"I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself." -CS Lewis, The Great Divorce


Thing #26: The Best Gift

I thought about this post all week, and of course, I failed to post it yesterday, but I don't think it's too late today. There are 12 days of Christmas after all.

Over the week before Christmas, I get stressed out about gifts and things of that nature, which caused me to ponder the ultimate gift - the sacrifice of God's son, whose birth Christmas is said to commemorate (but with all this red and green and Santa fluff, who would know?). Anyway, it occurred to me that I don't always feel worthy of this gift, yet God knew that each person would be worth his sacrifice, and so he sent His son (himself) to be human and die for us. Perhaps my greatest wish for this year is to recognize in myself the qualities that God felt a certain urgency to preserve. The good in me must be evident if God himself sacrificed for it.

While I often feel unworthy, I can easily understand the wonderful sacrifice and gift when I look at others. My dad's compassion and genuine hunger for knowledge, my mom's selflessness and unconditional love... they are qualities that are certainly worth a gift like Jesus.

So this thing to be happy about is more of a wish for all...
I hope that for Christmas, you are able to recognize in yourself and in others the wonderful things that made the birth of Jesus necessary. On this holiday, we celebrate the hope of our salvation and the ability we have to lead lives with certainty that God loves us.

I am happy for the greatest gift of all time. Happy Birthday, Jesus Christ.


Thing #25: Everything I have

Christmas is wonderful, but these two weeks before it are always overwhelming to me. I start to let my anxiety take hold, and then I have no fun. But, always, the day or two before the actual holiday, I get a perspective check.

Today, as I was driving my sniffly and uncaffeinated self to the ridiculously crowded mall, I saw a family walking down the street with a shopping cart full of things and a child who looked to be about two-years-old. I wanted to pull over and ask what I could do, but my America, selfish sensibilities took over, and I kept driving. But I did realize one very important thing: my life is amazing.

I don't have to worry where my next meal will come from. I do not have to worry that my children may not have a place to sleep at night. I do not have to wonder if my family will call or send me a card this Christmas. I do not struggle to pay my power, water, cable bill, or car loan. I have everything I need and almost everything I want. I am one of the luckiest people in the world.

I often feel like I don't deserve the many blessings I have been given. At times like these, I think of Grandpa Ed's question, "why was I born in America and not a poor man in Africa?" Regardless, I know that I deserve the blessings less if I fail to acknowledge them.

So today, I am happy for EVERYTHING I have - the material things and the emotional comforts I truly need to survive. Life IS good.


Thing #24: A working washer and dryer

I'm officially old (as the previous entry asserts and the gray hairs sprouting from the back of my head attest). My new washer and dryer are fabulous. The LG pair play a little jig when they turn on and off as well as when the load is done, not to mention they get my clothes clean. The best part, however, is that I don't have to leave my apartment. Oh, and the dryer allows me to once again fluff clothes a normal person might consider ironing. This renders my wardrobe larger, once again.