. . . again today, night gave way to morning, a light dusting of CHRISTmas snow covering the ground, my dad clearing it before we were even out of bed! As every day before, the sun rose, right on schedule, regardless of the fact that it was again SATURDAY, and not just "any" SATURDAY, but also CHRISTmas EVE SATURDAY . . . "double - whammie". Or, should I say, "could have been double -whammie"? I awoke EARLY (close to 4:00 a.m.), but was able to get back to sleep with little difficulty, which in itself was a HUGE blessing! I then slept until well after 8:30, as did everyone else in the house! God blesses, even with sweet REST!
I got up and began preparations for the day and for Christmas Eve supper, fully aware of WHAT day it was, yet, not feeling the normal unease that has typically inundated me on each Saturday since "that" Saturday. The LORD is healing, giving a balm to the wounds. So, rather than this Christmas Eve Saturday being a "terrible" day, it ended up to be a rather good day! One of my devos contained this phrase, " . . . celebrate also your rebirth into eternal life. This everlasting gift (His birth) was the SOLE PURPOSE of My entering your sin stained world". Our REBIRTH into ETERNAL life was the SOLE PURPOSE for HIS entering our sin-stained world! And because I KNOW without a DOUBT that Rick had received that GIFT, I can rest assured that he is celebrating CHRISTmas this year with the KING of KINGS! Another devo was entitled, "DEATH DESTROYED" . . . which needs no explanation if you are a Christian and read THAT headline! (if you aren't, please go back and read SO HOW DID HE KNOW - HOW DO WE KNOW?
The girls helped me as we got things ready for supper (with my parents) and then we took a quick ride over to Grandma & Papa Rye's house! They were having a quiet Christmas Eve as the "out-of-towners" aren't going to be home for Christmas this year and Luanne is still in the hospital recovering from receiving her early Christmas gift - a new pancreas! She is recovering well and has had steady blood sugars since the surgery. Only those of you who "live" with diabetes day by day can understand the true enormity of that! We will go back over to their house tomorrow when the big kids are in town.
After we had supper (wonderful ham thanks to my dear friend Nicole, chicken, baked potatoes, broccoli salad and rice pudding), we opened up our "Gramma & Papa" presents and then went to the CHRISTmas Eve candlelight service at church. This service has become one of our few "hard and fast" traditions for any holiday, so it was a bit different this year - again, another first. Usually, we don't all sit together at church, but Christmas Eve is the exception. Seems most years, we have sat, Rick on one "end" of the girls, me on the other, and we would have our arms draped along the back of the pew, around our girls with our hands met and held in the middle. I missed that tonight, as I miss so many of the "little" details of life on a daily basis. Yet, GOD was there tonight. I felt His presence as we quietly and reverently remembered His birth, His gift to mankind, His gift to Rick, His gift to us. So it was "different", yes, but it was still good.
When we came home, we opened gifts (several of which we will exchange early next week - shopping for teen-aged girls is NOT easy!). Somehow, the girls, with the help from "God" as they tell me, got me an iPad! I have been wanting one for YEARS (since they first came out), but have always dismissed it as "frivolous and unnecessary". Now, I'm not saying I don't still think it is "frivolous", but the thought that THEY thought of ME and what I'd ENJOY said more than the gift itself (though I do love it!). As I worry day to day, that I'm not "enough", doing enough, loving enough, nurturing enough, "being" enough to them, they are doing the same about me. So, along with the iPad, an "open hearts" ring and a scarf, they gave me a card that read: "I know life's been a little cloudy for you lately . . . Just know God's got SUNNIER days ahead. You're in my prayers. The Girls, Merry Christmas! We Love You♥"
There are NO WORDS! GOD HAS BLESSED ME BEYOND MEASURE. Though I will probably never (here on earth) understand why God called Rick home (early in my mind), I will NEVER doubt the BLESSINGS that He (GOD) and he (Rick) left me here with in these 3 beautiful girls, their big brother & sister and our grandbabies. So on this eve of our Dear Saviors birth, I will again REST! Rest in the Lord's LOVE and care, in the LOVE that I KNOW Rick had for each of us, in the LOVE of Rick's and my parents, in the LOVE of our children/grandchildren, in the LOVE of our family and friends. I will rest and refresh and be ready tomorrow to face another day in this journey called life, holding TIGHTLY to the one who holds my future and also holds my hand!
"It won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright."
1 Corinthians 13:12 (The Message)