I spoke with a Colonel’s wife the other day and she mentioned her family had not been home for Christmas in 17 years; the more I’ve asked around, this seems to be the way it is, particularly for flying squadrons. Last year was my first Christmas to see my parents in at least 3 years–and even then, it wasn’t on “the day”. I love spending time with family and, the holidays do seem different without the clamor of dishes, laughing, and my Uncle Glenn and Dad singing songs waaaaaaaaayyyy too loud:) However, with all of this time away from family on holy days, it has provided more time to reflect and to serve.
This year, I’ve been thinking particularly about Mary. More than likely, it wasn’t a silent night–giving birth in a dirty, drafty barn with only the concerned look of a weary husband to comfort. In a hospital, the nurses tend to quickly clean up messes and keep it relatively clean–labor is not neat; there was no nurse or midwife to do this and only what they had with them to clean. It was a labor of love. She did it to be near to the Lord.
For me, drawing near is like that sometimes. It’s inconvenient, dirty, and cold…and lonely, the comfort may be little to none. I run the risk of being judged by others or, even worse, causing others to judge my sweet dh. But all of that is a small price to pay for the outcome–to be near to the Lord. Not because it’s “the right thing to do”, not simply out of obedience, but because I desire to love our Savior more.“My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave…” Luke 1:46-48a
I hope on this holiday, if you’re alone, you can deeply reflect on the Truth that bears its face deep in our genetic code and in the stars.
If you’re with family, I hope you can take a few moments to wait upon the Lord, to remember the gift we were given.
Here are a couple readings I particularly enjoyed this past week:
“The night before Christ’s birth we all wait, helpless, hopeless, for we cannot see the light in this darkness, and we cannot overcome our oppression.” –Tim Basselin on Think Christian
Mini-snow drifts in the yard on Christmas Eve
Time to reflect
The quiet of the morning, knowing my dh is safe and asleep
The regenerative words of scripture
A heater that works
A break in the water pipe that is above ground
A reminder of what is really important
The ambiance a candle provides