Bruce and I were talking about why this Christmas is different for us. Neither of us really need anything...even when we've talked about some big ticket items we both have seemed disinterested. Last night Bruce confessed ... this year is just different.
Don't get me wrong. We're enjoying the season. I love hearing Savannah play carols on the piano, Tucker singing right along. I love the wooden nativity the kids play with for hours. I love the musicals the kids have participated in at church and the caroling we've done, the parties we've attended and the shopping and hunting for just the right and perfect gifts. But as we've been talking we couldn't pinpoint the source of our "different" attitude.
Maybe it was our trip to Peru. Maybe it's been the tiny baby twin boys weighing only 2 and 1.9 pounds that has brought perspective and reminding us of our own real blessings that we have today. Maybe it's the thought of filling our lives with people and moments to cherish. Maybe it's the reality that a good friend will soon follow God's call across the country (and eventually the world). Maybe it's the reality of this year....full of ups and downs and the steadfastness of the Lord that has changed Christmas for us.
I honestly don't know. But what I do know is that I sit here pondering the tangible...the gifts, the food, the parties, the programs...I'm reminded that the tangible is good and fun but only a small glimpse of the eternal that Jesus was concerned about and if I'm not careful, I consume my life with only the things I can touch and see and forget that these things and events will pass away too quickly. And while I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy all the festivities, I'm challenged to look a little farther than my own small world and to ponder the things Jesus cared most about....relationships, eternity, peace and hope for a world desperate for Him. And when my mind parks there for more than a moment, I'm reminded He is the greatest gift I've ever received or shared with anyone. He's the only thing that will keep giving long after the presents are unwrapped, dishes washed and put away and even after the energizer batteries are dead. He'll still be there....in Peru, in the NICU, in North Carolina, at the cemetery, in uncertainty and in joy. He'll still be there. Wrap your heart up in that beautiful promise that He is Emmanuel, God with us....today and always! And maybe just maybe Christmas will linger....the spirit of God with Us...for more than just one day this year.