Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith . . . Hebrews 10:22
Our son’s first deployment was the first time our family was apart during Christmas. I found myself dreading the holidays and consequently postponed decorating the house. This was way out of character for me. I’d always delighted in filling the house with multiple trees, twinkling lights and all the trimmings of Christmas. But somehow it didn’t seem right to celebrate so abundantly when my son was halfway around the world in the middle of a war.
I was also feeling guilty about our other two sons. I didn’t want them to think they were any less important to me than their older brother. The closer Christmas got, the more conflicted I became. It seemed there was no right answer.
Fortunately my husband is a wise and caring man. Even though I hadn’t mentioned my dilemma, he was well aware of what was going on in my mind. He and the other two boys took matters in hand and organized a decorating day. Normally, I have to browbeat everyone into helping me drag the decorations out of the attic. This year they took the initiative and soon the house bustled with activity.
We didn’t put up as many trees that year, but we started a new tradition. It was the year our boys discovered decorating wasn’t a chore, but a time of bonding. We pulled together that year, taking time to relive old memories and anticipate new ones—and we’ve done it every year since.
I learned that God sometimes allows trials so we’ll hold each other close and appreciate what we have. And I’m thankful for all of my sons—for the memories and for the joyful times ahead!
Join me as I make time today to look at what’s around me—not just what I wish was there.