Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope that you had a wonderful day, filled with family, friends, togetherness, food and laughs, but most importantly, I hope that you took a moment to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Christ was born, so that we might live! God sent His Son to Earth, to dwell among us and no matter what, He continues to love and guide us! How awesome is that!?

This Christmas has felt different to me. It's not about December 25th, the gifts, the mad shopping, the decorations or anything that culture tells us today should be about. Christmas is about celebrating Christ's birth, while being surrounded by my family! We've laughed and cried this Christmas. I've had those moments of wishing I were in Liberia this Christmas. But then I sit in the living room and look around at the people that I'm surrounded by (while playing a mean game of Mafia) and am so grateful that I am here, right now, today, in a room full of love, happiness, comfort and joy.

And then, to see the video that's above--joyful kids in Liberia, experiencing Christmas. Thank you to everyone who donated a Christmas bundle--more than 300 bundles were delivered! I am continually grateful for the opportunity that God has given me to be His hands and feet to orphans in Liberia. I am thankful for all of you--the people who pray for me, love me, support me, read my blogs and send me emails of encouragement. I am also extremely grateful for my ORR family! I hate that I'm missing out on being with them right now, but that just makes my return all the sweeter!

God is SO good and SO faithful! His goodness and faithfulness started long before you and I were here, and His love and grace are definitely more than we deserve!

(And on another tangent...)

As my mom and I were preparing Christmas Eve dinner for 14 yesterday, we were blasting Chris Tomlin's Christmas album, Glory in the Highest. We started talking about our favorite Christmas songs. Now, I will admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas music. I can't stand it when that's all you hear starting the day after Thanksgiving (I think it's a combo of working in retail and radio for years--you hear it non-stop at both places.) But, when my mom asked me what my favorite song was, I replied, "I don't know why, but this year, a particular song has just stood out to me, and I LOVE it." So, I'll wrap my Christmas post up with the lyrics...I feel like it encompasses all that Christmas is about

O Holy Night

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.

Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!

O night divine, the night when Christ was born;

O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another,

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.

And in his name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,

With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,

His power and glory ever more proclaim!

His power and glory ever more proclaim!


rtmalone said...

O Holy Night, is my favorite Christmas song. I can remember listening to John Berry's version of the song. I think it was his that made me like it soooo much

Anonymous said...

Great post Ash! It did make me homesick though :( I'm glad you had a great Christmas with your family. And it makes me laugh to think of how there is often Christmas music playing in the Stoll household, even in the Spring and Summer...I think I remember it's because your Dad loves the Celine Dion album or something? Haha Miss all of you!