Highlights from this month's list of gifts have been very special. I saw some birds sitting on a snow covered tree singing praises (similar to the picture above). My sons smiling and laughing are always good to boost my spirit. My husband's thoughtfulness of a hot water bottle on my aching back. Playful 'talks' with the baby. Good meals with family and friends.
Have you noticed that these things are not big? These gifts are small things that warmed my heart, caught my attention, and let me notice the beauty in the everyday things. What richness!
This is not to say that life is always good. Sometimes I am amazed and paralyzed by my inadequacies, weaknesses, and attitude. But isn't this the point? When I can only see myself, I need to look around me to see goodness, light, love, and God.
Christmas day is a yearly reminder that God is with us. He was born in a barn filled with mud, muck, hay, pigs, and other animals. He reaches down into our messy, mud-filled lives and does His best to get our attention.
The beauty of this that I don't fully grasp is that He has chosen me. Me? My shame and inadequacies as a mother, wife, teacher, lover, friend, writer, cook, and occasionally, an artist, He knows me very well. He changes me. As I count gifts, as I become more and more grateful for life around me. He transforms me. He is filling me with love, light, patience, and grace. He is with me.
Isn't that the point of Christmas? God is with us.
He is with me as I count gifts, struggle with students, interact with my kids, talk to my husband, bake muffins, take walks, and live life! He is with me. Just. Waiting. For. Me. To. Notice. Him. He is here.