Growing up I nearly always counted the days till christmas. Excited for the day I'd get to wake up at 4-6am, hastily interrupt my parents precious sleep, and tear open all the mysterious gifts under the ridiculously tall pine tree in our living room.
Of course my mom insisted that all the kids be present for the vicious ceremony. I could then be found trying my hardest to awaken my older siblings who were much more "mature" and could sleep until 8 or 9 at least without feeling the uncontrollable urge to shred innocent and colorful packaging to bits. All over the floor.
Before or after there was always an extra special gift for an extremely special person: My mom.
Most fondly I remember her receiving a rocking chair. She sat calmly and watched us all marvel at our wonderful gifts.
More love shone from that face than you can imagine.
This day was also her birthday and we made it a point to never let the hurricane of excitement overshadow it. She made it a point to never let us forget we were celebrating the birth of our Savior, something I never grasped as a young child.
My mom passed away in 2008. Every christmas since then has felt inside out, upside down, backwards, and just not right at all.
Every song is tainted with a memory.
Every day is lacking that smile.
The countdown now leads to a morning full of distant, beautiful memories that leave the heart aching.
Yet amongst all these bittersweet memories lies one that I can now, finally, grasp and take comfort in.
My mom would never let me forget it and I never will.
There's a God who loves us enough to send His only Son to as a child to live among us, teach us, and eventually take our place on a bloodied tree. Saving us from ourselves.
A God who cares about our smallest worries.
A God who can comfort a motherless child.
More love shines from His face than you can imagine.