Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas every day -- and an everyday Christmas

When my heart is grateful, everyday is Christmas. When my heart is grateful, I see gifts from God all around me. 

Sometimes the gifts include things that go as planned:

-- Mom's visit. 

-- the Christmas cantata. 

-- caroling.

-- Christmas shopping. 

-- Dec. 23 worship and Christmas celebration with my mom and all the family in Texas.

Sometimes the gifts materialize as things don't go as planned:

-- The forecast of a Christmas Day blizzard caused us some concern as we were packed up and prepared to head to Texas late Dec. 22. We had left plenty of food and water for our kitty, but what if we got stranded? How grateful I am that I could call, at that very last minute, members of our church who live in our neighborhood. They were available and willing to check on Bridget and also pick up our newspapers.  

-- The Christmas Day blizzard forecast eventually changed the timing of the gathering with my husband's family. We were still able to have that celebration, also in Texas, but a little sooner than planned. Then we raced back to Norman ahead of the storm. I was able to attend an amazingly spiritual Christmas Eve candlelight Communion service ending at midnight at my church.

-- Christmas Day for us, and for many others I know, ended up being, with just a dusting of snow, slightly white but mostly uncharacteristically quiet. More than once I thought, and later heard others say, it didn't seem like Christmas. 

That's pretty much what gave birth to these thoughts. Without the family gathering, it didn't seem like Christmas. But it got me to thinking more about what Christmas should seem like.  My heart was still filled with the warmth and joy of spending time with the bunches of loved ones in the family and also at church.  But now I had the gift of a chance to more deeply contemplate God's great gift of love through the birth of His Son, Jesus, Who would become the Savior of the world. 

And it reminded me that His gifts  of love and life and joy and peace and ever-present help are with me always. And there are so many other gifts if I will but look and see and accept. Another awesome aspect to God's gifts, whether on Christmas Day or everyday, is that these gifts actually grow as we share them. 

As this Christmas season and year wind down, my heart's desire is to stay aware of, grateful for and generous with God's gifts, to His glory. 

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