The question was asked this past week at a Women's meeting, what is the best gift you have received? I answered that I received a letter from a school teacher. Enclosed was a paper written by my eldest daughter Kylie, in which she shared how proud she was of me for all the trials and hardships I had overcome. It was then that I knew she had totally forgiven me.
Did I deserve forgiveness from her? After battling substance abuse, dysfunctional relationships, and putting motherhood on the back burner, probably not. But because Jesus died for me, I am able to receive grace and forgiveness from God. The road back to the path He has chosen for me was not always an easy one. Many people came alongside me and there were times when I was scared, sad, and lonely. So while the letter was a great gift, so is the joy I have in knowing I am now blameless in the Lord's eyes.
This past weekend my two eldest children, Kylie and Daylen, visited a nursing home to assist the Salvation Army in handing out a bit of Christmas cheer in the form of socks and mugs. We thought it would be fun if we brought along some song sheets and a guitar and the three of us went room to room with Kylie playing the guitar as we sang carol after carol for the residents. Before too long, a young girl with her two smaller cousins heard us and we invited them to join in the song. The people who lived in that home smiled as every child wished them a Merry Christmas. Most of them were suffering from depression, loneliness, and hadn't had many (if any) visitors in quite some time. They received our prayers, songs, and gifts and openly hugged and shook our hands. What normally would take around an hour and a half, took over three hours in order to complete the distribution. When all was said and done, both of my kids exclaimed how fun it was to be able to give just a little bit of their hearts to the old folks. Yes it took some time and effort, but I know they are headed in the right direction when they asked "when are we caroling at the kettle, mom?".
My beautiful children who I nearly lost to my selfishness and addiction are a precious gift to me. Their tender hearts that willingly share what they have, be it a song, smile, prayer, or socks, is a gift to anyone who receives it. And the joy and peace we have from knowing that God our heavenly Father loves us enough to give us His Son Jesus, that we may receive His light to shine throughout the darkness in the world. . . well words just can't describe HIS awesomeness.
"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 - NIV