Happy Birthday, Jesus

Monday’s Breaking Bread

Welcome to Monday’s Breaking Bread. Today, Bettie is sharing about the gift God brought her one Christmas. May it encourage you that God sees and knows the grief you carry too.

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“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16 NIV

The snow was falling and the Christmas lights were sparkling on our tree.  My father had recently passed away, and my mother had come to spend Christmas with us so that her days would not feel so empty.  And our home was anything but empty those days.  We had just started homeschooling our 9 and 11 year old, and our 16 year old was busy working his first job. In spite of the busyness, there were days that I felt I just wanted to skip the Holidays that year. How could I find the joy that I knew belonged with Christmas?  I found myself going through the motions, and asking the Lord to keep me standing when I felt like collapsing.

Yet even in our grief we tried to hold onto some of our family traditions. One of the constants that we maintained was our nightly gathering around the Christmas tree. Ever since our older son was a baby we had tried to find the time, no matter what else was going on, to sing at least one Christmas Carol together before our evening family prayers.  Sometimes it would be a fun carol, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” sometimes a traditional hymn, “Silent Night,” or even our own simply created, “Happy Birthday, Jesus, We Have a Merry Christmas Tree.”  It was a moment of peace in the midst of hectic days.

That year however, our older son was testing his wings, and enjoying his newfound freedom of “working in the real world.”  On one evening his teenage friends had gathered in his basement room, playing their video games and laughing over their own private jokes.  Something stirred within me that particular night to call down the stairs inviting the “big boys” to join us for Carol time.  I was as surprised as my husband when they came and sat on the couch next to my Mom.  Of course it was the time that someone chose our homemade simple song. My cheeks burned with embarrassment as I led in singing what felt silly to me that night.  But as I turned my head, and opened my eyes, there sat our son and his friend, singing along with us, learning our family’s personal anthem to the Lord.  

Only moments before I had felt so empty and dark, consumed with the grief of missing one that we all loved so dearly, yet now I felt tears running down my face.  The Father who had sent His own dear Son to this darkened world, was well acquainted with what grieving felt like.  And He knew how to send JOY into the middle of my grief that day:  by sending the love and open hearts of teenage boys who weren’t too “big” to share their hearts with us.

Those same boys had many hard years of walking the path of the prodigal still ahead of them.  But the heart of loving Jesus was planted deep within them, and He would watch over them through those hard days, until the time was full for their return. He came for me in my grief that year, and He came for them, to plant the truth of His coming in the soil of their hearts.

The words to our simple song:

“Happy Birthday Jesus,

We have a Merry Christmas Tree,

Happy Birthday Jesus

We love you.


Happy Birthday Jesus,

Thank You for comin’

Happy Birthday Jesus,

We love you!”





13 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Jesus

Add yours

  1. Oh Bettie, losing someone is tough especially those close to our hearts. Jesus fills the holes life has left in our hearts. He fills them with love, graces and overwhelming joy.
    Yes Happy Birthday Jesus. Thank you for coming and paying the ultimate price.
    God bless dear friend.


    1. Dear Ifeoma, Oh yes, our Lord really does fill those holes left in our hearts with His love! He is so gracious to us, that even in the weary times He knows how to help us find HIS joy right there. What a blessing to join in His Worship! Blessings to you too Dear Friend! xoxo


  2. I love this simple Christmas song, Bettie, and how God used it in a special way that Christmas by sending His joy into the midst of the grief that overwhelmed your heart and by opening the hearts of teenage boys. Thank you for sharing this. Love and hugs to you!


    1. Dear Trudy, Isn’t God so good to take our simple offerings and transform them into something so sweet, even in the midst of our pain? Those boys are both full grown men now, and I feel so thankful when I remember how the Lord planted His love in their hearts, and walked them through such hard times. Love and hugs to you this Christmas Season, my friend! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Bettie, this was beautiful. That night must have definitely had an impact on your son and his friends. And thought they would walk the prodigal path, God knew them and watched over them. I cling to that hope with my daughter. Thanks so much for sharing. Our God is a wonderful and awesome God and we can trust him with our families. Blessings to you with much love! xoxo


    1. Dear Gayl,
      Oh I am so glad that the Lord brought encouragement to you here. Yes, He certainly watches over the hearts of our loved ones. When we cannot reach into those deep places, He still waters the seeds that were sown so many years ago! I am praying for you and your daughter as you continue to love her. He is such a Faithful God, isn’t He? He is so worthy of our trust! Blessings and Love to you this Christmas, my friend! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, what a precious story! I wonder about those dear boys now…I hope they are serving Jesus with all their hearts! What a dear memory you have of that night…such a bittersweet time. It is so hard to lose those we love, and those “firsts’ are so difficult. We are facing that this year, and it is so hard to get through, but we’ve been here before, and by God’s grace, He will pull us through. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart with us, sweet friend. I am praying for you and hoping you are doing well.


    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Oh, those “firsts” are always so very difficult, aren’t they? You and your family are in my prayers this Christmas Season. May the Lord send you sweet gifts, just as He sent us all those years ago. I am so thankful that those boys are now full grown men, who have returned their hearts to His keeping. HE is so good to watch over each step of the way! Thank you for your prayers, too, my friend! Blessings and Love to you!


    1. Dear Heather,
      Oh yes, may we fix our eyes on Jesus and let Him change our perspective. He truly is working for our good, even in the crazy and hard things around us. Thank you for sharing here. God bless you also this Christmas Season!


    1. Dear Jerralea,
      Oh thank you for your sweet comments! As I am preparing for our family to have a late Christmas gathering this weekend, your words touched me so much! Trusting the Lord with His Words, is the simplest thing we can do, isn’t it? Just to trust Him, and let Him do the work! Love and Hugs to you!


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