“From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.”—John 1:16 (NLT)
On Tuesday, I will be cerebrating 51 years. Wow! I will now be over a half a century old now (my sweet daughter reminded me on my birthday last year that I was 1/2 a century old). While I know I am getting older, each year I have a birthday, I am thankful that God has given me another year of life. Because I have had a spouse die at a young age, I do know how precious life is and that every day really is a gift.
I will never forget my 30th birthday, when my dad called to wish me a “Happy Birthday.” He asked, “How does it feel to be 30?” My response was, “Well, compared to my 29th birthday, I’d have to say 30 is a lot better than 29. Let’s see for my 29th birthday, I was recently widowed, had postpartum depression and let’s not forget, I was living at home with my mom and dad. I’d have to say, compared to 29, 30 is looking pretty good.” He said, “You make it sound like it was so bad.” And I said, “It was!”
Don’t get me wrong, I know how blessed I was to be able to move in with my parents to help me through that difficult time, but once I had my own house and was starting to live my life again, each year seemed to get better and better. Of course it helped that I was able to build a house directly behind my parents home with a gate between our yards! I am thankful for that time that both my children and I got to spend being so close to my parents. That too was a gift.
For me, December is one of those bittersweet months. You can’t help but think of your loved ones that have gone before you, but you also have to embrace the life around you. So while there will be a void that my mother-in-law isn’t here to celebrate with us this year, we can listen to her CD of her playing Christmas songs on her organ and take comfort that her body is no longer in pain and she is spending Christmas with Jesus.
Is there anyone you know that is hurting because of the death of a loved one or someone that has been given a terminal diagnosis? Consider giving them one of your hand knit gifts. A prayer shawl is always a welcome gift to someone that is grieving. When someone wraps themselves in it, you know that the prayers you prayed for them are encompassing them. I pray over my shawls that the person will feel God’s loving arms around them when they wrap themselves in it.
Thank You for giving me another year to live. Thank You, that I have been blessed with so many loving supportive family and friends. I ask that You open my eyes to someone around me that is hurting that can find comfort in one of my hand-knit gifts. I pray these things in the name of Jesus. Amen!
Continue to memorize: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”--John 3:16