My weekly memoir post will be on Tuesday from now on, in order to celebrate Multitude Monday on the right day of the week. Today, with Angcat's permission, I am posting her Christmas update. It is a perfect fit for today and I thought that readers who didn't already get her letter, would want to hear some of what has happened in their family in the past year.
CHRISTMAS THOUGHTS 2009
I watched him search the crowd, seeking a familiar someone. Then he caught my eye, and a confident grin spread across his little face, blue eyes glowing with excitement. “Hi Mom”, his voice rang out and small hand waved.
“Hi buddy”, I called back, loving him across the auditorium, loving him being up there with his kindergarten class.
“Come on and ring those bells,
light the Christmas tree,
Jesus is alive,
born for you and me.
Come on and ring those bells,
Jesus we remember it’s your birthday".
Sweet voices filled the air with song, a cacophony of good intentions, big girl on the right belting out every word loudly, in the right key, others in the line keeping up, and some just shaking their bells in time, gazing solemnly out at the glowing faces of parents and visitors.
A sweet afternoon, but made sweeter still when compared with the grief of last year.
I drove home from Hospital for Sick Children in December, exhausted and overwhelmed. Frank had relieved me so I could go home to rest and see the other children, while he stayed with Nicky, who was racked with uncontrolled seizures. As I drew near to Alliston, I felt a prompt, an urge to drop into the school. When I pulled into the driveway I remembered, due to the volume of cars, that the Christmas concert was that day.
I slipped in through the kitchen and stood at the back of the gym in time to see my three sing with the choir.
Pent up emotion and exhaustion spilled over into the joy of seeing Chris, Becca and Michael up there singing their hearts out, and the tears came, a downpour. A friend glanced over at the end and came with a strong hug and encouraging words, then another to welcome. It was balm, an oasis in a desert of grief. I slipped out before the children saw me so that I could compose myself before the bus got there.
But that was last year.
This time Nicky sang. He gave it his all, in front of the crowd, this child who couldn’t manage going into the gym when it was full last year, not even to sit with his class. How he’s grown.
Through all this we learned of God’s goodness. Not the genie god that gives you what you want when you wish for it, but God who is my strength, my strong tower. I run to Him and I am saved. We knew in our innermost beings the undergirding of His strength and staying power. In our weakness, exhaustion and fear for Nicky, He was, and is, our strength.
Glory to His Name.
Michael stood beside me last night at the Christmas Eve candlelight service.We were some of the last people there so were relegated to standing room only at the back. As the final carol was sung he stood tall on the chair beside me and belted out loudly, in beautiful tune, the words to Silent Night with the rest of the congregation.
I moved closer to him, but he was so engrossed in singing that he didn’t sense his mother leaning in, listening, loving, reveling in this sweet, powerful moment. He’s seven now, so was reading the words on the screen, enjoying his ability, indulging his musical bent with the other three hundred voices raised.
I treasure these moments, and so share them with you.
This morning at 5am, we heard voices. Our beautiful Rebecca had roused any boys who weren’t awake yet and they were all gathered in Chris’s room opening stockings. After falling into bed at 1am, I wasn’t ready for the festivities to begin, but the sight of them choosing togetherness in this predawn moment has nestled into my heart.
We are thankful for friends and family, treasures in this passage, who pray and love. We are upheld, and we pray also for you that you may know the unsurpassed love of our Savior Jesus Christ, and that if you don’t already know Him, that you will seek Him and be found by Him.
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”
Happy Christmas to all of you and may God draw you near as you walk into the New Year.
All our love,
Angela, Frank, Chris, Rebecca, Michael and Nicholas