Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thoughts for the season
This morning I was awakened by my husband gingerly kissing me goodbye on my forehead as I lay all snuggled up under the covers. It was still very early and he was headed out the door to work. I was struck by the fact that in his profession he is always on alert and putting his life on the line each day to serve and protect, and yet he is one of the most tenderhearted men I know besides my daddy. I snuggled down deeper into the bed and smiled inwardly, enjoying the warmth until suddenly the phone startled me. It was our oldest, who was at his grandparents, calling to tell me it had started snowing. I then decided I would get up and see what this day would hold. This morning it was just Sparky and me awake. Sparky is our little dog. Our middle son was still sleeping soundly in his bed. The other two children had stayed with friends the previous evening. I plugged in the Christmas tree and was reminded how difficult this time of year is for our little family.
As I sat looking at the twinkling tree, I wondered how many would be struggling this Christmas season and no one would take time to notice. This time of year, which is filled with such hope and promise, is for many the most painful or loneliest time. Many that sit in our pews each Sunday or that we come in contact with each day are hurting from past painful experiences.
I thought of my own family. This time of year is particularly difficult for my sweet husband and my three youngest children. It was during this time of year that Jennifer, his first wife and their mommy, went back into the hospital, not to return home again. I have learned to not worry or fret when tears fall and to always be there for tender hugs, to be quiet in times of silence, and to tune my ears into their frequency and not so much my own.
I remember being a single parent. I can still remember it as if it was yesterday that first Christmas. It was incredibly painful. During those dark times was when my faith really deepened and I learned to rely on my heavenly Father for strength. I was determined that whatever life had thrown at me I had two choices....to be bitter or better. I chose to be better and let the Lord work and take myself out of the equation. Not an easy task.
I guess my thoughts for today are to impart to each of you the importance of reaching out to those around you. Invite someone over to share in your family Christmas, give gifts and food to a struggling single parent and their children, take a moment to really notice that teller or retail salesperson waiting on you. Do random acts of kindness and have your children join in. Give more of yourself to others this season and be thankful for what you have right this minute. Quit fretting about tomorrow because tomorrow will take care of itself.
I know that when my husband arrives home here in a few minutes, I am going to greet him and in my heart feel so thankful for his sacrifices for our family. I am going to hug my children a little tighter, even though at their age they are not so into that sort of thing...but I am going to relish the season and why we celebrate this time of year, our Savior's birth. I am not going to fret that my house is not elaborately decorated this year or that all our lights did not get put up outside. I am not going to get myself in a tizzy because I have not sent out Christmas cards. I am going to take time to be there for my family and enjoy each other instead of being so busy that one day I wake up and they are all grown and gone.
May this Christmas season you find time for peace, quiet, reflection, and family. Bless someone that is hurting and in the end you will be blessed.