I love Christmas! I love the traditions that accompany the season. Christmas traditions have remained the same in my family for oh so long. They are constants. There is comfort in the dependability and the sameness.
As I reflect on the theme, Heartfelt Christmas, I think about what my heart is feeling this year. My heart feels joy.
“It is better to give than to receive” has come true for me as a parent. There is nothing like watching my daughter open and play with her gifts. I cannot wait to see her reaction to her tool set and doll stroller waiting for Christmas morning!
My heart feels sadness.
As I bake Christmas cookies, I think of how lucky I am to be in my warm kitchen covered in flour and chocolate, while others are fighting for food, shelter and their lives. For a moment, those cookies will taste bitter and my heart will drop.
My heart feels calm.
The quiet moments of birds at the feeders and twinkling Christmas lights allow me to get caught in the little things, forget the rest of world around, and just be peaceful.
My heart feels impatient.
As we continue to take steps in our adoption, my heart waits for another baby in my arms and I dream about if that babe will be here next Christmas. As I wait, I learn new dynamics of giving and receiving.
My heart feels broken.
Our first Christmas without my grandma, My Meme, stings. Her absence in the traditions is felt so heavily. We remember her and miss her so.
My heart feels full.
As my husband reads Christmas stories to my toddler, as my parents sit on the couch sipping coffee as we kids open gifts, as ribbon, bows, paper and stickers cover my kitchen table from wrapping, as my new cousin grunts and coos in the ways only a newborn can, as my baby girl carries baby Jesus from the nativity set around with her my heart feels full.
This year, Emmanuel, God with us, means so much more than it ever has. Just like the constant of Christmas traditions, Jesus is the greatest constant every Christmas. He is the beginning and the end. He is with us in each moment. He is the one who provides dependability and sameness.
So, I take comfort in remembering this year that God came to this Earth and He remains with us. He is with me this Christmas in the joy, sadness, calm, impatience, brokenness and fullness. He is with us. He is with me. He is with you. He is Emmanuel!