Can you believe Christmas is tomorrow? I feel joy bubbling inside as I anticipate our annual Christmas Eve family gathering!
I met with girlfriends earlier this week for coffee. The main topic of discussion…how each of us will celebrate Christmas. We’re all empty nest-ers now with married adult children and grandchildren to enjoy. You could feel the excitement in the air as three mothers shared plans that all centered around “the kids coming home.”
Not much more blesses a mother’s heart than when her children return home….for a visit that is. 😉 I love seeing our children with their spouses and now with our grandchildren. It’s so beautiful to sit back and watch them interact with each other and to know that our imperfect labor was well worth it!
Preparing for them to “come home” is part of the excitement especially for Christmas Eve where we celebrate with traditions we began when they were children.
I love planning the menu, thinking about their favorite foods I’ll make, for them to enjoy. I smile while wrapping gifts and stuffing stockings, imagining their reactions as they tear open each present that was lovingly made or selected.
I envision all 10 of us now, nearly filling two rows for Christmas Eve service at our church. Listening to the familiar story of how our Heavenly Father made a plan for us to “come home” through sending His Son Jesus to earth as a baby moves this mother’s heart to tears every time. My heart is overwhelmed with deep gratitude and recognition of how loved and blessed we are.
I marvel while looking at pure innocence in the faces of our four precious grandchildren. The older children sit beside us doing their best to listen while the little ones move from lap to lap. Each holding a glow sticks anxiously waiting for the moment the lights will be turned low and they will hold their glowing light high as the adults and older children light their candles and sing…..
Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace
We return home to eat, exchange gifts, and string popcorn for garland on the tree. I look around and see contentment on each face as we enjoy the fellowship with one another. The children’s laughter helps us remember the simple things in life are meant to be enjoyed.
The crowning point comes when the grandchildren gather around Poppy/Grandpa waiting for him to read the story we read to their mommy and daddy every year when they were children.
It’s so surreal looking at the beauty of our children’s children learning the true meaning of Christmas..the hope for eternity.
Talking with my girlfriends and thinking of our family gatherings I began to wonder, if I feel this excited about our children “coming home,” how much more does our Heavenly Father celebrate and take delight when we, His children, let our hearts “come home” to Him?
As we journey on this earth toward our eternal heavenly home may you experience deep intimacy and the sense of being” at home” in His presence today and everyday. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)