All four of my own children have invaded my home and brought with them laughter, messes from suitcases, lots of coffee and tea cups being used over and over again. The joy of my season, so far, has been to just sit and listen to them share friendship together. My heart is saying, "It was all worth it. They all caught a vision for life. They are all alive with ideals, vision, purpose and love for the One who matters the most."
And then, Lily’s illness hit. Our holiday plans have been turned upside down-for everyone. Hospital stay, emergency rooms, ambulance, 3 emergency clinic visits and many sleepless nights. Oh what a week it has been but I wanted to share the story with all of you who so kindly prayed and encouraged us.
Of course I am so happy to be hosting precious baby Lilian., even amidst her illness. Her presence in our home, with her squeals and antics of excitement for life, fills all of us with renewed thankfulness for Him who created Life!
With such strong personalities and ideals, of course there is friction and stress in the up and down moments of our lives … but also lots of memories and stories. This one is one of my favorites of those, from one of my very best friends, Nathan. We have grown even so much closer this year through the events of our lives, and I am always happy when he is around. Take time to look into the eyes of your loved ones this season, and you will make a memory you will love to visit years from now.
Christmas Eve found me huffing and puffing over a kitchen cabinet overflowing with dough. Cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, herb and onion bread for the Shepherd's meal that very evening, and I was into my own vortex of checking off a mental list of all that had to be finished. Stockings, wrap presents, call my family, make the potato soup and fill the cookie trays......on and on the list grew.
Charming 12 year old, golden blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, marched into the kitchen with a purpose to his step.
"Mama, I know you are busy, but there is something real important I need to talk to you about. I need you to come right now!"
A little tightness wrapped itself around my attitude.
My thoughts, "Hello! Can't you see that I am up to my elbows in dough? Do you really know how much I am doing to make all of you happy? I am doing this for you. Can't you just see what I am up to and wait for just a little bit?"
My words, "Honey, I am a little busy right now. Can you just wait for a few minutes? Why don't you talk to me right here--I am happy to listen to you."
"Mom, we need to have privacy. It won't take long. If you could just come with me for a few minutes, I really need to talk to you."
Something in my heart said, "You need to take time. He is not usually this insistant in the middle of the day. Give him your focussed attention for just a few minutes."
And so I reluctantly wiped my hands clean, put the dough down and said, "Ok, Nate, let's go to my bedroom. No one is there."
He seemed to be holding something behind his back and wanted me to go in front of him.
I walked ahead of him into my bedroom, sat on our little love seat next to our bed and said, trying to smile amidst the tension I was feeling, "Now, Nathan, what did you want to talk about?"
Then, with a smile from cheek to cheek, he gingerly pulled out one long stem red rose from behind his back and presented it to me.
"Mama, I love you more than Christmas."
"I was thinking about all that you do to make us happy and I wanted to give you a present before I get all of my presents tomorrow. I wanted to let you know I love you and really appreciate you ahead of time. So here is my present, mama. I made Dad take me to the store and I got a red rose for you. Do you like it?"
Of course, you could have pushed me over with a feather.
I was shocked, surprised, touched, and the tears began to flow and my heart began to melt.
"Nathan, that might be the sweetest, most thoughtful gift anyone has ever given to me. Thank you with all of my heart."
And so I drew his "little-boy" body to myself and gave a great big hug and kissed him on his smiling cheek.
"I will never forget this. I adore you, sweet Nathan."
And I haven't forgotten.
And now I saw my extraverted, ADD, bubbling over, OCD boy in a whole new light.
So very glad this one time God prompted me to listen with my heart instead of my head.
Hope you enjoy the podcast—as we wanted our friends to know our adventures and challenges this week with Lily. Joel helped me find a song we hope you will enjoy. Have the most wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.