Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I suppose it is normal for the days and weeks to pass more quickly as we get older.  There are so many more times now that I wish I could push the pause button and just enjoy the now.  It seems like when you are a kid, you are always anxiously awaiting the next major milestone or event.  You can't wait for Christmas, you can't wait for Spring Break, you can't wait for that first day that the neighborhood pool is open.  You can't wait to turn 16, then 18, then 21, then 25.  You can't wait to find that special person, to get to that special day.  You can't wait to hear that first heartbeat, the first breath and then the first words. 

I suppose that I am still anxiously looking forward to plenty of things, but I am also realizing that I wish I could back things up just a bit.  I find myself looking back and longing for that relaxing Thanksgiving, for a bit longer to float down that river, for that guy's weekend when we did NOTHING. 

You know what that means?  It means we are blessed, immeasurably blessed.  Thanks for being a blessing to me.  Thanks for giving me the reason to smile, the chance to serve, the shoulder to hug, the heart to hold.  Thanks for sometimes being the reason for my anger, and the cause of my frustration, and the saltiness of my tears.  In those times, I learned to overcome, I healed a hurt and strengthened my character. 

My Facebook friends are family, immediate and extended.  There are brothers from other mothers, people I have walked through some perilous journeys with, friends I have worshiped with, friends I have been down some dark roads with.  I have family by birth, family by marriage and family by choice.  I have work friends and church friends, tailgate buddies and old school friends.  If one is to be judged by the company he keeps, then I would love to know what my gang of characters would say about me!

I am thankful for my straight friends and gay friends, my liberal friends, my libertarian friends and my conservative friends. You have challenged my world view, my biblical view, my spiritual understanding.  I am thankful for my friends serving in missions in far off lands, you have given me eyes and ears to know the need and experience thankfulness.  I am thankful for my first responder friends and family, for helping me see the immediate needs and dangers we face everyday. 

I am constantly in awe of the beauty I find in my friends, artistically, intellectually, and spiritually.  I am surrounded by people who are so generous with their talents and treasures and it motivates me to practice my craft, and seek to give it away.  I want to be a giver of good gifts.  I want to give away the best that I have and teach my children that character.

So my prayer this Christmas season is that you, my friend, will be made aware of the blessing that you are to me.  I pray that this Christmas, whether Christian, Agnostic, Muslim or Jew, that you would feel loved and appreciated and that you will be surrounded by good friends and loving family.  I pray for kind words that will bless your ears and grace your tongue.  I pray for sweet laughter and precious memories.  I pray for warm homes and traveling grace.  I pray for personal miracles and new mercies.

Merry Christmas, my wonderful friends and a joyous and prosperous New Year to you and those you love!