“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” Psalm 103:2
One of the characteristics of any holiday event is the potential for the joy and merriment of the season, to be pushed aside by the sheer busyness of what must be accomplished in preparation for the festivities. Malls crowded with the chaos of shopping test our patience; freeways crowded with the congestion of travelers heading home for the holidays are suddenly filled with a cacophony of carols played on that most unusual instrument, the car horn. Plumbing gives out and creates a small river under the kitchen sink, as ours did tonight, and rather then remembering the child in the manger, our focus is shifted to the last straw before we burst into anger. For these reasons, on this eve of the birth of the Son of God, Christ Jesus, I want to stop and breathe a prayer of gratitude for the many reasons I have to be filled with joy:
Thank you Lord, You are the giver of every perfect gift.
Thank you for each of my children, wherever they are this holiday season, and for all the many ways they show their love to me, each other, and to our family.
Thank you for my sister and her husband who opened their home so that we could share in a beautiful Christmas Eve.
Thank you for my mom, who once again labored in the kitchen making the traditional taco feast, and sharing the stories of how my red-headed father came to crave tacos, and had the tortillas shipped to a little market in Michigan, where they lived.
Thank you for the mealtime grace led by my sixteen year old nephew, as my family gathered in the kitchen, hands linked.
Thank you for sounds of my daughter’s voices, as they called to wish us all a joyous celebration and for the knowledge that though they are far, our hearts are near.
Thank you for my husband, and his words of love and encouragement, for the warm cup of tea he brings me when I wake up, and when I sit to write, and for cleaning up the flood under the kitchen sink.
Thank you for my new fuzzy bedtime socks…my feet have been so cold this winter.
And most of all, thank you for sending that little baby, so that he might grow and become the greatest gift ever received, the salvation of my soul. I am truly grateful.
My heart rejoices!