A taste of FAITH, a touch of LAUGHTER.
It was an unusual Christmas, without Jayden, my granddaughter, and her Dad, Ken, around this year. Jayden and Ken have spent the last few Christmases at my place, which has been very nice, and my son Tallon has been present also. We have managed to be a little family healing from the loss of her Grandpa, the boys’ Dad and my husband, Jim.
We have spent time with extended family also in the last few Christmases. I think we are all healing from shared family losses, and it’s a difficult time of year when you are missing someone dear to you, as we all are.
This year, however, Ken and Jayden have joined forces with Marie and her two younger children, to make a family together. It was not too surprising that they would want to spend this Christmas as a smaller family unit. It also meant staying home rather than traveling winter roads through Alberta and BC. Another plus for them. I wouldn’t have to worry about them being on the road, but I knew I would miss them.
I wondered how it would be. I was invited to spend Christmas Eve with my extended family, my sister in law and her grown children, my niece and nephews. It had snowed and was icy and slippery, so one of my nephews very kindly picked me up and brought me there, which saved me the drive.
It was a lovely meal and we shared a gift exchange afterwards. It felt odd without all the grandchildren, both my own and my sister in law’s crew. A very quiet, adult time, it was. That is, until we started balling up the used wrapping paper and tossing it at each other! Haha! I think we missed the kids…. 😉
As usual, God had a Christmas lesson for me, as He seems to every Christmas lately. This year it was about gifts, material possessions and sharing.
Usually I go shopping the 2 days before Christmas due to the timing of the arrival of limited finances, and this year they were particularly limited! The snow chose to fall in some quantity on those two days!
God? You chose that time to empty out your storehouse of snow? Here? He does have a sense of humour…..and a PLAN!
I did not want to move my truck from its prize parking spot where it was lodged in against some piled up ice and snow, only to have to try to find another space on arrival back home. Our parking lots have been taken over by the construction workers, for their materials, and I find street parking difficult and nerve wracking, even on clear days. All the tenants with cehicles are fighting for a space on the street. I didn’t want to drive in the road conditions.
I did not want to attempt to walk to stores on the slippery icy sidewalks and store lots. It was bad enough getting to and from my nephew’s vehicle for the dinner. It had been wise not to try it. I was glad I hadn’t.
What to do about gifts, then? Should I make something? I wondered about what I already had in the house. I knew I had a number of gift items stored in my home.
I often buy gifts and cards through out the year and they are just tucked away somewhere for birthdays and other events. Then I end up buying other things at Christmas instead. Some things I just like to have, to take out and look at every once in a while, to admire, like First Nations crafts and some jewelry pieces. Some things I buy with someone in mind and end up giving that person something else I found instead.
So, I went shopping at home, and as I did so, matching things to people, I realised I was in fact letting go. I was giving things away from my storehouse of treasures and I was enjoying it. It felt very good, and I thanked God for providing something for everyone I needed to supply with a gift. My boys would be happy with a gift of jarred fish I had for them, as well as a few little stocking items.
God was showing me anew that it’s not so much about the gifts as it is about the people and the thought behind the giving. It’s about being content to let go of what I have, in order to share with others. It’s about the pleasure derived from that, for both me and the other person, even if they know nothing of the story behind the scenes. Somehow, God was going to use that for good. And He did….
My heart is fuller and softer because of what He taught me in the process, and I’m thankful. I know I still have a very long way to go in His making of me, of what I am to become in the end. I’m thankful for his patience with me in my struggles, my failures, and my frequent reluctance to live this life in a way pleasing to Him. I am a slow learner!
I thought I would be alone on Christmas Day, but a neighbour friend invited me over to share a lunch he had cooked. Ham, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and baked shredded beets. Delicious and wonderful! It was a pleasure to sit down to eat with him and share his company for a while.
I was alone in the evening, but it did not seem to matter. I had had time with family and friends.
All in all it was a very special Christmas. One to remember…
Thank You, Lord!