Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! It's 4:00 am here in California and I'm awake, probably a habit from many years of beating my kids to their stockings on Christmas morning so there would be a few trinkets inside when they peeked. Now they are grown, though still slumbering in their childhood rooms, visiting me for the holiday.

In the last week I've heard a couple of people mention a lack of usual Christmas spirit this year. Perhaps it is partly due to the times we live in. So much horrible news, harshness and selfishness in this world, a decline of kindness and even every day courtesy and respect. It's enough to make one feel helpless, overwhelmed, and broken-hearted for mankind.

"And in despair I bowed my head:
'There is no peace on earth,' I said,
'For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

However, I have a friend who told me that she and her husband made a pact that whenever they heard of someone experiencing pain or of some calamity on the news, they would counteract it by doing a random act of kindness -- big or small. What a wonderful way to live. I may add that to my list of  new year's resolutions! We may not be able to change the world, but we can soften it for those within our reach.

"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
'God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."
~ from I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day 
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Yesterday I had the house to myself for a couple of hours. The rain was softly falling against the window panes, the kitchen was filled with the aroma of baking apple cake, and I was putting the last few bows on presents, when I recognized a sense of peace. The world may feel like it's spinning out of control, but God has blessed me with health and loving daughters, a home to care for, a decent job. And in that moment I knew that was what the Christmas spirit was all about -- a simple sense of peace, pushing the pause button on life and enjoying in slow motion the moments we have today.

May you feel a sense of peace for all your blessings this Christmas!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

Jesus is the reason for the season!

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