It's the Christmas season of 2010....2010! We as a family have so many wonderful memories of Christmases past...tonight, they all seemed to flood into my mind all at once.
We had a good time at the parade tonight. Every year we go with our wonderful church family to the Christmas parade and pass out free hot cocoa. I remember when the kids were younger how excited they were to pass out these little cups of warm joy. They would look up and down the sidewalk for chilly spectators to ask " Would you like some free hot chocolate?" and with a "Merry Christmas!" they would run back to the table to get more cups to hand out. Then, they knew that they were doing something kind, but it was just so much "fun" for them....
Tonight as I watched my young men pass out these warm cups of cocoa, I saw a look on their face of service. Don't get me wrong, the were still having fun, but this year I could see their serving hearts shining out in eyes of compassion. I am so proud of the godly young men standing in the place my little boys once stood. My heart feels warm.
When we got home, it was time to decorate the tree...again so many memories flood through my mind. I remember how all three of them would lay under the finished tree and look up into the magical lights and ornaments...now as they hang the ornaments, they are almost as tall as the tree!...but I can still see the sweet faces of my little boys as they look into the box of ornaments...I am completely overcome with emotion...this is Cody's senior year! How did this happen?!...where has the time gone?...did I take it all in?...I'm regretting the times when I had to have things"just so"...I should have slowed down and enjoyed things more, relaxed about the details...oh well, better to learn late than never.
But seriously, I remember the boys making these homemade ornaments that hang on our tree like it was yesterday! How is it that they are 17, 14, and 11? My heart is filled to overflowing...oh no,... here come the tears, I just can't hold back...I want to push pause, rewind, anything to not go in this fast forward state that I have found myself in...The boys see that I am struggling, and in their compassion....they tease me relentlessly :)...Thankfully they know that a hug and a laugh is good for my soul.
I am so blessed to have my family. Being a mother is the best job in the world, but it is one we work ourselves out of. It is both rewarding and painful to know that your children are gaining independence from you. My hope is that they will not just be independent, but that their dependence will transfer from me, to being dependent on God. I shared this revelation I had with a few friends today...I am not in control! I think I am as I am directing the day to day things for my kids...but they each have been created for a specific purpose. God had the plan before I even knew them. He knew I would be an imperfect mother, and yet...He entrusted these boys to me! Whew! that means He has it covered.
Thank you God for your perfect plan that does not require human perfection...So how did I get here? By God's grace and provision of course.(although much sooner than I expected)
So join me in the goal to not get all caught up in doing the "details" this Christmas. Let's just remember God sending his precious son Jesus for us as the greatest gift of all, and to soak up the memories with our families who are also a gift to us.