Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Time is Here...

Christmas is next week.

Holy cow, Christmas is next week.

Yes, I am excited.  I'm excited to spend time with my family, to go to some beautiful church services (even if I'm still not 100% sure of what I believe), to sit at home and watch the tree lights and see my boyfriend.  I'm excited to be with the ones I love.

But my heart is aching for those who have lost their loved ones and are spending time without them.  A woman at our church lost her husband back in August.  She hasn't skipped a beat since; she knew it was his time and has continued being a spunky grandmother figure without blinking.  I know it must be hard on her, though.  I know it must.

Then there was another member of our church who died of cancer early this month.  He was in his thirties with a wife and children, the oldest who is in fifth grade.  It is going to be rough on his family; they knew it was coming, but it's still hard.

And there's the teacher who worked at Sylvan when I did who lost her husband last year, two days before Christmas.  All year she's been blogging here about her struggles throughout the past year.  This week is going to be so hard for her.  It breaks my heart all over again.  I cried last year when I found out.  I wonder if I will cry again on Christmas eve.

There's my friend from public speaking, who has been struggling with food stamps and keeping her head above the water.  It's going to be a scarce holiday for her, her husband, and their kiddos.  My family got a bag full of stuff for them - toys for the kids, a cook book, lotion for her, and a gift card to the grocery store.  My boyfriend and I are taking it to them this week.  It's hard, though.

My boyfriend and his family are having their own struggles.  I'm not at liberty to tell what, but it's been rough for them.  He's been stressed out.  And now that he's gotten into his school of choice (which I am so proud of him for), he's nervous about leaving this city and going to another.  I know I'm going to miss him, but the truth is - as I told him - I'm a phone call away.  And a drive won't kill me.

I would be lying if I said we didn't have our struggles either.  There was the whole fiasco with the car and the battle with the credit card people.  My dad works two jobs and is hardly home at times.  We live in a small apartment and only have one running vehicle.

But we don't have it bad.  I look at all these other stories and I realize how good my family has it.  We don't always get along, but at least we're all somewhat healthy.  We are all alive.  We have each other.  We could lose everything and be living on the street or in my grandmother's back yard, but we would still have each other.

I am the most blessed woman in the world.  I have a family who supports me.  I have a sister who is my best friend.  I have the most wonderful boyfriend who cares about me for me and who loves me.  I have friends who are there when I need them and who understand when I get lazy or busy (you know who you are).

There is food on the table and a roof over our heads and heat and blankets and beds.

Do I really need anything else?

No.  I don't.

I think that's what it's all about.

This season, please pray for the people mentioned above.  Pray for those you know who are hurting.  And count your blessings.  They are the only things that matter.


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