Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Merry Christmas

Today is Christmas. Today is also Sunday. The best part of today, and yesterday, is that I was with my family. My DrH, and my four kids for two days:-) Today we went to church and listened to beautiful Christmas music and visited with other members of our church who were just as excited as we were to be there. I wish I could bottle that feeling. A couple of times during the opening songs I thought I could just cry. I don't usually cry at Christmas, it's a jolly holiday! But when I think of what Christmas really means it touches a place in my heart that I usually keep closed, tightly.

Regardless of what was, or wasn't, under the tree this year I have been blessed beyond measure. I know this, and in the back of my mind each time I complain about this or that I know that it is really just a small thing. All the big things I have in my life are amazing.

I am so grateful for this time of year. The only reason I have been able to make it this far in this journey is through my faith in Jesus Christ. I know that he is the Son of God. I know that he fulfilled a divine purpose that was laid out from before the beginning of time. I know that he is the perfect example. I know him as my brother, my friend and my Savior. I am so glad that God loves me, and each of you, enough to have sent his son to prepare the way for us to return to Him. I know not everyone believes that Jesus Christ is what I know him to be. If I didn't know that I would feel lost and alone. He gives me hope. Hope that what is happening now is for my good. Hope that even though it may be uncomfortable at times, it will be better. Hope that something bigger awaits me if I can endure my trials well. Hope that at the end of my life I will be found a good and faithful servant. Hope that what I do matters.

This is our last Christmas with our congregation, in this particular city. This is the place where we have raised our children. I am going to miss this place. I am going to miss these people. I am going to miss this part of my life when it is over. And yes, it will be over soon!

I've been thinking a lot about Christmas traditions and what our Christmases might look like one day and the thing I keep coming back to is love and generosity. I don't care what we get, I want to give. I know of a family to wakes up early Christmas morning to make and serve breakfast to residents of a senior, low-income housing building. Another family who quietly gives wonderful gifts in secret to people they know who are in need. I don't know the giver, but I do know the receiver. I want to be someone like that. That is what Christmas means to me. That is the spirit of Christmas that I want to be able to teach my children. Instead of wondering what Santa will bring for them, I want them to be excited about what they might be able to give to others.

Merry Christmas!  I hope that you had a wonderful day and that you were able to feel the spirit of Christmas and the joy of the season. I am looking forward to a wonderful New Year.

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