Saturday, December 24, 2005
Our home. (Much better in person - come visit!) I just want to wish each and every one of you a very blessed and Merry Christmas. This is my favorite time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. It is a time for thankfulness, sharing, remembering and celebrating. I have been so blessed with the family I was born into and the additions we have added to that family. We have always celebrated Christmas in a big way, both in my family and in Cheryl's. The worst thing about living in Texas is that the rest of our extended families live in New York, one unit in Ohio, and Ronnie in Washington. We are not able to get together in our traditional ways of old. When I was young, we all gathered at my grandmother's home for Christmas. Then as years passed, we would gather at my oldest brother's large country home. One year, about 20 of us were snowed in at his house for several days. What fun! Really! We would also make the rounds to many of Cheryl's very large family (she had 12 brothers and sisters!).
Now we occasionally get to go home at Christmas, but it has been many years. It is too difficult for both girls, their husbands and kids to all go to NY. We could not bear to be away from them at Christmas. Now, our children and grandchildren gather at our house and new traditions are born. We still call back to NY, but it doesn't take the place of being there.
This year feels slightly different. I have become so sensitive to those that are suffering badly with various diseases and cancers and the families that suffer with them. Several members of my ACOR list service have passed away this past year. The holidays for the loved ones left behind must be so difficult. Our neighbor, two houses away, lost their 19 year old son in an automobile accident this year on July 4th. They always used to decorate their home with lights, but not this year. How many others are suffering like that? So, this year as I give my thanks to God for what he had given to me, I will also pray for those that are hurting and feeling that hurt especially strongly at this time of the year. I pray for His comfort for them.
And so, as I close to finish up the last minute Santa details, I pray that you will have a wonderful time tomorrow with those you love. If anyone may be reading this who thinks nobody cares, I do, but more importantly, God cares for and loves you more than you could ever imagine possible. As our pastor said tonight at our Christmas Eve service, "Why else would God give up his most precious Son to send him as a gift to us to live, suffer and die for us, knowing that many would reject that gift and not care? He did it out of love for you and for me!"
Merry CHRISTmas and God Bless you!