Christmas Without You

I made a batch of Christmas cookies

From some of your old recipes

The smell of them brought back memories

But they didn’t taste the same

I put up the tree and strung the lights

With every ornament hung I cried

Decorating the tree was your favorite night

But the lights didn’t shine the same

I watched It’s A Wonderful Life

I might’ve even watched it twice

But you weren’t there by my side

And Bedford Falls wasn’t the same

We sat around the dinner table

Talked about the baby born in a stable

I laughed and smiled as much as I was able

But my smile didn’t feel the same

I said my goodbyes and drove back home

Tried to listen to more Christmas songs

For a minute I felt like I wasn’t so alone

I knew Christmas would never be the same

Surrounded by family and friends

I didn’t think it would be this hard to pretend

I can’t wait for this day to end

Christmas just isn’t the same

Maybe next year I’ll be better

Maybe I’ll laugh at the ugly Christmas sweaters

Maybe I will enjoy the cold, snowy weather

Yes, Christmas will go on but it will never be the same

Christmas To Me by Jamie O’Neal –

The Christmas Tree

Image result for christmas tree farm

From the time she was a small sapling she knew what she was born for. She was born and raised on a Christmas tree farm. She heard stories from her family and friends about how one day she would be picked to go be inside someone’s home.

Each year she grew a little bigger but each year she kept hearing people say the same thing. “She isn’t big enough.” “Her branches are still too weak.” “Her needles are too thin.”

She would wonder the same thing each year. “What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone want me? ”

Another year passed and she thought for sure this would be the year. She was almost as big as all the other trees but it was the same old story for our Christmas tree. “She isn’t quite there yet.” “She’s almost full enough but not as full as we want.” “Her branches still aren’t strong enough.”

Many more years passed and she still wasn’t being picked. She was really starting to wonder what was wrong with her. She was bigger than almost all the other trees. Her branches were fuller and stronger than the other trees. Other trees that were born after her were being picked but she still wasn’t. “Why doesn’t anyone want me?”  “When will my time come?”

Another year passed and she was a full ten feet taller than any other tree. She had beautiful branches but she still wasn’t being picked. Now she heard things likes she’s too big, she can’t fit in our house, we don’t have enough lights and decorations to complete her.

Our Christmas tree was so sad. No one wanted her when she was young and small and no one wanted her when she was old and tall. She was thinking she will never know what it’s like to be decorated and look so lovely.

Our Christmas tree continued to grow and by the next year she was seventy-five feet tall. She could see the entire farm. That was when she saw this big truck coming on  the farm. They came right up to her. One guy got out and looked at her and said “this tree is what we have been looking for. She will look beautiful at Rockefeller Center. We will decorate her and have so many lights on her. Millions of people will see her and admire how beautiful she is!”

Moral of the story is God will use you in His time. Be faithful and trust in Him and He will use you in ways you would never believe. We just have to be patient and wait for our calling.

Just Like Me by Vanessa Williams –

O Christmas Tree by Bobs and Lolo –

One Little Christmas Tree by Stevie Wonder –

The Little Christmas Tree by Nat King Cole –

While I’m Waiting by John Waller –

I Will Wait by Aaron Shust  –

I Will Wait by Darlene Zschech –

True Story- A Testimony

It’s been a rough 18 months. There was a two-three month period in that 18 months that I lost myself. For the first time in my life someone made me feel as if I wasn’t enough, that I was worthless. I walked away from most of what I believed in and gave up on the rest.

I will be the first to admit that I let anger and everything that goes with betrayal get the best of me. Even counseling did not seem to help.

Even though I felt like I knew the truth, I was still being lied to , which was causing more anxiety and hate and frustration and arguments. and taking me farther away from the man I am. I do not understand why people can not tell the truth. I would rather have a truth that hurts than a lie to make me feel better or question my own intuition. At least once the truth is out there, you can start to heal.

Then one night a couple months ago I had a dream. I can still remember every detail to this day. And when I’m having a bad thought or feel anger taking control again, the images in this dream come to my mind and I give it all away again.

I will admit after the dream, I had three really good weeks then three really bad days but ever since then, I am a different man.

Only one person gets the credit and that is Jesus.

Here is the dream I had.

I was driving along a road that was going up a hill or mountain. The road did not look familiar to me. I remember I was the only one on the road and to the left of me was a deep valley.

As I was driving in the middle of the day, the sky suddenly became like a sunset. Oranges and reds and pinks. Picture the most beautiful sunset you have ever seen and multiply that by a hundred.

Then the sky parted and a man came down out of the sky. I can only assume it was Jesus.

I stopped my car and got out. I started walking toward him.

He approached me and put his hands on my shoulders. He told me it was time to let it go. Give all the anger and disappointment and anxiety and everything that came with the betrayal to him.

Tears started coming to my eyes.

But I wasn’t letting go.

Then he repeated what he said.

Give it to me. It’s time to let it go.

Then he took his hands off my shoulders and ascended back toward the clouds.

Before he got there he turned around and reached out his hands and told me he had it all now. To keep giving it to him. It’s not my burden to bear any longer. To live the way he intended me to live. To love and not hate.

Then, probably because he knows me so well, he once again said I have it all. Let it go.

The he disappeared into the clouds and the sky turned the brightest blue I have even seen.

Then I woke up and had tears streaming down my face.

And all I can say is in the seven weeks since my three day relapse, I have been a different man.

My anxiety and hurt and anger has for the most part have gone away. And when it surfaces, it is immediately replaced with visions from my dream.

Does that mean my marriage is saved? No, not at all. But what it means is I don’t have to live with the hurt and betrayal and anger.

I can still love. I can still know that I am enough. I can still know that life is worth living. I can still know that I am okay. I can still know that I am loved.

We all have been given the ability to bless and not curse, to love and not hate, to give and not take. We only have to remember we have a helper to show us the way.

So do I believe God is real? There is no way I could ever doubt it.

Then Came Christ by MercyMe-

Remember by Lauren Daigle-

Believer by Rhett Walker-

Ain’t Nobody by Cody Carnes-

The Ornament

Image result for christmas ornaments

I sit in a box all year

Waiting to share the Christmas cheer

When I was shiny and new

I was in the front, had the best view

Now that I am old and scratched

Another year of being in the back

Oh how I long to be

Out front so I can see

The family, the presents, the shows

Frosty, Rudolph and all the snow

But here I am in the back again

Ah, the front. I remember when

The first time on the tree

The first time you looked at me

I know you remember too

your smile as you hold me so is true

The light in your eyes as you recollect

The memories of days gone by we accept

A Letter To Santa

Dear Santa Christmas Letter In Envelope With Stamp. Holiday Child.. Royalty  Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock Illustration. Image 110044039.

Santa, I’m writing this letter

Asking for your help

I know in years past I’ve asked

For things for myself

But this year is a little different

And I know you know how

This world is a little dark and we could

Use some light right now

So many people are depressed

Giving up, waving the white flag

This year I’m asking for the world

If you could pull out of your bag

Some hope and put it

Underneath our trees

Some faith and give it

To those that don’t believe

And Santa we also need

Lots and lots of healing

All year round Christmas spirit

Open hearts, sharing feelings

But Santa, what we need the most

What we do not have enough of

I know it’s a big ask but what

We need is love, lots of love

Common Love Project | WolframAlderson.Com

What The World Needs Now (Cover) by Various –

Light A Candle by Wayne Haun –

Love Lighting The Dark by The Taylors –

The Story Of A Snowflake

 

This is a story of a snowflake. A unique and one of a kind snowflake. All snowflakes are  made that way by their creator.

The snowflake in our story was filled with joy. He loved being a one of a kind snowflake. He has his own personality and demeanor. He truly enjoyed being a snowflake.

When it was his time to go and fall to the ground he was ready. He remembered everything he had been taught. He remembered how much he was loved. The most important of these was to spread the word of love. To teach others what a true, sincere, and  unique kind of love looks like.

As he was falling to the ground he looked around at all of the other snowflakes. He could see they all were different than him, but they all had the same smile that he did. They were all so happy to finally being on their way to fulfill their destiny.

Then they all hit the ground and stopped. They were all piling on top of each other. Many were not happy. They started to complain.  How easily they forgot the joy they had just a few minutes ago.

Some of the angry snowflakes were getting so angry that they were starting to melt. Their anger was also affecting other snowflakes around them because they started to get angry also. Even the ones that were not getting angry were being affected because they started to melt also. They were unable to get themselves out of the situation they were in. They needed help.

Meanwhile, other snowflakes saw what was going on and turned their hearts away from the snowflakes that needed help. Their hearts grew so cold that they started to turn to ice. As their icy hearts expanded, they affected other snowflakes around them. The snowflakes that were filled with joy a few minutes ago were now filled with icy hearts and turning other joy filled hearts to ice also. They needed help.

Our snowflake saw all that was going on and remembered what he was taught. He started talking about their creator and his love for them. He talked about the joy that should be in their hearts. The joy they had just a few minutes ago. He reminded them how they all felt just a few minutes ago and not to let their circumstance affect how they feel.

They should be joyful. Look at the children coming out to play. All with smiles on their faces. Look at how happy we have made them. All by just being who we were created to be.

Oh, how the snowflakes loved the children. It was a love with no end. They loved to hear the giggles and to see all the smiles. They even loved to hear the joys of screams as the children rode their sleds over them. It reminded our snowflake about how much the creator loved him. He remembered how much he loved talking and laughing with the creator. He remembered everything he was taught and he knew changes were coming.

Warmer weather came and our snowflakes circumstances changed again. Our snowflake and his friends changed from unique snowflakes to drops of rain but their purpose was still the same. They will nourish the earth and provide the people with water to drink and water to grow their food. This is what we they were made to do.

Snow Flurries Possible In Highest Elevations Late Thursday Night | Blue  Ridge Life Magazine :

They enjoyed many things in their lives, especially the children, but they each knew that they were brought here for a purpose. Sometimes they found themselves in unbearable situations but those that remembered their purpose never faulted. They stayed strong when others grumbled. They loved when others hated. Some had to change from snow to rain to fulfill their purpose but they did so with love. They knew that not all people would listen to them when they were snowflakes. Not all people cared for the snow. They had to adapt to the world around them and changed to rain so that others would hear the message of love, taught to them by their creator.

Romans 14:1 — Verse of the Day for 11/11/2021

Like the snowflake, we are a community all made by our creator with one purpose and we will fulfill that purpose one way or the other. We each have our own unique blend of personalities, demeanor, and gifts. We also have to learn to adapt to our situations. What we talk about God to someone today might not work with the person we meet tomorrow. We have to speak love in a language our recipients want to hear. Do not judge, only love. We need to keep doing what we were put here by our creator to do and let Him, through us, open the eyes and hearts of those around us.

Limitless by Colton Dixon –

Hands and Feet by The Brilliance – 

According To His Word by Jared Anderson – 

That’s How You Change The World by Newsboys – 

With Every Act Of Love by Jason Gray – 

Ready Set Go by Royal Tailor – 

Save Me by Jason Lancaster – 

Living Word by Jeremy Camp – 

Love Alone Is Worth The Fight by Switchfoot – 

Living Word of God by Chris McClarney – 

Hands and Feet by Audio Adrenaline – 

Empty Field No More

It’s an empty field.

It seems like a few months ago it was lush and green. Your taste buds would wake up as you walked by it and smelled the vegetables that were growing.

I get that way in the spring. When the dirt is first turned and the fresh smell surfaces.

When hope is new.

When I have the choices right in front of me. How many rows to plow? Do I plant one vegetable or thirty vegetables? Or maybe I’ll let the field grow naturally and let it rest this year ?

Sometimes, when the summers get hot and the rain forgets to fall, or when the harvest is small, or when, like now, the fields are empty, I let those circumstances consume me and I forget I always have choices.

It’s my life and I decide what I will or will not plant. Will I plant love or forgiveness or hope or grace this year? Will I let someone or something take away what I plant or maybe convince me to not plant at all?

Will I let hate or unforgiveness grow like weeds and take over my field? Will I give up all hope as my world crashes around me? Will I let the darkness overcome my light?

Sometimes, when I look out at the empty field I see exactly that, an empty field. Nothing growing , dark times and death all around me.

And I can let that take over if I choose to do so. I can sigh and close the curtains and choose not to look out the window. Choose to not see the empty field.

But that doesn’t make it go away. It’s still there. And if I let it, it will always be there.

And there have been times in my life when that is exactly what I did. I chose to see the empty field instead of a field waiting for life to begin.

I’ve lost time, I’ve lost hope and I’ve lost me.

But as I’ve become older, and maybe matured some, I see the empty field for what it is, in the season it is in. A season of potential. A season of rest. A season to figure out what’s next.

It’s not a season of despair or hopelessness anymore. A season that I know, no matter what is happening in my life right now, I get to choose what’s next.

It’s a season of anticipation. A season of hope. A season to appreciate the present and look forward to the future. A season away from seeds being planted and to rest, but knowing the seeds are still there. Just waiting to mature and become what they are meant to be.

Maybe those seeds will grow. Maybe, if given enough light and rain and love, there will be a bountiful harvest.

And maybe no matter what I do, they won’t grow at all.

And I’ve come to a place in my life of acceptance. I’ve learned that either the seeds will grow or the seeds will not. And it’s okay either way.

I’m learning to be grateful in seasons of life and seasons of death. In seasons of love and seasons of lost love. I’m choosing to be grateful for what is and what was, and what will be.

I’m choosing to forgive myself for my past, for moments when I slip, when I may see an empty field again. For not seeing the empty field for more than what it is, potential.

I’m choosing to set boundaries and not let those boundaries be crossed again. Yes, there is grace and forgiveness, but no, I will not tolerate what I have tolerated in the past.

Because a field full of love or an empty field doesn’t change who I am. It doesn’t change what I know. That I am loved and that I am love. That I am forgiven and that I can forgive. That I have hope, that I am that hope, even when others do not see it.

I will choose to see the light. I will choose to love. I will choose to be who I am.

There’s not an empty field out there that I will see as an empty field anymore.

For where there is nothing, there’s always something right below the surface waiting to burst through.

And that’s how I will choose to live.

Who I Am by Ben Fuller –

Jesus’ Fault by Zach Williams –

God Thing by Anne Wilson –

Taking A Step Forward

I’m sitting on a wooden dock. The sun setting in front of me, my shadow stretching out behind me. The pinks, oranges, yellows, and reds from the sky color the water in front of me. Fireflies are starting to come out of their hiding places and light up the dark that’s approaching. The only sounds I hear are the crickets and the waves saying hello to the shore. I pay them no attention. Honestly, I’m so lost in my thoughts that a marching band could be playing behind me and I don’t think I’d really hear them.

That was three months ago.

They say no one heals the same. Grief is such a strange thing. Some days I feel like I’m going to be okay , but most days I just feel stuck. Like a mouse in a mousetrap. Trying so hard to get out of the trap but getting nowhere.

Today, I’m sitting on the same wooden dock. I haven’t seen the sun in days. Gray skies block the sun. My shadow has gone into hiding and the water is dark. The fireflies have gone into hibernation, dreaming of warm summer days to come again. The waves still quietly say hello to the shore. The never ending need to be seen and heard. I take a deep breath and exhale, watching my breath leave my body. It’s so cold my tears freeze as they roll down my cheek. I’m still so lost a bear could wander out of the woods and sit down beside me and I would pay it no mind.

How do I get over you being gone?

I feel hopeless. Prayers won’t bring you back. I feel so weak, but I know I’m not. It takes strength to wake up every day and get out of bed and continue life without you here. A strength, fortunately, most people don’t have to find, at least today. If only they lived each day like it would be their last, if I had lived each day like it would’ve been our last.

If I had lived that last day knowing it was my last day with you. Would I have done anything differently?

That’s the nagging question. Would I have done anything differently? I loved you with every ounce of my being but did you know that? I would’ve laid down for my life for you but did I ever tell you that? Or did you somehow know that without my words? If I had known would I have stayed up all night talking about everything, and nothing, to hear your voice for a few more hours, a few more minutes? If I had known, would I have held you a little tighter as we slept together one last time? Or would I have stayed awake just staring at you so I could memorize everything about your face?

Damn, these voices are so loud but I don’t know what is worse. All these questions or this silence that is so deafening sitting here.

I know I am punishing myself sitting here in the cold. Maybe if enough tears fall, I will wash you out of my system. Maybe if I shiver enough it will shake you out of my system. But I know neither of these will work.

You will still be here. Trapped inside my broken heart.

I look out at the dark water and talk to no one. Or maybe you are there. I don’t know.

What do I know?

I know that somehow I’m getting stronger each day. I know I am appreciating life more each day. I know I am more resilient than I thought I ever could be. I know with each breath in and each breath out that my heart is still beating.

I know the grass is greener after a thunderstorm. I know the sun and the stars are still behind these gray clouds. And I know the sunset is only the ending to that day and that the sunrise tomorrow will be a new day.

I know a broken heart heals one stitch at a time. Today, I will add another stitch. And someday it will be healed and the scar will make it stronger.

I know the earth keeps spinning, the sun will continue to shine, even behind the clouds, and that life goes on.

I know I can’t stay in this place. I know I need to find a way to move forward. Life hasn’t stopped and I know it’s time for me to get on with mine.

I know this pain is real. I know it will always be here. I know it will lessen with time.

Maybe the thing I know the most is I will always love you.

Maybe that’s enough for today.

I pick myself up off the dock and look back at the water again.

And with that I take a step forward. And then another. And then another.

Here’s To Moving On by Dashboard Confessional-

I’m Still Out Here by Casting Crowns-

Still Frame by Citizen Soldier-

Better Days Coming by MercyMe –

Don’t Lose Heart by Steven Curtis Chapman –

Still by Steven Curtis Chapman –

Begin Again by Fearless Soul –

Maize And Blue

At the beginning of this football season, Conor Smith and Megan Moroney wrote two songs about changing team colors for someone. That got me thinking that I would never change colors so I wrote this one. Of course, this is no where close to being an actual song. Will have to do some serious work on it but you can get the gist.

Maize and Blue

I was already more than a few beers in

I thought I might never have this chance again

I said what the hell and bought you a beer

Asked if you were from around here

You said you were just visiting friends

We talked and I hoped this night wouldn’t end

Your laughter came easy and your eyes sure did shine

I didn’t want to be anywhere else when your hand was in mine

Been a few years since we had that first beer at the Buckeye bar

I knew when I walked you home I fell in love under the stars

And it nearly broke my heart when I crashed back to earth

When she said she’ll always cheer for that team up north

I told her I’ll always bleed Scarlet and Grey

And I will until my dying day

Since the day we met, two things will always be true

I’ll love you and I’ll never wear maize and blue

I hate Alabama and the rest of the SEC

But I’ll yell Roll Tide before I cheer for the Wolverines

She said you know I won’t lie

I’m for anyone playing the Buckeyes

Then I thought there’s no way this is going to last

But I can’t say no when she kisses me like that

I can’t help the way she grew up

I can’t change the team that she loves

Been a few years since we had that first beer at the Buckeye bar

I knew when I walked you home I fell in love under the stars

And it nearly broke my heart when I crashed back to earth

When she said she’ll always cheer for that team up north

I told her I’ll always bleed Scarlet and Grey

And I will until my dying day

Since the day we met, two things will always be true

I’ll love you and I’ll never wear maize and blue

In November when we break her heart again

I’ll make her sing Carmen Ohio after another win

She said I know this’ll be our year

When we score I’ll get you to cheer

That’s when I knew love was blind

Because I knew she was out of her mind

Four weeks in November we tear each other apart

But she knows I love her with all my heart

Been a few years since we had that first beer at the Buckeye bar

I knew when I walked you home I fell in love under the stars

And it nearly broke my heart when I crashed back to earth

When she said she’ll always cheer for that team up north

I told her I’ll always bleed Scarlet and Grey

And I will until my dying day

Since the day we met, two things will always be true

I’ll love you and I’ll never wear maize and blue

Orange and White by Conner Smith –

Tennessee Orange by Megan Moroney –

I Hate Alabama by Conner Smith –

Had Me At Halftime by Morgan Wallen –

We Are Buckeyes by Joseph Allen White –

Ice Scraper, Ice Scraper

All summer long when it was hot

I didn’t give you a single thought

You sat on the shelf and didn’t forget

That you will, once again, be an asset

Now, here we are, the summer heat has gone away

The cold has settled in and there’s snow forecasted for today

Ice scraper, ice scraper, I sigh, I guess it’s time

To take you off the shelf and put you in the seat next to mine

Without you, there are times I could not drive

How many times have you cleared the snow and ice ?

Even though I can’t wait for winter to end

I’m glad you’re by my side, my winter friend