Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Christmas Blessing

Good Morning!  The weather has been a little strange the last couple of years as the earth settles into another of its cycles.  Snow is not a normal occurrence in my neck of the woods.  If it does occur, it is usually in late February or early March.  And we almost never measure accumulation in inches, never mind multiple inches.  This year we had 4 inches of snow on December 26th!  What fun!  And an added bonus to our Christmas holiday.  This was the closest we've come to a white Christmas since 1989 when we had 15 inches on the ground at Christmas.

The "Day after Christmas" snow was a special blessing for our family.  First, a little background.  We usually have our Christmas meal on Christmas Eve, clean up, open the kid's "Secret Santa" gifts (the children exchange names on Thanksgiving), watch a Christmas video and read the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke 2.  This year we combined the last two and watched The Nativity Story on dvd.  It was excellent and will most likely become a Christmas Eve tradition.  On Christmas morning we get up and open up "Santa's" gifts, have breakfast, and just enjoy the day.  I don't monitor candy eating for the day and meals consist of leftovers, so I don't have to cook.  If you're hungry, fix a plate and nuke it.  There really is no schedule and, other than the animal chores, nothing is really expected from anyone.  Gifts from family members are saved until the afternoon.  We usually do this to prevent a free-for-all and to make the day last a little longer.

This year began much as every other Christmas and when we had finished opening gifts Christmas morning I took the opportunity to make my holiday phone calls to family.  I called my parents first to make sure I caught them before they headed to my sister's house.  Instead of the animated voices I usually get from my parents, I noticed that they were subdued and less than joyous.  The reason soon became clear.  Due to some overnight illness and other complications, my grandmother was spending Christmas alone, my grandfather having passed away several years ago.  It was really bothering both of my parents, but there was nothing they could do.  It was an eight hour drive from their house to my grandmother's and by the time they could get there Christmas would be over.  I continued to talk to my parents, but could tell that they were not going to be able to enjoy the holiday.

After hanging up with my parents, I asked Ray if he minded if I took a quick trip.  My grandmother's home is about 2 1/2 hours from mine and I figured that I could get up there, visit 2-3 hours, and still be home before the bad weather they were predicting would hit.  When the children found out, they all wanted to go also.  It was finally decided that Ray and Michaela would stay behind and ready the animals/farm for the storm, while the rest of the family would travel up to Edgecombe County.  Having had to disappoint my grandmothers in the past with scheduled visits that fell apart at the last minute, I chose not to call first, but to surprise her instead.  We took the gifts which she had sent the children with us so that she could see them opened.  And off we went.

Yahweh blessed the trip immensely.  The time passed quickly, the drive was quiet, and we encountered no problems.  We arrived at my grandmother's home just as she finished her lunch.  And surprise her we did!  She was so excited!  We had a wonderful visit and she really enjoyed watching the children open their gifts.  After about 3 hours we left and headed back home.  Once again a quiet trip with no problems.   I arrived home to a phone call from my dad sounding much more like his usual self.  I ended the day feeling so blessed that my small action had blessed several people so much.  I am so glad I followed the Holy Spirits leading and went to visit.  I am so thankful to be blessed with children who willingly gave up their plans and expectations for the day in order to cheer up someone else. 

And we were blessed in return.  We woke up the next morning to a winter wonderland and enjoyed our "Christmas day" one day late.

I don't relate this to toot my own horn.  The only thing I really did right was follow Holy Spirit's leading.  The Bible teaches us that "no good thing resides in me".  We all want to be blessed.  However, sometimes Yahweh wants us to BE the blessing.  And I discovered that that feels even better than being blessed.  It is so important that we be in tune with Yahweh and listening for His voice and His direction.  In the coming year, make it a priority to listen out for that "still, small voice".  If you do, you will reap untold blessings.

May Yahweh bless you in this new day!


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