Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Glimpses of Christmas

Preparing for Christmas was rushed and joyless...until my friend asked me to watch her children while she visited her husband in the hospital. Her girls and mine had a wonderful time rolling and cutting and baking and decorating cookies. I enjoyed their fun. This set the tone for the next few days.
I couldn't find peace...until Christmas Eve when I was dropping something off at another friend's house, in a hurry as always, and when she opened her door, I saw she had a cup of hot tea ready, along with oat bran muffins, all set up in her dining room. Those brief few moments are a special memory of this Christmas. Her house was so warm and inviting, and I found rest in quiet conversation with a dear friend.
I couldn't find joy...until we went to our Christmas Eve service at church and found some friends who only come once a year. This family has suffered much in the past few months, but here they all were, dressed in holiday finery, singing out the carols with all their hearts.
I couldn't find contentment until Christmas morning when I realized my daughter Arielle was right. It's all about family. All our kids arrived, the big kids and the little kids, together with all the laughter and stories and feasting and celebrating. Of course, we longed for the missing ones: Dominic and Stacia were in Chicago, Kelsey and Seth in Minnesota. And our extended family in North Carolina and Georgia. But phone calls late into the night connected me to my brother and mother. How blessed we are to have so many loved ones, near and far.
Sometimes I think I expect too much from life. This quote from C.S. Lewis sums it up. "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
And yet, God gives us plenty of experiences in this world to enjoy. And the best is yet to come.


Dominic said...

Great pictures. Stacia and I really missed not being together with everyone.

Deb said...

Everyone missed you two. You add a special touch to every family gathering!