Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And the Stockings were hung by the Chimney with Care

Well, we have finally hung up our stockings, read the Christmas story from Luke and the girls are all snuggled in their beds (not asleep but in bed).

No easy way to handle our emotions for today, just to have some reassurance that our Heavenly Father is caring for Claire in a way that we could not compare to. Just imagine the Christmas Celebration Claire is enjoying, actually, I can't begin to imagine. Don't you think it is the biggest party ever?

As we celebrate Christmas this evening I can only reflect upon the fact that Jesus Christ came to earth as a precious newborn baby. An infant whose mother held him in her arms, she nursed him at her breast, she took care of his every need. She kissed his "boo boos"' she taught him to use his manners, she taught him to be polite. She directed him as an adolescent, she edified him as a teenager. And when it came time she encouraged him to begin his ministry. And then at 33 years of age Mary watched her son, her precious son, suffer and die a brutal death so that you and I could have eternal life with our Heavenly Father the one who created each and every one of us.

As a mother I cannot imagine the pain and agony that Mary felt within her heart and soul knowing that her son was sacrificing himself for her, everyone else standing around and those of us who would come generations later. I am certain that her prayers to God, in those moments, were in desperation for another way, any other way. God had prepared her for those moments, I'm sure, but her flesh must have cried out.

God has been preparing Jeff and me for these days without Claire, but that doesn't stop us from crying out in desperation that there must have been another way. And then I am reminded that Claire is celebrating that eternal life that we long for. So as we celebrate Christmas by watching the sparkle in our children's eyes and open those presents from loved ones, let's remember the true reason we are celebrating. Yes, Jesus' birth was a miraculous event but his death and resurection was much more than a miracle, it was the reason we can sit here in the midst of tears and pain and know that Claire has received the gift of eternal salvation promised to each of us.

I believe that God is a merciful and gracious God and wants our eternal presence with him.

Merry Christmas to You and May God Blessings abound in the coming year!!

"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." Luke 1:68;79

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Well here we are 9 days from Christmas! I really don't want to be here, I want to be back in July celebrating the 4th of July with all of my girls! Watching the fireworks over Asheville with the children running all around! But time does move forward even when our hearts and souls don't seem to.

Last night we were able to get out a few decorations to try and make our home at least look "a little like Christmas." Abbigayle supervised Caroline and Sarah as they set out part of our "It's A Wonderful Life" (Jeff's favortie movie) Christmas village. Jeff helped me put out our Nativity Scene. Claire helped me pack it up last year.

One tradition that we have in our home is rotating each year who gets to place the Angel on top of the tree. Jeff and I purchased a beautiful Angel for our first Christmas together and once Abbigayle was old enough to place it on top of the tree Jeff has helped each of the girls place her on top of the tree. Each of the girls have had at least one turn. I had counted in my mind and thought it might be Claire's year to place the Angel, but I wasn't sure. Last night Jeff checked his list and then we knew for certain that this was Claire's year. With tears in our eyes and an almost unbearable pain in our guts we decided that there would be no Angel on top of our tree this year, she will sit underneath the tree.

I have shared the picture of the last time Claire placed our Angel on our Christmas Tree. We were still living in Weaverville.

Please keep us in your hearts and prayers, right now we are living moment by moment.