Because my mom loved Christmas so much, the year after she passed away my family began the tradition of going to Frankenmuth together. We always choose a day close to the date she went home to Heaven. My husband and children, spouses and grandchildren, my brothers and dad~ all go to celebrate the start of the Christmas season and to remember my mom. We eat together and then walk around Bronners enjoying the beauty and magic of each decoration. I can guarantee that every year, without fail, my husband will question my sanity in choosing a date so close to Christmas. It is always completely chaotic at The Bavarian Inn and if it weren’t for our cell phones, we would surely lose each other in the crowds. This year was no exception and somehow in Bronners we all got separated. I suddenly found myself walking alone among the twinkling lights of their beautiful Christmas trees and wondering where everyone was. For a fleeting moment my thoughts sounded something like this... “my kids know this is my favorite time of year. Christmas. And it’s my birthday. And here I am, alone, with all these thoughts of missing my mom. Why aren’t they spending time with me?” But then I’d get a text or a snap chat or a picture and any negative thoughts were immediately pushed aside as love for my children overwhelmed my heart. I realized the logistics of the situation and my heart understood. When I look back on that moment, as a parent I can’t help but think of my Heavenly Father. We can get lost in the Christmas season, among the crowds and shopping, among the Christmas plays and parties, the cookie exchanges and present wrappings. At times we can feel our hearts become heavy with the busyness of it all and the forgetfulness of why we celebrate Christmas to begin with. And if it weren’t for our ability to call out to our Father, we would stay lost. I am so very thankful that my Heavenly Daddy understands all of this, and in the middle of the chaos He is not complaining about us neglecting thoughts of His Birthday. He knows that we haven’t forgotten His Son. He does not get angry that we aren’t spending endless amounts of time with Him each day~ because He loves us. Because He understands that we are only human~ because He became human for us. And just like my heart is overflowing when I get a loving text or picture from my own children, my Heavenly Father loves when He hears from us. We might not have hours to spend with Him each day but we do have tiny bits of time throughout each 24 Hour day that we can talk to Him, love on Him and listen for Him. And He understands. Tiny bits of time that twinkle like beautiful lights. Tiny pictures throughout each day that light up our hearts like the glow of our trees. Each one so small and yet~when they are all strung together give us incredible joy in the beholding. Each text and picture from our family day in Frankenmuth bring back beautiful memories of the meaning behind our time spent together, just like each tiny moment spent with the Savior will bring back memories of this beautiful season in our lives and remind us what Christmas is really all about.