Capture The Light

The first snow of the season arrived the Sunday before Thanksgiving. My husband and I drove where the snow fell the deepest. We walked in the clouds and marveled at the snow. It fell heavily all around us. We would have driven farther, but the roads became too slick. Instead, we discovered this out of the way place. Detours are not all bad. Most people gathered inside warm homes, churches, or restaurants today. A few braved it on a bike. We chose to hike for three hours in the wilderness.

We were alone. Pockets of heat billowed from burnt stumps. Inadvertently, we stumbled into a control burn area. Smoke floated over the snow. I caught a few flakes on my tongue. At one point, I twirled, raising my hands and tilting my head back to catch a face full of falling snow. Tony laughed. Our pants and warm clothing became damp. We walked and walked until a herd of Elk paraded past our eyes not 80 yards away. We blinked, fumbled for the camera, and tossed the gloves while I tried to zoom in on them. They disappeared over a tree studded hill. The memory stained my mind all the rest of the week. But God wasn’t done with the week yet.

As the sun rose and I drove to work on Tuesday, I happened to turn my head and see the lake half covered in ice and steam. I was blinded by the beauty of it. The bald granite cliffs cupped the lake. I wish I had a camera and time enough to capture that perfect shot. The perfect picture isn’t always easy to capture. Photographers write of camping out all day waiting for one perfect shot—the clouds, the light, the right wind, or the right shadows. One photographer said that photography was the action of capturing light.

Christmas rarely captures the light. It’s commercialized—Santa, reindeer, bright presents, and striving to show up your neighbor with bigger and better presents. Glenn Beck said it best. In each of our homes we have approximately $12,000 in stored things we don’t want, but are compelled to keep. If you looked at my neighbor’s garage, you’d believe him; that poor man can’t park his cars inside anymore.

How are we capturing light in our lives? The economy is trashed. We’ve overspent. Most of us are struggling with credit card debt from past Christmases and birthdays. We’ve lost our homes. Santa is more real than Jesus because we’ve proven to our children that Santa delivers tangible evidence of “love.” God tends to answer prayers on His own time and not always the way we originally prayed. We think we want something, but God in His all-seeing wisdom, knows it may not be good for us. He won’t give us the pink bunny suit. He’ll give us what our hearts sorely need that the world can’t fill.

My hope for Christmas is for couples to find and capture the light again of why they got married, troubled marriages to work things out, divorcees to become friends so their children can heal from the rift that was created, and for single people to look at the grander scheme of things instead of the loneliness associated with singledom. Capturing the light this year is easy. Invite Christ into your Christmas.

Sumptuous Recipe for a Bad Economy Christmas:

  • A fake tree from a thrift store
  • A Charlie Brown Tree
  • Cut down your own tree
  • Repair your child’s toy or doll and make new accessories for it and wrap it up for Christmas (Think Little House on the Prairie books—great lessons in that series)
  • Read scripture
  • Talk to your kids about why you must scale back on Christmas and teach about Jesus
  • Drive up somewhere where there is snow and play
  • Remind them that skinny jeans don’t make them as beautiful as the love they carry in their hearts.
  • Teach them about giving with your actions (i.e. let someone in front, be courteous while shopping, help someone reach an unreachable item, smile at people, say hello, etc)



14 thoughts on “Capture The Light”

  1. What a beautiful post — We don’t have snow here, but I got to catch a glimpse of it through your words and this photo. I loved how you ended it with reflecting on marriage which is really under a lot of pressures. May Christmas be time to draw near to the love God sent us in His Son and through the spouses He shines His Light through to us. Thanks, Nikole!


  2. I bake cookies and send them. They cost pennies. For my sons, they are a big part of the season and part of our family traditions. Many cookie recipes are simple and from low- cost ingredients. I think I’ll start this weekend.


    1. I did that one year for Christmas presents. Made special treats instead of buying gifts. Your suggestion is a good one especially when there’s so much sentimental value attached bringing more to the Christmas season than anything else.


  3. What a beautiful memory you created with your hubbie. I went running yesterday in our first “real” snow of the season. It was f-freezing, but I couldn’t help but feel the joy. One of our doggies (she’s a foster, so we’re not sure exactly how old she is and her behavior yesterday leads me to believe this may be her first winter) actually tried to chase and catch the snowflakes.

    Thank you for sharing this sweet reflection, Nikole.


  4. You are really spreading the real meaning of Christmas to all who read your post. The encouragement to focus on our marriage is so good, as are the practical tips you included at the bottom.

    “How are we capturing light in our lives?” What a thought-provoking question… I hope to linger with it awhile…


    1. Awesome! Thank you! Having been a child in a divorce that became ugly, I know only too well why it’s important for parents to stay together, work things out, or for the sake of the kids, stay friends after the divorce and build each other up.


  5. “He’ll give us what our hearts sorely need that the world can’t fill.” So very true and that’s exactly what I expect from Him. I also loved your two last lines that really sum it all up… “Capturing the light this year is easy. Invite Christ into your Christmas.” It really is that easy! Thanks!


  6. This is such a great post. Your right. So often at Christmas we have a hard time seeing the Light of the World because we focus on the artificial light stringing round the evergreen. I also love your suggestions for a Bad Economy Christmas. My family and I have done that before (and will do again this year) but the reality is it was one of the most meaningful celebrations we’ve had because we made presents for each other.


  7. Good post! My son and I talk about scaling back on months when money is tight (like right now) and he is surprisingly understanding of it for someone so young. He gets that things are tight this month and not to ask for anything.


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