Thursday, December 24, 2009
Let's make the best of it!
12:50 p.m. Today's project was, and continues to be, to make the dishes we most enjoy on Christmas Eve, send plates of cookies and fudge out to neighbors and friends, and make the best of a huge letdown for our family.
We will be experiencing a very different Christmas Eve this year, because we won't be heading down to Orange with our dishes, treats and white elephant gifts as we have done for 28 years. We normally attend 5:00 service, and then enjoy an hilarious late evening with Steve's extended family at his late mom's house, now owned by a nephew. Circumstances came up that I only heard about on Tuesday, unleashing a torrent of phone calls back and forth, hurt feelings, attempts at changing the venue, and finally acceptance that all of us we won't be getting together. Pavel was looking forward to meeting everyone, and they him, but it will have to wait until another time. My kids are not able to make the substitue Saturday night gathering because of work schedules and other commitments. Steven will be back in Fresno by then.
I Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has overtaken you except that which is common to man, but with the temptation, God will make a way of escape;" and Jesus promised us in John 16:33, NLT, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
Our trial is minor compared to families I know who lost loved ones this year, others who've lost their homes, or those who have no family to be with at all. So the temptation and trial for us to overcome is allowing initial shock, disillusionment and anger to turn into bitterness and lingering resentment. Steve and I are challenged to model a trusting, God-honoring spirit for our grown children that doesn't deny the facts, but accepts and makes the best of those facts.
We are even now feeling joyful at a Christmas eve with our own kids! Last minute food prep, icing cookies, Steve walking the dogs and a few more presents for me to wrap caused this beautiful day go along fine, and the garden even yielded some fresh cilantro for the chili. I got a call that our doctor prepared a letter we had requested about Steve's condition; and the homemade toffee a friend makes in Oregon arrived, to be frozen for my daughters' birthdays in February. I talked with my dad, very much alive and well, who'll join us tomorrow.
That's a lot of praises for today, and I'm sure the service at church tonight will be glorious! The enemy can aggravate us and tempt us to forget what Christmas is ultimately about, but no victory for him today, because we will have a blessed day in the Name of Jesus!