After a windy night and a snow storm blowing in this morning it has finally calmed down. A half hour of prep time and the kids are out playing in the beautiful snow. No school today due to the weather. The kids were actually a little disappointed as there were activities they were looking forward to. I, on the other hand was glad to have them home. After a hard week of sending them to school and praying for their safety I have been longing for Christmas break. Only Friday left now and they will be home for a few weeks.
I went outside briefly to get a few pictures, wondering if this could be our only snow this year. Then my first grader took me to see her snow Angel, it was beautiful. How amazing to have a beautiful snow for them to play in, they were so excited they hardly ate breakfast. Despite my awe of the snow I head back inside because I did not spend a half hour dressing so my fingers were freezing.
When I was back inside the feeling I’ve had many times this week comes back. Like many other mothers around the world it will be a long time before my heart doesn’t ache for the families who have lost loved ones last week. Tears fill my eyes for their moments lost, with each one I gain. I didn’t want to write about what happened, it’s Christmas. I wanted to write about our tree and other final preparations. I don’t feel like I can write anything else, unless I write this first.
Just like the storm that blew through Kansas last night a storm of evil blew through the US last week. It began on Thursday in Topeka with a 2 year old lost after a dog attack, continuing on Friday with one of the worst tragedies I ever knew in a small town Elementary school in Connecticut and the weekend ended with two Topeka Police officers losing their life in the line of duty on Sunday. Not a lot of Christmas spirit to see on the television this past weekend. I turned it off or changed the station many times because I didn’t want the kids to have to hear it all, and selfishly I didn’t want to hear it. I am lucky, I can turn it off there are 30 families that cannot. It is a helpless feeling. I will likely never understand why so much evil happens in our world. So all I can do is pray. Pray for their families, friends, and the individuals lost. Then pray that our world will change so that someday the reports of good outweigh the bad on the nightly news.
As Christmas approaches I hope we can all find strength in the miracle of Jesus’ birth and what he brought to our world because evil cannot take that away. Trust in God and know Jesus’ was with each one of those children and adults last week.
For God will hide me in his shelter in time of trouble,
Will conceal me in the cover of his tent and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5
Though it may be hard we must be thankful for Christmas because without Jesus we have nothing.
So when I feel guilty for my moments staring at the tree lights with my 1st grader, I will remember what the celebration is about and just hold her closer. Despite what some say, showing our love WILL make a difference by adding more good to our world. Jesus’ light will guide the way, just as the light of the Star guided the Wise Men to Jesus after his birth.
Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.
(The final verse from Away in the Manger)