Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Us. And these windows.
New addresses. Your togetherness. Beautiful young ladies and handsome little gentlemen. Your travels. Your joys. Miracle babies. Your sweet homes. The places I've lived. Our shared childhoods. The memories we've made together. The ways we're aging. The last time I saw you laughing. The last time you called me crying. The common places that tie us together. Joy. Some pain. The people you've added, and those we've lost. Life.
Christmas cards are my very favorite thing that happens all year because of everything they let me see. And feel. I monopolize the mail in December because I want to feel it all - seeing the return address, opening the flap, pulling out your card and those first turns of my lips into a grin. And the "us" of our past rushes through my mind like a card catalogue of all our time together. And then I'm just so grateful for you, and for our "us."
Thank you for sending us all your cards and all these feelings. I'm a feeler, and a "words-of-encouragement-er" and seeing y'all and reading your messages absolutely fills my heart in a very real way. Seriously - if you haven't felt a full heart before, it's worth finding. It's like a tea kettle that's about to whistle - warm, and on purpose, and just right. For those who we don't see all the time, I miss you. For those who work with Dan - thank you for being his people and moving forward one of the most God-centered secular companies I've ever known. For our family, we love you and are so grateful for you. For new friends, welcome, and thanks for welcoming us into your lives. For old friends, a knowing smile and all my love.
When I sat down to write this, I felt like I had so much more than this to say - but it turns out, I just wanted to tell you thank you. Thank you. For all of it. I hope I always find my way to gratitude and humility as quickly as I do this year - I feel God and his peace and mercy all over it.
I told you on our card we'd be praying for y'all this Christmas. And we have. And I will again. I invite you to pray this prayer for your Christmas card people too.
Father you sent yourself to dwell among us as your son - and you knew that concept of family would mean something to us. You built a crew around you to teach and support and do life with - and you knew that concept of community would mean something to us. You modeled the importance of family and Christian friends from the beginning. Thank you for that. Thank you for the rest and acceptance a community can bring.
Thank you for our people, for our Christmas card people and all they mean in our life. I lift each family to you and ask for your blessing in their life. Please show them (and us) how to walk in the center of Your will for their lives, show them mercy, grow wisdom in their minds, and compassion in their hearts. God work through these people to extend the hope and joy You offer the world. Please teach each one of us how to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You.
God please bind us together in love, in kindness, and in You. In Your name, I pray this Christmas.