Monday, December 6, 2010

The reason I will celebrate this year

I've been debating all weekend what I should post today. I wanted to post something about Christmas, since it's just weeks away. (Does it scare you to read that, because it does me) What I really wanted to post was something meaningful, something that would help us all to reflect on the real reason we have to celebrate, but without sounding too preachy or repetitive. Sometimes though I just can't separate all the thoughts swirling through my brain into anything that makes sense. Then I went to church on Sunday and it all made sense. Really, it started on Saturday night when I sat down with our 8 year old daughter to talk to her about something very important.

In Oklahoma where we used to live, there is a great family struggling through a very difficult trial. Their sweet little girl is battling cancer. She was diagnosed just shortly before we moved here, but I have been keeping up with her progress through facebook. On Friday I got an email letting me know that she is back in the ICU battling an infection. The email asked for our prayers and fasting on her behalf this coming Sunday. On Saturday night I asked our daughter if she would join me in fasting for Gracie. She agreed without hesitation and said the most precious, sincere prayer on her behalf before bed.

On Sunday morning, a man stood up in church and talked about how he and his family had made a goal for this coming year to be more involved at church and to make friends. They had been in the ward for several years, but still didn't feel like they knew anybody. He wasn't accusing of anyone for not making the effort to befriend him or his family, he simply had a sincere desire to reach out to others.

In our last meeting of the day, we talked about being Christ's hands. As women, we have the gift of touching lives. This truly is a divine gift, given by a loving Father in Heaven who can't physically reach out and touch us in times of trial and suffering, but can send a friend who with a hug can fill us with his love. I was touched by all the stories the women shared about when other sisters had served them with nothing but charity in their hearts.

I came home with a renewed desire to not just reach out to those I come in contact with everyday, but to serve them and love them.

In our busy lives, I know it's sometimes hard to stop and think about people other than the ones living under our same roof, but if there is ever a season to make time, it is now.

There is no better way to honor and celebrate the birth of our Savior, than by following his example.

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