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Entries from December 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011


Looking Somewhere

Reflecting back on a year of ups and downs.

Highs. Lows. Kidneys. Toes.



A year of good times and rough times.

Laughs. Tears. Firsts. Lasts. Fears.


Pushing on into the next 365.

Hope. Plans. Dreams. Concerns.

So many paths to choose.


Shaking off regrets. Looking ahead.

Forcing myself to change.


Another year has gone by and the song is the same.

Will this be the year?

My year?

Didn’t I say that last year?

Don’t I say that every year?


The Stations

Last nights Blue Christmas service was great. It was a little different this year because we usually have our Youth and Family Minister lead it and he left out church earlier in the year. My sister, my best friend, and I lead the service instead. Normally we just sing and play the music.

The service went well and I really enjoyed having us lead all of the Meditations, Scripture Readings, and Prayers. The flow of it all was much more organic.

I started snapping some pictures after the service was over so I could share some of the different stations we set up around our church. I thought I would share those with you here and expand a little on each one because they all provide a lot of comfort and hope.


Candle Lighting Area – This is actually the altar we set up in our small chapel. When the service starts there are only a few candles lit to provide a little light. Most of what you see here are representative of the prayers someone said as they lit them. I was blessed to have a long list of prayers. I lit a candle for every prayer I was asked to give. Those prayers caused many tears to be shed but it also felt good. There were candles lying around you could pick up and use to light another for someone you love, for yourself, for a prayer, or whatever you like.


Burden Rocks – This station has a fountain running throughout the service. On the table are several rocks you can take and hold in your hand. I like to squeeze it as hard as I can to symbolize the pain in my life. I pour into that rock all the hurts me and then I drop into a basin of water below the table. I ask God to wash it all away. Everyone does it their own way when they feel the need. Nothing is required. Everything is open for you to experience or to not if you so choose.


The Manger – My son still has the strip of cloth he brought home from the first Blue Christmas service he attended. The Manger has strips of cloth in it for everyone to take. The cloth is a reminder of Christ coming to earth as a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths. Strips of cloth can remind us of the hope we have in Him.



Journaling – Just a few tables with pens, markers, paper, and crayons for drawing, writing, or whatever you want to do. I always end up drawing a picture of whatever is on my heart. I drew a Treble Clef sign, a cross, and a tree. Not sure what it all means but it is just what I felt at the time.




Labyrinth – Before I step into the labyrinth I ask God to fill my mind with whatever he wants me to have there and to leave all my stuff behind. With each turn and step I take I let my mind go. I have found myself laughing at memories or thoughts that pop into my head and crying about things in my past I want to forget about. The walk is a symbol of my life. Ups and down and twists and turns. All the while God knows where I am going and is watching over me.


Communion and Prayer – We leave our sanctuary open with communion waiting for you on the altar if you want it. Just sitting in the pews with only the cross illuminated is moving enough. Sitting and reflecting on God in your time and in your way is powerful. This is one station I spend a lot of time in.

Our pastor also sits in a room for individual prayer with whomever chooses to be prayed for.


 Last night had the most attendees we have ever had. That both makes me happy and sad at the same time. Happy that this service can be there for them but sad that so many more need it.

I have told our church council that I do not care how many people show up. To me it is worth it all for even one person. That is the right thing to do.

I think that is what God wants me to do.

I know it is.


Room On My List

I am still getting Tweets, Facebook messages, Emails, and comments from people wanting me to light a candle and say a prayer for them tonight and I still have lots of room for as many people who ask.

And if you don't want to or feel uncomfortable sharing than maybe you can join me tonight by lighting a candle in your home. 

Please know that it does not matter to me your religion, your beliefs, or anything like that. If you feel like a part of your heart is tugging at you to ask for a candle to be lit for whatever reason, I will do it. 



Light a Candle

Tomorrow is December 21st. The winter solstice. The longest night of the year. 

Every year on the 21st of December, our church has it's "Blue Christmas" service. This time of year can be difficult.  We are expected to be in the “holiday spirit” when things may not feel right. Money is tight, work is scarce, tensions are high, people are missed, relationships are missed, people hurt, and all the while the stocking are hung, the tree is lit, and there are cards in the mail.

Sometimes Christmas is not merry.

The Blue Christmas service is for those who feel the way I described but also for those who want to reflect on the Christmas gift of hope in a new way.

We need hope. We all do. And this service speaks to those of us that may be struggling with hope. It helps us first to know that it is okay to feel the way we do. And it also helps us to remember that we have so much to be hopeful for. 

The music is all acoustic, the lyrics of the songs are moving, and the space we hold the service in is small and intimate.

After the service there are "stations" that you can visit to help reflect even more on the holiday. One of these stations is a table filled with candles. You can light candles in memory of someone, in hope of something, for prayer, for whatever you want. 

For the last two years I have lit candles in honor of the D-OC and lit specific candles for those of you who asked. It was a blessing for me to be able to spend that time lighting those candles one by one and praying about whomever and whatever was asked. I hope that you will let me do that for you again this year.

If you would like me to light a candle and/or say a prayer for something, please let me know.

You can comment below, send me an email at ninjabetic@gmail.com, or send me a direct message on Twitter

I promise to take all of these requests with me tomorrow night and will light a candle for every single one. Even if it takes all night.

So, if you have something that is heavy on your heart. If you are struggling with this holiday season and are feeling down. If this year has been difficult and you need some positive thoughts sent your way. For whatever reason you have, please don't hesitate to let me know. I will keep any emails or direct message completely confidential. 

You are my family and friends and it would be an honor to be able to do this for you. 


I Know

I know it doesn't matter.

I know it's not a reflection of who I am.

I know it is only an average.

I should not be upset. 

I am though.


I hate even seeing it.

Oh well. 

Now I start the "get myself in gear" mode.