Don't get me wrong.
I love Christmas.
I love being with family.
I love giving gifts to our kids.
Seeing their faces light up.
I'm very grateful for loving memories from years past. My parents, especially my mom, listened to and watched us in the days before Christmas to figure out what we wanted. She used to look over my shoulder as I perused the jewelry section of the catalogue. If I lingered long on one style of ring, she would make a mental note and then secretly go buy it. They delighted and surprised us kids every year.
Eventually, we all grew up and have moved on to have families of our own. Now my husband and I get to listen out for what our kids want for Christmas. We love bringing them joy.
Again, I am grateful.
But this year, my heart's a little heavy and Christmas is a little bittersweet. We've have probably had our last Christmas with one of our fathers. We're so thankful my husband's dad made it to Christmas since the doctors didn't give him this much time to live. But still, it's sad to think he probably won't be with us next year. However, we know where he's headed and he has peace galore. The hospice nurses have said he's the happiest dying man they've ever met.
It's because he knows God's in control. Because he knows he's forgiven.
I've never seen a man with such a purpose as my father-in-law. He's been using his time left here on earth to express his love and gratitude to his friends. To encourage them. To love on them. To bless them.
It's humbling to watch.
He's the one dying. Yet, he's focused on blessing others.
That's because of the birth of a small boy a couple of thousand years ago. A baby named Jesus. Who came to live among us. To give us hope. To give us love. To encourage us. To bless us. To forgive us.
You see, we have a heavenly father.
He created Christmas.
He wanted to add to his family.
He wanted to give the ultimate gift to his new, adopted kids.
The gift of forgiveness and eternal life with him.
For that, I am grateful. We may not have hubby's dad for much longer here on earth. But we have eternity ahead of us. One day we'll be joining him in worshiping our creator, our heavenly Daddy.
A Daddy who loves to give us good gifts.