Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Thoughts At Christmas

Each year that goes by it seems I get more nostalgic, more appreciative and full of wonder.  As one of my ex-clients used to say "Yes, Audrey life is much simpler when one is less wealthy."  Well, simpler in some respects, less cluttered, maybe?  It seems, for me, my senses are more keen, might be a function of living in survival mode.  I have come to enjoy moments that I previously didn't behold, maybe I was going too fast or had too much piled into my days.  Here are some of my favorites:
  • The sweet smiles, belly-laughs and words coming from Nate, my special needs son, who I was told when he was just 5 years old he was "rather hopeless" and would "probably just need to be institutionalized."  He is now 20 years old and one of my greatest pleasures in life.
  • Watching Brandon become a fine young man, as he works, goes to college and plays the keyboards in a band called "Set The Sun".  He wants it all and is reaching for the stars.  He is not afraid to state his opinion or ask a question when things don't make sense.  He portrays strength, determination, yet still has a place for acts of kindness.  He recently bought me a peppermint mocha at Starbucks, now that is kindness!
  • My husband's resolve to get up each day, move around when his body screams "NO".  It warms my heart to see him fight hard for a certain quality in his life.  And regardless of the pain he can always find room for one more joke.
  • All the people who have never left my side (or that of my family's) through the tough times.  These people have helped when we have needed help, sometimes that help took the form of a word of encouragement, a quoted Bible verse or a heartfelt hug, other times much more.
  • The people at St Andrew's Methodist Church, the Seven Loaves Program, who open their arms to us and always call Nate by name.  They include us in their prayer circles and thank God for the opportunity to serve us.  Nate usually sings through their prayers while I silently include my thanks to God for their being there and pray for the day when I can pay forward.
  • I am grateful for the fine people of Project: Not Guilty who stand behind me on my case and give great encouragement and support.  Likewise for those in the Innocence Project (Texas and Chicago) who provide insight and encouragement even though my case is non-DNA.   I pray also for the day when I am able to give back by helping those in the same predicament (or "pickle" as my husband once called it).
  • I love the childhood memory of growing up in Maryland and eating snow ice cream, dancing around the Christmas tree and sitting quietly by the fireplace....just feeling the warmth and security of our home, family and faith.
I notice this year the outside Christmas decorations seem more sparkly, the colors of Christmas seem more vibrant and the Christmas songs more touching.  We have one Christmas decoration up this year.  It is this beautiful wreath made by my dear and talented friend Michele Mosser.  She made it for us in 2001 and it is still shining brightly.  I tried to take a picture of it to show you but the picture didn't begin to portray its beauty so you'll just have to come see it and stay for a cup of coffee!

Now here is a Christmas picture from the past, one of my favorite places (for Nancy, get out your magnifying glass - there is a manger scene in there):

May the spirit of Christ be with you as you celebrate Christmas and head into the New Year!

Love to each of you,