All In The Family... Another Trip Down Memory Lane...
The following story of a snowy Christmas eve is a Christmas memory in two ways. It recalls a Christmas of my childhood, and it also brings to mind the Christmas of 2000 when I wrote this for a little keepsake book and special website that members of my church made.
I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL MEMORY of a Christmas Eve when I was about eight years old. A dry snow was falling that night and several inches of white powder lay on the ground by the time we read the Bible story of Jesus's birth and opened our gifts.
Our Christmas packages held new ice skates and mine were white. We were so anxious to try them that we couldn't wait until morning light! We laced on our skates while my father got a shovel and pushed back the snow on the little pond in the milkcow pasture. Then, with a million tiny snowflakes sparkling in the yardlight and dancing away into the long quiet shadows, we skated.
I outgrew those skates in a year or two, but the best gift my parents gave me that Christmas is still with me -- the happy memory of the utter joy and beauty of that night. God's great love for us shines through happy memories like this, lifting our spirits and warming our hearts each time He brings them to mind.
This is my 49th Christmas. [That was in 2000. In 2006, it's now my 55th Christmas!] Through the years, I have had times of walking "through the valley of the shadow of death" as well as times of walking "beside the still waters". Sometimes, I could only pray, "O Lord, you know!" and hand my heartaches and fears over to God.
Still, as I look back over the years, I see God's great love for me shining brightly through each of them. I thank Him for my savior, Jesus, and for the joy of celebrating Christmas! I thank Him for each day of my life and for all He has provided for me. He has brought me this far and He will lead me on.