Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Reflections

Christmas Reflections, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Yesterday my dad and I took a hike around the lake at Mountwood Park near Parkersburg, WV. There is this little rock formation nestled away in the hills that surround the lake, and I think it makes a great place to sit, think, pray, and even get photos taken. This time I did less praying and thinking--it was nearly dark, and my dad and I were trying to make our way around the lake. It was a little different twist on the holiday. I think it was the first time I had ever been hiking on Christmas.

But this year's Christmas was different on a number of counts. This year we had our meal and our gift exchange at my sister and brother in law's house. This year, my sister cooked the meal. This year was the first year we spent Christmas without my mom.

I understand that it's tough going through the holidays without recently departed loved ones, but I don't think I ever fully realized how much my mom did to make Christmas so enjoyable for everybody else. Even last year, when she was recovering from a bout of chemotherapy, she cut homemade noodles, baked cookies, and cooked the Christmas meal in it's entirety. My mom was greatly missed yesterday by all of us.

But my sister was amazing. Often, I am called upon to pray for meals, etc. at these family gatherings, but this year I asked my sister to pray (as a Christmas gift to me). My sister is not very confident praying out loud or in public, but she should be. She uttered one of the most heartfelt, genuine, thoughtful and beautiful prayers I think I have ever heard. It was a great gift indeed.

I intentionally stayed away from the phone and computer for the day. I knew that the moment I picked up either of them, it would be hard not to do work on the holiday. It was kind of nice to be disengaged like that. I typically call a couple of close friends on Christmas, but this Christmas it was probably good just to be close with my dad and sister.

As we spent time together, it was comforting to know that my mom is with our savior, and it is comforting to know that on this particular day, as we mourn losses we know that we celebrate an even greater gain. One day, everything will be put to rights in the world. But for now, we will celebrate the fact that in the middle of the hurts and joys, there is a God who comes along side us and enters into all of it with us.

Merry CHristmas!


brotherchuck said...

Amen, my brother, amen!

Miranda said...

I like the picture.

kit said...

Have a Blessed New Year my friend, I have been praying for you and your family this season. Peace.

Rebecca said...

Fabulous photo! You look like a bird in a nest, thinking about flying away!

I would have broken a bone just trying to get up there!