It was an unusual morning as I sat on the couch sipping my coffee while listening to the rain tapping against the house. The boys were sleeping and snuggled with their daddy as I slipped away for a quiet moment for devotions and reflections. The house was dark except for our Christmas tree shining in the corner and the light of my phone as I read my Proverbs 31– First 5 app devotion. The message was about being prepared for Christ’s return (Matthew 25:13) while living faithful and productive lives (Matthew 25:14-30).
You just can’t help but smile when you look at a colorful Christmas tree. The ornaments remind me of happy times, but it also reminded of heart aches endured this year and the times my heart longed for Christ’s return.I watched and cried as my sister delivered a still born precious baby boy. Then in July, I stood somberly next to my husband as he watched his 40-year-old cousin lose his battle to brain cancer. Grief still harbors in my heart as I reflect on our most recent loss, of our cherished Paw-Paw.
I ponder why such a festive season can bring much sorrow, and I have come to the conclusion that it’s our memories. I had the best Christmases as a kid. My family would brave hills of snow and traffic from North Carolina to Buffalo, NY to spend Christmas with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We had traditions that we looked forward to every year like going to the cinema to watch a Christmas movie and going skiing. We would go sledding, caroling and devour copious amounts of pizza, wings and Grandma’s homemade divinity and fudge. I never wanted these days to end, and I recall every year praying they wouldn’t as I sat in the window seat at my grandparent’s house watching the snow fall as tears would trickle down my cheek.
While the days did pass and our lives changed, I held my memories dear. Yet like the parable of the talents, I chose to invest my memories into the future. I am creating new traditions and memories. This past summer, my boys and I visited my Grandma (my Grandpa passed away in 2008). Things had changed, but Grandma’s hugs were still there and fun with my cousins to be had.
Several people will be missing at our Christmas dinner table this year, but my heart will encouraged by the memories we made, traditions to continue and our reunion in heaven one day.
What are you reflecting on this Christmas? Please share a Christmas memory, and help encourage others.