When I wonder what to write

As I have written previously, the holiday season is a time of varied emotions, feelings, thoughts, and memories. These all can be jumbled up together leaving you feeling happy, sad, drained, filled,enthusiastic and tired. It’s all a weird mix and one that you can only decipher days later.

Our youngest and her family left today. The house is quiet. Dale is making bread, so the mixer is running in the background as is worship music. The quiet after the days filled with Mario Cart and Wii games can be daunting. Giggles from a 10 year old echo in my heart.

Memories were made. My mother’s heart refilled with hugs from my grandson and having my youngest with me. Life has been sweet and good.

Anytime my children leave to go home, I ache. I want to cry, but I know my daughters are right where they are supposed to be. I have prayed for their husbands all of my daughter’s lives. I leave them all in the Lord’s care, knowing He is the One who best knows them and understands them. He has a perfect plan for their lives.

But, it is hard to see their car drive down our street.

It started to rain this afternoon, which really didn’t help the gloomy feeling I have. Yet, I know God is my strength, my joy, my shelter and the One who gives me peace. To Him be all glory and honor.

Our First Christmas

31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” Ephesians 5:31 (NLT)

Forty seven years ago, Dale and I were preparing for our first Christmas together as a married couple. We were in our first apartment and preparing to move into our second apartment on the 26th of December. Emotions were high as we had just received orders for Yokosuka, Japan the following April.

I think Dale started buying me things in early November, and he could not wait to give them to me. Each night coming home from work, he would meet me at the door and excitedly tell me of something he’d bought. He would be anxious to give it to me and before I could take off my shoes, he would be bringing an unwrapped gift to me.

He was so cute and I had to urge him to keep something for me to actually open on Christmas day.

I was no better. That year I got him a race track, complete with a stick shifter, and bank curve. It was huge.

I did wait though, for the actual day to give it to him.

I had dreams of us picking out our first tree together, but, he was able to go to a section of the base where he cut down our first tree. It was a huge Charlie Brown tree. With our one string of lights and one package of ornaments,it was very bare. The dollar angel we had hidden at a store until payday so we could buy it, perched precariously on the top branch.

But, after it was decorated, we thought it was the most beautiful tree ever.

Christmas day came and we were like kids on that day. At the end of the day, the presents were all in boxes, the tree was down and outside on the curb. The next day we put everything into our new apartment and left for a late celebration of Christmas with our families.

The first Christmas with just the two of us passed quickly. Little did we know that it would be our last Christmas actually spent in our hometown. Neither did we realize how special that Christmas was for us. Being newlyweds, we were still in the glow of youth, and marriage that was not difficult. We were carefree, and looking forward to all the possibilities of what the future held for us.

Forty seven years later, we are older (obviously), and we show the bumps and bruises of life. We think fondly on all our past Christmases. Some very festive and full of gifts and laughter, some a bit leaner, some with just I.O.U.’s under the tree. What was consistent on Christmas was the celebration of the birth of our Lord. He was with us through each and every Christmas, the full, the lean, and the empty.

His love was what has held us together, sometimes only His love. Christmas is a time for reflection. The ornaments we hang each have a story. The decorations could tell stories if they could talk.

Each corner of each room hold memories, Christmas and throughout the years. As I sit writing this, so many memories of Christmases past race through my mind. The time has passed much quicker than I thought possible. Each Christmas has been the most beautiful, most wonderful, they blend together. In each thought, though, is the glue that has made Christmas wonderful, my family. The same silly stories, the jokes, the laughter over memories, the smiles over gifts, the ahh’s of favorite candy given. The excitement over stockings. All of those harmonizing together and threading through each memory.

Thank You Lord for the precious gift of You, and the reason for this season.

Little Miss #1

(Reworked from an original post October 2019 from dearanonymousfriend)

Little girls come into your life and they nuzzle up and reach in and steal your heart.  They do this easily and quickly.

I always wanted to have five boys.  That was my dream when I was young.  I wanted enough boys to have a pick up basketball team.  I always thought I would have a household full of boys.  They would grow up and look down on me and be in my home to eat all my food and make me laugh.  Yes, if you would have asked me in my early twenties, that is what I would have told you.

Then, near my mid twenties, our first daughter was born.  Suddenly, little girls were my world.  Lots of pink and ruffles and sweet little smiles.   A few years later her sister was born.  Again, lots of ruffles, but, lavender this time.

Finally, years later, our Little Miss came to us.   This little girl, this little gift.  She came a bit early and was really small.  Her size did not deter her personality though, as it was full grown and ready to be presented to the world.

Granddaughters are so much different than daughters.  They melt your heart even sooner than my daughters did.  I saw my husband melt within the first few hours after her birth.  It was different than with Little Man.  With Little Man, he was proud.  I could see his chest popping out in pride.  This was his Grandson.   In a moment he was in the future with him, working on cars and going fishing and doing all the guy stuff he had experienced when he was young.

When Little Miss was born, this man of mine became jello.  He held her and melted.  I watched him do it.  He looked at her and his heart was now in her little fingers.  It has remained so to this day.

She is our Halloween pumpkin.  She is giggles and long stories.   She is a ballerina on her toes, leaping and in the next minute she is chasing her dogs and trying to hug them.   She is wanting to wear frilly dresses but not let her long locks be touched by a hairbrush.  She is a range of emotions like the range of the Appalachian mountains, it just goes on and on.

She is our precious little one.  The one who has her Mom take pictures of her in her church outfit so I can see how she looks.  She poses with one foot out, like a ballet position.  She is a true little girl, the sugar and spice, but also a measure of snips and snails and puppy dog tails…

It continues to amaze me how wonderful our Lord is. He gives us such abundant gifts in our families. He renews the wonder of new born lives. We get to relive the joys of childhood without the stress and strain of parenting. We see our children in these little lives. We remember the stress and tiredness of raising children. But, as grandparents it all seems like golden memories.

“We love each other because he loved us first.” I John 4:19 (NLT)