When Diane asked me to guest post for the series she was doing in December, I wasn’t sure what Christmas story or memory I had that would warrant a blog post on someone else’s blog.
Yes, I remember getting a bicycle under the tree when I was 9 or 10. I remember asking for a Barbie doll and getting a doll that was NOT a Barbie, but a knockoff. I remember the year we lived far from the rest of my family and my dad was in the hospital on Christmas Day. There was a blizzard with no way for my mom, sister and me to get to the hospital! Yes, I have Christmas memories, but none that I really wanted or felt called to write about. Just to be clear, all of my childhood Christmas memories are not bad! I remember great times with cousins at my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve. I remember how fun it was when my older siblings came with their spouses and my nieces and nephews.
I remember getting married and being very self-centered with what I wanted at Christmas. Then being pregnant and having a child (now 25 years old) and suddenly Christmas took on a whole new meaning.
It was then I began to see and feel the REAL meaning of Christmas. Prior to having a child of my own, I don’t think I really grasped the gift Christ gave, when he gifted the world with his son. His ONLY son. I could not even begin to think of giving up my newborn…yet, that is exactly why Jesus was born.
A gift without measure.
A treasure with untold value.
As my son got older, he was never a “gimmie cub” often asking for only one item and some years as he got older, he asked for nothing. (If you don’t know what a “gimmie cub” is, then google “beranstain bears gimmies”) Anyway, one year he asked for a remote control truck. I think he was 6 or 7…maybe a bit older. But he didn’t ask for anything except this truck.
As he was finishing opening his presents on Christmas morning, I gave him his last box. Of course, it was a remote control truck.
He opened it and when he saw it was a truck he wanted he said, “I KNEW he wouldn’t forget! I just knew it!”
Of course, he was talking about Santa Claus not forgetting, but as I reflect back on that morning, I am reminded that someone bigger and better than Santa Claus never forgets! I am reminded that our Savior never forgets us and our needs or our requests.
He may not answer like we THINK he should answer.
He may not answer like we WANT him to answer.
But he answers in his way and in his time.
And that has to be good enough for us. After all, he only wants the best for us, his children.
He will not forget us. He has engraved us on the palms of hands. (Isaiah 49:15-16)
My prayer for myself this Christmas season is that I remember the real reason for the season.
That I remember the tiny babe in a manger.
That I not get so caught up in buying, wrapping, baking, cooking, cleaning and partying that I forget what the season really means.
Over 2000 years ago, a baby changed everything.
And that baby changed me when I asked him into my heart.
25 years ago…a baby changed my life and the way I view Christmas.
If The Baby has not changed your life, I pray that he changes you this year.
Mary was born in California, raised in Arkansas and graduated from high school in Indiana. She then met and married her husband in St. Louis, Missouri. Mary considers herself a Midwestern girl and believes there is no better place in this country to raise a family. She has been married for 30 years with one living child. Learning that God has a plan that we often cannot see, as well as learning to trust Him with that plan is something Mary works on every day. She works hard to find the music in the mayhem and the beauty in the ordinary. Mary loves coffee, wine and chocolate – not necessarily in that order, and loves to entertain and throw a party. After 30+ years, she has finally accepted that she is OK just like she is. You can find Mary at Marybonner.net and on Twitter at @themarybonner.
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Sweet thoughts, Mary. Christmas always leaves me a little wistful. And I just remind myself it’s because all that stuff under the tree will never fill. So I set my heart on the holy, and this entire life is Advent–the waiting. Hugs to you and Merry Christmas!