Saturday, November 20, 2010

Its really foggy out this morning. The impending holidays are in the air. Next week, Thanksgiving and before you know it, Christmas will be here. I've been looking forward to these occasions for a while now. I've even been anticipating snow. Not sure what it is this year but I'm ready.
     I'm ready to hear Christmas music on the radio, those songs that trace back to some of my earliest memories. I'm ready to pull out the decorations and "spruce" up the house! :) I'm looking forward to getting special gifts for the people I love.
     Thanksgiving and Christmas bring back such good memories. The decorations I'll pull out soon and put around the house, many of those were Gran's. All of those memories, they take me back to a different time in life. A time when I didn't know so much stress. A time when things seemed simpler. Gran always made Christmas goodies and she had her decorations. We would all pile into her little house, 11 of us with one bathroom which only had a tub, no shower. Six granddaughters would crowd their sleeping bags in on the living room floor and anticipate Santa filling the personalized stockings that Gran had made for each of us. There was always lots of fun and we would come up with little skits and sing song. Then there was church on Sunday, all of us piling into one pew and Gran's dinner after with everyone cramming into the dining room.
     Those memories seem like a long time ago. The late, Rich Mullins had a song titled, "Growing Young," and part of it went like this,
                                "I've gone so far from my home
                                  I've seen the world and I have known
                                  So many secrets
                                  I wish now I did not know
                                 'Cause they have crept into my heart
                                 They have left it cold and dark
                                 And bleeding,
                                 Bleeding and falling apart"

The song is talking about the prodigal son in Luke 15:11—31, but it seems like it applies to life in general. "I've seen the world and I have known, so many secrets, I wish now I did not know." Even when you're doing everything right, so to speak, life is still full of situations that can creep into our hearts and leave them cold, dark and bleeding. I guess its safe to say that the sometimes harsh reality of life has taken me so far from those days of girlish giggles, adventures and imaginings of a more innocent time. Maybe it is that fact that has me longing for Christmas this year. A longing to return to the kind of peace and joy that was always present at Christmas at Gran's house when I was growing up. Maybe it is also a longing for the promise that the first Christmas set into motion. A longing for that day when all will be made new, when there will be no more stress or suffering or any of those things we wish we didn't know. "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more  death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:1- 4) 
     I think Christmas is a season of hope and I am ready for Christmas.

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