It's Monday morning.
As usual I wake up at 5:00 a.m. and cannot go back to sleep.
I finish decorating the house for Christmas.
I think it looks all right, but I don't have the same touch as Jan.
The grandkids come over tonight to help me decorate the tree and that will be good.
Thanks giving was a special day as the Sahlin's and Carlson's were together and it was decided to not have the usual turkey dinner this year. Instead everyone made one of Jan's favorite foods and we had that for our meal. It was quite a spread and I even contributed by making the palmini, one of our favorite Ukrainian dishes.
At the meal we were encouraged to take the initials of our first name and use those letters to trigger thoughts of thankfulness. Here is what JOHN brought to my mind:
J: I am so thankful for "Jan" and our 47 years together. My memories are so good and she made my life very rich and full. I am determined to be thankful for "what we had together" and not dwell too much on "what will not be" in the future. We had a good life together.
O: I am thankful for the "Others" in my life who have stepped up to the plate to support me with their presence, their words and the generosity of their time. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful family and so many good people in my life.
H: I am thankful for the "Homes" of each of my family members and friends and the warmth they provide me each time I visit. My own home has such a different feel with the heart and soul of it no longer present. My home is filled with wonderful memories and because of the unique decorating touch of Jan it oozes her character and personality. But sometimes those memories overwhelm and I need to leave my home and visit you in your homes. Thank you for making your home a welcoming place for me.
N: I am thankful for a "Name", the name of Jesus, who is proving to be my Immanuel, my "God with me". I can truly echo the translation of John 1:14 in The Message ,when rather than saying "the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us", it says he "pitched his tent" in our neighborhood. Truly He has pitched his tent in my neighborhood and is living and moving in my life. I am reminded daily that I do not navigate my life without Someone walking right beside me and that gives me courage and strength.
Advent has begun...join me in walking with the One who has pitched His tent in our neighborhoods.