Dropping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas today from my family to yours! If you’ve been around here long you know I love writing as much as baking. (#Truth) Today I’m wishing you a beautiful Christmas with your family and friends.
And I want to say thank you. A very sincere thanks to each of you for the kindness, love and support you’ve shown me in the last two years as I ventured into creating this blog. It’s been a journey and meant a great deal to my family and me that I can work from home and have the flex to be available here for Hudson when needed. (Hudson is my littlest guy with Down syndrome.)
Today I’m republishing a post below called Broken Wings I wrote last Christmas season. I couldn’t have known when I penned it last December that I’d lose my precious uncle nearly two weeks ago. He was a gem. Always had a kind, encouraging and gracious word for everyone he met. He will be greatly missed. My extended family around the country is grieving now and it’s excruciating to say goodbye. Especially at Christmas.
So I opened the Christmas angel box just a few weeks ago and guess what? Her wing was broken again. So broken wings are on my mind for more than one reason, and that’s why I’m republishing this today.
Wishing you and yours a beautiful and peace-filled Christmas! XO, Allie
Good morning friends, we’re nearly two weeks from Christmas now. As if you need a reminder. Forgive me if you’re looking for a happy clappy jingle bell ringing kind of post this morning, because there isn’t one here today. To be fair I sometimes write that kind of post, thoroughly enjoy it. But today I’m meandering down a different path because that’s where I and many I love are. Talking about Broken Wings today.
Several weeks ago I was chatting with friends, asked if anyone else was having trouble getting into the Christmas and holiday spirit this year. Lots of nodding heads. There’ve been so many noteworthy causes for stress and grief in the news here and abroad. Also personally for many.
Last week Jon opens the white box in the basement where our angel tree topper resides eleven months of the year. He pulls her out, finds her wing broken off. It’s no surprise. As a matter of fact, we’ve anticipated it for years. There’s always a story. Twenty years ago, happy, dirt poor and kid-less still, I made all our Christmas gifts. Sewed, baked or hot glued! Made the Christmas cards too. We lived in South Carolina at the time and one of my all-time favorite stores was Ballard Designs in Atlanta, just a hop, skip and a jump away. Whenever we were in town I’d drop by Ballards, and mostly dream.
Ballards has a cottage-y feel I like. We’d also visit their “backroom”, located in a big warehouse, their seconds/outlet store. Always on the lookout for a bargain. (Me.) A deal. Incidentally, there was also a Talbots outlet nearby, with a 70% off clearance-price back room. 🙂 I was lovin’ the back rooms….
Over the years I sniffed out more than a few treasures in Ballards’ backroom. A beautiful framed mirror with cracked glass. (Above.) A coffee table with a cracked glass top. Diamonds in the rough. Glass table tops and mirror glass are so easily and somewhat inexpensively replaced, and I found unique pieces I repaired and still cherish today. And got them for a steal. Yeah, I’ve always had that wine taste on a beer budget. Like to imagine the potential in a piece.
That particular day years ago I was browsing in the Christmas section of Ballards backroom and came upon a pile of discarded angel tree toppers in the corner. There were several different styles. The faces were hand painted and clothing exquisite, but it was the wings. Every angel had one wing broken off. Made of plaster, they must have been pretty fragile for so many to be broken or cracked. There they lay in a mangled heap. After looking closely, I realized the Broken Wings were all clean breaks. And that with a little TLC, these angels might be nearly good as new. Might fly again.
I picked through the heap and matched the broken-off wings to the right angels, and bought twenty of them for $2.50 a piece. I think the regular price was $40. If the repairs worked, it would be a bargain. When I got home, I got out my super glue, said a little prayer. Thankfully the wings all attached beautifully with only a hairline crack barely visible where the wings joined. I adopted several myself, and the next Christmas gifted the rest, warning friends and family to be extra careful because of the repair. No one seemed to mind. (Or didn’t breathe a word if they did!)
I was always struck by the fact that the angel wing repair lasted so long. Nearly twenty years now. And then Jon opened the box last week. The broken angel sat out on our kitchen counter all this past week. It’s taken me a while to get around to repairing her for the second time in twenty years. And seeing her every day reminds me of the many people I love whose wings are broken right now. Christmas and holidays can be such a happy season. But if you’ve lost someone you dearly love, are fighting a terminal disease, recently lost your job, facing bankruptcy, or estranged from family….the holidays are a poignant reminder of the things, precious people, and health you no longer have. The truth is that Christmas is often a sad and lonely time for many.
Today a mother sits at the bedside of her husband in hospice right now. Lung and diaphragm cancer. She’s a dear friend of mine. Her precious children are younger than my own. Such an excruciating time for him, her and the whole family. All of us that deeply love them are torn up. How about the families and entire community of San Bernadino? Or my dear cousin, grieving the sudden loss of her husband nearly two months ago. And so many with broken family relationships, estranged for various reasons.
Sometimes the cracked, broken wings are windows into the depths of a soul, revealing who we truly are in the storm. The brokenness is a place to grow. To weep. To wait. A painful place for sure. Look around. You’ll see them everywhere. Bruised wings. Cracked ones. Broken ones. They might even be yours. With love, support, prayers and compassion, these Broken Wings may fly again some day. (I would know.) Broken Wings in a broken world.
Thankful for the gift of a tiny Baby in a manger. Hope.
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. “
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I love how you write, Allie. Straight from your heart and that’s why so many of us are touched and encouraged by you. Thank you.
thank you Simone, you are a gift.
Kim L says
Thank you for this Allie. My heart is breaking for so many around me whose wings are broken and bruised. Praying for our God, the ultimate healer to comfort and heal right now.
I believe in prayer, Kim. Hope the people you know and love receive comfort and relief very soon.
Beautiful, Allie — many, many heartaches going on right now, made even more excruciating because of this season, usually marked by joy and anticipation, but now by dread and grief, a sadness that cannot be measured. A precious and beloved mother and grandmother laid to rest just this week comes to mind in addition to your examples. No bright Christmas cards , glittery decorations, or gifts can fill the empty places in our hearts. But when nothing seems normal or familiar, we may actually be closer to experiencing the true Christmas spirit than ever: at Christmas time 2000 years ago, God sent His only son, Jesus, into the world He made to give us a glimpse into a far greater eternal world; one which He has prepared for all who believe in Him, a world which He left voluntarily to tell us about God’s unfathomable love for us and show us how to live so that we may enter, too. That is the Good News that will ultimately bring real joy to all people.
Susan B. says
Praise God there WILL BE light in the darkness. Praying for those who are waiting for His morning of new mercies.
So sorry to hear of yet another loss….and thankful for hope. XO
Aunt pinkie says
Thanks, Allie-a precious reminder to keep those with broken wings in and on our hearts this Christmas season.
Love you Aunt Pinkie.
Love this, Allie. 6 years ago I was going through a divorce I thought would never happen (because that doesn’t happen to good, submissive Christian wives), I had 6 kids at home, and I hadn’t worked outside the home in 30 years. When I made it clear I was going forward with divorce I was asked to leave the church I had been involved in for 20 years and my eldest daughter and son in law broke all contact with me. I felt I had lost everything that year… and then Jesus reminded me in the most amazing ways that I was not, nor would I ever be, alone. I learned I could do it, I found another church, I found a wonderful husband, and my daughter and son in law asked my forgiveness and we are closer than ever. These kinds of posts are a light in the darkness, my friend. Thank you.
Dear Marye, I knew you had a story, I just didn’t know what it was. Wow. What a story, beauty from ashes. There are probably many others who are where you were then, right now. I know hearing your story brings hope. You are an amazing woman. XO
Barbara Child says
Such a beautiful reminder of all the brokenness around us. How much people need our love and prayers.
Thank you Barbara. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! xo
Thank you for a beautiful piece. Compassion for the broken in spirit and body are so very important during this holiday season.
I’m so glad you dropped by Cheree, thank you. Wishing you a beautiful season of hope.
Dear Allie, you write beautifully from the heart. And it is a comfort to be reminded that we are not alone in feeling sadness at the news we are hearing these days, it nourishes hope to know that other people care, too.
I completely get your beer budget – taste for wine perpective, my friend. People must have loved to get those lovingly repaired angels.
Thank you friend, I’ve thought about you and your dad a good deal lately. I hope this can somehow be a season of joy for him. Hope you get to spend some time together. xo
Thank you so much for those kind thoughts, Allie. Sadly, he just passed away. Through the sadness, though, I find some comfort in knowing that he is not suffering anymore. You take good care. Xoxo
Oh friend. I am so sorry to hear this news. What a sad time for you and your family. I’ll be thinking of you in your loss and hope you can find comfort in happy memories and that he’s no longer pain. XOXO
Linda Jenkins says
Allie, I love this post. There certainly are so many sorrowful situations that seem magnified by this season. I was profoundly touched by the quotes. What a powerful reminder to look beyond the situation, allow the tears to fall, and know that Jesus will touch us with His light once again. All we need is faith and the courage to look beyond. The break often turns out to be our greatest strength. Blessings to all!
Dear Linda – Love your line – “The break often turns out to be our greatest strength.” Isn’t that the truth? It’s the weakness, the break, the wound that causes us to rally , to look Up, and we become the people of strength we always wanted to be in that painful process. XOXO
Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek says
It is very sad. So many people don’t enjoy this time of year. Various reasons. Legitimate reasons. But then there are the people who can’t (financially) celebrate the way all the commercialism tells us we are supposed to celebrate. That breaks my heart too. We’ve taken the celebration of the greatest gift ever given to mankind and turned it into something trashy.
My Christmas prayer is for a nationwide Great Awakening. It is what we need most and the only thing that truly gets you through to the end (and beyond).
Have a very Merry Christmas season!
Thanks Karen, you’re so right about commercialism bringing about widespread sadness and depression. It’s easy to get caught up in, and hard to escape in our culture. I’ve wanted to work in a food shelter on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day to help combat that, but haven’t done it yet.
Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek says
For one year, our (former) community group in Portland did a service project each month. From helping out at a food pantry, to cleaning low income peoples homes, garden work for the elderly, serving at a home for the elderly etc. It was the best. Amazing how the act of service helps both ends. I miss it.
nancy mcmahan says
Allie, thank you for sharing your heart. I know of some people with broken “wings” right now and wish I could do something to help but ultimately it will be there faith that pulls them through. Love you Allie and your beautiful heart.
Thank you friend, love you back, wishing you a beautiful Christmas season. xo
Susie Mandel says
What a beautiful post. You have such a wonderful way with words. <3
Thank you my friend, Merry Christmas. So thankful with you, J & J that your numbers were good again. Another Christmas blessing. xo
Mandi Korn says
Sorry about the sorrow and suffering that you know of people in your life right now. You are a good person to write a blog post about this and an honest person. Most hide behind their blogs, others, like yourself are open and emotional and I really like that about your posts. My thoughts are with your loved ones and your Broken Angel Wing
Dear Mandi, thanks so much for dropping by and your kind comment. It’s a balancing act being authentic and transparent without wallowing. It’s a balancing act I’m still very much learning. Newsflash: I hope to fix my angel today! She’s been waiting very patiently.
I read this to my son. His first reaction was “Mrs Taylor is a great writer!” Then he said that he wasn’t left feeling depressed. Just the opposite. You have such a gift Allie! We are left feeling hopeful. You pointed out that pain and sorrow is not always a bad thing. Then we talked about the quote. What a great discussion we had. Thank you for that. The light shines bright from you my friend, although you may not always feel that way!
Awwww… so kind Tracy. So glad you both felt the hope and had a great discussion. That is seriously one of my all time favorite quotes. Thanks so much for the encouragement, friend. XO
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Oh Allie – this is such a beautiful post! My heart is overwhelmed – I love the story behind your angel with her broken wings and I especially love this line: “Sometimes the cracked, broken wings are windows into the depths of a soul, revealing who we truly are in the storm. The brokenness is a place to grow” and couldn’t agree more with it – it’s the hardships that have come by that have taught me so much!
A few years ago, I went through a divorce and was having a hard time getting into Christmas but then at church I saw this video – where a father has to sacrifice his son for a trainful of strangers – most of whom who hardly even know that his enormous sacrifice saved them – it helped me put Christmas in perspective – here’s the link to the video in case you haven’t seen it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JSXqVb8Kc4
To switch gears a bit – I sure wish you lived in SC – because it would have been wonderful to hop, skip and a jump over to see ya!
Dear Shashi, thank you for the kind words. So now I’m just WEEPING like a baby, having just watched “The Bridge”. Wow. Very powerful. Thank you so much for sharing. Perspective is everything. You know I do get down to Atlanta occasionally, I was just there in April. We just might get to share that pot of coffee. (Or three.) Have a beautiful, beautiful Christmas, my friend. XO
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Well, you totally just made me cry. You know I am one of those people with a broken wing. And I’ll be honest, I’m having a hard time personally putting myself back together. Your writing is always so beautiful, but this post especially. You touched my heart, Allie. You made me feel a small comfort. You made me crack a smile through my tears. You gave me hope. Thank you for this post. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being a friend. Just, thank you. XOXO
Tony Molica says
There’s something mysteriously beautiful about the brokenness of life. Broken wings, broken hearts, broken smiles. The humility of it all is so universal to every human that walks this earth, and brings us closer to each other. It also serves as a reminder of our dependence on each other and of course on our dependence upon our great Creator God Himself.
Merry Christmas!!! It was great to see Jon last night! Thank you for having Erik! He said your dinner was delicious!!!
Thank you Kellie – it is so great to have the boys home. Loved seeing Erik and I know your family is making lots of great memories while he is home. Enjoy every precious minute! XO
Nancy. Hammett says
Merry Chirtmas to you’ll & Gods Blessing for the New Year. Love you’ll.
Thank you Nancy – we love you all too. Wishing you and your beautiful family a Happy New Year full of joy, health and blessing. XO
Aunt Pinkie says
Lovely post, Allie! Hope your family has a blessed Christmas!
Thank you Aunt Pinkie – I hope yours was wonderful and your New Year’s party too. XO
Dear Allie, I am sorry for your loss. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family, you’ll be in my thoughts. This is a beautiful post, and a beautiful tribute. Take good care of yourself. XOXO
Thank you Carina – my uncle was avery special man. He was loved by all and kind. Just very kind. He had a lot he could have bragged about through the years – he graduated from Princeton and was very successful – but he never did. He was gregarious and funny, and he always had a kind word for everyone. This is my uncle who was 6″4″. It’s just hard to believe that he is really gone. I know this is a super hard time for my aunt. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you and your family are doing well. XO
Susie Mandel says
I love this post all over again. Praying for your sweet family right now.
Thank you Susie. XO
Hey Allie, you write really well. I am feeling like crying. Thank you Allie for this lovely and heart touching post. 🙂
Dear Puja – thank you so much for the kind words. I enjoy writing almost as much as baking. You are a very sweet person and I enjoy your writing and posts also. Happy New Year. XO
Linda Jenkins says
Still love this post as much as I did the first time I read it. I agree, there are so many broken souls this year. The diseases, illnesses, and deaths have seemed to multiply this year. I feel sad for those losses and problems that people are dealing with this year. But, I also feel hopeful and peaceful, as well. Just as you rescued your angels with the broken wings and will once again rescue your tree topper with glue again this year, I feel Jesus using us as the glue in others’ lives. Through prayer, love, kindness, and thoughtfulness we are helping to “glue” people back together again. God is calling upon us to be the handymen for those who are hurting. We become the strength in others’ lives when they need us most. And they will become stronger and better able to be the “glue” for others when they gain strength. What a beautiful and wondrous and miraculous circle of love God’s grace has enabled us to create. Yes, we all have cracks and breaks, but because of God’s mercy we become stronger together.
Dear Linda – it’s been quite a year, hasn’t it. I’m thankful to know you and for all the times we’ve shared together. Praying it will be a wonderful year ahead and that we can continue to be that “glue’ in the lives of others. Cheers to a beautiful New Year ahead for you and Jack. XO
It is a year later and I am till moved by your words Allie…Hope you had a wonderful and precious time with your loved ones. Looking forward to meet you for a cup of tea in January. Love, Daniella
Hello my friend Daniella, thank you for these very kind words. It was so nice to see you for just a little bit in December. I look forward to sharing a cup of tea together soon. XO
plazma burst says
Looks great! I would like to cook them on this weekends. I think that it could be a good decision…