I was wrapping presents and thinking of each of you. Is peace and joy flowing through your home? Not so much? Us either. But it is not what it was last year. There has been growth. She has enjoyed almost every night of advent with us this month! Wow! But the wounds are deep still and the rages seem louder the last few days. Although I do not think all triggers are holidays or big events or that all kids that are spiraling are doing so because of Christmas, I do think the added commotion and lack of schedule and anticipation do compound the wounds are their hearts..... or maybe we are more distracted and less therapeutic? I know for me it is hard to say no to all of the little things I think will add to their experience of the season. I think there can be deep moments and traditions that let the chaos the world tempts us with settle beyond the doorstep. I am striving more this year than last to seek out those moments. Warm cocoa, family quilts, books, soft lights of the tree, cookies baking, candles burning. Simple joys to bring simple peace. And let us--and I speak more to myself than anyone-- seek it in our own hearts. Take the time for stillness. For your own quiet. Take our own warm happiness in your favorite mug by the tree. Reflect. Imbibe. He is good. He loves you, His daughter. He is working out these hurts though it may not always feel that way. He knows the work, the stress, the anguish, the deep valley you feel you are in. He knows. He loves. I cannot see that Babe in a manger without remembering the sacrifice and purpose for which He came. What a great reminder to my soul that He created my child on purpose for a purpose and wants me to help Him love her soul for that great purpose. To Christ alone be the glory! Forever and ever. Merry CHRISTmas!