Christmas, a special time of remembrance and celebration. Of family and friendship and sharing around the table of memories of old and hopes of the future. As my family comes together my heart is overwhelmed with the journey we have all travelled this past year, and the strong sense of unity that has prevailed. We have traversed many challenges, interwoven with life changing joys, from heartaches to car wrecks, a precious baby to a wedding in the making.
I reflect on each of my precious children and am moved to tears by what they have not only endured this year but have overcome. Each has grown, not only physically but emotionally, in wisdom and character, in their grasp of the preciousness of life and in their own individual walks of faith.
Somehow I feel so inadequate as a mother, I wish I could have protected them and guided them around life’s challenges. I wish I was so much more than I am and have been this year. I wish I had of spoken the words that would have avoided the pit falls, healed the hurt and given hope. Ultimately I know that it is the challenges of life which shape us into the people we are to become. Still I question why the lessons have to be so hard, yet even in saying that I know without a doubt that they have never been alone and that God has never left their sides, whether they can admit that now or not.
This is the first Christmas where we have not all lived in the one home, my family is growing up. As we come together there is that invisible thread that joins us together, unity in heart that binds us together one to another. Next year will bring more changes and Christmas celebrations will once again adapt to the passage of time, but for now I treasure them all being here.
Christmas is the season for peace and hope, love and joy. As we celebrate the birth of a baby in a manger, not just any baby but Our Saviour, we stand in awe at the great love of Our Father God who sent His only son that we may have hope and joy everlasting. I pray that beyond the gifts we share with one another, the wrapping paper and tinsel trimmed trees, we would cast our thoughts to a stable over 2000 years ago where God became man so that we would come to know Him and grow in loving, genuine relationship with Him.
My deepest prayer is that as time unfolds my children would come to look to their Heavenly Father, not as a religious figure, not as a source of rules and restrictions, nor as a distant uncaring God, but as their “Daddy”. Their all loving, all guiding, all comforting source of all they would ever need from this moment to the next. Their trusted friend and loyal companion, their Almighty God who loved them so much He sent a baby to change the world and pursue their hearts for relationship with Him in all its forms.
As I look into the eyes of my grandson I see hope and promise and abundant life, he is loved and cherished and he is a great source of joy. He is the future of our family; he is the reflection of love of Our Father God. As he grows and learns, his wonder at the world is the same as ours should be. May we never take for granted the laughter of a child, the warmth of their embrace no matter how old they are. May we always stand in awe at the power of the ocean, the majesty of a sunset and the beauty of a rainbow.
And may we always treasure the invisible cords that bind us as ‘family’.