It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I have been busy completing three years toward my B.A. in English and my senior year is underway. My current class (Creative Writing) has finally given me the space to take off the tight harness of academic writing rules, and it feels SO GOOD!! After reading my first assignment, Mom and Daddy gave it their thumbs up and suggested I make it a blog post, so here it is. It is my story and their story. It's a little longer than my usual posts, but as with everything I have ever posted here, I pray it encourages you to run "up the sunbeam to the sun" (C. S. Lewis).

"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV

I sat above them on the stairs. Looking down through the window-like openings in the partition between the living room and the stairway, I listened to the basketball players, football players, baseball players, wrestlers, track athletes, both the lettermen and the also-…

Simple Simplicity

I love Christmas lights!!  I love the color and dazzle they bring!  I love that they illustrate the truth that Jesus came as the Light of the world!  Every year there are a number of houses I can't wait to see decorated! Some of them are so elaborate, I think the people must have to start around the 4th of July to get all those lights in place for the next Christmas season!  I love it that there are people who will go to these lengths, but it makes me tired just to think about all that work!!  Here is a video of one such magical place (I've never been there, but would love to see this in person!)--more power to 'em!!

Pretty great, huh?!!  I think so too!

Of all the houses that I love to see decorated, there is one house I look forward to more than all the others.  They came through for me just this past weekend, much to my delight!!  My son called me a "creeper" for going and lurking in front of this house, quietly snapping pictures to capture it, but I LOVE THIS PLACE and I HAD to share it with you!!  


How amazing is that?!!!  Do you not love the complete and utter simple simplicity of this?  It makes me happy every. single. year!!  I think it is brilliant that with the changing of two little light bulbs, this guy (it has to be a guy, right?) makes his statement crystal clear--THIS HOUSE CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS!  No fuss, no muss, no complications, but so definite, so distinct!

It is easy to feel pressured by the expectations of the season, by traditions you may or may not love, by what the neighbors do, by your own desire to do something superlative to celebrate Christmas.  It can be disheartening if your circumstances don't allow you to celebrate the way you picture it in your ideal Christmas visions.
This gloriously (albeit simply) adorned house puts it all back in perspective.

God did the most amazing, unimaginable and God-sized miracle that first Christmas, but He did it in the humblest of places through the most ordinary people with an audience of animals and farm hands under the light of one single star.  How could He do something so great, so grand, so anticipated, so desperately needed--and do it in such unassuming simplicity?

As I try to prepare both my home and my heart for Christmas, I think often of these two simple lamps that say openly, definitely, distinctly, "This house celebrates Christmas!"  It makes me want to keep Christmas simple no matter the complications of the preparations.  

I pray that I can keep Jesus Christ and His beautiful, humble, passion to save the world, foremost in all I do.  In all of our efforts to observe Christmas, I want, like the simple simplicity of a red bulb and a green bulb that symbolize so much more, to be stayed on the simple simplicity of Christmas.  I want to fix my mind on the God who saw sinners in need of a Savior and said, "Go to their rescue, my Son!"  I want to know no other Christmas thought than "Immanuel, God with us!"  I want no other purpose but to say, "This heart celebrates the Christ of Christmas!"

For you, you who are kind enough to come read the words I offer, if you've never met the Son of God, the One who set aside His divine privilege for the joy of coming to your rescue, I pray that this would be the Christmas when true Christmas finds its way into your heart forever!  And if you know Him, oh I hope you know Him, I pray that you would know Him more vividly, more deeply and more in the simple simplicity of profound JOY than ever before!

"For God so loved the world,
that He gave
His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish
 but have
eternal life."
John 3:16 ESV

That, simply, is Christmas.

How do you keep Christmas simple, even in the midst of elaborate preparations?

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  1. I love Christmas lights as well. The amazing displays synchronized to music, and the simple red and green porch lights.I think my favorite is when you see a simple light shining from a window.

  2. I love both the flashy house and the simple house. But I'm definitely the latter. :-)

  3. Christmas lights are a simple way to celebrate and express our joy. I love seeing all the lights in the neighborhood. Wish there were more! Thanks, Shaunie for your encouraging post in the jam!

  4. Jeri @godsdreamsformeDecember 9, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    I want to fix my mind on the God who saw sinners in need of a Savior and said, "Go to their rescue, my Son!" - What a great encouragement to remember.

    Christmas lights are the best!

  5. Shaunie Friday @ Up the SunbeamDecember 9, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    I saw a house like that just tonight with just a single light in the upstairs window--it kind of made it look like it was a signal lamp saying that they were waiting and watching for Him to come again!! Won't that be the best day ever???!!!

  6. Shaunie Friday @ Up the SunbeamDecember 9, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    We have a more simple house too Lisa, but I'm with you, I love it all!!

  7. Shaunie Friday @ Up the SunbeamDecember 9, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    Thank you so much for providing the gathering place Bonnie!!

  8. Shaunie Friday @ Up the SunbeamDecember 9, 2010 at 11:52 PM

    Thank you Jeri--I'm delighted that this post encouraged you!!

  9. "This heart celebrates Christmas!" I love it! If only it were so simple as wearing a red and green sweater to let people know all about the celebration. Maybe it is . . .

  10. Shaunie Friday @ Up the SunbeamDecember 15, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    Judging from the numbers of red and green sweaters I see walking around, maybe people are doing that very thing Sheryl! :)

  11. I have to admit, when I first saw the green/red light photo I was like, "Huh? Did I miss something?" I scrolled up...then down...then I finally realized that was IT. And I laughed! But yes, I can see the beauty in simplicity, I can! I think sometimes I am blinded by all the fluff, I miss the real story. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.


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