I’m asking for forgiveness from anyone who reads this blog on a fairly regular basis, and I know there are some who’ve said that it’s something they look forward to reading daily.  For that, I am very grateful.

I ask for forgiveness because I haven’t been writing here as frequently as I’d wanted to ever since reaching my goal of publishing at least one new blog post on a daily basis for a full year back on November 10.  I haven’t been writing as frequently because there have been times when reaching another goal — finding a decent job — has been all-consuming.

This has been quite the interesting year, filled with more wild ups and downs like we’ve seen in the past couple of years.  The ups have been fabulous.  The downs have been … challenging.

christmas 2007
christmas 2007 (Photo credit: paparutzi)

Now, we’re about to celebrate another Christmas.  It’ll be the second straight Christmas we’ve celebrated while having our family’s future left with a big question mark hanging over it — the question being, what’s in store for us as we enter another year?  But it’ll also be the second straight Christmas where we’ve seen wonderful acts of thoughtfulness, selflessness, kindness, and generosity rise up to make our holiday brighter.

It’s times like these when I’m very proud to call our youngest son Grant our own.  He’s been working away from home and staying with his grandparents since last summer, and he’s been determined to save up some money to share with his family so we can exchange some gifts this Christmas.  He’s a thoughtful young man.  That’s a great gift.  He was able to come home last Friday night to spend Christmas with his immediate family.  That’s a great gift for us as well, because he is deeply loved and missed by all of us here when he’s away.

It’s times like these when we’re glad to have other relatives and family members doing all they can to contribute to making this a better season of giving for us.

It’s times like these when I’m so grateful for anonymous friends who give us gifts to help us through, contained in cards like one we received on December 8 that included a bit of scripture from Isaiah 40:11 …

“He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs in his arms;
He will carry them in His bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.”

The timing was perfect for that.  I needed that bit of scripture on that particular day.  It gave me hope and strength to carry on, right on through to this day.

As I said, this has been a year with some fascinating “ups.”

I have been blessed with some gifts of new and fascinating friendships, as well as renewing old ones even more.  That all started at the very first of the year with a trip to California — meeting some wonderful people and getting to know them a bit more online and joining in efforts with them to help a mutual friend named Lester as he’s struggled with his own challenges — and the year’s ending on a fascinating note in that area as well, seeing the launch of a fundraising project that still has just over two weeks to go yet it’s less than $2,000 away now from a very important goal.  There’s a true spirit of giving there as well that has been heartwarming.

It’s been a wonderful year to see our oldest son Curtis reach a goal that has been a part of his life for years now — getting the chance to go to Washington, D.C.,  and work as an intern.  He’ll be leaving just after the start of the new year and be gone for four months.  He’ll be greatly missed, but our pride in this goal that he’s reached is tremendous.

It’s been a year in which our daughter Alicia has continued to grow into a lovely young lady, who — at the age of 13 — still believes in that saint of Christmas (and why should anyone break that spirit in her when that kind of belief is exactly what’s needed through times like we’ve been living through?), and she thinks not so much of herself but of others in need … right down to writing a letter asking for the power of God to give her Dad a good job as his most-desired Christmas gift so her family can be truly, deeply, consistently happy again.  You can’t take that away, not through times like these.  I love that gift of innocence that I see in Alicia.

I continue to give thanks on a daily basis for the gift of my lovely wife as well.  If I were to ever have to live through challenging times with a partner, I’m grateful that I was blessed with a partner like Amy.

So, here we are in Utah.  It’s the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  The snowstorm that has been predicted to provide a white Christmas has arrived.  Our family is gathered together to celebrate a joyous birth.  The fact that we are gathered together as a family is one of the greatest gifts that I could ask for.  Through the challenging times that we’ve seen in over a year — and there have been many coming at us in various ways — we have stayed together.  Not all families can say that through challenging times, and I’m proud and happy to say that we have been able to stay together, that our youngest son wanted to come home so badly to celebrate with us and contribute to making this holiday a special one, and that there will be warmth in our home in various ways as we celebrate a gift that was given to us so long ago.

We as a family need a miracle, in the coming year and always.  We all need a miracle.

I still believe that miracles can happen.

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3 thoughts on “‘Tis the season for miracles

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