"'Don't be Afraid!' he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!'" Luke 2:10
What a shock when I opened our Christmas decorations. Instead of thrown willy nilly into a glad-Christmas-is-over box, each ornament was wrapped with care and love. I realized that because of my cancer diagnosis, I had cherished and packed each trinket in the realization that last Christmas could be my last Christmas.
But God, who ordained the day of my birth and the day of my death, allowed me another year. I'm doing great, my blood counts are normal, I'm still writing and speaking and marveling at the ministry and marriage Dan and I continue to enjoy together.
". . . Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
Cancer has opened doors I would not have opened on my own. For this, I thank God, embrace the gift and the lessons I wish I had learned sooner.
Now I realize each day is an ornament not to be thrown into the trash or the I-can't-wait-until-this-day-is-done box. Every moment is treasured as a gently wrapped memory in the ornament box of my mind, for every single breath is a gift placed on my tree of life.
What have I learned on this journey?
Here's my 2017 Christmas wish list:
I wish I had loved more and judged less.
Judging people robs me of time and joy.
None of us know the whole story in anyone's life, even our own.
I wish I had smiled more because
smiles make me and the people around me happy.
I wish I never had a grumpy day.
Grumpy is a waste of time.
I wish my eyes and mind had never let in negative, immoral, violent,
God-dishonoring media that destroys mind and spirit.
Life is too short to dwell in the garbage.
I wish I spent every day in the eternal instead of the worry.
God's got this.
He's not worried and
He doesn't need me to worry for Him.
This Christmas I choose to make my wishes reality as I thank God for His abundant and eternal joy gifts to me:
I thank God for a blessed life spent
cherishing Dan, our children and 12 grandchildren,
extended family and friends which includes YOU.
I thank God for placing a hunger within me for Himself and His Word.
Reading the whole Bible multiple times and
looking to Jesus and His teachings as my moral compass protected me.
I'm thankful our travels gave me a world view of, and love for, all people.
I'm thankful I believe Jesus is my Lord and my Savior, and that
I surrendered my life to Him for He is true to
His promise of eternal life in Heaven and abundant life on earth.
I'm thankful I know
The Baby of Christmas,
The Teacher in the Temple,
The Savior on the cross, and
The Lord Who rose from the dead.
I'm thankful God tells us to not be afraid because
He is with us always.
He holds us in our troubles and
He never lets go.
I know because He holds me.
Merry Christmas dear ones. I have every plan to see you next year, but if I don't or you don't, that's good too if we love Jesus.
Hang your ornaments with care. Each one matters.
Merry Christmas love and lots of Splashes of Serenity in 2018!