This time of year brings about lots of talk about gifts.
Finding the perfect gift.
Saving money while buying the perfect gift.
Returning the gift.
And wishing for a different gift.
But, you know what? For me, this season has been about appreciating the gifts I already have. And, more importantly, realizing what my greatest gift really is.
That’s right, people.
Of course my faith is a gift and it is a supreme gift of my Creator. That isn’t lost on me. But, as I gaze at my many nativities, read (and re-read) our beautiful pile of Christmas cards from friends and family and meditate on how I can be a better mom, one central thing keeps coming back to me this Advent season.
They have talked me off the ledge. Enjoyed an adult beverage, or four. Cried with me. Laughed with me. Affirmed me in my vocation. They have spoken harsh words of reality to me. Prayed over me. Traveled with me to faraway places. Or just to the local Sonic. Some I’ve met in real life. And others just live on the interwebs. There are many who have sat at my dining room table and many more who never will and now reside in a better place.
God gave me beautiful people in this life and I love them dearly. Many years ago, during my pre-kid years, there was a speaker who relayed a story that has stayed with me nearly 16 years. He was chatting about how he went to this awesome event – one he had dreamed about his entire life. He was pumped. Beyond excited. But as he looked around, there was no one with whom to share it. He had attended the event alone and he left feeling dejected. What he realized is that in our lives, it’s not the things that we get to do, but the people we get to do them with, that matters.
In the end, what matters is love.
As we approach Christmas, just hours away now, it is the pinnacle of love. When you sit in that pew at church (and I oh-so-hope you go, no matter what house of worship it may be) and glance around at the people around you, remember this: you are infinitely loved and cherished. People in this world adore you. Their lives would not be the same had you not graced it with your presence.
If my blog, and my writing, only convey one thing, I pray it is this. Take time to love the people in your life, however long God gives them to you. They are your greatest gift.
Merry Christmas, y’all.