My challenge to you this Christmas season is to think more deeply about why the Lord has put certain people in your life (because He does, you know). What can you learn from them? Can you possibly help them in some way? I’m serious about this challenge. Make a list. Think about it on walks, in the shower, driving to work, doing the dishes. Discuss it with your family. It will immediately increase your “Christmas Spirit” (translation: love for God and those around you.)
Here is a rough attempt from me to get you started.
Leslie (age 13): Leslie is walking proof that dreams do come true. She is such a good girl, hard working, unselfish, trustworthy. I think she came to our family to be an example to my other kids, to be my friend, to help shoulder the load of a large family (without complaining), and also to “let us off easy” so that we could expend some of that parental angst on our other children. I love having a teenager and also enjoy watching her life expand.
Boston (age 9): Ah Boston. Boston, with his postponed arrival to our family (Leslie was 4 ½ when he was born) definitely taught us that our “story” for how life should go, and when, is not God’s Story. God’s story is always better. Sometimes I laugh because I think maybe I needed that extra time to prepare for this strongest-willed child. Boston and I hold hands through all the tough stuff parenthood brings. I learn the most from being his mom. The hardest work also brings the greatest rewards, so I guess it would be truthful to say that Boston regularly makes me the happiest, and I feel like he has grown up a lot this year. Boston also provides most of the affection for the entire family and especially loves the baby. Boston and Cooper have also helped me realize why I needed to grow up with two little brothers, who have similar personalities to my boys, especially Jake with Boston. Thanks Mom and Dad, for showing me how it’s done.
Cooper (age 7): Cooper helps me to get in touch with my emotions. All of them. He is my most tender (asked me this morning if he could bring a treat to his Speech teacher because her husband died). He is my most hilarious. He has the strongest sense of injustice and also great courage. I think one of my proudest moments the whole year was watching him the second day of swimming lessons as he, absolutely terrified the day before, walked to the pool with his chest out, trusting that God would help him. This year Cooper also created emotions I didn’t know I had as I watched him tear it up on the baseball field. I used to hate sports. What was I thinking? Enter—Intensity!
Macy (age 5): Macy proves to me that children are born to certain parents for certain reasons. I get her, but can also see so much of Mark’s social side shining through. She also proves that children come with their own ready-made personalities. She has a large one and it has been fun and challenging and rewarding to help her channel some of that intelligence and passion (we call it extra vinegar) for life. Macy also treasures the girly side of things, which is so fun for me and provides huge balance to our rowdy household.
Luke (age 2): We have already learned so, so much from the medical difficulties and mortal questions surrounding Luke’s birth, (I seriously think about those lessons every day and thank the Lord for the lessons and also for the happy outcome), that now we just get to enjoy him--and enjoy him we do. I honestly think that little ones are so necessary to have around because they just bring such a deep love and instant happiness into the home, scribbled walls and all, and it affects every member of the household. Luke I’m sure you have much more to teach us.
Mark (don’t think he wants his age posted): It’s hard to narrow this down for a spouse because they affect so much of who you are, but I think that this year at least, Mark has helped me focus on trying to figure out what the Lord wants for our family, and then to go ahead and do it AND be happy with it. As the song goes, “Lead kindly light…one step enough for me.” He changed companies twice this year, one time a week before we were about to purchase a home, and finally we feel really good about where he is working and where we are. Mark also echoes my challenge—he spends a lot of his time ministering to members of our church and I know that he has expressed several times this year that he knows that certain people have come into his life for special reasons.
I hope you know that you are on our list of “certain people”. We think of you fondly and consider the ways you have enriched our lives. We are thankful to have the family and friends that we do and are especially thankful for Him this Christmas season.
Jackie, Mark, Leslie, Boston, Cooper, Macy, Luke Day