehow I managed to do 6 more performances, put on a huge Christmas concert with about 230 kids at the school where I teach music, get myself on about 30 radio stations, and I’m still kind of functioning as a real human! It’s a Christmas miracle!
I’ve also wrestled with some not-so-wonderful stuff this season, as I mentioned. If we are connected on social media, you may have seen something I posted recently about the not-so-magical parts of Christmas. It definitely struck a chord with people, and I received many comments and messages from people in the days following. Thank you so much to those of you who reached out. I have felt this for years…the tension between all the beauty and wonder of the season, and the crushing pain of loss and loneliness that somehow seems even more difficult at this time of year. I LOVE Christmas – I love the magic, the excitement, the lights, the sounds, the GLITTER…. and I HATE Christmas – I hate the expectation, the stress, the comparisons… it prompted me to write these lyrics and record them on my new album;
The world tells me I need twinkling lights and cozy nights
The best time of the year, so they say
Friends and family gathering and visiting
What if I just want to hide away?
Loneliness feels lonelier at Christmas
like it’s deeper and darker somehow
Sometimes joy feels far away at Christmas
What if I just don’t feel it right now?
What is a divorced Christian woman in her mid-thirties who longs for children of her own supposed to do with a season where she is bombarded with messages that Christmas is for families and romance and little ones? And don’t get me wrong…I am so very blessed to have wonderful people in my life. My family and friends are amazing and I am grateful for each one of them. But…. it’s hard. That’s all. And it’s ok for things to be hard. I’m ok. And why am I ok? Because Christmas means so much more to me than any of those things, and it would even if I had all the things my heart longs for. Here’s the chorus of that song;
I remember that baby boy, born in a manger
He’s the reason for it all
I remember the greatest gift ever given
He’s the reason for it all
It’s all about Jesus, it’s all about Jesus!
And this isn’t just something weird that Christians say to make people who don’t believe the same things feel bad, or to try and guilt other Christians for putting too much emphasis on turkey and presents and decorations (sidenote: I LOVE turkey. And presents. And decorations.).
This is the reason I can pick myself up, wipe my tears, and find the strength to go sing hours and hours and HOURS of Christmas carols for people over the past few weeks. This is the reason I find joy in giving thoughtful gifts to family and friends to try and show them how special they are to me, even when I’m battling my own darkness. This is the reason I keep going and singing and hoping and trying and dreaming and believing…no matter what time of year it is.
Because Jesus came. He came as a baby, just like the Bible says, and he grew up and died for me and for you just like the Bible says, and He lives in me and I get to talk to him and sing for him and know him. Knowing Jesus will always be the greatest and most wonderful thing in my life. For me, Christmas is the most wonderful and magical time…even with tears streaming down my face, with my heart a little bit broken and bruised…because Christmas is Jesus.
So from me to you…thank you for reading this. Thank you for supporting and listening to my music. And Merry Christmas.