I have a miserable cold and it’s December 21. Christmas is in four days and I’ve written not the first Christmas card nor done one bit of Christmas shopping or decorating.
The weather is about to turn ugly (again). There’s a winter weather advisory in effect today and bitter cold is said to be heading our way.
But I am so grateful. And I can think of at least five reasons why.
- I’ve just spent two weeks with my amazing daughter on the other side of the world! It’s been eight months since she left to teach English to adorable kindergartners in Seoul and the opportunity to get a real hug from her AND experience a new culture was truly life-changing.
- Other than myself, I have only an elderly dog to take care of while I recover. (My husband is quite self-sufficient, thank you.) Gone are the days when I was the single mom of a toddler and “too sick to get out of bed” was not an option. Smudge (the dog) requires minimal intervention and – BONUS! – doesn’t give the least whit what I look like.
- I don’t have grandchildren yet who will be disappointed that I’ve skipped the mall madness and chosen not to decorate for Christmas. My immediate family doesn’t exchange gifts; we make donations to a cause we are passionate about in honor of each other. (Infinitely simpler and more meaningful, especially this year).
- Being out of the country for the last two weeks, I’ve already missed the holiday parties I would have wanted to attend. I don’t have to get all festive-looking and make a jolly appearance anywhere (as if I could, the way I feel right now).
- I’m not traveling for Christmas so the weather won’t be a factor in that regard; I just may have to clear some snow to get out of the driveway for church tomorrow. I have a working furnace and plenty of wool socks so I’m hunkered down.
Sometimes circumstances conspire to force us to be reflective and that’s a good thing. Instead of jumping in and getting all stressed, I consider it a gift that this Christmas I have the opportunity instead to quietly pray for:
- Those who are separated from beloved family members by distance, deployment, divorce, or death, and won’t have the opportunity to see or hug them.
- Single parents (and new parents) who are overwhelmed by responsibility, possibly depressed, and feeling guilty that they aren’t “appropriately” joyful this Christmas.
- The lonely and forgotten who have no resources to buy gifts, no families to buy for, and no expectation of receiving anything from anyone.
- The elderly and the ill who were not invited to any parties; the homeless who have no choice but to brave the weather just to survive.
- Those who are on the road (or stuck in an airport somewhere) just trying to get to their families.
I may feel terrible right now, but I’m pretty sure by this time next week I’ll be fine. Others are not so fortunate and for them, I am reminded to pray.
May we all take a few minutes away from the hectic and the stressful this Christmas, to celebrate the true meaning of this holy day:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3)
(If you’d like to subscribe to this blog and receive an email when I publish new posts, you can do that by clicking here: dianerivers.me.)
- Maybe This Will Help - February 10, 2017
- I’m Firing Olivia Pope - January 24, 2017
- I’m crossing some things off my list this year - January 11, 2017
- I learned a new word - November 30, 2016
- The best question I’m asking myself these days - July 18, 2016
- A tragic story with a tender twist - May 17, 2016
- Gosh, people are a mess - May 12, 2016
- I’ll take the red carnation, thank you – revisiting an odd tradition - May 2, 2016
- The surprising thing about “weakness” - April 20, 2016
- The holiness of a four-way stop - April 13, 2016