Suddenly, my heart is so heavy and sad.  Days ago, it was light and joyful.  All was right with the world.  It's Christmastime.  The happiest time of the year.  But this year, there was a darkness that came over our nation.  Only 11 days before Christmas.

The tradegy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

There was a dispicable act of evil displayed at Sandy Hook, an attack straight from the devil.  It has made me and the nation scared, insecure, and grasping for control over our kids and these situations.  A gunman shot down 20 elementary students between the ages of 6 and 7 and 6 teachers.  Not to mention his own mother prior to this.  And suddenly, the holidays will forever wear the stain of this dreadful day for so many of the affected people.

I cannot shake what has happened.  The entire nation is grieving over these innocent children.  And for the moment, everyone seems to be scared about their own kids and schools.  I, for one, worry about my kids enough as it is.  And then this happens and it about sends me through the roof.

Something I always seem to struggle with is the lack of quality time that I spend with each of my kids.  Many times after I put them to bed and reflect on the day, I find myself regretting all the times that I turned one of them down when asked to play because 'I've got work to do.'  So then I vow to do better the next day.  But when the next day comes, I forget to be intentional about playing more and once again, I lay out my regrets that night.  I wanted this month to be different.  And Jordan and I have been making more of an attempt at quality family time at night: baking together, stories, crafts.  But with the events that unfolded over the last few days, I feel like it's still not enough.  It's tragedies like these that once again set my priorities straight.

I often hear, 'You're such a great mom.'  People think I'm a great mom.  Sure, I'm good enough.  I make sure their basic needs are met, I discipline them, I show them love, and try to be there for them.  But I can do better.  Much better.  I feel like I have lost that fun, care-free side of me.  I used to be very calm and easy-going.  But more and more, I feel like I am anxious, busy, and worried.  And that isn't the way that God intended me to feel as a mother.  It's not something that I have been bringing to God either, so the feelings only get stronger.

But I'm bringing it to God right now.  I don't want to feel anxious, busy, worried.  I want to be light-hearted and happy again.  And I want it to last.  Not just when things are going great or at Christmastime.  But all the time.  Circumstances may shake me but it shouldn't shake my faith.  I know that my God is in control.  He is just, He is merciful, He is the Prince of Peace.  And He is God with us.  That is all I need.  No matter what happens, my God will always be my faithful Savior.  It's who He is and why He came.

One of my favorite 'Christmas verses' seems so appropriate to me this year: "In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  John 1:4-5.  Jesus has already overcome this darkness.  And we 'will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of [our] testimony.'  Revelation 12:11.

So I guess this is me, overcoming my fears and the plots of the evil one by the word of my testimony to who my God is.