We have power in the words we use and the actions we take or choose not to take. This year my word is “Grit,” and I am working each day to provide for all of you resources, tools, ideas, motivation, inspiration, and spiritual blessings as we continue to move forward with solutions for better tomorrows than yesterday. Today looks like the best day to begin!

“O Come, All Ye Faithful" (originally written in Latin as "Adeste Fideles") is a Christmas carol that has been attributed to various authors, including John Francis Wade (1711–1786), John Reading (1645–1692), King John IV of Portugal (1604–1656), and anonymous Cistercian monks. The earliest printed version is in a book published by Wade.[1][2][3] A manuscript by Wade, dating to 1751, is held by Stonyhurst College in Lancashire.—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Come,_All_Ye_Faithful

The lyrics are at the end of the blog and contain the words that many saw as restoring. The controversy of the song when it appeared in the 1740s, composed by John Francis Wade as Adeste Fideles, helped Charles Edward Stuart, known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, a Catholic, to the British throne.


As we approach Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we look back to 1914 when the power of the song became extraordinary on these days as 100,000 British, Belgian, and French soldiers in the trenches on the Western Front laid down their arms to join the German soldiers in celebrating Christmas.

Christmas carols were being sung by one side, and then the other side would sing one of their carols. Then as O Come, All Ye Faithful began, everyone sang in their language together . The Germans sang the hymn in Latin words, Adeste Fideles.

In a terrible war, a few brief moments of peace stretched across 400 miles through France and Belgium. The echoes of songs of peace, hope, joy, and love brought blessings to the ears which could hear them. If only we could find in our hearts ways to listen to these messages long before we get to the point of the war, we would have no more.

The troubles of today can make us struggle and doubt. Through our faithfulness, we can find the light in the darkness to hold onto the strength we know we have been blessed with as we celebrate his birth. Gather together and hold onto the promise of understanding the blessings of Christmas.


O Come, All ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem
O come and behold Him, born the King of Angels

O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation
O come, o come ye to Bethlehem
O come and behold Him, born the King of Angels

O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O come all ye
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye
O come all ye faithful

O come all ye
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye
O come all ye faithful

O come all ye
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye
O come all ye faithful

O come all ye
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye
O come all ye faithful

O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful
Born the King of Angels

O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful to Bethlehem

I was asked what my favorite song for Christmas was. I had to pause and think; with so many to select from and different versions, I would have to think about it. I decided I would do a little research about the music and songs of Christmas we all sing and have enjoyed for many years. My first one is O’ Holy Night.

The lyrics to the song are at the end of the post, but I wanted to dig into the history of how the song developed over the years. “O Holy Night" (original title: Cantique de Noël) is a well-known Christmas carol. Originally based on a French-language poem by poet Placide Cappeau, written in 1843, with the first line "Minuit, Chrétien, c'est l'heure solennelle"(Midnight, Christian, is the solemn hour) that composer Adolphe Adam set to music in 1847. The English version (with small changes to the initial melody) is by John Sullivan Dwight. The carol reflects on the birth of Jesus as humanity's redemption.” -Wikipedia

“Cantique de Noel” became popular in France and was sung in many Christmas services. But when Placide Cappeau completely left the church to join a socialist movement, and it was discovered that Adolphe Adams was a Jew, the French Catholic church leaders decided to go “Cantique de Noel” was unfit for church services because of its lack of musical taste and “total absence of the spirit of religion.” But even though the church no longer allowed the song in their services, the French people continued to sing it. There is so much more to the story behind the song.

In the song the verses: Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we

O’Holly Night

In France, some people thought it meant a call to take up arms to revolt; in America, to some, it reminded them of the Civil War and acts of Slavery, and then to others, over history, acts of courage to step out to stop the war. Reading about how the song's music and lyrics impacted generations over the years is worth looking at for understanding.

My thoughts on the song as I reflect on the impact it has on my life and what I know it will have on those who hear it with open eyes, hearts, minds, and ears are this:

Our world is not perfect; it has never been and never will be. Christmas is the birth of Christ , and we fall to our knees.

We learn from our past, look to our future and rejoice in peace. There is no need to dwell in days from the past, as today, all wrongs will cease.

The gift of life was provided to me; it is up to me to choose and to do. I am thankful and grateful for all of the trials and storms I went through.

Make today better than yesterday; it is you with the choice to make. Why must we point the finger and continue to blame and ask to take?

I genuinely believe we can all love one another; if we know all of the stories of others, we could discover…..

Our world is better when we all work together.


O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name

There are always signs of hope if you are looking. Keep hope in your life as we work each day to make it better than yesterday. Change does not happen overnight, but with continued positive work, differences are made. Be the light today to guide for a brighter tomorrow.

It is so important to look through many lenses in our life. We have the opportunity to have the ability to take the time to be so open-minded as we respect others' thoughts. Our responsibility is still to remain true to our core beliefs and values.

Maya Angelou is one of my favorites in bringing a thought forward to inspire us to keep in mind our foundation. Look back at our history and remember it is history. It is done. We can not relive those days, redo those days and must take the lessons learned as we move forward in a forgiving way. Eva Kor was the best teacher I had for this life lesson, and so blessed to have known her as a survivor of the Holocaust.

This a reminder to continue to look forward to the future with the hope of what will be and the purpose of the life we will live as we continue to draw from the support systems we have in place. Maya Angelou always reminded me of my daily devotions to seek prayerfully as each day begins and ends with gratitude.

Living in this moment to be the best we can be is what matters the most. As we shared Thanksgiving at our daughter's home, the grandkids left our side while watching a movie to join mom and dad at the table. They were beginning a game of Yahtzee. I could see all of them from where I sat and watched with joy. They laughed, had big smiles, talked, taking turns, and my little one was so proud as dad said, “Look, MooMoo, he wrote his name at the top of his scorecard.” I never wanted to miss a minute of any of our time together as we were holding the grand dogs. So grateful!

As we begin each day and go through our daily routines, how often do you say and hear, “thank you?” I can think of countless times I listen to it and say it, but do we all know why?

I am sure I have not said thank you nearly as often as I should have, and I am sure others feel the same way. In our fast-paced world, are we teaching the importance of saying thank you? Are we teaching the why behind thank you?

When we neglect to say thank you to others, we are sending the message to them it is expected and their obligation to do nice things. Taking for granted the kindness displayed by others is one way to break down the system of gratitude.

Young men opening the doors for young ladies was something I knew was expected as I was growing up. It was a sign of respect for young ladies. I was a small child looking out the window and could see my sister's boyfriend always opening the car door for her. He came to the door to get her as well.


What does “thank you” really mean? It is an expression of gratitude given to someone to show appreciation for something they have said, shared, or done. The word “thank” stems from the Latin word tongēre. The root tong- means “think.” To interpret the root of the word, you may find, “I will remember what you have done for me.” You will remember the individual for the kindness they showed with gratitude.

The words thank, thanks, thankful, thanksgiving, and thanksgivings are all words of appreciation and gratitude. These words are found in the Old Testament 68 times and in the New Testament 63 times in the New King James Version. The importance of gratitude and offering thank you to others is also a thankfulness to God.


Have you ever heard someone say; you reap what you sow? I have heard that phrase many times from people. It is also in the Bible, Galatians 6:7. It tells us if we want to receive, we first have to give. It makes a great deal of sense to me now as an adult. I knew as a child we showed a lot of things.

I am thankful to my family for teaching me the importance of giving. What touches my heart more today is how I see it reflected in my daughter and grandchildren.

Teaching the reason for “thank you” and the meanings of all the words that make up gratitude helps us remember the importance of the love we share. On the darkest days, we can always find a light to bring us hope for the days to come.

Quietness sweeps across the countryside as the sun begins to rise in the east. A chill in the air brings a crisp feel to the morning as I reach for the warmth of the freshly made coffee. The soft warm blanket, a gift from the grandchildren remind me of the many times tfreshly made coffee.

The colors painted across the sky begin to awaken the beauty of the day on the horizon. Still, a fragrance, an aroma drifts with the breeze, and a hint remains of spring from the flowers in the garden. A lone little butterfly makes his way to the bush for one last visit before the air is to crisp and the wind brings the makings of the white snow.

The aroma of life this morning fills my soul with hope, love, and encouragement of what I imagine it can be. Nothing is impossible; I have said so many times before. It is so true. It may not be on the timeline we create but on time controlled by God. If only this time could be frozen in time, I could soak up all of the goodness right here on my back porch.

Mornings are the best for me when I can have the aroma of life to fill me up for the day. I can take in deep breaths of the fragrances drifting towards me or those I have made to enjoy. Freshly brewed coffee, the pumpkin fall scented candle, a new load of laundry just beginning, blueberry muffins baking and all of the fragrances of nature drifting into my home or on the back deck where I sit bring memories and life.

May the aroma of life always keep me mindful of the faith I have, the love I know, and all I will share with others. May I spread the fragrance of life today, tomorrow, and consistently through the acceptance of Jesus. “We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”—-2 Corinthians 2:15

I can only imagine the fragrance and aroma of life you will find, have, or create. Life is a journey filled with opportunities; fill yours with all that brings you closer to what is essential to you. Blessings.

So when my friend asked if I would go with her for her mammogram, I said yes. I am back where I was when my breast cancer was discovered, my treatments began, and where my doctors all are who helped me say today, “I am cancer free.”

While sitting in the lobby, I was able to hear the ringing of the bell. Someone has just completed their last treatment. I started clapping as people started looking at me. It is a celebration!

Then when she came through the doors in her wheelchair, the clapping began again, and as she passed me, I said, “It feels great to have those treatments complete.” Through our masks, I could tell she was smiling, and she could tell I was too! She said, “Yes, it is!”

What a great day to be able to share with a stranger the blessings today of completing the treatments and knowing my friend is being checked out as well to make sure she is keeping an eye out for early detection.

If you have not been checked, please get it checked if you are being checked regularly, great! Support all that you know who are suffering from cancer! When you ring the bell, you are so excited, but we all know there is always a chance for us to return. However, we are survivors and continue to fight to keep cancer in check.

I know so many who have lost their battles, and I know how much they fought. Cancer is horrible. Please continue to support the research. One day we will be able to say our world is Cancer Free.

I don’t know about you, but I can have some crazy talks with myself! I can talk myself into, and out of some situations I never thought I would be in my life. Negative self-talk can be very harmful!

During our last vacation with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, my husband and brother-in-law thought it was fun to call me different names based on my response to things. “Well, hello Karen,” when I was sharp in my response. “Thank you, Pudding, when I was thoughtful in my response.” All in their interpretation of coarse! We would all laugh and have fun with all of it. However, some individuals have a very difficult time getting themselves out of the cycle of negativity. Getting to know yourself is a priority.

As an educator, I know how much we take home with us each day. Children are not little boxes we stuff things into each day. We build relationships with each one of them and are connected with families. When we see children having difficulties we do everything we can to help pull them up and sometimes it is not enough.

I have told many students to remember, “I will never give up on you.” Many of them gave up on themselves and had no one to continue to support them during challenging times. It hurts educators when a child is lost, no matter their age when life is taken.

Our message is to never give up on you! Always reach out for help when you need it. Remember, there is no need to look back through the rearview mirror, but don’t forget all those who loved you in the places you left. The windshield is big and broad with many places to go. There are many people to get to know and to share life’s journey with as you spread the wealth of knowledge you have in not giving up on being the solution daily in a world that needs you.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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