Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Joy

"Here we come a caroling among the (something something) so green!"

Just realized that although that tune plays often in my head at Christmas time, I don't think I've ever known the words!  (If you haven't watched the movie Little Women, you simply must!  Maybe you'll be able to pick up the lyrics and help me.)

Let me say - MERRRRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

I certainly hope that your home and hearth and hearts are experiencing more of the true joy to be found in this season.

We've already had our Hawley/Schreck/Smith Christmas to accommodate travel plans for the marrieds.  Spencer's enthusiasm over both toys AND boxes was simply delicious!

The last of the Christmas parties took place Wednesday. 

Our final outreach was last Saturday.  (We had the privilege of hosting over 700 children while their parents "shopped" among gifts provided by area churches and businesses.) 

The Smiths were safely delivered to the airport yesterday and are even now being squeezed until their eyes bulge by their NC family. 

The final decorating project will be tomorrow in preparation for Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve. 

Only one more shopping run takes place today after which, the last presents will be wrapped and placed under the tree.

I feel the sigh of relief and contentment building in my weary little chest!

Of course, there will be a shadow of sadness for us all this year as we pray for the families of Newtown!  With no sense to be made of such horror and tragedy, prayer is our most effect show of empathy!

And for the others among us who have lost loved ones, we offer hugs and words of support.  That void is felt most keenly as we walk through the traditions and family gatherings they enjoyed with us.

On the day that marked four years since Mom's passing, I was busy hosting widows from our church for a Christmas brunch.  Such a privilege! 

While putting away the dishes and swiping at tears, I sensed that Mom would have been so very pleased.  No better way to honor her memory than by loving on other ladies just as she would have!

And I guess that's probably my theme.  Henri Nouwen put it well, "Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."

I have another wonderful Christmas miracle story to share in my next post. (Thanks for so many encouraging comments on the Christmas Cookie story.  One lady even copied it and put it in her greeting cards.)  But today it felt important to quickly jump on line and send out a blog post hug.

In the marvelous words of Tiny Tim - "God bless us, every one!!"

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