COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
While my kids were away at college, one of my favorite things about Christmas was when they arrived home.
I missed them so much.
Before they had cell phones, we had to call their dorm phones. While they were in class I would leave them messages filled with all their favorite Christmas songs. I’d put the receiver next to my CD player and record “I’ll be home for Christmas” on their answering machine.
I will never forget the first year my youngest came back home. We were all so excited as we waited at the airport. It was snowing outside and Christmas was just waiting for her back in our small hometown. Just like a scene from Its A Wonderful Life.
As we watched the terminal at the airport, I finally spotted her.
When she saw me she didn’t say a word.
She just hugged me and cried.
She cried and cried and wouldn’t let go.
(If you knew my youngest, you would know that’s not like her at all.) She didn’t care who was watching or where she was, she just knew that in my arms she was home.
In that moment I didn’t think twice about holding her and comforting her. I was so happy she was in my arms. I didn’t think about all the good things she had done as a daughter, and I didn’t have a checklist of all the bad things.
She is my daughter and I love her unconditionally.
You are God’s daughter.
God isn’t keeping a checklist of every good thing you’ve done and every bad thing you’ve done, and then deciding how much He will love you based on that list.
God’s love is unconditional.
God’s love is Christmas.
Wrapped up in a manger.
That gift was all for you.
God’s love is Jesus.
He is leaving you messages of hope and love, mercy and grace. Forgiveness.
They are the sounds of Christmas.
Don’t worry about where you are.
Don’t worry about who is watching.
You don’t have to say a word.
He hears your heart.
He misses you.
It doesn’t matter what you have done~
His arms are open and waiting.
Fall into them dear daughter.
Fall into them and cry.
Fall into them and laugh.
Fall into that love and live.
Once you do, you will realize that the peace and comfort He gives is home. Home in His arms.
A home that will always be there for you.
Christmas is in your Father’s arms.
Come home this Christmas.
TUCKED AWAY IN A MAMA’S HEART~
“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
There are so many emotions tucked away in a mama’s heart. The older she gets, the more that heart fills~
It fills with all the precious memories of days gone by. It fills with the pictures of tiny faces declaring their love. It fills with thoughts of arms once full, that now are empty.
It fills with wonder at why she wanted time to go by so quickly and stop~
all at once.
There are happy emotions and there are sad. There is the knowing at how life can turn out, and having to watch her children make decisions that she knows will have consequences. Choices that she made herself. Warnings that she wants to give because she has lived it.
There are pleas to the Father to hold them close and not let go. To protect them and give them hearts that are always listening for His gentle whispers of love.
Each step in a mama’s life is a new journey. As she looks into the face of her tiny baby child for the first time, she suddenly realizes how loved she truly was by her own mama. But until she takes that next step, she doesn’t understand her mama’s heart today, this very moment, and all the emotions it contains.
Someday she will.
Someday she will be looking into the tiny eyes of her children’s children and a flood of yesterdays will rush over her as a flood of tomorrow’s take their place.
And she will know so much of what those tomorrow’s hold because she has a heart of wisdom from days gone by.
Her children may wonder and worry as each new step is taken in this journey of motherhood. But dear daughter, she has lived it and breathed it. She has witnessed your future up until this point.
Like footprints in the snow, she is leaving a path for you to follow. With age she has realized more and more that the farther away those steps take her from the days she held you in her arms, the closer her steps are to her Savior. There is a sweetness that comes with each step. A peace and a comfort she longs for you to have.
Because she is no longer making her own footprints, she is walking in His.
She trusts in the path He is leaving her. She knows she no longer has to make her own way, but can blindly follow the leading of a Father who knows what is best.
Walk behind her in her wisdom,
Walk beside her in her age.
And just as you grasped her hands so tightly as you took your very first steps, don’t let go~
No matter how old you are~
Hold on to her hand now as she leads you forward
He is leading her as she is holding His.
Ponder the path you are leaving for your children and your children’s children. ❤️
Psalm 33:21, 56:3-4,
PRESENTS, PLANS, PARTIES & SWEET PEACE
We live for tomorrow’s while missing today’s, especially at Christmas.
Without realizing it, our lives are consumed with tomorrow’s~
What’s next on our Christmas calendars and to do lists.
And all the while we are missing the moments and minutes of right now. Soaking up Gods presence right this second. Glorifying Him in the now.
Loving the Christmas chaos of flour and sugar and chocolate chips all over the kitchen, wrapping paper and boxes all over our living rooms, cards that still need to be addressed all over our tables, party invitations and orders that need to be finalized on our computers and shopping lists.
And we miss Jesus.
Instead of living as if today were our last, we live for tomorrow and we stress and we worry and we fret and we lose all the joy of what this crazy season truly means.
I recently reposted an article I wrote last year about living today as if it were our last, and my own words convicted me once again.
I don’t do this.
I’m constantly thinking ahead of what I need to get done and instead of enjoying it, I stress over it and the joy is completely drained out of moments that should be magical.
I rush around trying to accomplish so much and in the process~I miss so much.
I miss my grandchildren playing Elf on the Shelf with each other, I miss snuggles with them as they watch Christmas movies. I miss messes made with them baking cookies because I’m in too big a hurry and just want to do it myself. I miss the awe and wonder of their precious faces as they look at my Christmas tree and manger.
I miss moments right in front of me because I’m continually looking at tomorrow.
But what if I don’t have a tomorrow? What did I do today that my precious grandchildren will remember?
Will they remember grandma was stressed and in a hurry and overwhelmed and impatient? Will they remember how beautifully I celebrated Christ’s birth with them every day in December or only a December that made grandma frazzled?
We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, tonight could be your last night here on earth. What will your own children, your grandchildren, your spouses and coworkers remember about you on this day?
Don’t miss the magical moments that are wrapped up in Jesus.
Maybe we all need to refocus and truly treat each other, each day and each moment as if it were our last. I think if we did, we would find that sweet peace and joy that only Jesus brings.
The true joy of Christmas.
DIRTY DISHES & CHRISTMAS CHAOS
I wrote this post to encourage young mothers but yesterday as I read it, God spoke to this grandma’s heart about how much I needed these very words.
Amidst all the chaos of this season~
I just need Him.
As darkness still covered the world in the early morning hours, how many of those mornings did she cry?
How she longed for just a little time alone with her Savior.
Just one morning.
But again, little footsteps interrupted. Little cry’s from a crib down the hall.
Little pleas for breakfast and snuggles.
Why couldn’t she just have one moment?
Dear mama, don’t you realize~
He is in every moment.
Somehow we look at our lives and see our peace and comfort coming from things we think we need~
And if we don’t get that, we can tend to be irritated and down or depressed and angry.
Just one moment.
Why can’t it be ours?
Sweet mama, amidst all the chaos surrounding you throughout your day~
The phone ringing.
The dog barking.
The cartoons on television.
The baby crying.
The laundry piled everywhere and the dishes in the sink.
Close your eyes.
And see Him.
He is there. He is always there.
Every single moment is not ours,
It is His.
He is there next to you every morning in that darkness. He is smiling at your child. He is whispering His love to their hearts and to yours. He is singing lullabies to your baby and snuggling with your toddler. He is providing breakfast for hungry tummy’s and blankets for morning snuggles. He is sitting right there next to you and He is listening. He can hear your very heart, even when you can’t hear it yourself.
He understands exactly what we need~more than we even do, or ever could. He longs for you to know He is ever present. He isn’t only there in your morning worship and prayers. He isn’t only there in a church building or a praise song. He promises us that He is with us ALWAYS, and at times that is hard for our human minds to comprehend.
He is with you right this very moment.
He is standing next to you as the phone rings and the dog barks. As the cartoons play and the baby cries. As the laundry piles up and the dishes need washing.
If need be~ stop everything and literally picture Him there. Don’t only speak to Him throughout your day, but ask Him to speak to you.
He is right there next to you and once your heart understands this, truly understands this~ everything changes.
He is shushing your anxious heart and whispering to your soul~
“Right now, I just need you to be a mama. My glory shines in the smile of your little one, in the home you are making, in the little, everyday, seemingly unimportant tasks of a mama.
My glory shines through you sweet mama.
I am here, right here next to you. You don’t need a few moments alone.
You only need me~
And I am ALWAYS~right here.”
Philippians 4:13, 19