Humble image of my broom, dust pan, and probably some dust bunnies.

I broke two ornaments today. That would not be the first time. Every year, I usually break a couple. It always bothers me in an inconvenient type of sense, but today was different. The two ornaments were special to me. Irreplaceable. They were not expensive, but they were sentimental. I had been especially careful decorating our tree because most of our ornaments are made by our children or gifts to me from friends and family. When the first one broke, I was slightly sad. However, when the second one broke… well, I was taken aback and honestly wanted to cry. Once they were broken, there was no “fixing” them. That was that and I swept up the pieces and threw away what was left.

Earlier in the day, I was trying to decide on putting more ornaments on the tree (or not). My husband assured me that the tree looked finished to him…but I was not convinced. This particular tree is a Balsam Fir. Although beautiful, the branches are not as sturdy and ornaments tend to fall off or bend the branches if not wired securely in place. I decided to add the additional ornaments and some extra ribbon, and that is when the two ornaments fell off the tree. There was no time to catch them, and I helplessly watched as they fell and shattered.

I started thinking about the ornaments and the way it felt to watch them fall out of my control. Yes, I am aware that they are JUST ornaments, but they happened to be special to me. There is not a price for which I could replace them. And I believe that many of us are going through the same struggles in our own lives. We try to maintain a sense of control. “If I plan enough, pray enough, worry, enough… maybe nothing bad will happen,” we tell ourselves. But then it does. We are broken. There is no going back. The hurt, damage, circumstances are irreversible. We are left to sweep up the pieces of our lives, so to speak. I personally know people going through divorce, financial loss, sudden death of a family member, anxiety, depression… there is a never-ending list of struggles that do not discriminate.

And I am writing this thinking how trite I must sound. What advice or solution do I have to offer? It is humbling in the least because I do not have all the answers. But as I look at my Christmas tree, I see that it is beautiful in my eyes. There are two precious ornaments missing… but it does not affect the overall picture of the tree. There is still something beautiful in brokenness. You are still beautiful in your own brokenness. Your life has worth even though there may be parts and pieces missing. We all have broken pieces that have to be “cleaned up” and dealt with. Yours and mine may be different, but we are still the same. We all hurt at times and we all can still have beautiful lives in the overall scheme of things.

Merry Christmas.

and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

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