Friday, December 24, 2010


It is almost Christmas.
The presents are wrapped (well, most of them) the house is decorated, extended family is arriving (squeal!) and unlike when I was a child, I can't believe how fast Christmas is arriving. Why is it that time crawls when you're 6 and races by when your 26?
It is almost Christmas.
I blinked and my chubby Christmas cherub from last year...
Is my impish Christmas elf this year...
It is almost Christmas!
I guess time flies when you're having a fabulous time living your life. :)
Jet has made each holiday happier, each blessing richer, each gathering livelier.
His joy reminds me to be joyful. His contentment brings me peace. His spirit renews my own.

It is almost Christmas.
And like any true Christmas Eve, I've already been visited by 3 spirits.
The first came to me weeks ago. As soon as our tree went up and the weather got colder and the music got cheerier - it was the Spirit of Joy. The merriment. The festivities. The holiday themed store-fronts. The outbreak of red sweaters. The excitement. The magic. The "may-your-days-be-merry-and-bright" pure essence of Christmas. People smile more. Give more. Laugh more. I've always loved this part of the holidays - it's the child-like wonderment part that I cling to every year, trying not to be disappointed that it's just not quite the same feeling as when you are younger...but it's pretty good. Hot chocolate, fuzzy socks and evergreen kind of good. But it's more than the physical. It's the mental, spiritual, emotional feeling of it all. Whatever it is, something about this time of year makes me happy. It gives me joy. It reminds me that beyond the holly, tinsel and cocoa - we have so much to be joyful about. Someone to rejoice in. And I want to pass it along to my own little elf - and I can't wait until he feels it to.
Because it's warm-your-heart wonderful stuff.
The second spirit came as somewhat of a surprise to me - though I'm not sure why it was such. Perhaps because I underestimated it. And you should never underestimate a Spirit. ;)
It was the Spirit of Giving. Beginning as a tiny hopeful glimmer in the form of a little boy named Shea and fueled by the hearts and generosity of others into a roaring fire of selfless giving. I was given a gift this weekend - a surprise donation from some wonderful people who worked together and gave with such generosity and charity that I found myself speechless. And it was their gift that brought me once again spiritually to my knees in gratitude.
Thank you all.
The spirit of those who have donated to his adoption grant has touched me deeply and awakened my soul in new and powerful ways. Every gift that has been given to this sweet boy in the way of bracelets, donations, and words of kindness has been two-fold as it has also been the greatest of gifts to me. Your desire to help and eagerness to give, both great and small, fill me with gratitude and humility. And over it all and in each of your gifts I see Him who has made it all possible. In every selfless act of giving is The One who gave it all. And I am reminded of the Blessed Assurance that we have in Him.
I am filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
The third spirit revealed itself to me slowly, spread out over this past year and in all honesty my entire life. I've never been without this spirit though there are times when I feel it's presence more strongly.
The day I asked to be baptized. The first time I felt my baby move inside me.
The first time David and I held our little boy.
It is the Spirit of Love.
And not just any love, God's Love. The unconditional, peace that passes all understanding, lift you up from the darkness, make you feel safe and eternally cherished Love. The Love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The Love that never fails.
It's not really a love you or I can give - only strive to emulate. But it is a Love that everyone can receive. And I have both received it and seen it emulated these past few weeks perhaps more than ever before. Second only to the Love we received when we feared the worst with our unborn baby and the days that have followed in his amazing life, has been the Love I have witnessed in regards to the only little boy I have ever loved as strongly - little Shea. Shea who has touched so many lives with his shy expression and beautiful eyes. Shea who had nothing when God brought him into our lives and said "Here. Love him. I do." Shea who has recieved over $11,000 towards his adoption grant in 3 weeks. Shea who as of now has a family waiting to adopt him.
That's the Love I'm talking about.
It is almost Christmas.
And I have been visited by 3 spirits.
The Spirit of Joy. The Spirit of Giving. And the Spirit of Love.
But the greatest of these...of Love.
Love to you all. God bless you. And Merry Christmas.


Stephanie said...

Our church is in the midst of a mini-series on Angels, and it has been really good. And you, my friend, are an angel. One of God's angels on earth. An angel to sweet Shea and an angel who speaks of God's word in layman's terms (the kind I can understand). You make the invisible visible to me-and for that I am grateful. Merry Christmas! xx

Lorelei said...

Wow! So moving, well written and insightful. Merry Christmas and God Bless your sweet and caring heart.

truly blessed said...

oh my dear joanna,
i just love you.
so much.

Jill said...

How absolutely beautiful.
You summed up how I feel about Christmas so perfectly. It's my absolute favourite Holiday because of all the reasons you listed as well as because it definitely makes me feel the love and the giving. Beautiful.

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