Amazing, Scandalous Grace {An All Things Possible Christmas Post}

photo by …love maegan

The urge seizes me on Black Friday of all days. On the biggest shopping dayof the year, I find myself on my knees in the closet instead. Oh, don’t let me fool you. I’m not doing anything quite as spiritual as praying. I’m cleaning out boxes and bags and papers and uncovering dust bunnies that could pull Santa’s sleigh.

I throw things out.

I donate to Goodwill.

I sort and struggle and smile and see the past laid out on the floor in front of me.

As I do, I realize that God has been working on the same in my heart. I’ve had some clutter there, especially when it comes to Christmas. In one corner are memories of when I lost my Grandma during the holiday season. High on another heart shelf stood dusty hopes of having children. Add to that a bag of unrealistic expectations about the kind of family member I should be too. Combined they made me feel stifled and sad in a season that’s supposed to be about JOY.

During my journey of decluttering, I read a book by Robin Zasio. One line in it stood out to me and I can’t stop thinking about it, “Everyone is vulnerable to something.”

Look around. You, your friends, your family, the people you randomly meet during the day…we are all vulnerable to something. We all have parts of our heart closets that need clearing.

I learned what’s needed for closets and hearts: grace.

Grace to let go of the past.

Grace to see the imperfections in ourselves and each other then choose love anyway.

Grace to embrace tomorrow, this Christmas, next year and believe they really can be better than before.

Kristen and I talked about sharing Christmas carols during this series. And yet the song that keeps coming back is one we sing all year…

Amazing Grace

How Sweet the Sound

that Saved a Wretch like Me

That’s the paradox of Christmas–that though our closets and our hearts need decluttering we are still scandalously, beautifully, fully loved. God doesn’t shut the door and turn away. Instead he seeks out our secret places and calls us into the light again.

I stand in my closet now and it feels different.

I look within my heart and it feels different too.

Amazing Grace

How Sweet the Sound

that Made Something Beautiful of Me

— Holley



This is day three in a week long series my friend Kristen Strong and I are doing called All Things Possible Christmas. If you’re just joining us, you can catch up here.

What is your favorite Christmas song?


  1. says

    “Mary, Did You Know” is a well-loved song in my house…I love the way it swells into the bridge, the same way that Advent swells into Christmas.

  2. says

    Come Thou Long Expected Jesus is my tippy-top favorite Christmas carol, followed by Joy to the World. My husband and I were married on December 27th and we sang Joy to the World as a hymn during our wedding.

  3. Deborah J. Coombs says

    Little Drummer Boy bcuz I often feel like what I have to give is so little, but he honors me & receives it w/delight anyway. Also:Still Still Still becuz it is in the stillness that we can feel the personal & refreshing grace of Christmas like snowflakes touching our faces.

  4. says

    Holley…thank you for this post and being real about the loss so many of us feel at Christmas time. I have been fighting it this year. I needed this reminder to REST in grace and just breathe it in!

    Also the reminder that we are all vulnerable to something….what a helpful…grace-filled way of finding His pathways in the hard and the broken.

    Love you!

  5. says

    Holley, My favorite Christmas songs are instrumentals or piano music by David Nevue, Kenny G, and Jim Brickman. I also wanted to make a little side comment about Goodwill…I used to donate to them all the time too until my dad sent me an email stating their “for profit” mentality. I would urge you to look into freecycle in your area to give to actual people needing things in your own community direct…free…no cost…as Christ gave to us. I have been able to give directly to so many wonderful people nearby, and I feel more connected to Christ in meeting them versus dropping off to a truck/bin.

  6. says

    I could use some heart decluttering right at this very moment…and the closets could use it too. Thank God He does generously offer enough grace to go around all the time. My recent favorites are Mary Did You Know and Breath of Heaven. I remember hearing those many years ago and being overcome with the sentiment of both. And the classic, Oh Holy Night! (On the not so holy Christmas favorites–Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton Once Upon a Christmas…just for fun

  7. Stephanie O. says

    I love Little Drummer Boy, Carol of the Bells, and Mary Did You Know? I also heard a Christmas version of Pachelbel’s Cannon just yesterday that was just beautiful. Thanks for this post…I definitely need to clean out the clutter from my literal closets and my heart closet!

  8. Sandy says

    Hi Holley,
    Beautiful series of posts! My favourite Christmas carol is “Joy to the World,” especially when its given a twist to the beat.

    Grace to you for all the hope you bring into our lives.
    Merry Christmas!
    Shalom, Sandy


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