This time of year, so much around us is geared towards focusing on our wants and wishes. And granting the wants and wishes of those we love. On this particular day, I woke with some thoughts in my mind of wants and wishes that are ungrantable. For now. It still surprises me, catches me off-guard, how my heart can break all over again. Especially this time of year, as I long to celebrate Christmas with those that are no longer here. This year has brought an additional person to that list. And although I know it was time, and I know that we will have forever together someday, the absence still hurts. And these two people that I miss so much were such anchors for my family. Sadly, they were an anchor that held a bunch of little boats together. When the anchor was cut, those little boats slowly drifted, so the absence lingers further for me.
So I cry a little bit. Pray. Gather myself back together. Amidst the loss I feel, the thankfulness rises. I have so very much to be thankful for. I love to be a wife and mother. This family we have created, and continue to create, puts back together so many pieces I have felt missing over the years. And on those days when I desperately long to be a daughter - and oh, how I do - I remember that I have a Father. A Father who knows my name, accepts me with all my faults and failures, and with whom I always have a place where I belong. And He's greatly creative at finding a way to grant my wants and wishes and remind me of all that matters.
With all that on my heart on this Monday before Christmas, what a beautiful time to start my list of 1000 gifts!
1. My Father, who knows my name.
2. My husband, who knows how to love so well.
3. My firstborn, who fills our home with beautiful music.
4. My firstborn daughter, who sweetly reminds me so much of my mom.
5. My last born, whose very life is a daily reminder to believe for miracles.
6. Hearing: such a gift to hear my kids' laughter, music, even silence.
7. Sight: I'm so thankful to be able to see the faces of those I love.
8. Taste: oh, you know I'm thankful for that!
11. My church family, and the freedom to worship.
12. Pictures. They are priceless.
13. Mailing labels. That will be printed. And cards that will be sent. Today.
14. A warm bed and deep sleep.
15. Christmas music.
16. A job I love.
17. The smell of laundry right out of the dryer.
18. Electric blankets.
19. A big, fat cat to lay on my lap.
20. Treasured keepsakes...
One of the last gifts I received from my mom.
This is the last gift my mom gave me. She knit a sweater like this for each of her kids. Being the youngest of four, I was last in line for a sweater. She had started it well before she began her final battle against that ugly brain tumor. All the pieces were knit, but sat in her knitting bag for a long time. As she lost her vision, she was unable to put the pieces together into this sweater. For Christmas, she took all the pieces to a knitting shop and explained the circumstances. Some sweet lady took all those pieces and assembled them for her, carefully turning those chunks of knit pieces into this sweater. When my mom returned to pick it up, the shop would not accept any money. I'm sure they got it, the gift that this would mean. When I opened it, I was speechless. My mom, not being able to see my face, questioned the silent response to opening it. Until she understood that I was crying. And that I got it. I'm so grateful to have this, because it represents so much.
Tomorrow I'll jump back into the 12 Days of Breakfast. But today I'm just going to let my mind sit on these things. I'm going to get my Christmas cards mailed. I'm going to take Beth shopping so she can buy her gifts. I'm going to watch my son play in the Messiah sing along. And I'm going to soak in that music with a grateful heart.