Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Peace and a Revelation

I grew up in the 50's an 60's in working class Pittsburgh. I had 4 brothers and sisters. We absolutely loved the holidays. My mom would ask us what we wanted and she would buy it for our main present. Then she'd also buy us 3-4 other gifts (toys, not clothes) and then my grandmother from Scotland would come over and bring us gifts, too. She was born in 1898 and gifts when she was growing up were items of clothing.

Mom Mom would give us white full slips that we'd never use, but in her Scottish Christmases were something she only got then and were dearly appreciated. We'd also get something she had knitted for us, like a sweater, which was always nice.

My mother would give Mom Mom gifts that she probably never used, like scented soaps or bath powder.

Christmas was a time in my family which seemed like a dream
. And because I can't give my own kids that kind of dream I've felt bad. This year each kid is getting a $20 gift and that's all we can afford. I've got a lot more than 5 kids here, and four grandsons as well. I can't remember the last Christmas present my husband or I got each other. So it tends to depress me.

But this year, I'm not letting it bother me. It helps that my kids are all MR (ok intellectually disabled -couldn't they have picked a shorter politically correct term?) My kids are so very happy with anything they receive. I swear I could go to the dollar store and buy them each a $1 figurine and they'd be happy.

I need to take their attitude and make it my own.

The greatest gift I have is my wonderful husband of 41 years. If I never got another gift in my life this would be enough.

The second greatest gift I've been given are my children. Sure there have been bad times, lots of CPS visits, jails, hearings and hospital stays. but I can't imagine my life without a single one of them. When I look past their problems, and the problems they have created, I see that innocent soul there. That God-sent spirit that no matter what is going on, still resides within them.

This year I'm happy just to dwell on that. The Holy Spirit resides in each one of them. I have to remind myself of that at times. The Holy Spirit runs through me as well. We all are part of that Holy Spirit, as if energized by the same electrical cord. We are One.

When I have bad feelings about them I am ignoring that fact that they are a part of God just as surely as I am myself. I need to keep expressing that unconditional love that runs through my veins. I need to brush off the negative crud and see them as children of God.

I've been able to do that with my dear sweet husband. Nothing he could do would even make me the slightest bit angry anymore. I'm beginning to be able to do that with each of my kids as well.

To see the people we love and live with as anything other than expressions of the Holy Spirit is to deny ourselves that profound peace found only in the love of God.

I can do this! I can do this! And that revelation is my greatest Christmas gift ever!