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Reba McEntire: When Christmas is Hard, You Can Still Find Joy

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Jesus Calling Podcast Episode 72

Reba McEntire is a country music legend who has had over thirty-five #1 singles and over 56 million albums sold worldwide. Reba has become a beloved household name who has made her mark in film, television, theater and retail. Her last project, a Gospel double CD entitled “Sing It Now; Songs of Faith and Hope,” recently won a Gospel Music Association Dove Award for Bluegrass/Country/Roots Album of the Year. Now Reba has gone on to record a new Christmas record called “My Kind of Christmas.” She shares her thoughts on Christmas, and why, for many of us, Christmas can be a difficult time of year, but also why she thinks it’s important to find joy, and to remember the Reason for this season.

Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling Podcast. Reba McEntire is a country music legend who has had over thirty-five #1 singles and over 56 million albums sold worldwide. Reba has become a beloved household name who has made her mark in film, television, theater and retail. Her last project, a Gospel double CD entitled “Sing It Now; Songs of Faith and Hope,” recently won a Gospel Music Association Dove Award for Bluegrass/Country/Roots Album of the Year. Now Reba has gone on to record a new Christmas record called “My Kind of Christmas.” She shares her thoughts on Christmas, and why, for many of us, Christmas can be a difficult time of the year, but also why she thinks it’s important to find joy, and to remember the reason for this season.

Reba McEntire: When Christmas is Hard, You Can Still Find Joy: Jesus Calling Podcast Episode #72

Reba McEntire: You can start back when I was at home in southeastern Oklahoma we’d go to Grandma’s house, Mama’s mama. I was named after her. So, her name is Reba Estelle Smith and I’m Reba Nell McEntire. Of course, we’d always start the morning opening gifts there at home in Chockie, Oklahoma and then go over to Grandma’s house where Aunt Jenny, and Aunt Virginia, and Mama; all their kids would be hanging out and playing.

Having kids is what makes Christmas a different story, because you get to see the delight in their eyes that you had as a kid. My ex-husband’s mother, my mother-in-law, she would help tell the story about Joseph and Mary coming to Bethlehem, and having baby Jesus in the stable, and putting him in the manger, and then she’d bring a cake in. We’d sing “Happy Birthday, Jesus,” because it was his birthday.

Reba McEntire and Shelby with a Christmas box.This is why we’re here. You know these are gifts. That’s the symbol of Jesus’ birthday. So then we’d open the gifts and we’d go on with our day. Those kind of holiday traditions are really cool to remind the kids; remind everybody of the Reason for the season.

We do Thanksgiving and holidays–Thanksgiving holiday in Oklahoma, and then I stay in Tennessee for Christmas–it’s me and Shelby Christmas morning.

So we’re both kind of on a diet all the time, so I can’t bake a cake for him, but with the little kids. You know, I think it’s really cool that my kids, older kids, Shauna, Brandon and Chaz, I tell this story to remind everybody that it’s a great thing to tell the little kids–all kids of all ages– about why we’re here for this season.

At Bigger Heart At Christmas

Christmas is just a fun time of the year. I love twinkling lights, I love the sparkles in the snow, I like Christmas songs. We have the Christmas album out, and to get to sing some of my songs off the Christmas album, called “My Kind of Christmas,” and then get all my buddies to come on the show and sing it with me.

My spiritual favorite song on the album is “Mary Did You Know,” that’s with Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Oh my gosh, I just love the way they did that.Reba McEntire on the CMA Christmas show.

While we were recording that, he had his guitar out and he said, “What if I put this on?” and I said, “Vince, it’s an acoustic album.” And he said, “But what if I play this?” I said, “yeah, you can.” I can’t say no to Vince at all.

And then “Hard Candy Christmas” it’s a real sad song. But you know, there’s a lot of people that Christmas is one of the saddest times of the year because they’re alone. They don’t have family. It’s cold. They need help with provisions and for electric bills; things like that. They just need help. Everybody’s got a bigger heart at Christmastime, because it is the season of giving: Giving gifts, feeling charitable, helping out, more love.

Staying Positive During The Christmas Season

You know, for the last two Christmases, it’s been a dreaded day, because it’s not the same. I’ve gone through a divorce–been two years–and I’ve just made a pact with myself, that it’s going to be positive. I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to remember the Reason for the season and I’m going to include happiness, and joy, and the right things, instead of being negative and “wished it would have been” and how I look back–those days are past. You’ve got to live for today and be ready for tomorrow and what the good Lord gives you. So it’s going to be a positive. I’m really turning over a new leaf for this next Christmas.

Singing Reba McEntire standing in front of a wall of flowers.

There’s a lot of things up ahead for me. We’ve got the Christmas album, we’ve got the CMA Christmas special for the CMA’s, and then we’re going on tour next year. I’ve got a couple of scripts that I’m looking for, for television. We’ve got a couple of movie scripts we’re looking at. So things are really kind of blossoming and Christmas is right around the corner, so there’s a lot of things. The Lord’s been really, really good to me. I’m very grateful.

Jesus Always: Giving Control To God

Narrator: Reba has long made Jesus Calling a part of her prayer and devotional time. And now, she also reads Jesus Always, the latest 365 day devotional from Sarah Young. Reba shares a passage that has special meaning to her from Jesus Always.

Reba: I thought October 18th was really sweet and I like to get a message that resonates with me.

“Go gently through this day, keeping your eyes on Me. I will open up the way before you, as you take steps of trust along your path. Sometimes the way before you appears to be blocked. If you focus on the obstacle or search for a way around it, you will probably go off course. Instead, focus on Me, The Shepherd, who is leading you along your life journey. Before you know it, the obstacle will be behind you and you will hardly know how you passed through it. This is the secret of success in My kingdom. Although you remain aware of the visible world around you, your primary awareness is of Me. When the road before you looks rocky, you can trust Me to get you through that rough patch. My presence enables you to face each day with confidence.”

We think we have total control. We think we can handle all the messes we get ourselves into. We cannot. If you just give it to God, He can handle it. Big Boy’s got the power. He knows how to take care of things and do it a lot better than we can. It takes the stress off of us, that way we can function better, we’re not worried, we’re not stressed out; because that’ll make you sick. So if you’re giving all that worry to God, letting Him handle it, your day will be better.

Narrator: Reba’s new record “My Kind of Christmas,” is now available at Wal-Mart.


Narrator: Today’s featured passage comes from the October 18th entry of the Jesus Calling audiobook.

GO GENTLY THROUGH THIS DAY, keeping your eyes on Me. I will open up the way before you, as you take steps of trust along your path. Sometimes the way before you appears to be blocked. If you focus on the obstacle or search for a way around it, you will probably go off course. Instead, focus on Me, the Shepherd who is leading you along your life-journey. Before you know it, the “obstacle” will be behind you and you will hardly know how you passed through it.”

That is the secret of success in My kingdom. Although you remain aware of the visible world around you, your primary awareness is of Me. When the road before you looks rocky, you can trust Me to get you through that rough patch. My Presence enables you to face each day with confidence.

Narrator: Hear more great stories about the impact Jesus Calling is having all over the world. Be sure to subscribe to the Jesus Calling Podcast on iTunes. We value your reviews and comments, so we can reach even more people with the message of Jesus Calling. And if you have your own story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Visit JesusCalling.com to share your story today.

3 thoughts on “Reba McEntire: When Christmas is Hard, You Can Still Find Joy

  1. Thank you for the featured passage from October 18 and Reba’s reflections on how her own joyous Christmas is with her family. It is good to be aware many people find the holidays are a lonely time without family or even a home in which to be kept warm or food to eat. We as Christians must embrace the truth that all of us have days we face which seem impossible to navigate. And it we stop and keep our sights on God who is or strength and redeemer, we find His peace will get us through any day or situation which might be challenging to navigate on our own. Christmas is a time to give our best love and compassion to one another and not just our own family and friends but those in need as well in our community.

  2. I absolutely love your testimony Reba !! We all are the “SAME” in GODS eyes/ world. I agree with you. sweet Reba we have to give it All. over to the All Mighty God in our stormy seasons.
    I love you not only as a sister in Christ but also for all you do as a celebrity and also if not more for you being you as Christian…….God Loving Soldieret in His Word doing His Will for you and many others you share His Word with.. And yes we always need to pray for PEACE !! Keep doing what your heart tells and where God leads you
    Love you Reba and my prayers are for YOU and YOUR FAMILY a very blessed and safe Christmas 2017 and New Year 2018

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