"Mom, you don't have to go through all this trouble," one of my daughters remarked as I set the table using my good dishes and goblets.
I flashed her a smile as I placed the silverware and napkins just so. "I eat by myself every night. Do you know what it means to me to have you all here? To be able to set a proper table? To enjoy the hubbub?
This week, I've been savoring the memories of them all being here . . . the rompings of two little boys, the hush as we sat together at the Christmas Eve service, the birthday cake for Jesus, the traditional reading of the Christmas story, the adult gift exchange, the excitement of the children, the singing of carols as the fireplace blazed, the never-ending chit chat . . .
between Christmas and New Year's also offers a unique opportunity to look
back and remember events of the past year. Many changes have taken place in our family in 2016. The first year anniversary of Barry's passing, Elisabeth's graduation from high school and enrollment in college, the release of Penned Without Ink: Trusting God to Write Your Story, the quietness of living alone for the first time . . .
The week between Christmas and the new year naturally turns our attention to the future. What will 2017 bring? Only God knows. One of my most precious memories of last weekend was when we went around the table and each one shared their hopes and plans for the new year: an online class, a road trip to the mid-west, a possible summer internship, a new place to live, a quilt to complete, a desire to maintain the status quo, an effective marketing plan, a determination to down-size . . . all areas we can be praying for each other about . . .
A wise king once wrote, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. . . . Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails" (Proverbs 16:9; 19:21). There's a bit of comfort in these words.
In this week between Christmas and New Year's, take the opportunity to meditate on God's goodness in our past and the promise of His presence in our future.
Immanuel . . . God with us!