Each year, Christmas is different. There are still the same traditions and songs, same decorations and church services, but every year, something changes. I think this year has been one of the first times I've realized just how much one year can change things. Pretty much nothing in life right now is the same as it was last year. ;) (Well, I mean, I still have the same name, but . . . )
So, I've decided to do a post on five reasons Christmas is special this year.
1.) Daddy is here with us. I used to take this for granted. I mean, wasn't dad always supposed to be there every year? Four years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer. And that really put everything in a whole new light. Yes, he's in remission now and doing well . . . but it's still something that I treasure with each new Christmas. A new year with your family isn't promised, guys. Treasure it. And give your dad a hug and tell him you're glad he's there. ;)
2.) We're all still home together. Another thing I took for granted. As the oldest, I never was really worried about any of us leaving the house. I mean, I think it was always expected that I'd leave first. (And I'm not. At least not yet. xD) But this year has just really gotten crazy busy with all of us older now, and running in twenty different directions, it seems. So having all of us together on Christmas will be so much more special this year. Because times where the whole family is together now, except for church, are few and far in between.
3.) Dandelions. (Before y'all think I've gone crazy, just hold on a sec. xD) Ever had one of those summers where you knew it would be that last summer where everything was 'normal'? Where it was like it had always been? That was this past summer for me. So, so many things changed for my family this summer, as well as for so many of my friends and those I hold dear. This summer was like the end of the dandelion season. For years summer was . . . summer. Not much really changed. Like a dandelion that keeps growing in the same place, no matter how many times you cut it down.
This year was different. No longer was life the same. It was the bittersweet year where the dandelion that had been there for months went to seed, and the seeds blew away to the wind.
Summer will never be quite the same again. And while I sometimes wish I could go back to those carefree, childhood days, I'm still looking forward to a new summer. When the dandelions are gone . . . and a rose is planted in its place.
4.) God's been working in so many different ways. And goodness, He's still working. This year has felt like a non-stop blur of new experiences. I'm not the same person I was last year at this time. I've learned so much more this year, and God's till continuing to teach me as I trust Him. There came a point this year where I had to just let go of everything I'd been holding to and trying so hard to make work. It was hard y'll. I'm one of those people who likes to have everything under control. And this year, more then anything, God's been teaching me to wait.
I . . . hate waiting. I'm the person who has shortcuts to pretty much every recipe in the kitchen and has figured out ways to make things go faster, because waiting just isn't fun.
So guess what God decided it was time I learned? Mhm. Patience. And at times I still struggle with it so much. But I've learned that trust, as difficult as it is . . . it's still easier then what we put ourselves through when we worry about the future or try to control things around us.
I'm not sure what will happen next year. But I know I'll forever treasure the things God taught me this year for the rest of my life.
5.) Emmanuel, God is with us. This could be argued that it's the same every year. But I think it's not. Guys. the God of the universe came to earth as a baby to be a sacrifice for us. Because He loved us so much. Do you know how special that should make every Christmas? The God who formed the galaxies, the one who placed each star in place, and the one who keeps the oceans within their bounds wants to have a relationship with you. And that's what makes each Christmas special.