Finally I could stand it no more. How could I continue tossing and turning and wide awake in bed while the newly decorated tree and Christmas-a-fied house was on the other side of the bedroom door?
Seriously. Who cares that it was well past midnight?
It was too much. Too. much. excitement.
I returned to the living room, opened all the windows, and now I sit facing the glow of tiny white lights while the rustle of palm leaves outside competes with the symphony of crickets.
Glory, I love this time of year – the most wonderful time of the year.
Cliché? I don’t care.
I love it. I so, so love it.
Today was a storm of a million emotions. Amidst the merriment and nostalgia of the holidays and the buzz that I get from the decorating kick-off, there’s so much going on in our little world right now that’s vying for headspace. Most of it good, but some uncomfortable.
At one point this afternoon I sat down for a few moments scrolling quickly through emails on my phone that I knew I’d not be responding to until another day. But curious, I read a few anyway.
The first one I opened had some disappointing news. Understandable, and yet disappointing, deflating bad-but-not-terrible news.
We’ve been writing back and forth this last week and I teared up a few days ago when she told me that her family thanked God for my family around their Thanksgiving table last week.
I don’t know her. But she knows Him.
And then today her email – the second email I opened – contained news so sweet and so personal and so unexpected I couldn’t control those big, hot tears, from rolling quickly down my cheeks.
You see, He is faithful. He really is so faithful. (Even after bad-but-not-terrible news.)
And sometimes you think everything’s just fine and then grace comes in a thousand forms and you realize how much you really did need it after all.
I had grace in many different gifts this week – friends arriving at my doorstep to mow our lawn and clean my floors, another bringing us dinner one night, another offering childcare, and now another (who’s face I can only imagine, and voice I’ve never heard) with an offer so simple and lovely it makes me close my eyes and shake my head and whisper, “What did I do to deserve this kindness from a stranger? From anyone?”.
But it’s not a matter of “deserving” anything at all. I receive because they give. And they give because they want to. And they want to because they also know what it is to receive.
Because He never stops giving.
He never stops giving to all of us who are willing to receive.
And that’s it – the way I want to start December and the preparation of my heart to celebrate – really celebrate the coming of Christ’s birth: I want to see Him around me, recognize Him as he weaves worlds together, hear Him through the noise, and breathe deeply of His of goodness.
I want to receive Him, all over again – the One Who Never Stops Giving.
Dear friends, how has someone’s kindness or generosity been grace in your life lately? Are you willing to be grace to someone else, whether you think they “deserve” it or not?