Simple or Sparkle?

By Tracey Eyster
It’s a simple ornament made of thin cheap metal and it looks
quite out of place on our CHRISTmas tree. But each year I lovingly and safely
nestle it amongst its expensive and sparkly peers, without a care as to how
unglamorous it appears.
Many of our CHRISTmas ornaments have a story and an uncanny
way of welling up emotion in me, but this certain one causes an intense
You see the ornament is engraved with the name of my
grandmother, Sara, and was given to me by my mother, who ordered it from
Hospice, after Grandmama’s death. Yes, the months leading up to her death carry
memories of a frail and failing grandmama, but that ornament carries my
thoughts to sweet CHRISTmas memories of the past.
CHRISTmas Eve dinners in her home, laughing, singing,
gathering and celebrating a year filled with blessings as we remembered the
birth of our Savior. CHRISTmas mornings, she was always there participating with
glee, in our raucous CHRISTmas happiness. Her gifts were always bank envelopes
gently tucked into the pine needles of our CHRISTmas tree, fresh cut from the
property she grew up on.
All memories of my Grandmama make my heart swell.
You see she was my Jesus with skin on. She lived her life full of
joy, serving others and approached life selflessly with an attitude of, “What
can I do for you?”
Just months before she left us, even as the Alzheimer’s was
robbing her mind she shared her love of Jesus with a sweet little old lady
friend, who came to know the Lord – a divine appointment.  The very
next day that little old lady silently slipped away to meet in person the One
Sara introduced her to just the day before.
At the time I wept, realizing that regardless of our own
frailties and failings, God can still use those of us who are willing to do His
work and are well practiced at hearing His voice…no matter our lack of
sparkle in comparison to others.
A simple life lived for Him, a simple ornament in memory of
Sara…a simple truth for you to ponder.


Tracey Eyster wife, mom, relationship
gatherer and Creator/Editor of FamilyLife’s MomLife Today is a media savvy mom
making a difference where moms are, on-line. Through speaking, writing and
video interviews Tracey is passionate about encouraging, equipping and advising
moms on every facet of momlife. Her first book, Be The Mom will be released
August 2012. You can connect with Tracey at, her personal
site or

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!
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