This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Spirit

Ever the encourager, Kim at mom-musings gifted me with a Christmas award:

Thanks, Kim! Sorry it's taken me so long to post this, but I'm finally feeling a little better tonight so I thought while the boys (all three of them! LOL!) are occupied, since there is no company (I was blessed by visits from both my father and my sister and her children) and since we have nowhere to go, I could visit my much neglected blog and hopefully my bloggy friends.

So, what are the rules?

The rules:
The rules for this meme are very simple. Good manners dictate thanking (and linking to) the person who gave you the award. Then simply list five things you love about Christmas and pay the meme forward by tagging as many people as you'd like to. To keep the Christmas spirit flowing, be a good sport and tag at least one person.

Five things I love about Christmas? This Christmas, I will have to say, did not turn out how I had envisioned in my rose-colored imagination. No one plans on being sick before, let alone on a holiday--especially when that "one" is the Mommy-person. I got a slow start in the first place and then kicked up the pace a little and went on a decorating binge. But (she says with quite a whiny whine) I had soooooooooo much more planned to do, so much more to bake, special menus to make, cards to send, books to read, songs to sing, people to see, places to go, blog friends to visit, posts to post, sigh ...

And I don't think those all where what God had in mind. I'm not saying He made me have pneumonia, but He can use everything for His glory. And a few days ago I had to come to terms with what was essential for this particular Christmas. And that helped narrow down the choices. So five things that I've loved about this very different Christmas? They are:

1. God. Sounds kind of cliché and trite, but it is true. He met me in everything I purposed to Him. Everywhere I made an effort to seek Him, He was there. Whether I was in church, with my family, exhausted and lying in bed--He was there. Christmas is about God and His great love for us. Let the commercialism and retailers and those who would deny Him protest--it won't change the truth: Christmas is about God, YHVH, the Great I AM's love for His wayward children.

2. My family. My guys make it all fun. My husband really took over so much for me this year. My boys just love anything anyone does to make things more festive. Spending time with my father and my sister and her children just blessed me and reminded me that to slow down and enjoy the moments.

3. Church. No matter your denomination, I bet you love to go to church during Christmas to sing and praise the LORD with other believers--other members of Our Father's vast and diverse family. I bet you love to hear the Gospel message of how the Father sent His Only Son to our world as a tiny infant, a child born not it a palace, but a smelly stable. I bet you love to hear the message of LOVE. I know I do.

The one thing I had asked for this year was to go to Midnight Mass again, just like last year (probably not what the doctor ordered--but my heart was crying for it). We went and it was wonderful. I am always amazed at how moved I am to hear the Christmas hymns, to hear the Word, to come to worship the One.

4. Surprises. Christmas is always about surprises. From the first surprise that God would send His Son as an infant, to the surprises of today. Maybe a family member got to come home, maybe you got something you really wanted, maybe it was the surprise of giving a gift to someone and you could tell you had blessed them and they were thrilled.

I had so many surprises this year--really good and sweet surprises. I have to tell you I ended up crying quite a lot--happy tears mind you. But crying leads to coughing, so I coughed a lot too. But the surprises were worth it. Someone gifted my children in an unexpected way. Someone delivered a beautiful dinner on a night I had company and hadn't had the energy to put anything together. Surprises are a wonderful part of Christmas.

5. Lights. I'm trying to imagine Christmas without light. If you didn't notice in my decorating--I like lights. I'm not sure that it always works, but I hope that with the lights we remember the Light of the World.

Now I am supposed to pass this on, and so to everyone who commented on my posts through Advent to Christmas (and if you comment on this one too!), I'd like to share this award with you. I wasn't sure where Christmas this year was going, and your sweet comments, e-mails and encouragement blessed me more than you will know.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your days have been merry and your families blessed with joy.



Kelli said...

Merry Christmas Julie! Can't wait to see what 22009 has in store for all of us!!

luvmy4sons said...

A very Merry Christmas to you!

gemma said...

Oh Julie!! I am so sorry that you have been ill. Nothing worse than coughing, wheezing and having no energy in those times when nothing is happening but wow! I hope you are truly on the mend and it sounds as though God helped you through it and turned it into good as He does, by making you truly focus on the important parts of the season...your darling boys, all three of them, and the rest of the family as well as friends and at the top of the list, God Himself.

Merry Christmas and Bless us Everyone.

Kim said...

Oh, Julie! I am so sorry you were ill--but from the sound of your post you have managed to have a beautiful Christmas in spite of it. :)

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in trying to recreate all of our traditions each year, and then find what a bad attitude I can have when things don't go as planned--our Arctic weather was the wrinkle in all my plans this year, but you know... Christmas came anyway!

So glad you were able to make it to mass--I am sure that was so meaningful to you.


Renee said...

Julie, I'm sending prayers your way; hope you feel better soon. I loved your list for Christmas!