This time of year is hard for me. I grew up in the pacific northwest and am quite used to the rain, but now that I live here in Central Oregon I guess I was expecting something a little different. It’s not to say that the weather over here is bad but lately all the clouds and rain and so forth have been a real downer.
With that said I will say that I am actually kind of missing Christmas already. This was probably the first year in about 20 years that I can actually recall being excited for the holidays and then really enjoying them when they got here. I know part of it is having kids now but I will also admit that nothing seems right anymore about what I remember. It is sad to think of how it has all come to be. There used to be a time when we were so close, now we rarely talk and when we do it’s more like water cooler topics at best.
Maybe this is best. I’ll let it be and see what happens. For those that are unaware, I am talking about my family. A lot has transpired in the past 18 or so months that has literally shaken us to the core. And it hasn’t been just one major thing either, instead there have been several and it has been hard to take to some degree. Part of it for me is the distance. I used to be so close when my sister needed help. I could just run over whenever and now that is not possible. There was a time about a year ago or so that she broke down on the phone when she pointed out the fact that I could not just drop everything and be there like the old days.
So when this time of year creeps up, it’s hard not to remember all the really great times we have had as a family. Christmas was always really special and we all looked forward to it even during those testy teen years. I know there is no going back and maybe that’s the hardest part to take. I know we can never have that again with my family and so I insert myself into my in-laws family as a way to compensate.
I will admit again that this year was really great and it helps to think of how my in-laws have accepted me in their lives at this time of year. I suppose it should seem natural for them to do so but I have heard stories to the contrary so I know I am very lucky.
As I move into this new year I am inspired to say a few well meaning things to those few who read this. Most of this will seem quite trite and maybe a bit overdone, as some wishes and resolutions can be. But all in all I want to convey a message that hits home with you. I want to leave an impression.
First, thank God for how great He is. I am remembering to thank Him daily and it has made a real difference in my life. It never ceases to amaze me just how blessed I am and I can’t imagine my life without Him in it.
Next, take the time to call or visit family members, no matter how hard it is. I can’t fix what’s broken nor should I attempt to, but I can maintain a connection. I can also pray, because while I am incapable of making the repairs, I know there is nothing beyond the scope of God.
I don’t know your situation but I do know that we all face challenges when it comes to our families. Some are increasingly daunting and for that all we can do is take our hands off the wheel and pray. Sometimes there is no other course.
Face this new year with a desire to see the ones closest to you in your life through an eternal perspective. You might be secure in where you’re going but I know in my family there is some real question as to where the rest of them are headed.
Greet each day as a gift. Drive slower. Use your signals. Let people in when they’re trying to get out into traffic. Say thank you and please. Listen more, talk less. Donate to the needy when you can. Be a good neighbor. Have friends over more often for dinner. Laugh out loud as often as possible. Love someone that you think doesn’t deserve it.
my life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.