Sunday, November 28, 2010

A 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!!


25 comments:

Just a little something from Judy said...

A very special reminder from a special lady. Thank you for sharing this story. I am amazed at how much lonliness exists around me, especially over the holidays. I pray this story will keep fresh in my mind over the next few weeks.

Farm Girl said...

That is a lovely post and thank you so much for sharing it this year, I was barely blogging last year. :) It is a very nice reminder to think about those without loved ones around.
As always Sonja you make me think.

Toyin O. said...

Such a sad story and it is true that we need keep in mind those lonely hearts during Christmas.

deodate said...

Thanks Sonja. I was not a reader last year. This is beautiful. And, even those with people all around them can still be very lonely.
Andie

GWENDOLYN KAY said...

Dear Sonja,
This touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I myself am very emotional this holiday season... I think helping others is a wonderful way to feel better. Thanks for the inspiration.
love and hugs~
Gwen

Andrea said...

What a BIG reminder to include those around us who need love in our family gatherings!
Hugs,
andrea

Sandy said...

How beautiful and precious, and so
true. May we all seize any opportunity
to reach out and be a blessing to the
hurting.
Hugs,
Sandy

Debbie said...

This makes me want to cry. I agree with you so much, there are those around with real needs, especially at the holidays.

There are many kinds of hunger.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

On Sonja I was nodding my head through out this post...and saying absolutely through out all it....so, so true. I get excited just looking around to see if I can do exactly that.
This has been on my heart...that this time of year brings hurt in peoples hearts than joy and I need to remember that!
Thanks for sharing...as agree and ask God...use me this season!!!

Oh, my mother-in-law (age95) set at our table and we had conversation starters on each place setting card...her question was "if you could travel anywhere where would it be?"...her answer..."right here at this table!"

Also...prayers with your family this year as you go through the seasons without your mother-in-law...hugs!

THE OLD GEEZER said...

They say the suicide rate goes up every year around the Christmas Holiday Season. The enemy of our soul is still working overtime to kill and steal just like he did on the first Christmas. Amen Sonja... We need to intercede and help the lonely especially this time of the year.

~Ron

Just Be Real said...

Sonja, a touching story indeed. Blessings.

Diana said...

Great post. I intentionally went with some ladies to the nursing home this afternoon to take advantage of the opportunity to visit and serve...spent time with the residents. We played bingo and served refreshments.

myletterstoemily said...

ah hah! i saw this beautifully written piece in a VERY
sophisticated magazine. are you THAT sonja? could
i please have your autograph, as this is such a lovely
heartwarming story?

also, your mom . . . and you are saints.

love,
lea

Michele Katherine said...

Hi Sonja,

this is a great post about real life, and real people and a real need. I agree with you that "Emotions intensify" during the holidays.

This is something I'm very passionate about, and have been so blessed to have shared in the past many special moments with people that were in the hospital who were in the age range of 80+ and lonely, some close to dying, but most did not have family or friends. These wonderful people I encountered had a great impact on my life, and I won't ever forget their faces, or the words or hugs we shared.

This post has brought all those memories to the surface, and I feel like the Lord is saying I need to put my passion "Back into action."

The Lord is the one who has given me this passion, and as I'm writing this comment to you I'm realizing how much time I have been wasting lately just thinking about myself.

God bless you as you continue to serve Him with the gift He has given you, of writing with a passion and sincerity.

Michele Katherine

Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
Such an important reminder about the two commandment of Jesus, "Love God of all your heart, might and soul, and your neighbor as yourself."
Who among us would want to be lonely and forgotten, neither at Christmas time or else.
I know I cannot reach all, but I sure can mean a difference to one.
May the good Lord help me to male wise decisions and have a burning heart.
I feel that modern Christmas celebration often takes that away from me.

Rita said...

Thank you for sharing another story of your family with us. It is such a good reminder. I remember when I was a young woman and lived by myself, I used to set my table just like I was having company. It made me feel better to sit down to eat at a nice table. We could all reach out to those who have no one. Thanks for reminding us.

Debbie said...

This was such a good post with an important reminder. There are just possibilities everywhere. We put up our Christmas lights this week-end in our new home (in a senior's community) and I was disappointed that the no one else was busy with the task like it had been for us for the last 25 years. But the widow lady across the street came out and said, "OH I am soo glad SOMEONE is putting up lights this year...I never leave this house except to go to the docs and I don't get to see any lights at all. I am going to sit in my chair at the window and look at yours everyday." I felt soo sad for her. And I am going to bring her over some cookies and send some time with her as well. Your right, there are many everywhere who could use a little Christmas joy. HUGS

NanaNor's said...

Dear Sonja, What a wonderful story and timely reminder for us. Blessings to you this day.

Alleluiabelle said...

Such a sad yet beautiful story Sonja. Sometimes I feel some of that sadness at this time of year mixed with JOY even amidst the presence of my family as my mom passed away on December 10 six years ago...but she is with Jesus now, in no more pain and ever so joyful.

Thank you for stirring up my heart to do something meaningful in someone's life especially at this time of year. I have done this in the past, but it is time to do it again. I get so much joy out of giving than receiving even though money is low and times are hard...it's the loving heart and warmth that one needs when we don't have the monetary or material things to give...letting them know that someone cares about them and I love doing that.

Love you my friend. I so enjoy your loving heart, wisdom, inspiration, encouragement and so much more. YOU are one VERY SPECIAL WOMAN.

Peace,
Alleluiabelle

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Lord - help me to open my eyes wider to those around me and help me to be more compassionate for those that need a friend! And Jesus!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh dearest Sonja, that really was a stunning example of the lonely hearts that are all around us...it also reminds me that since I have no children and live FAR away from any family that I do have left, TRAVELING to see them will have to be something that I do more often,since they really cannot afford to ever come see me. Right now, it is just me and my husband and we enjoy our quiet times together and an occasional get-together with friends during holidays, but it would be so easy to be a victim of loneliness. Thank you for this lovely reminder, AND thank you so much for your visit and KIND WORDS!!!! Isn't blogging fun? AND I AM SO BLESSED that I have meet SO MANY Christian women! God has blessed us all with each other as well...do come again, please!!! Have a splendid day, Anita

GWENDOLYN KAY said...

Sonja,
I just wanted to let you know I am having a giveway, if you would like to come have a peek.
love,
Gwen

Shirley said...

What a beautiful story and timely reminder!

Deborah Ann said...

That is just beautiful, Sonja. It sort of reminds me of God, and how He is preparing the wedding feast. I imagine He has a beautiful table prepared, but not everyone will come. Thank you for sharing that!

Debbie said...

This is such an important reminder for us all. There are so many lonely people out there and many of them may be our neighbors. Where we are currenlty living there are many elderly and they decorate their homes with lights like I remember when I was growing up. It's very old fashioned but I love it.