And a very Merry Monday Mourning to you all! It's time for the post-Christmas wrap-up. I actually winced a little as I typed the word "wrap". PLEASE! No more wrapping! This year our Christmas tradition changed quite a bit. I have entered the empty-nest stage of life (almost) with two of three children married and moved out of state. So the unwrapping stage of the holiday now takes 3 days instead of one. I'm not sure I like all this change. I am pretty sure that my not liking it isn't going to make it stop anytime soon so I best just "suck it up" and adjust.
Well in spite of the three-day process and the general exhaustion that comes with it the Payne family managed to all get in the same room at the same time for a little food and a lot of laughter not to mention some serious unwrapping. OK. There was more than a "little" food. We will be eating left-overs for several days. So before I make that mental shift and look forward to the new year and the promise that it holds, it seems appropriate, if not necessary, that I pause to reflect and give thanks.
Thanks for the joy of family - together - healthy and employed - loving and supportive. Family is good (even the gnarly parts) and God surely knew what He was doing when He dreamed up the family. I am thankful for three kids (now 5 due to marriage), one sister and a father-in-law. God has been good to me this week. Even in the midst of changes I'm still not all that happy with (two of three children live out of state and my husband now resides in heaven)I am blessed.
And in this little exercise of expressing gratitude for the blessings I have I think I just might be finding one of the keys to surviving loss. Perhaps it really is important that we give expression to what is "right" in our life at least as often as we stew about what's "wrong". My post-Christmas play-by-play will consist of the joys that I shared this past week instead of what was missing from the holidays. Yes, I missed having my husband with me as the kids opened their gifts. Yes, I missed sharing long-held family traditions now changed due to death and distance. BUT - I had a great time this Christmas and on this Monday Mourning I'm choosing to bask in the glow of "Christmas Present" instead of wishing for "Christmas Past". "Christmas Future" is next week's topic. Are you ready for New Year's resolutions and a fresh start? Yeah, me neither but it's OK. Just like Christmas it will "come to pass" and we will get through it just fine. Especially if we give more thought to the good and to what we have than to the wrong and what we've lost. God has been good to me. How about you?
Well this week we will all be busy - the tree needs to come down and the presents put away. The refrigerator will need to be emptied of all its contraband and more healthy stuff put in its place. But for today - I'm basking and having another sugar cookie! Go ahead. Bask. It will do your heart good. "Whatever is good...think on these things."
See you next year,