My favorite time of the year! I don't like being out in the cold, but I sure enjoy it being cold, so that we can turn the heat on, wear warm, fuzzy pajamas and socks, make hot cocoa, chili and cornbread, bake cookies, snuggle under blankets, decorate the house, give gifts to family and friends (and even strangers), think back on memories from Christmases past, and really truly remind ourselves of the TRUE meaning of Christmas! (I posted about my thoughts on that back in November.)
As much joy as this season brings to me, sometimes I get a little down. Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of my step-mom's death. Marla Hornsby. She became a good friend to me during her 5 or so year marriage to my dad before she passed. I was thinking of her, remembering times that we shared together, things that she said to me, her smile, her laughter, how she loved to dance with my Aspen...how she was the first person to make Aspen have a long, heavy fit of laughter when she was just months old. Part of me is still so sad...I miss her.
And then I am reminded, by Aspen last night, "You know you can talk to her. She told us we could. God will tell her everything you want her to know. And one day, mommy, you and me will see her again in heaven. She doesn't have to eat now, or drink, or go potty. She's ok."
I sat in my car crying, sad tears, joyful tears, proud-of-my-girl tears, thankful tears.
I cry a lot lately...for no reason...just out of the blue, crying until it hurts, until I'm exhausted.
I see God in it all! In everything! It is hard to see Him sometimes, especially when my stubborn self gets so worked up, so sad or so angry. But He is definitely opening my heart, my mind, my eyes, to look through the lens of the Cross in every situation of my life, to seek Him out in it, and find the JOY that He sent to earth so many years ago on a cold December day:
To be born
To be scorned
To be beaten
To be hung
To be buried
To be resurrected
The Christmas Story is so beautiful, even with pain and sadness woven into it.
The picture of a sweet baby Savior, sent as our undeserving Gift, to save us from the chains of sin and the nets of our enemies.
I'm in awe today of the work that He is doing in my heart. The verse that I woke up to on my phone this morning says,
"Create in me a clean heart, O God;
And renew a right spirit within me."
Psalm 51:10 ASV
He is renewing my spirit---creating within me, my CHRISTmas Spirit.