Merry Christmas, friends! With this being such a special season for each of us here at The Small Seed, especially by participating in the Light the World campaign, we wanted to share our experiences from trying to serve like Christ this December, our testimonies of the Savior, and some of our favorite images of Him with you. All that we do here at the Small Seed is because of Him.
We know that He lives. He loves us! And He stands ready to help always. Wishing you and your families a beautiful Christmas Day.
You know that feeling where you’re so full of joy that your heart feels like it will burst? And tears well up in your eyes and you are overcome with gratitutde? Christmas brings those feelings more than other time of year. The “Light the World” campaign has facilitated even more of those beautiful, heart-bursting feelings. Each act of service brought more and more of the Christmas spirit into our home and our hearts. The spirit of Christ, lighting our world and our hearts on fire. What a blessing to behold!
I know that every feeling of joy and happiness comes from the Savior, Jesus Christ. He did so that we could live a full, beautiful, inspiring life. And ultimately return to live with Him. There is nothing in this world that brings more peace. Merry Christmas to all!
Each year on Christmas morning my little family gathers around the Christmas tree and, before we open presents, we find the little red velvet bag that is filled with Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. We remember the wise men who brought gifts to Christ and recall that that is why we give gifts to others. Our little red bag also includes a quote that reads,
“When we find him, will we be prepared as were the wise men of old to provide gifts from our many treasures? They presented gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These are not the gifts Jesus asks of us. From the treasure of our hearts Jesus asks that we give of ourselves.” – Thomas S. Monson
Never before have I understood that quote as I do this year. This whole month our focus has been on giving those gifts of our hearts to our Savior through our service to others. What a change it has made in me, and in my family. I have felt His love more deeply – both for myself and for others. I have been more aware of the needs of others and less aware of my own wants. I have felt His light brighten my life and I have seen it brightening the lives of others.
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, today I express my deep gratitude and love for Him. From His humble birth to His triumphant resurrection and every act of love and service in between.
My testimony of Jesus Christ is simple. Yet, something I feel so deep within my soul that there are no words that could ever adequately express what He means to me. I testify that He isn’t some unforeseen hopeful figure of deity – but that He lives! He lives and is as real and as tangible as we want Him to be. I testify that He has indeed saved me from places I thought I could never be saved from. I testify that His promises are real! His peace is real, His power to heal is real, and His enabling grace is real! I testify that with Him, next to Him, nothing is impossible. For with Him, we are enough! For He is enough! I love Him.
Oh how I love Him. He is my Savior, Redeemer, Lord, Light, Brother and Friend. He is the reason I can move forward on bad days and the reason I find happiness in good days. He is my everything. And anything I hope to be is because of who He is and what He has done for me personally. How thankful I am for this beautiful Christmas season that we have to remember Him – and to try, just a little harder, to let Him into our lives. I pray that we may take this spirit of Christmas and cherish it throughout the entire year! How thankful I am for this community, for you, and for a place that allows me to testify of God and his son Jesus Christ! I pray each and everyone of you have a Merry Christmas and a beautiful Christ centered New Year!
The thing I have felt above all this Christmas season is Christ’s goodness. The more I understand Christ’s life and the more I ask Him for help in my life, the more in awe I become of His character. He reached upward and outwards in situations when I would not have had the personal strength than to do more than look inwards at personal pain. He never let how He felt change His commitment to act on what He knew. Above all, He was good. Truly good.
As I spend time in the scriptures and doing the things Christ did, I feel a deep sense of His goodness. That goodness brings light and hope and feels like home. God has reminded me several times during this busy season that really only one thing is needful: the light of the Savior. It is more important than the glitter and tinsel of the season, true, and extending beyond that, the light of the Savior is more important than a variety of things I carry around every day: worry, guilt, inadequacy, fear, comparison, hurt (the list could go on).
This Christmas season I am reminded not only that Christ’s burden is light (Matthew 11:30) but also that it is filled with light. As I focus on Christ and exchange my worrisome burdens for His – binding and brokenhearted, giving beauty for ashes, lifting the hands which hang down, and strengthening feeble knees – I feel lightened and I feel LIGHT. Christ’s light. He is our Savior. His birth, His life, His constant strength and His steady hand radiate goodness and peace.
I think our family probably has a pretty typical holiday season. The sugar rush that started with halloween and surged at Thanksgiving, continues on through to Christmastime. Activities, festivities, and projects pile up along with the snow. Earnestly we said that THIS year, this year things would be different. We cut out the old fluff but somehow twice as much new fluff crept in to take its place, like some sort of mythical Christmas hydra.
As a family, we counseled (again) about how to boycott the busy and choose a Christmas that honors Christ. We had a special family lesson. We discussed with our children the concept of GIVING a gift to Christ. In this simple and small way, a beautiful thing happened in our home.
Our five-year-old thought and thought about what he could bring to the babe in the manger. I could practically see a little lightbulb over his sweet, happy face as he made the connection. “Hey, Mom! What about Light the World? That’s what we can give to Jesus! What does [the calendar] say for today?!?”
He got it. And, for my mother heart, Christmas came right then. The feeling flared bright, helping me recognize this moment for what it was. Our own small echo of the glad tidings of great joy.
While the hustle and bustle of Christmas are always with us, I too want Him to always be with us. For after all the rush and fanfare, these shining moments weave luster into my otherwise ordinary work, making life beautiful and meaningful again.
My heart is full with Merry Christmas wishes the world over, peace and good will toward men. I’m grateful I was able to participate in Light the World with all of you.
I gave birth to my second child just one week ago and it’s true what they say- having a baby around Christmas is truly, very special. As I hold my new daughter’s tiny body in my arms I can’t help but think about Christ’s earthly mother, Mary, and how she must have felt holding her infant son, Jesus, in her arms. Was she overwhelmed at the task of raising the Savior of the world? Did she know all he was destined to do? Or the multitudes that would sing hosannas to His name?
As a mother, I firmly believe that the most important place I can make an impact is in my own home. Participating in this year’s Light the World challenge has done more than Light the world, its brought the light of Christ into my home! And to me, there’s nothing more important. As I’ve tried to follow Christ’s example each day, I’ve felt his presence more abundantly in all I do. He lives! I know it more firmly than I know almost anything else. He came to earth as a tiny infant, and became the Savior of the world. He is the way, the truth, and the light. It’s my prayer that even when this Holiday season comes to a close, we can all continue to #LIGHTtheWORLD with His love. Merry Christmas everyone!!
“Let every heart prepare Him room…” I listened to an unlikely group (the Rockettes!) sing that heralded prayer in the heart of New York City this week and realized that that is what happened to me this Christmas season as I did my best to participate in stunning Light the World campaign. Because I focused daily on Him and who He is, along with what He has done and will still do for all, and then attempted to help others like He always helps, a heart with more room for Christ was the end result for me. Thus heaven has felt close this Christmas.
I’m so grateful for Jesus Christ. I’m grateful for His constancy. He is so good and so steady. How one can keep loving so many so perfectly is so beyond my comprehension, but the fact that He does love so surely and steadily does not escape my feelings, and I’m grateful to know that He cares for me. All the time, always. He cares for us all. How I hope to soldier on with you and carry on His love and #LIGHTtheWORLD through the coming year! How I hope to forever let my heart give Him such sweet room.
I know that Christ is my Savior – I’ve always known it and felt it deep in my soul. But this year as I was reminded every day to #LightTheWorld, I was also reminded that Christ is the light of the world – He is the light of my world.
After my fourth baby was born this year, I’ve been struggling with bouts of anxiety, which is a new struggle to me. As I’ve worked through these feelings of hopelessness and fear, I have only felt comfort when I think of Christ. He suffered for me, so that I can live a more enlightened [not fearful] life. He bore my burdens so that my burdens will be light. The imagery of Him as MY light this Christmas season has lifted my heart and calmed my trepidation. I am eternally grateful for God’s sacrifice of His son, even Jesus the Christ, the Savior and Light of the World.
I was looking forward to the start of this #LIGHTtheWORLD campaign from the minute I heard about it. December first rolled around however and I was NOT ready. Now I had all my goods printed and ready to go, but I just didn’t feel mentally prepared to serve. I am in my eighth month of pregnancy with three other little kids at home with me all day, not to mention the usual December festivities, party planning, shopping and decorating (you know how it goes!). It had been a rough day and I was feeling sad that the start to our family’s attempt to light the world turned out to be a poorly planned day of finally grocery shopping with two energetic little boys, a tired (and ornery) mother, a sick girl and a Daddy burdened down with finals week.
As I drove home from the grocery store that night feeling sad and overwhelmed with the month ahead I had a thought come to my head reminding me of the service I am already doing in my home right now (all day every day, really the way most of my days look!). This comforted me, cheered me up and changed my mindset about my whole purpose right now and how I can Light the World. Since that night until Christmas our scripture consisted of what the Savior did as we read scriptures about him and how we can follow his example and make that happen in our own home and occasionally how we could Light the World outside of our home. All of these experiences of service big and small have combined to make this one of the best Christmases our little family has had. I feel like through the service ideas and study of the Savior’s life we have been able to invite his light into our home like never before, and for us that has truly brought the peace of the holidays that I always hope to feel.