Christmas festivities have ended. December seemed like a whirlwind of Christmas parties, dinners, play practice, and all the preparation for each of those activities. As the Young Adult Leader at church, my husband and I hosted the YA Christmas party. As a manager at work, I hosted a Christmas lunch for my team. I also planned and organized a separate Christmas party for our entire department. I'm also in a band called Blind Mercy, and we had Christmas dinner together (I didn't have to plan this, thankfully :) ). Additionally, I direct the Christmas program at church every year. This year, we did a combination of songs and a play. I sang and had a leading role in the scenes of the play. Plus, I ended up with the stomach flu the week before our Christmas program (yuck!). These things were time-consuming and required a lot of planning with attention to detail. But, I love it all so much! ...except the whole sickness thing; that was awful.
In addition to all of the extra things, I have a rather large family. So, I had four different Christmases with each part of the family. My family is an awesome reminder of the blessings that I have had growing up and that still abound today; I have the best family a girl could hope for!
As this year is coming to an end, I would be remiss to not use the time to reflect on the wonderful blessings (trials and triumphs) that this year has brought. I wrote a blog a while back about the greatest things in life being invisible: hope, joy, peace, love. For Christmas, I received many nice tangible gifts. But, if I didn't have the invisible, invaluable things, the tangle ones would only leave me feeling empty. Several years ago, when I was only five years old, I received the most valuable gift imaginable - salvation through Jesus Christ. In our play at church this year, we said, "Christmas is about receiving, not giving. It's about receiving the wonderful gift of Jesus Christ. What a gift to be given! A chance to change, to make things new." I'm so very thankful that each of us has a chance for that new beginning in Christ. If you haven't begun your relationship with Christ yet, now is the best time (no matter when you're reading this - Christmastime or not); it is the most wonderful time of the year!