A salon I drive by on a daily basis has a sign out front that changes to reflect current promotions and seasonal specials. This week, the sign reads, “Stressed this Christmas? Get a massage.” I’ll admit, a massage would feel good right about now. But I know the feeling wouldn’t last. If I could change the sign, it would read: Stressed this Christmas? Get a Sparkle Box.
In case you haven’t read The Sparkle Box: A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas, a Sparkle Box is a gift you give Christ on Christmas. About eight years ago, my husband and I started the tradition of giving a gift to Christ on Christmas morning, and it filled our home with a joy and peace we had never known. As I read the gifts we put in our box that first Christmas morning….mittens for those who don’t have any, a shoebox filled with toys and small gifts for a child in another part of the world… I could barely get the words out. It was the most humbling, moving experience I had ever had.
After that first Christmas, giving a gift to Christ became a focal point of the season. We talked about what we wanted to do to honor Him. We looked for opportunities and ways we could make a difference in the world, for His glory—not our own. And something amazing happened. For the first time, I wasn’t stressing about how many cookies I baked or whether or not I got my Christmas cards out on time. I wasn’t fretting over whether or not I bought my children enough, or worrying that I bought too much. Christmas wasn’t about any of those things. It was about the joy of Christ coming to this world. It was about honoring Jesus on the anniversary of His birth. It was about celebrating a love that is deeper and wider than any other we’ll ever know.
Stressed this Christmas? Get a Sparkle Box and discover the joy and peace that comes from centering Christmas on Christ.
I was standing in my kitchen when I heard from God, and the words He gave me changed my life forever. I had heard people say they felt called to serve God, or that God gave them a message or spoke to them, but quite frankly, that was way out of my comfort zone. At that time in my life, I thought things like that didn’t really happen.
But there I was, standing in my kitchen. I had just gotten off the phone with a friend who called to cancel our plans because her daughter was sick. I had the morning off and as I looked out the kitchen window, I thought to myself,
I have the whole day in front of me. What am I going to do? No sooner had I had that thought than the words “Write the book” fell into my vision. I don’t know how else to describe it except to say the words came down out of nowhere. A grayish type that just appeared in my field of vision. I remember knowing instantly what the book was, and I answered “Now?” in my head. The command “NOW” appeared in response. I wanted to laugh. Really?
I hadn’t thought about the book in nearly a year. My laptop was sitting on our kitchen table and I sat down and opened it up. There was a legal pad to the left of the computer. I picked up a pen and wrote the words, “The Sparkle Box” on the pad of paper. I liked the sound of it. I started typing and when I stopped an hour and a half later, it was done. I put my face in my hands and wept. I felt a flood of light and warmth cover me and fill my body. I had never experienced such profound joy.
At the end of the manuscript, there was a letter. The letter began, “Dear Child, you are the light of the world, make it sparkle.” I believe it’s a message from God to all of us, and that’s why the bookThe Sparkle Box starts out “Dear Child, you are the light of the world, make it sparkle.”
This blog is about learning to be the light. It’s a journey filled with laughter, lessons, heartache and joy. I hope you’ll come along.