Christmas presence……

Christmastime…….so many memories from 40 plus years of life……some are ones I wish I could relive……some are ones I’d like to forget.

But it always, ALWAYS seems that I end up with some sort of lesson or takeaway nugget from each one.

Up until 2005, things had been relatively smooth for us as a family and as a couple; Hubs and I and our 3 boys.
Due to many factors our lives changed and, for what seemed to be too many years in a row, things were just downright difficult.

We dealt with monetary, health, and housing issues only to find who our true friends were (we’re profoundly lucky to have many quality people in that category) and what the true meaning of the season is.

The year is 2008 and things are rough. The economy has taken a dump and we’re stressed out about how we’d provide a Christmas for our boys.

In times of stress, Hubs and I react similarly……we work. Hard. There wasn’t much available but we did what we could. This meant that we’d ignored some of the preparation for the holiday. A Christmas tree didn’t cross our minds and we’d only briefly discussed lights on the house.

It was a Tuesday late in the month of December and I was on my way home. When I drove up, our dear friends and neighbors were standing in the front yard with Hubs….they were singing Christmas carols.

Hubs was in the front yard SINGING. (?!)

AND there were Christmas lights on the house……I was stunned at the sight.

When did he have time to do the lights?

It was about 7:00 and I was sure he hadn’t been home for very long before me. This was unreal. I got out of the car and Hubs followed me into the house…..

“The lights look amazing! That was the exact design I was thinking of! How did you know?!”
He looked at me and I could see his eyes looked kinda glassy and I thought, “What’s wrong with him?”

He paused for a split second and said quietly, “I didn’t do the lights.”


“Clay did them”, and he smiled and grabbed my hand and led me into the living room where there was Christmas standing. “Mike and Dena got us the tree.” Holy. Crap. Tears ensued…..

Our friends saw our need and went out and did those things for us.
In the busy-ness of their own lives, they found time. Wow. Just wow.

I felt and still feel, that in times of need, God doesn’t abandon us. He sent our friends to be the joy in the season that year.

We are blessed and we know it.

What a truly amazing gift. To have friends like that……..I’m still so beyond touched that when I’ve tried to tell the story aloud I can’t get through it without getting choked up.

Christmas time is here, and once again I’m reminded……the most meaningful gifts don’t always come in a box.

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