"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Past, Present and Future

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

My hands are cracked and dry from excessive cooking and cleaning this week. Age is getting harder and harder to conceal.
I always take a glance back at my Christmas's growing up and chuckle. I never felt like I was shafted. I grew up with some special Christmas's and some unspeakable Christmas's.
I learned how to cook a turkey very early because my mom usually ended up stressed out, locking herself in her bedroom.
We had many Christmas's that we were the "Help a Family" kids. I remember one Christmas we had boxes filled to the ceiling, I had never seen anything like that. I was about 13 or 14. Shaking to see the contents, my sister and I began tearing into the boxes. The Salvation Army must have donated to families in need too. We had boxes and boxes of used clothing. I wasn't upset, although, a little confused, my mother had money, she just didn't manage it outside of the bottle. One year, mom was sober and it was sweet. She bought my sister and I both leather coats that year. I loved that coat.
This was my leather coat, I loved that coat. Check out the pegged jeans! We did it first in the 90's!
 I loved seeing my mother smile as we opened it even more. As hard as many Christmases were, as hard as life was growing up with an alcoholic, as dysfunctional as life may have even been had she lived, SHE was my mother. And I know she loved me, she loved all of us. She lived a hard life, but she loved me. And I miss her every day and every Christmas.
Blurry, But this was my mom all dressed up for Christmas, a good Christmas.

Christmas this year was sweet. My family lets me do some crazy shenanigans. My boys are now 15 and 12. This year I wanted to make homemade Christmas ornaments. Austin, my oldest and I butt heads often. But he is very perceptive to my heart. Austin started to argue about our "Family Time Project" but seeing my excitement changed his mind. He then became my biggest asset for getting the rest of the family on board.
Christmas Eve was very sweet. I hosted it like a crazy person. We had over 20 people eating, sharing and playing games.
Families are full of personalities. I am a handful for many people, I know because I am a handful for myself. I was grateful we all laughed and loved one another.
Christmas day was smooth. Andy always writes me a Christmas letter. And he has a year of material that is worded to the perfect CRY RESPONSE.
I love fine jewelry, but I never ask for it. I am just not in a season of life that I feel like we should spend that kind of money.
This year Andy bought me a beautiful pendant. It was purple. For Ariel. I try to stay strong, not talk about her, I hardly blog about her, afraid I am upsetting or offending people. But I am such a mess, I lost it at work this week in front of a client. One look at the sparkling purple gemstone,  I could feel the lump in my throat, my stomach turned and my eyes flooded with tears. It was just beautiful, like her.
Mom and Dad came over for breakfast and the tear fest started again. There are only a few people in this world other than my immediate family that truly know how much Ariel meant to me. She was my everything, my girl, a huge part of my world. Mom, is one of those people. Mom bought me a beautiful birthday card (My birthday was on the 20th, we didn't get to see them). She shared a very special story about the gift that she purchased me inside the card. The gift was a Alex and Ani bracelet that said "Aunt". The bracelet, with moms words were enough to put me back into tears.
It was a sweet day.
Christmas future. This was the first time I have ever had an emotional moment over Christmas. We sat together around the tree. My boys are getting older, the tree lights were flickering, pine needles were an inch thick everywhere, the boys were taking turns reading the Christmas story and life was moving forward. I wanted to yell, "STOP", "PAUSE" and "Slow Down". Where did all the time go?? I always want them around me, making my morning coffee and snuggled up on the couch to read about the birth of Jesus. I didn't want this moment to end.

Maybe next year my family will fill my stocking with Kleenex and antidepressants! I am not sure why it was such a weepy day. It was a perfect day with all the tears, all the laughs and all the Shenanigans.
I hope your Christmas was wonderful. In all the chaos of Christmas, take time to Pause. Take a moment to reflect, give thanks and remove any ill feelings that will sabotage the beauty of the birth of Christ.

Ephesians 4:2-3 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Gifts are a token we give one another to show our love. The wise men gave gifts to show honor an praise to Jesus. Gifts are nice, but the real gift is your presence in love to one another. To remove all bitterness, wrath, resentments and love one another.


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