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Monday, December 22, 2008

Have you ever been bad?

Just three days until Christmas and I'm not sure Santa likes me. I may qualify for coal this Christmas.

I'm exaggerating but it feels that way. It's one thing to be hopeful when you accept a challenge. It's quite another thing to stay hopeful when life gets really hard.

Since we chose to make this a depression style Christmas, there's very few gifts under my tree. Pinching pennies on the budget means eating at home everyday. Besides, Ron's confined to the couch and we can't go out.

We aren't paying for anything that we can do ourselves. Mom and Dad are being a wonderful help but...there's a lot more people in our home. Jamie and Amie are spending nights here to help their Dad when I can't. So, it seems I cook one meal, clean up, do one thing in the house and it's time to cook again.

I thought I was a busy person until I began to realize that all those little time savers I've gotten so used to....cost money that I don't have. With Christmas getting closer and all the things I wanted to "make" still not finished....I'm even more overwhelmed.

Today I was rushing around in the kitchen and giving orders for something Amie needed to do. Mom offered a comment and I rushed right past her. I had a list of things that needed to be done and poor Ron was in pain. I stopped to kiss him and rushed by mother again.

Then I saw it. Sadness had engulfed mother's face. It was the same look I had always tried to avoid when my children were young. I never wanted them to feel alone or left out. When I saw that look, I instantly tried to comfort them. Yet, mother was different - wasn't she? She's older and wiser and surely she should understand. Surely she will be forgiving and kind. She knows how much is on me right now.

I watched through the day hoping that she would lose that look. Unfortunately she just got quieter. Finally, I stopped what I was doing and found her in the living room. I told her I loved her and gave her a big hug. "I have to go to the store, want to go with me?" She smiled as if I had given her a huge gift.

Pain is everywhere. How many times do you go through your day without looking at those around you?

While at the store I decided to watch faces. I met several people who were scared. In fact, the check out lady at Sam's looked really sad. I asked if she was okay and she quickly wiped a tear from her eye. "I lost my main job yesterday. This one will pay a few bills, but for the rest....well, I just don't know what I'm going to do."

I told her I would pray for her. "I know it's going to be hard...really hard, but I'm sure you can do it. In fact, no matter how hard it becomes, I'm sure you can do it!"

She gave me a huge smile. "Thanks. I needed to know that. And you're right. I can do it. I know I can. It's just hard you know."

"I know."

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

If you live everyday by that verse you will find answers that you never thought possible. You will find strength that you felt was depleted.

Ron was so tired today and his face was white from the pain. He is an extremely strong man, yet, when he tried to stand up he fell back on the chair. "Oh man." He wiped his beaded forehead. "I thought I was in control, but there's just nothing there." We prayed and then I began to beat the drum of encouragement.

"Come on Ron, you can do it honey. That's it. Just another step. You're doing good. That's it. Just a few more steps and you're home free." Ron made it up the steps and to the bed.

All the fears and pressures we face do not give us an excuse to be short tempered with those we love. Now is not the time to give in to those pressures and refuse to see the pain on our family's faces.

Now is the time to show the world and our families the very best we can be.

Now is the time to shine with His love.

Now is the time to show everyone around us that God's love can help us handle any problem we face.

God loves you - Merry Christmas!



BRD said...

of course Santa likes you.

Debbie Jansen said...

Thanks Brad! At least I know we like the same cookies. You know, those peanut butter things with a hershey kiss in the center...umm!

I do know that Mom is doing better now and that's a good thing.