The Greatest Christmas Gift
It’s 6 a.m., and there’s really no reason for me to be up this crazy early on Christmas day anymore, but my friend forgot her work shoes last night when she joined my family and friends for some food and games, and stopped to get them this morning on her way back to another 12-hour shift at the hospital. I’m reminded that sometimes, God puts new friends in our lives at just the right time. So this morning, I’m thankful for my friendship with Hillary, who shared Nishelle with me! God is good!
Now, I’m sitting here in the light provided only by my laptop and the Christmas tree. It’s quiet, all except for the Brazilian coffee I can hear brewing in my tiny little 2-cup coffee maker. I’m thankful again for the gift of friendship – and for Emily, who not only brought me this coffee from Brazil :), but has endeared herself to my entire family, and set more of an example of humility and obedience to me than she will ever know. God is good!
A text came through from a cousin who NEVER forgets to wish me a Merry Christmas year after year after year after year. I’m thankful for the gift of family, and even for technology, without which, I would not be in touch with so many people I love (and others I have come to know and love!) God is good!
I’m also still sitting here tickled that my sister Nancy and her hubs Tom stopped by last night, enjoyed a few games, a lot of laughter, and the gift of some TIME with us. I’m thankful for the best sister ever this morning, and also that precious gift of TIME. Nancy got to snuggle her grand niece, Lyla Grace, last night and hear a few of her first giggles too! God is good!
Speaking of Lyla Grace, I’m grateful for the TIME I got to spend snuggling her last night and telling her how much I loved her. I’m grateful that I get to watch Rory and Holly enjoy falling in love with their baby girl. It reminds me of the love I have for MY boys. And though I’ve only been a Grandma now for seven weeks, I already love it, and am looking forward to my “Thursdays with Lyla”….. God is good!
Coffee is ready…….. I have a brand new coffee cup from my friend. It says to worry less, and smile more. And I am. I’m smiling. A text just came from him. It’s been a good, good year. God is good!
My brother just called. I’m SO, SO thankful for Larry, my sister-in-law, Marianne, and for ALL of my nephews and nieces (yep – ALL of them!). (Life is short. Time is precious. You CANNOT get lost time back. Get over it. And in the words of the great philosopher – “Rafiki” (Lion King) – “It doesn’t matter! It’s in thee past!) 😉 (Love you guys!)
Scrolling through Facebook, I’m seeing the pictures of my friends who are at the hospital serving others who can’t be home for Christmas because they are sick. There are hilarious photos of the Elf on the Shelf that the day and night shifts have fun hiding from each other all over social media. I’m thankful for the gift of laughter, for the best co-workers, and for my “new-old” job this morning. More new friends. More time with old friends. I’m thankful for normal hours, which have allowed me to just BEGIN to make up for two years of neglected relationships. I’m. so. thankful. for. that. God is good!
I need to get ready for church. Even as I start thinking about what I will choose to wear, I’m reminded of how lucky (correction – blessed), I am that I have a closet full of clothes. I’m spoiled rotten, really. I’m not hurting for anything. I have everything that I need (and so, so much more)! God is good!
I get to bring my son with me to church this morning too. He’s home from college for a few weeks, and has been such a great help to me these past few days. I’m looking most forward to spending the morning with him again. And a visit with my own Mum this afternoon, and then a visit again with Rory, Holly, Lyla, and their family this afternoon. I laughed so hard with my sons last night that my belly hurts this morning. Thank you, God, for Rory, Ian, Holly, and Lyla – and again, for the gift of laughter. God is good!
There are family photos of friends on Facebook – Moms, Dads, & new babies. Some are friends who spent years discouraged thinking they would never have a family, and now they are changing diapers and taking their little ones to see Santa Claus. God is good!
But I’m also reminded this morning with my brief Facebook scroll, of all of the hearts that are hurting this morning. One friend lost both of her parents in the past year, another began this year with the sudden and unexpected loss of her baby at just two months old. Another friend was divorced, another is missing her son who is overseas serving our country. I’ve had some lonely holidays, and seasons of holidays I wish would hurry and pass so that I can forget the hurts caused by others, the loneliness of being alone, and the losses of those I loved. I’m sorry if you are hurting, but I hope you know where to look for comfort. There IS only one place to find it. I’ve seen friends get to that place just this year, even in their horrible grief! And I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” God is good!
I watch as my friend who experienced the biggest loss of all this year, both grieves the loss of her baby and celebrates the anticipation of a new baby at the same time. I’m reminded of Revelation 21:5, that says, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” God is good!
When it seems like things are the most out of control, or when it feels like God is missing in the midst of chaos and hurt – He remains in complete control. I often think of what must have been running through the minds of those present during Christ’s crucifixion. I’m sure it looked like God was not in control at all, but was He? Oh yeah! He was definitely in control – to the point of accomplishing once and for all what only He could do for us! God is good!
My coffee is getting cold as I come to the end of this blog. I know it’s not well written, but more like a mixed up bunch of thoughts that perhaps should have just gone in my hand-written journal. Who knows.
I just can’t help but look back over the years this morning. Life’s been so good – even with all of its heartaches, and ups and downs. I love Christmas morning, sitting here alone in the quiet looking at the Christmas tree. I’m reminded of what I am the most thankful for – that whether I’m going through a season of joy or a season of what feels like the darkest despair – there is ALWAYS hope. That’s what Christmas is all about. The best Christmas gift ever – available not just on December 25, but on EVERY day of the year! We have to remind each other of that gift this morning, especially those who are “just not feelin’ it” right now…… God is still good!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16