Tag Archives: Christmas

Canceling Christmas (When You Have 22 Kids!)

Canceling Christmas, by Sue Badeau

Sue Badeau Laurie with her cookie tray“You have HOW MANY children?” Upon hearing that the answer is 22, 2 by birth and 20 adopted, the next statement many people make is “Christmas must be amazing in your house!”

Truly, Christmas IS amazing in our house. When my husband and I were first married 35 years ago, we began a tradition of doing something special on each day of advent to allow the anticipation to build, the light and joy of the season to grow day by day in the spirit of “Maranatha.” The activities ranged from baking special recipes, to making homemade ornaments, to reaching out and visiting a nursing home or prison. As each new child joined the family, these festivities also grew and traditions from each of their heritage, memory and culture were added to the mix. The whole month of December became a magnificent, chaotic cacophony of joyful noise and bustling energy.Sue Badeau Christmas_Short_Street_stockings

December in our house never included a moment of rest.

One year, things had been particularly stressful for months. Bad news, seemingly insurmountable challenges, illnesses, and even deaths were all piling up along with the endless stack of bills to be paid. Another blow was dealt to us just days after Thanksgiving and my husband and I had reached the breaking point. “That’s it!” We declared that we had just had enough and we were “canceling Christmas.” We held a family meeting and told the children that this year, there would be no Christmas. No activities, no cookies and eggnog, no lights, no tree, no stockings hung from the bannister. And most importantly, no gifts.Sue Badeau 2008Christmasphotocard

We needed a break from the action. We needed rest.

Three of our children – ages 11, 12 and 14 – had a different idea. They had a small after school job helping to deliver firewood. Secretly they decided to pool their pay and tips and buy gifts for the entire family. Stealthily they accomplished their mission with no one, not even mom and dad, catching on. Excitedly, they waited until after everyone had gone to bed on Christmas Eve and then tiptoed into the living room and filled every stocking and added a pile of wrapped gifts around the fireplace.

The astonished faces and tears of joy that graced our home that Christmas morning have never left my mind, or my heart. It was only by accident that I discovered who the 3 secret elves were, and I have kept their secret. Like the very first Christmas-mother, I too have “treasured up all these things and pondered them in (my) heart.” (Luke 2:19).Sue Badeau Stockings on Bannister

The dollar-store goodies that they provided were worth more than all the other gifts of Christmas past and future. We learned a simple and profound lesson that year. Christmas simply cannot be cancelled. Even in the darkest of times in our life and even in the darkest spaces in our world, the light of Christmas will not stay under the bushel-basket. The light will burst forth, spilling and spreading and dancing brighter and brighter as it is shared. The light of Christmas brings not only joy but refreshment and rest to the weary, and satisfies those who are feeling faint.

As the chaos and noisiness of the first festivities of Advent 2014 begin with rambunctious grandchildren excitedly setting out the decorations while others stir up the cookies and blend up the eggnog, I am bursting with gratitude and reminded that Christmas is ALWAYS amazing in our house!

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:25

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Sue Badeau CCCA 14Sue Badeau is a national inspirational speaker and writer and a graduate of both Christian Communicators and Christian Communicators ADVANCED. She and her husband Hector have raised 22 children of diverse backgrounds, many with disabilities, 3 with terminal illnesses who have passed away. They now enjoy 35 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

Sue is the author of Are We There Yet? Adopting and Raising 22 KidsRoots and Wings at Loonstone Lake, The Christmas Primer, ‘Tis the Season in Sweetland, and Roots and Wings at Loonstone Lake, Volume 2.

The Badeaus understand that parents caring for children with special needs often need rest and refreshment, so while Sue continues to use her life experiences to inspire others through her speaking, they are also developing a ministry to open their home to provide rest, refreshment and care for caregivers. To learn more about their family and vision, or Sue’s speaking, visit www.badeaufamily.com and www.suebadeau.com . Maranatha!

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Parting Words From The WORD…His Kingdom Will Never End

Girl baby feetHis reign was foretold 700 years before His birth.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And we still proclaim Him 2000 years after His death.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33

His kingdom will never end.

I pray God’s blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

(Photo courtesy of ChristianPhotos.net)

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Parting Words From The WORD…Mary Claimed Peace

nativityEvery year about this time, chaos descends. There are presents to buy, baking to do, and gatherings to attend. But as I think back to the reason we celebrate, I see Mary’s first Christmas was very different from ours.

Luke 1:29 says that Mary was greatly troubled, and I had always thought she was troubled because she had been told she was going to have a baby. But when I studied the scripture, I realized she hadn’t even been told the news yet.

Instead, Mary was troubled because the angel had appeared to her. And I can see why—after all, it’s not everyday that you have an angel standing there talking to you! Yea, I think I would find that a little troubling. As a matter of fact, one Bible commentary for the book of Luke actually said people often responded with fear or awe when confronted with acts of God, like seeing an angel. (Ya think?)

Then the angel tells her “Christmas was coming” and it was going to take a little bit of work on her part. Now, granted, he didn’t say it in exactly those terms. But we can all agree Mary’s to-do list suddenly got bigger.

  • Get water from the well
  • Feed the goats
  • Grind the wheat
  • Bake the bread
  • Have a baby…huh?

Not only have a baby, but have a baby without the benefit of being married. A baby who would be the Savior of the world! Now, that could be a little frightening for any of us. But think about this: she not only wasn’t married, but it was physically impossible for her to be pregnant. Yea, I’d say that could be a little troubling.

But instead of panicking, what did Mary do?

  • She submitted to the plan. In Luke 1:35 it doesn’t say “the Holy Spirit has come over you,” it says “the Holy Spirit WILL come over you.” Yes, the angel had delivered the message, but it wasn’t a done deal until she submitted to the plan. (Of course, God knew what she would say.)
  • She trusted God. She trusted Him with her life! Even as a young girl carrying the Christ-child, she could have been killed because she wasn’t married. And yet, she didn’t say, “Who’s going to protect me? Who’s going to take care of me?” She simply said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

In the midst of the fear, Mary claimed peace. Her life was about to turn upside down into chaos, and yet she claimed peace.

Do you feel that life is making your plans for Christmas? Do you feel like the burden is too great? I know sometimes I do. But that’s when we need to stop, submit to HIS plan, and then trust Him to work out the details. We can be like Mary, we can claim peace at a time when peace is hard to find. But we can’t do it until we agree to work on His plan and His timetable.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said. Luke 1:38 (NIV)

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD . . . A Baby Changed Everything

During the Christmas season, it has become my Christian Writer’s Den tradition to post this beautiful video and the life-giving words it proclaims. I’ve done it now for several years, and each time I hear it, I still get chills and my eyes fill with tears.

When Jesus was born, everything was changed.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the beautiful images from the film, The Nativity, and listen to the words of this powerful song sung by Faith Hill.

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For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)

During this blessed Christmas season, I’m especially thankful a Baby changed everything for me. And He wants to change everything for you, too.

I was lost but now I’m found! Hallelujah!

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

nativity_lightenedOn Wednesday I shared a summary of Pastor Larry Scott’s three part message about the night Jesus was born.

  1. His first cry was the beginning of the end of Satan’s reign here on earth.
  2. God was saying redemption had come.
  3. Hope was restored, and we didn’t have to live in fear and sorrow anymore.

And then at our Christmas Eve service, Pastor Larry added another element of Hope: On the day of Christ’s resurrection, hope was revealed.

Hope was revealed when Jesus overcame death and the grave. It was the crowning glory, the last step of God’s plan for grace for all who believe in Him.

And Jesus Himself confirmed it. After He rode into Jerusalem, celebrated as king, He again predicted His death, and confirmed it was the very the reason He was born:

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” John 12:27-28a (NIV)

So as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let’s not forget that His birth was only the first step. A step that brought God to earth in the form of a baby…progressed to His death and resurrection…and revealed the completion of redemption.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Vonda

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A Baby Changed Everything on Christmas Day

My Pastor, Larry Scott, gave a summary of Christmas that I’d love to share with you today.

  1. When Jesus was born, His first cry was the beginning of the end of Satan’s reign on earth.
  2. When Jesus was born, God was saying redemption has come.
  3. When Jesus was born, hope was restored. We no longer have to live this life in sorrow and fear of the enemy.

When Jesus was born, everything was changed.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the beautiful images and listen to the words of this powerful song sung by Faith Hill.

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For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)

On this blessed Christmas day, I’m so thankful a Baby changed everything for me. And He wants to change everything for you, too.

I was lost but now I’m found! Hallelujah!

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver together.

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

Christmas Present Wrapped in Gold and Silver 2000

As we celebrate the Gift of Christmas, let’s remember Him as

…the Son

…the Sacrifice

…the resurrected Savior

…the Almighty God

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Parting Words From The WORD…

We all grew up hearing the classic Christmas story, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Although its authorship is disputed (it has been attributed to both Clement Clarke Moore and Henry Livingston Jr. through the years), we do know it was first published in the Troy Sentinel newspaper in upstate New York on December 23, 1823.

But that’s not the only story about the night before Christmas. Over 2,000 years ago, there was another story happening the night before Christmas. And its author is not disputed. Father God breathed the words to Luke, who wrote them down for you and me.

It was a night that changed the world.

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But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 2:30-33

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

nativity_lightenedHis reign was foretold 700 years before His birth.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And we proclaim Him 2000 years after His death.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33

His kingdom will never end. Regardless of what’s going on in the Middle East, in America, or right in our own homes, His kingdom will never end.

Praise Him!

I pray His richest blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver!

Vonda

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Merry Christmas Season from North Point Church iBand…and Me, & Who Won Lisa Carter’s Book?

I’ve shown this video at Christmas before, but I love revisiting it ever year. This is Christmas music as you’ve probably never seen or heard it before! Technologically performed by my daughter’s church, North Point Church.

Enjoy! You’ll be glad you did!

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Lisa Carter aloha_rose_cover_lores

Who Won Lisa Carter’s Book?

And the winner is…Linda Greer! Congratulations, Linda! Now all you need to do is Contact Me with your snail mail address and Lisa will have your book right out to you!

And readers, since I know you’re gonna want your own copy, here’s a direct Amazon link to Aloha Rose. Order yours today and have it in just a few days!

 

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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