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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Focus



I had a different post planned for today. More about gifts, and giving, and drumming up some last-minute Christmas cheer. And I had another post planned about the true meaning of Christmas because, after all, this wouldn't be the Christian blog I claim it is without that.

But, as much as I say I'm focused on Him, rather than all the sparkle around me, somehow I've spent the majority of yet another Christmas season wrapped up in things I can hold in my hands. I've still been focused on Christmas decor. Christmas gifts. Christmas food. Christmas things.


But, the Lord has ways of changing our focus. Yesterday, tragedy struck a friend of mine. Many of you know her as well. Her name is Edie. She has a blog called Life in Grace where she writes about her family, her faith, and her beautiful home. (You may recall when I posted about her here.) Well, yesterday, she lost one of those three things she writes to us about. Due to a fire in the night, they lost their home and all their earthly possessions. Praise the Lord, they all escaped safely. But, a loss like that, at a time like this, can only be understood by those who have been through it themselves.

It's amazing how news like this can bring everything into focus.



I can't get them off of my mind since yesterday and I've been praying continuously for them as I urge you all to do as well. I look forward to reading in the future how God takes care of them through this. And the things they learn. And about Edie's true Life in Grace.

As you think of their family, I hope this brings your Christmas into focus as well. Christmas things do not make it Christmas. Jesus really is the reason. For this season and for every other one as well. He's the reason there is no need to despair. Even when tragedy strikes. He's the reason we have hope. For this life and the next. If you're missing that, you're missing it all. If all Jesus is to you is a figure in a nativity scene or a story you've heard about, please let me share with you how to change that.

I pray it's Christmas in your heart even more so than in your home.


God Bless you all.

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24 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! I just started following Life In Grace and requested Edie as a FB friend yesterday! I loves her blog and literally wept over her last one about Santa Clause Theology. I saw on her FB that she lived in Knoxville. I lived there too for 2 years while in grad school and would love to move back. I felt like her soul sister when I saw it and oddly, I dreamed about it last night! No kidding! I will pray. Please tell her though I know she doesn't know me that I'm praying and so grateful to our precious Lord for keeping them safe.

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  2. No!! Their beautiful new lake house! I'm so sad for them, but God is so good to have seen them all safely out of harm's way. Praying hard that He will continue to hold them in His healing hands, and that they may find kind shelter from this storm.

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  3. God's timing is always perfect! Thank you for this post. My heart goes out to Edie and her family...I will surely keep them close in my thoughts and prayers. Life in Grace...such powerful words! My thoughts this Christmas have been somewhat focused but slightly blurry...and your post has helped put everything into sharp focus! Praise God for his endless love...and grace...and wisdom...and forgiveness...we are all so blessed. You have touched me with your words...my heart will never be quite the same after reading this post...thank you. Merry Christmas! God is good all the time...I'm so thankful for these reminders.
    Edie - if you read this...hang in there...your blog readers love you and are sending healing thoughts and prayers your way! God bless you and your family! I'm so thankful you all were not hurt in the fire.

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  4. Julie- That is awful. I know exactly what you mean because I always get all caught up in the trappings of Christmas...and somehow seem to push to the side the real reason for the Holiday.

    I am saying a prayer for your friend and her family. It will be months before she even realizes a lot of what is gone. My heart aches for them! Hugs- Diana

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  5. oh that is just awful. it is times like these though that we realize we have everything that matters in our family and friends. yes, it is devastating and horrible to lose posessions, but thank god for the blessings we do have in our children, spouses, parents, friends...

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  6. Julie, that is terrible news! My in-laws were over visiting last night and received a phone call that their close friends' home burned to the ground in the middle of the night too. They lost everything! How horrible. We just sat there in shock and said the same thing, it totally puts things into perspective. They too are a strong Christian family and have put their faith in the LORD. I will pray for Edie and her sweet family.

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  7. So sorry to hear this. So glad that Edie and family are safe. I will keep them in my prayers as they get through this very difficult time. Amelia

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  8. Oh man! What a horrible thing to have happen. I am glad that everyone was ok though. That is the most important thing. I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers!

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  9. Christmas Blessings to you and your family, From my mountain to yours Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

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  10. Oh no! I am so sorry to hear about Edie's house, but glad to know that she and her family are safe. She's one of my favorite bloggers! The Lord does indeed have a way of changing our focus. That's something I've been thinking about a lot lately too.

    Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

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  11. Julie, Thank you for posting this about Edie. I am so heartbroken for their loss, but thankful that the family all made it out OK. Edie and her beautiful family are in our prayers. May the birth of our Lord Jesus fill their hearts with peace in this time of tragedy.
    ~Amy

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  12. Praying for her and her family.

    She is one of my favorite bloggers.

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  13. I still can't believe it. Jumping to all of you who wrote something. Heart is broken for her and her sweet family!

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  14. Hi Julie,

    Thank you for posting about Edie's loss, I was kinda worried since she hasn't posted in a few days. Edie- I know your comments are closed but if you happen to read this, please know that i am praying hard for you and your family. I am just sick hearing about your home but I have faith that your family's strength will see you through. Much love and prayers going out to you.

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  15. Your photos here illustrate our human condition so well. It's so clear to see that the second photo is so much lovelier!

    Praying for Edie. She's been wrapped up in my heart all weekend long and I only wish I wasn't so doggone far away.

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  16. My thoughts and prayers are with them. I cannot even imagine what that must have been like, but rejoicing that the whole family is safe. Jackie

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  17. So sad... I posted on my blog as well.. Nothing works like a prayer chain fo love to her and her family. Prayers from Texas!

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  18. I found this blog through a series of blogs and it has struck a chord. At 12:30am this morning, my mother in law woke me, my husband, my boys, my sister in law and her family to tell us that their houe was on fire. We all escaped without harm and have lost earthly things. While it is hard, the Lord has given my in laws and us supernatural peace. The house burned to the ground. They live on top of a mountain and we were snowed in, so the fire truck could not make it up to put out the fire. My prayer are with Edie and her family. He is faithful!

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  19. Wow! That is so terrible. I can't imagine how traumatic that must have been. I will keep her in my thoughts & prayers. I hope she stays strong & keeps her faith in God.

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  20. I am praying for Edie and her family tonight. You are so right. Christmas is more than things... it is about the salvation of the world through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christmas is when HOPE was born.

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  21. Hi. I found your blog through reading about Edie. I'm so sorry for them. I got sidetracked (for a long time!!) looking at your blog. I love your home. I'm curious if the chandelier over your breakkfast table is from Pottery Barn. I just ordered a very similar chandelier from them. I love it! I'm also curious what verse you have on your wall. I can see Psalm, but can't read the rest.

    It's all beautiful! We are redoing a house that we will move into in February. Daunting task!

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  22. Hi, Just stoping by via Edie's blog, Thanks for sharing her story. 5 years ago I was in her shoes and it's a heart breaking place to be.
    She will find blessings in the ashes, In time! I did, Thanks to my faith. Many Blessings, Deborah from www.artnsoulbydeborah.com

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  23. What a beautiful post. I can always use a reminder to put the important things in focus. Thank you.

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  24. I'm not sure how old this post is, but i came to your blog because of your visor clip idea i saw on pinterest and somehow i managed to read this. The whole reason i am sitting at my computer on Christmas morning is because my 8 year old son is at his dad this morning and i can not get my 2 year old (or my husband) to wake up. So basically i wasn't in a real Christmas mood. So i can't thank you enough for putting this story on here!!! God sure does have a way to help put things into focus. I believe this happened a few years ago, so i pray the family has recovered from their loss, but i am sure they will never forget! Thanks again, i needed a reminder myself.

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I love hearing from each of you and will do my best to respond! Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you're here!