The ladies from our church had our annual Christmas dinner and gift exchange
at a local restaurant last night.
The evening was full of fun and laughter.
Then, in the middle of the night last night, I had to get up and take a Pepcid
because my stomach was full of spaghetti with extra mizithra cheese.
There are two Christmas trees in our house this year,
one upstairs for the grandkids to decorate
and one downstairs in the living room.
Christmas decorations are here, there, everywhere,
and though I tried to keep things simple this year,
the house is full of signs of the season.
I pencil in the dates on my Dayrunner calendar of Christmas parties and dinners
and then enter them in on my iPhone calendar,
and sinc the events that involve the church with the church calendar,
and though we are very conscious to not overload people with too much to do this time of year,
the December calendar is still full.
Each time I go grocery shopping I pick up a few things that we will need
for Christmas baking
and for Christmas dinner.
This way I don't have the extra expenses all at once,
but can peck away at the list little by little.
The pantry, the refrigerator, the freezer are full of the promise of feasting to come.
Our house is full with my daughter and grandkids staying with us,
and the grandkids fill the house with laughter and squabbles,
with crayons and paper scraps and a refrigerator covered with their art.
Soon my son-in-law will join us in time for Christmas,
and on Christmas day all of the daughters and sons-in-law and grandkids will be here,
and the house will be even more full...
of laughter, and mess, and gift wrap, and food, and dirty dishes, and love.
Everywhere I look there is fullness,
except in people's eyes.
I see the emptiness that betrays the condition of their heart.
They've feasted on the food,
the friends and the family
and nothing fills the emptiness.
And I know about walking around empty while fullness surrounds me.
This year I started December by accepting a challenge from a friend.
A friend who was overcome with depression and anxiety for three long years.
His life was changed when he began to start his day with God,
not with a list of
"I must read this today"
"I must pray for this today"
but with sitting in God's Presence with worship music on,
an open Bible,
an open journal,
and connecting with God in relationship.
He wrote a book* about it with a 40 day challenge to try meeting with God in this way.
I began the challenge December first.
And I am feeling the fullness of Emmanuel,
God with us,
God with me.
In the midst of all this fullness,
my heart is full,
and that is what matters most.
*Life Changing Prayer by Dr. Mark Jones