Reba, Elvis, Bing and the Bunch, Crooning the Good News

***FYI, I had in mind some super neat pics to use with this post but alas, I’m home now and having Internet trouble. I’m having to type all off this in on my phone– which is not cooperating much either! Sigh. I won’t be able to post adorable picture of the long ago manger scene and current shot of the dutiful boom box but dagnabit, I will get this posted :)

“Reba, Elvis, Bing and the Bunch,  Crooning the Good News”
My name is Shellie and I’m a bonafide sucker for Christmas music.
From the first day a decoration goes up in my house, the songs of the season play soft and low beneath all the craziness, delivered by a huge boombox from yesteryear. The big black music maker lives on a laundry room shelf, located near enough to the revolving backdoor and the kitchen chaos to make for easy CD changes. Elvis, Vince, Reba and The Judds take turns with Bing, Babbie, and a host of other inspirational artists and worship choirs all sending their joyful offerings throughout the house, the older tunes mingling with the newer, faster offerings like one big funky Christmas party full of family and friends from all walks of life. The same sort of mixer awaits me in the car. Ditto the playlist I offer on my radio show. By the  end of the season, if I haven’t squeezed every bit of goodie from it’s musical backtrack, it’s not for lack of effort! 
It’s true. As I type these words to you from the road, with the man driving and yours truly pinging from one activity to the next, I could be quite happy with the Holiday Channel only Beloved Chauffeur is tuned into a twenty-four hours news and sports channel and I feel I should at least give him that since I get to play with my tech toys, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.  
All this being said, coming up with a short list of favorite Christmas songs is quite the monumental task for Belle Friday. I think I’d be best served by choosing one from several genres and going with it. 
Old Hymns – Silent Night (Here, it is important to remember yesteryear when your daughter played Mary to your best friend’s Joseph, while your son stood nearby in full shepherd wonder. To be sure, the greater wonder at the time might have been left to us parents who were hoping the eager worshippers didn’t knock over the shaky manger.)
Country – I’ll Have a Blue Christmas by Elvis. (When singing along with Elvis to this one, it is important to mutter your words, drop a few consonants and string what’s left together so that “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you,” sounds like ‘I’ll-a have-uh a blue Chri-muh withou chew…”
Inspirational- Mary, Did You Know by Mark Lowrey. Flat. Out. Favorite! Several years ago, it inspired me to pen my own tribute to the joys and pains Mary must have felt. I’ll leave y’all today with those verses, along with my wishes that you have a blessed and prosperous New Year, one in which you find yourself drawing ever closer to the Savior, the baby was born to be. 
“Grace Came to Stay”
Sweet baby Jesus, Mary held you tight
your tiny hands clutching her fingers
your baby scent caressing her senses as she
breathed in the wonder of her first born son,
the promise of an angel asleep in her arms.
What did she know? What did she feel?
Run with this precious gift? Disrupt the plan
formed before ever the world was? And then grace
came, that marvelous grace and her aching heart eased.

Little boy Jesus, Mary watched you run and play,
enjoying your giggles and kissing your scraped knees.
How much did it hurt to consider the thoughts stirring inside?
What lay ahead for a child born of a virgin?
And then grace came, that marvelous grace and her
aching heart eased.

Young man Jesus; they called you names, lunatic,
crazy, Son of Joseph claiming to be deity.
What did your Mother’s heart feel, Mary?
How many times did his arms surround your shoulders before
grace would come, that marvelous grace and your
aching heart would ease?

Sacrificed lamb, Savior Jesus, Mary beheld you on
the cross. You were the Son of God, paying a bill
in full. How her heart must have broken to let go of your
humanity– for you were also born of woman, Son of man.
And then grace came, that marvelous grace and her
aching heart eased.

Risen Jesus, Resurrection Life, Mary watched
you ascend in the clouds.
Sweet Mary, waiting there in Jerusalem,
watching with the others,
aching for her firstborn son.
And then, just as the Father had promised,
Grace came to stay.

(John 16:5-7: But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you ask me, where are you going? But because I have said these things, sorrow hath filled your heart…It is necessary that I go away; for if I go not away the Comforter will not come to you, but if I depart, I will send him unto you.)

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is an author, speaker, radio host, and musically challenged songbird who never lets that stop her from hoisting a tune on the banks of Lake Providence, LA. She invites you to her place at 


Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
Belle of All Things Southern

Jeff Foxworthy endorses “Sue Ellen’s Girl Ain’t Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy” MAY 2011 from Penguin/Berkley
“There is nothing much funnier than someone that doesn’t take themselves too seriously and just “tells it all.” I know. I’ve made a pretty good living doing just that. As a Yard Bubba ( You’ll have to read the book for an explanation ) living in a house full of Southern Belles I am here to tell you that Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is laugh out loud funny. For anyone that has an ounce of Southern blood flowing through their veins or those that wish they did, this book is going to be a treasure!” — Jeff Foxworthy

        Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On,
What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters That the Rest of Y’all Should Know Too
Shellie Rushing Tomlinson ~ Released May 08 ~ Berkley, division of Penguin Group USA
**SIBA 2009 Nonfiction Book of the Year Finalist**

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  1. says

    Boombox from yesteryear and Elvis dropping his consonants! I can so picture this, Shellie, and I can feel your enthusiasm for all of the Christmas songs from the old hymns to the new ones. I love the words to Grace Came to Stay! Wishing you and yours a truly blessed Christmas as we remember the Little Child who leads us all. Much Love, Beth Webb

  2. Lisa Wingate says

    You are a trooper, Shellie! Any girl who can type a post on her phone has my admiration! Missed those pics, but love the lyrics. The life of Jesus in poetic verse. Beautiful! I can’t imagine what Mary’s mother-heart must have felt as she raised this world-changing child. Oh the challenges and the joy!

    ;o) Merry Christmas late, girlfriend!

  3. says

    Thx, sweet Belles! Computer troubles have been “mostly” solved, desktop computers in both of our offices are up and running along with my laptop and ipad. Husband’s laptop acts like maybe the wireless connector got fried during the power outage/surge while we were gone. :)) Slowly, but surely…I’m sorry for the badly formatted post, and I appreciate everyones’ graciousness. Happy New Year!

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