As Christmas rapidly approaches, the joy of what this season means intensifies.

The tree is decorated with memories in the shape of various ornaments. The mantle of my fireplace is shinning in all it’s splendor, illuminating the face of those who are missing from our lives but are never far from our hearts. Our new home dazzles on the outside as well after my husband and sons shivered in the cold the other night. What stands out the most in my mind though is the memories made with each little activity.

My children are growing up faster than I can blink. it seems like only yesterday they were little tikes, running around my feet while screaming at the top of their lungs. There was no hiding in the bathroom so I could get three minutes of peace.  Now, my little boys are young men who tower over me, and my sweet baby girl is a stunning young lady who is only twelve but looks like she is sixteen. It hit me the other day before I know it, they will move out and make their own memories with their families and make their mark on the world.

So, this year, I am determined to push aside long moments of sadness of what is not here and embrace what is. My loving husband of 19 years, my three teenagers, my parents and sibling, and the fact that my door is revolving as guests come for a visit or even stay the night. I will drag my children to light parades and caroling for as long as they will let me. (They grumble at first but then they have fun when they get there.) Lastly, I will give glory to my Lord for giving me the beautiful gifts He has and take nothing for granted. 

I hope you will take the time to enjoy the memories you will make. If you are struggling, that is okay too. I pray you find the peace and joy you need to get through this season. For it isn’t about what you don’t have, but what you do have – the blessed assurance that Christ came to us as a babe so that we might know the Father in a whole new way. 

Melissa Wardwell