But we should seize this day to celebrate. Why? Because God created us to love, to express that love to others and to receive love. He set the greatest example of love, giving up his only son for us. Wow. As a parent, I can’t imagine doing that. In Romans 5:8, we read that ...God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God loves us that much.
A time existed when I laughed without restraint in bursts of giggles or doubled over until my belly ached. I laughed at the tickling of my feet, at knock-knock jokes, at cartoon characters propelling off cliffs. Today I don’t watch cartoons or listen to knock-knock jokes or have ticklish soles. In the busyness and stresses of life, I feel like I’ve lost my spontaneous childhood ability to laugh.
Who in America doesn’t recognize the name of Martin Luther King, Jr? Some may not understand the breadth of his impact or the depth of his convictions, but they realize he accomplished something big. And because of that, the world is vastly different.
I come from a long line of card-givers. We search high and low until we find that perfect card with the perfect words and perfect image to give to people we love. The senders aren’t just those who are older than me, such as my parents or in-laws or aunts and uncles. My peers and, surprisingly, my children and their friends also send cards.
Do you embrace the new year with a sense of exuberance, with the promise of a fresh start as the calendar flips to January? Or do you approach the new year with trepidation, wondering if it can possibly be any worse than the last?
There's power in a love that forgives, that disciplines. I think of how my heavenly Father approaches me. He is gentle. He is king. But He is just. I'm so thankful for that. That little broken angel reminds me of forgiveness. Now, I think I prefer the broken angel. There's a blessing in being broken.
I blinked and the holiday season invaded, this whole world whooshing by. I catch my mind in an ugly state of panic. The new years’ first months, which hold decision deadlines and commitments for which I must prepare, are only three children’s-gift-shopping, two Christmas-parties and a partridge-in-a-pear-tree away.
Each December, my mom pulled a worn cardboard box from the closet. She fingered through the contents, through the layers of creased gift wrap and crumpled tissue paper and last year’s holiday greeting cards. Until she found what she was seeking—a glittery Advent calendar with thumbnail sized doors opening to mini images.
I will always feel grateful for the Thanksgiving none of my adult children could come home. That happened two years ago and changed my perspective on a holiday that focuses on being with family. Not that I didn’t want my family with me. But distance separated us and, for the first time ever, none of my three children would be in Minnesota. I could choose to feel sad and alone. Or I could choose to do something that would make others happy. Something that would fit the spirit of giving and of gratitude.
Until I became a grandmother two-plus years ago, I never fully understood the joy this stage in life would bring. There is nothing quite like being a grandparent. To watch your own child parent his/her son or daughter, to feel that connection of generations is to experience a new type of love.