Thursday, December 29, 2011

Whoa! What's it's hurry!

Wow. Christmas comes. And it goes!!! Very rapidly. Hurriedly... as if it's running from or to something. Or, as if it's running a race. It whisks in... in what seems like a minute... and it whisks out even faster. Before you're able to catch it, or hold it, or enjoy it too long, it's been here, and it's gone............ It was good. And I miss it already.

The tinsel, the tree, the twinkling, the lights, the ornaments, the shopping, the wrapping, the packages, the food, the feast!, the bellies left stuffed full and jingling, the carols being sung, the bells being rung, the chestnuts roasting by open fires...................

Okay. So truth be told, we didn't have any roasting chestnuts on our fire. And in all honesty, we've never had such. BUT, the song sings it and it seemed fitting to print it here. Basically, because for some strange reason, of all the Christmas songs this season, that one stuck in my mind this year. I bet I've sung those lines in my mind a thousand times ("Chestnuts roasting by the open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Yule tide carols being sung by the choir. And folks dressed up like Eskimos. Everybody knows.........."). Strange how one song will stick... even when, if you had thought about it, if asked, it wouldn't be the song that you'd pick.....

We had a sweet Christmas this year. Simple. Different. We broke all tradition, except going to my mom's.... and that almost didn't happen. It was a last minute change of plans. Daddy wasn't there. We noticed his absence. It was huge! Loud! Very evident! Very felt! Extremely noticed! And yet, even in our missing of him, I think we were more thankful this year (because of him) for those we still had. (God definitely has a way of working things out like that.)

We had that "lots and lots and lots of the Presence" that I'd hoped and asked for! God showed up and made it happen in the surprising (last minute) ways that He does! Yes, I already said it was sweet... but truly, I can't tell you how sweet it really was.

It's been a challenging year. A painful one. And in that, there's more beauty found in the simple, the little things, the things that are at other times often left for granted. I think it's that "joy cometh in the morning" (Ps 30:5) kind of a thing.... And yet, every time I hear or think of that verse I see it as, 'joy cometh in the mourning'...... because wildly, somehow, most times, it does. There's a tendered sweetness that often come out in the suffering. Perhaps that's God's "very present help in times of trouble" (Ps 46:1) showing out?! :) And too, another verse that seems evident is, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" (Matt 5:4).

One observation that was new to me this year from all the years past was this: With every next Christmas you have every one of the old ones come back to visit. They "present" themselves all over again, as if wrapped up again for you to reopen it. I realized that I had only had 48. Not so many. This year's made my 49th! And my kids.... they've only had 17, and 18, and 21. I wanted to know what they remembered of their Christmas' past??? (They've been such fun! We've been so blessed!) And it's made me want to remember forever to make each Christmas wonderfully memorial! An exciting memory to be reunwrapped and remembered each year upon the next new Christmas morn. (Matter of fact, now that I think about it, I think I recently posted about this thinking before. Funny! Ummm... if so, forgive me, I obviously found myself sitting here unwrapping the already unwrapped already again!)

I'm not sure what your Christmas was like. But even if not a gift was received or was given, we've already been given the Ultimate Gift! Our Christ came! Our Messiah! Our Lord! Our Jesus! Our Savior! Our Deliverer! Our Redeemer! What more do we need? Dare we ever forget the real reason for the season and all that we've already been and continue to be given!

Remember... and sing with me: "Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room, and Heaven and nature sing.......................... " "O little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie, Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the stars go passing by. Yet in thy dark streets shineth the Everlasting Light, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. For Christ is born of Mary and gathered all above. While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love. O morning stars together proclaim the holy birth, and praises sing to God the King and peace to men on earth.........." "The first Noel the angels did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay. In fields where they lay, keeping their sheep, on a cold winter's night that was so deep. Noel Noel Noel Noel, Born is the King of Israel......"

BIG SMILE!!!!!!!!!!!! Because now THAT'S a memory!!!!!!!!!!!!

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