Hope for Christmas

2013   had been a year of celebrations, graduations, memorable vacations, and reunions.  All of these centered around people – much more important than things.
The previous year at this time things were almost complete for Christmas –shopping done early, decorating completed and baking accomplished -only a few things left.  What a feeling of accomplishment to complete my list of things to do!
This year one of my favorite mottos “People are more important than things” has resonated loud and clear to help focus on what is truly important or should I say “Who is really important.”  My husband John was scheduled for back surgery on November 13 and we thought he would be in good shape by Christmas.  Due to some complications he was in severe pain and needed constant care.  Therefore my list of things to do was drastically altered.  The hospital bed in the living room replaced the tree and the outside lights remained in the box on the porch.  Christmas luncheons and dinners were missed.  Trips to the doctor adjacent to my favorite shopping places probably saved us some money!
Prayers of family and friends, cards of encouragement, calls and visits sustained us during these trying days.   Driving down the road to our Ladies Christmas Coffee (my first time out of the house in almost a month with my son and two men alternately staying with John) I just cried out to the Lord and told him I needed hope.  John did not seem to be getting better.  The verse God gave me previously to encourage others came to mind – Romans 15:13 “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”   At the Coffee that day several ladies asked about John and how he was doing and also about me – then one lady looked me in the eye and asked “How are you really doing?”  Not being a very emotional person – strange for a lady right – I said, “Ok.”  And then the flood of tears came as I told her I was having a hard time.  She promised to continue to pray for John and me.  Another lady agreed to stay with John while I volunteered at our church food cottage the next week.  Friends also came and stayed with him.  Then twelve men (and one lady) from our church came and prayed for John anointing him with oil.  Hope – that is what I needed.  Hope that things would get better for John and also that I could get out of the house knowing he was in good hands.
John is getting around the house better and in less pain.  He is enjoying his independence not having his shadow (me) following his every move.  We were able to attend one Christmas party actually on his birthday and celebrated his birthday with Johnny and his family the following Sunday.  We will host our family on Christmas Eve and although the house will not be decorated as last year we will enjoy the people in our lives and let the things go.
Grandson with my husband in living room on Christmas morning by the hospital bed!
I hope you are enjoying the people in your life and realizing the much more of our heavenly Father.