Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas memory...again....

I shared this memory of Christmas last year, but every year it comes to mind again. So as we get ready to turn the calendar to December, this seems like a good place to begin...

Years ago my mother went to visit a friend at Christmas. She was a widow and former minster's wife who grew up near us and our families were close. She now lived in a retirement condo. When my mother got there she rang the bell and greeted her with a hug and a big platter of homemade cookies...




Our friend had her dining room table set with her best Christmas china, silver, crystal and serving pieces... and beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere. Everything sparkled and the Christmas music was playing in the background.



My mother said, "Oh, I didn't know you were having a party. I'll just drop these cookies and run". Her friend quietly said..."Oh no, no one is coming, the family is all scattered and far away and it's just me now, but I always set the table for our family dinner like I did in the old days, it makes me feel like they are still all around me and I can remember how it was when they were all here...



My mom left with tears in her eyes that day....



A gentle reminder to me and to each of us that there are many lonely hearts out there who need to be remembered this Christmas. Lots of families are hurting this year, for many reasons. Emotions intensify during special holidays, and maybe most of all during Christmas.... it takes so little to reach out and give a smile or a word of encouragement, maybe some Christmas cookies, or sharing a favorite recipe.


There is always room in our lives to help someone when the need is genuine, and... as with all gifts from our hearts...



WE ARE THE ONES WHO ARE BLESSED!!








11 comments:

Wylie said...

A great reminer to all of us to reach out, and be used as the hands and feet of Jesus to minister to God's people in this sweet season, that can make many homes feel "empty" as loved ones are being missed. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Wylie

GWENDOLYN said...

Sonja,
This is a lovely post. It really is better to give than to recieve. Even if it is just a hug and a smile. Thank you for the reminder to reach out to others at Christmas and the whole year through. So many people in need.... This weekend, while in a parking lot, there was a man who had a "will work for food" sign. I wanted to stop and give him some money... my husband is a bit of a sinic (did I spell that right?) As he was driving I had to convince him that we would go back to him after we finished shopping in the store.... he was not there.... I tell my husband, that we must give and trust that the Lord is control... see he was thinking the man was going to buy booze... but I tell him... .what if he really has a family to feed, or just needs to feed himself? yes we all need to reach out and trust in God that things are in order in his control. Sorry this is so long...... I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Hugs and love,
Gwen

Jackie said...

Sonja.....Thank you for such a precious reminder to reach out to others. My sweet 91 year old mother lives in an assisted living facility and I have been shocked and amazed at how many of the lonely, precious souls have absolutely no one visiting and encouraging them in their latter years. I've also become acutely aware of the despair and hopelessness in the lives of precious young women who are recovering from addictions in a half way house where I've had the honor of sharing a bible study this last year. Some of which have lost their children and families and are just surviving on words of encouragement and hope that a better day is coming for them!

As you stated, emotions run deep and sharp during the Christmas season! Oh, how we as the Body of Christ must reach out to others, not just at Christmas but through out each day of the yeart and minister His Love, Mercy, Grace, and Compassion to those who are in such dire and dark places in life!

There but by the grace of God, go I!!

Thank you for sharing........I pray that you had a blessed Thanksgiving!

Sweet Blessings!
Jackie

Edie said...

What a beautiful post. The table setting gave me a thought about having a special place setting for a deceased family member. I have a good friend who just lost his father. Not sure if that would make it better or worse but I will be praying about it. So glad I came by. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Rich blessings to you!

Shirley said...

I agree...thank you for the reminder about the real meaning of this time of year! You've given me some things to think about, one being to approach the season more deliberately.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Just left a longer comment... not sure why Google wouldn't let it go through, so just know that I was here and loved the story and the exhortation to remember the lonely and less fortunate this Christmas.

peace~elaine

Debra said...

What a touching story! Brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing it!

Rose said...

What a lovely story. It is so much of what Christmas is truly about; sharing with others. It is so wonderful what your family plans on doing for your neighbors in need. God bless you and thank you for stopping by my blog!
Have a blessed day!
Rose

Jacquelyn said...

Well Sonja, you brought tears to my eyes. I love setting a beautiful table for my family, and that older lady could be ME someday. For the first time, I'm doing a Christmas jar. If you don't know about it, you can google it. I've also written on my blog. Have no idea who the recipient will be, but I'm praying for the Lord to lead me to someone He has in mind!

Debbie said...

Sonja, I love your beautiful heart! How true your words are as you share about this woman who is alone. I love how she set the table and made it so special. There are so many who are less fortunate and it seems like this year ...the numbers have grown.

There is always someone hurting and lonely and in need. And I believe the Lord provides each one of us with opportunities to bless others if we choose. Thank you for prompting us today with this beautiful post.

Love and hugs,
Debbie

Carla Gade said...

Sonja, this is a beautiful story and I am so touched by your tender heart. I'm enjoying looking around your blog more, too!