Stolen Christmases

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Today I’m burying the Grinch. May he never rear his ugly head again.

He has stolen too many of my Christmases and I’ve had enough.

I’m not speaking of the beloved Grinch we love to hate each Christmas season. I’m speaking of my own personal demon Grinch. Like the famous Grinch, mine is green too, I suspect envy.

Dr Seuss wrote the book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and I am amazed how much the two Grinches have in common. My Grinch also hates Christmas, doing everything he can to make mine miserable. But it doesn’t end there. Like the Grinch in the book, he can’t tolerate happiness of any sort, only my Grinch has no heart at all.

Each miserable Christmas I would come to realize my poor attitude and feel shame. Too late I would reach the point of what Christmas is truly about.

The sad fact is I gave my Grinch permission to be a demon in my life. It was so unnecessary. For no reason I allowed this Grinch to ruin my disposition. Our home wore the décor, but it was a façade. My heart wasn’t there.

The holiday season can be painful if a beloved family member has died, but that wasn’t my case. I don’t have the fear of a family member in the military serving overseas in a dangerous country.

I believe my situation is shared by many. The season of celebration isn’t what it used to be. Through the years our family has spread across the country and now reside far from each other. Through no fault of our own, life just takes us places. Now there is no one to ‘do’ for.

Our children are no longer children. All of them are living responsible adult lives as they were taught. I’m proud of them. Even the grandchildren are adults, more pride added. We have been promoted to great-grandparenthood, but again, distance comes between us…I’m not alone. There are others.

It’s inexcusable to be distraught over not having to fight the maddening crowds Christmas shopping. We no longer exchange gifts, so are spared the concerns. Would she like this, or does he need that? I confess it’s hard not to buy for those I love. Likewise I shouldn’t miss baking Christmas cookies. We don’t need all the calories.

The time for a wake up call is now. Are we not celebrating the birth of our Savior? He’s the ideal gift. He’s needed, one size fits all, plus he doesn’t require wrapping. No shipping costs either. Didn’t he come to take away all the hurt this world dishes out?                        A gift doesn’t get more perfect than that.

This year I’m looking forward, not back. I can recall past Christmases with fond memories as long as I return my gaze to what Jesus will be doing in the future. Both in my own life and those around me. I’m convinced that is why God placed eyes on the front of our head, not the back.

Merry Christmas!

My Two Moms

 

A tribute to my two Moms. One gave me life, the other gave me her son.

Isn’t it interesting how much love grows when we no longer have what we once had? In my youth, I didn’t give my mother the respect and admiration she deserved. My eyes never saw what she had experienced, bringing her into motherhood. I made the mistake of comparing her to my mother-in-law, whom I had seen events that changed her life.  So my lack of facts influenced this immature mind. But I know now Mom, thank you for your loving and humble perseverance as I grew to be a Mom myself.

Oh yes, that lovely promotion to motherhood, that opens our eyes to how much we don’t know after all!

What I witnessed and/or heard about my mother-in-law led me to believe she had a challenging life. In one particular conversation she surprised me  saying she never felt anger at God for the hard places she was in. What a lesson that taught me! Life is what it is. Its how we respond to circumstances that makes all the difference in the world.

That’s why these photos I’m sharing are in their young adult years. Like all of us, they started out in life with hope in an unknown future. What took place in our Mom’s life prior to motherhood is a mystery, but says everything about who they grow to be. Events come and circumstances go, but in the process give us the means to know God better as He molds our life in accordance to his plan for each of us.

Thank you Lord, for my two Moms, I love them dearly. They have moved to their eternal homes, but because they remain in my heart they continue to live. Happy Mother’s Day!