Christmas 2022 is coming to a close. I had two wonderful days of family time and absolutely zero pictures to show. No pictures, no videos, and no matching pajamas. I have no evidence to show on Facebook that will remind me a year or two from now that it actually happened. But tonight, I have something Facebook memories and matching pajamas can’t hold a candle to – I have JOY!
Joy because instead of using my phone to take 100 pictures like I usually do, I used my phone to FaceTime my Aunt into our celebration so that she could be a part. She was able to play the games with us, win the prizes, see the kids open her gifts, and know that she was loved and cared for and not forgotten because she couldn’t be there in person. We even sent her the exact food (Oyster Stew) we were eating and she had gifts to open. Her joy in receiving all that filled my heart.
Joy because there was this beautiful purple water bottle. Oh, how I loved it, but my granddaughter loved it too. I had it while playing our exchange game, and she stole it. What girl wouldn’t? It was beautiful. Then today, under their tree, she wrapped it up to give to me, and she was so happy in giving it. She blessed me, and her joy in giving filled my heart.
Joy because my mom gave me a very special gift this year. She gave me a Bible that belonged to my dad. She had given it to him in 1965, right after he was saved, and he used it to preach many of the sermons he preached. I sat alongside him in his office for so many days as he studied using this Bible and then as he preached and taught from it. I thought she had long ago given away all of his Bibles and books, and she had, but she kept this very special one. What? All these years later….what a gift. I will always treasure it. My mom’s thoughtful gift and joy in passing it down to me filled my heart.
God knows exactly what we need and desire. We don’t have to tell a soul. He knows. This year like others have also shared with me – I needed some joy. The joy that comes from being with family, making new memories, and remembering moments and those we love that have gone on but are loved so much still. I needed joy this Christmas, and I received JOY! He used these family members and some other special people in my life to fill my heart these last days with joy, HIS JOY, in such wonderful ways!!!
Thank You, Jesus!