O Holy Night

Thank you for embracing the less glossy, more imperfect side of Christmas with me. Glitter and merriment are more appealing on the surface for sure, but I'm convinced there are rich treasures to be unearthed on the imperfect side of the Christmas story.

As I was processing a few of the thoughtful but "concerned" responses to my last post, something hit me: imperfect doesn't equal unhappy. I'm okay, sweet friends. In fact, I'm beginning to sense that embracing imperfection is essential for embracing true joy and freedom!

But the journey on this side of Heaven does have it's rough patches.

Remember what I said about living in the tension between Jesus' first and second coming? It means living in the tension between the perfect and the imperfect. I felt that tension in a tangible way this Christmas.

On Christmas Eve morning, we felt the absence of a family tradition. Instead of spending the morning with my husband's family, we spent it quietly at home...just the four of us. An unexpected round two of Leukemia dashed our normal routine. IMPERFECT on so many levels. {Praying healing prayers over John, my husband's father.}

Yet on Christmas Eve evening, our songbird had the opportunity to use her musical gifts at church. O Holy Night is a challenging song {unless you're Celine Dion!}, but Hallie was beautiful, pure and PERFECT.

{An at-home practice with Daddy playing in the background.}

{The congregation was invited to join in, but this little angel
left everyone in silent awe...followed by loud and joyful clapping.}

And then there was the perfection of our sparkle and shine daughter who got all dressed up to match her new doll. Our Laura Finley adds life and glory to every occasion!

{We love your sparkle, sweet girl!}

But then just before midnight, another reminder of the IMPERFECT. After a long battle with dementia and 93 years of living, my grandmother passed away. And while it felt merciful on so many levels, death is a harsh contrast to the birth we celebrate on Christmas Day.

While you might be tempted to think that our Christmas was more gloomy than glorious, I really feel that there was something sacred and holy about every part of it...even the imperfect parts. Because imperfection has the potential to awaken a hope-filled longing for something more. 

"And now to the God who is able to do
immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine...."
Ephesians 3:20

Wishing you more than you can ask or imagine in 2012!


  1. Im so glad you are back...missed visiting you and your precious family here...
    Amy :)

  2. Wow Lins~ you've had a handful of curve balls thrown your way this holiday season. Sending you my love and condolences for your grandmother's passing and your father in law's health.

    Here's to 2012 my friend! Now I'm headed back to hear Hallie sing. ;)

    xo and big hugs~

  3. Linsey, I have missed you and am glad to have you back. I was wondering about your grandmother just this week. I know you have God's peace but I want to express my condolences and promise to lift up your family. I did not know of your father-in-law's illness which I know is difficult.

    Hallie is so beautiful and gifted. Tears of both awe and wonder how God gives gifts to his people came when I viewed her pose and boldness as she sang so expressively and played the guitar equally well.

    Laura Finley is beautiful and has grown taller. My granddaughter loves the American Girl dolls too. Dresses are so pretty.

    Colossians 1:11,12

  4. Wow, I sooo enjoyed Hallie's singing and playing and the (I think mandolin) accompaniment, as well! Your daughter is a beautiful blessing! And thank you for sharing your tender, godly perspective on the bittersweet Christmas time you all are experiencing. Love to you! ~Melissa Scott aka Realmom8 @ Bones in My Heart

  5. What a precious voice, such a precious gift. I loved hearing your songbird sing this beautiful song. And how absolutely adorable is she dressing up to match her doll! That is so sweet. Oh Linsey, I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.

  6. So sorry about your grandmother. Both of my grandfathers have passed away unexpectedly in the past three months... it's not fun... though glad they are with Jesus!

    LOVED that you shared Hallie singing with us. And Laura Finley is precious!

  7. Hi Linsey! I have never left a comment on your blog, but I have received so much insipiration, both for my home and my heart, since I stumbled upon it this summer! So, first, I say thank you! I also wanted to say how much I loved your oops tree skirt...what a perfect reminder of Joy #1...our savior and redeemer, Jesus Christ. Along this same vein...I can only imagine the Christmas your gradmother celebrated this year...a HEAVENLY christmas! The culmination of our loving God's gift!! I look forward to embracing the imperfect with you this year...perfection is a character flaw I'm resolving to be rid of!

  8. Linsey -- wow, you've had a heck of a Christmas season! Praying for your father-in-law! And wanted to share something eerie -- my grandmother passed away at about 11pm on Christmas Eve as well. I'll be praying for both our ladies! Happy New Year! 2012 has to be better -- that's what we keep telling ourselves! xoxo

  9. Linsey, I just heard the news on your mom's blog and popped over to give you my deepest sympathy. What a bittersweet Christmas. I understand what you mean about feeling the sacred and holy in the midst of the imperfection. Those can be some powerful moments. Be well.

  10. Oh wow friend, I think you have stumbled onto something powerful here. I thought of your words when my daughter struggled with the imperfect over our Christmas, and I even quoted your truth to her. I loved having that to comfort, so thank you. It makes so much sense to me, but I think I have loved control and the 'perfect' for far too long. I totally understand that things can be imperfect and good at the same time. Your daughters are inspiring and I see my girl in both of them. I am so sorry that you lost your grandmother, but pray that peace surrounds your family through the loss. You light up this blog world, and I am so glad you're back.

    Happy New Year and much love to you!

  11. i'm in tears listening to your sweet Hallie! amazing!! to be able to glorify God they way you do in the most painful of circumstances speaks volumes of your faith and your heart. your words will inspire so many. merry christmas, my friend, and the happiest of new years!! xo, tessa

  12. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful little family. May God Bless you BIG in 2012.

  13. what a delight to listen to her song! prayers for your family in the new year.

  14. Hi Linsey,
    I have been reading your blog for quite some time, but I'm not much of a "commenter!" However, I feel compelled to comment after reading this entry.
    First of all, I am terrible sorry for the loss of your grandmother. Grandparents are such a special part of our lives, and it's difficult to imagine life without them. I pray that your memories with her bring you peace and comfort. Also, I will be praying for your father-in-law, as he fights this battle with leukemia. We have close friends with a son fighting the same disease.
    I also wanted to tell you that my family and I live in Dallas, but we were in Houston visiting my family for Christmas. All of my family in Houston attends Grace Bible, so we went to the 4pm Christmas Eve service with them. I LOVE going to Grace whenever we are in town!
    What a treat to see your sweet daughter sitting just down the way from us! I had seen her on your blog, of course, and heard all about her beautiful voice. And then she went up on stage to sing and play her guitar with her Daddy right behind her playing his guitar with her!! It was truly the most amazing thing I have ever heard! My boys, which are your girl's ages, were in complete awe, as were we! What an amazing gift God has blessed her with, and I thank her for sharing that gift with all of us! It was a treat and an honor to be in that service!
    Thank you for writing a blog that inspires me daily! And many blessings to you and your family in 2012 and beyond...
    Courtney Follett

  15. i have no words
    i have been absent for a week
    the tension between..yes and we don't know what other's tension is oftentime. it can be so hidden.
    i am praying now for you. may His presence be made so known to you today in all it's sweetness. walking in abiding love every step of your way. knowing that your not alone and i do know there is a peace in the midst of the tension so hard to put into words..but know i'm here if ever you need an ear and prayer...always. i am back .. if ever so slowly;)
    love to you my friend...in His economy our distance is nothing but a prayer away

  16. I'm here via Fennel & Fern...and if I think I read right, you are in Houston. Which I am happy about because I moved to the area in the summer. Went to college in Galveston, from DFW and lived in FL for 8 years. I am definitely looking to connect with Houston creatives! Glad to have found your blog!

  17. Linsey,
    Sorry for your loss & struggles but glad you had some holiday rays of sunshine in there. Happy New Year,


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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