Monday, January 30, 2012

Christmas reflections...

Our "angel" tree with limbs lifted high

It's nearly February!  Somehow January has really slipped through my fingers as did December.  The Christmas quilts were my excuse in December but what about now?  I look back on this month and feel I have not really accomplished very much - not anywhere near what I had set out to.  Granted the items on my list are not very exciting - taking down the tree - always a day that I don't look forward to.  Part of that is the mess I will need to create in order to return our home to a more simple state, but also because I really do enjoy our tree the days and weeks after Christmas - the quiet glow of twinkling lights and time to really reflect how we celebrated the gift of God's love - how He knowingly sent us His Son to redeem us while realizing the pain and rejection He would receive.  We spend Christmas planning for a celebration of His birth, believing and cherishing the hope for our lives after this earth.  It is a time of joy and smiles as our family spends time together, sharing in long held family traditions while stepping forward to create some new ones.  Yet, knowing in our hearts that none of the happiness we feel would be possible without the gift of His Son and the sacrifice He made.
I recognize that I should be taking time to do more of my reflecting before Christmas and I do, but not always really sitting down and being still with God.  This time as I wrote my reflections down I felt God's presence with me - being my comforter and friend.  I believe He knows my heart and how preparing my home for Christmas has always been important to me - I desire it to be a reflection of my heart - a place to welcome both family and friends which means nearly every room must reflect the Christmas season. While I am busy decorating I am also spending time with my Father - in quiet thoughts and prayers trying to put Him first in all I do.


I spent one evening after Christmas sitting in the living room in the soft light writing a letter to Al - to be tucked away in his stocking.  Under the soft glow of white lights on our tree, the words came more easily this year.  Maybe because I waited until Christmas day was past and I could share with him the cherished moments we had together as family this Christmas season instead of fighting tears because he wasn't sitting next to me.  Curled up on the couch with my Christmas quilt which Michelle had made for me a few years ago, enjoying the solitude, talking to Al and staring up at our tree - limbs raised upward to heaven.   Ryan had cut it from our yard - it was huge- both in height and breadth -  Ryan shared how he also loved the tree with its branches lifted upward like angels wings.

So, I did eventually undress the tree of all its sparkles and lights wrapping up each ornament in tissue while pondering the kids at different ages (marked by years written on the ornaments), sweeping up the pile of dropped needles and putting away the nativity sets but a part of me wanted to figure out how to keep some of the lights - maybe winding them through one of the plants - but I didn't.  Instead I left out the Christmas quilted pillows, quilt and the piano runner - just until the end of January:)  I wanted to still feel Christmas - I didn't want to let go of the memory of spending time with Jesus under the tree. I felt that Al could read my letter that night.  In my heart and mind I understand that Christ is always ready to hear my prayers and knows my heart - sometimes though I can almost feel Him in the room - this was one of those nights.  I cherish those moments. It has taken a long time for me to recover and feel God's presence in my life again.  A friend gave me a  beautiful feather not long after Al died to remind me that I would again feel God's touch - as light as a feather.  How thankful I am that God has continued to hold me up and bring me moments of really feeling His presence. Psalm 31:4.

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