My Christmas Memory – What It Means to Me Now

written by Lillian Penner
12 · 17 · 21

As I was looking at the sad misshapen tree standing in the snow on the cover of a book I was reading last week, I was reminded of the Christmas tree we had at my house when I was a child.   

When I was six years old, my parents had very little money to spend at Christmas. For my parents to have enough money to buy a present for me, they decided to cut a branch from our juniper tree in the yard for our Christmas tree. I remember thinking it was ugly, rambling, and misshapen. I was disappointed. I wished they would buy a tree from a Christmas tree lot in a town like other families did.  

However, I recently found a picture taken that year with me standing by the branch (tree). After we had decorated it with a garland made of popcorn and cranberries, hung a few ornaments and silver tinsel; the tree did not look too bad. Remember when silver tinsel was popular?

Now when I remember what the straggly juniper branch looked like and compare it to the beautifully decorated shaped tree in my home, I see it differently. I see the straggly forlorn branch as a person’s life without God or one depleted from nourishment. The beautifully shaped tree in my home is a person’s life filled with God’s love, purpose and decorated with ornaments representing the fruit of the Spirit. 

God can take a straggly, sad life and transform it into a beautifully shaped, fulfilled life. Jesus tells us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” If we believe in him, he can change a straggly life into a beautiful new life, a flourishing life filled with love, peace, and joy.    

Often, our lives can become damaged and appear like a rambling, forlorn tree, misshapen by the trials, challenges, and disappointments of life. However, our lives will be transformed by renewing our minds with His Word into flourishing lives.  

God promises that when we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, giving Him every area of our lives, we will take on a true and proper shape. We will become a flourishing tree pointing others to God.  

When you see a Christmas tree this year, I hope it reminds you of the new life we can have in Christ Jesus, everlasting life when we invite Him into our lives and trust Him with the challenges and disappointments of life.  

  • Do you or any of your family members feel like a tree twisted, damaged, and made crooked by the fears, circumstances, difficulties, or sins in their lives? 
  • Do you or any of your family members feel all alone in this world? 

God is waiting to give you and your family members new life, nourishment, and fulfillment.  

  •    Ask God to show you, your family, and friend’s areas that need to be humbly submitted to the Lord, laying down all before Him as the wise men did when they brought their gifts to baby Jesus. 
  •    Ask God to help you, your family, and friends to give the damaged, flawed, and malformed areas of life to the Lord, resulting in flourishing, beautiful, God-shaped lives for Him.  

This post is from the book, Grandparenting with a Purpose, available for purchase at at a discounted price of $15.00, including shipping. It will make an excellent gift for the grandparents in your family.

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Lillian Penner


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