In all the running to and fro and wrapping up the last gifts and stopping to play with new toys and trying to figure out how to transform transformers and stooping to hold a 28 pounder or the 37 pounder and trying to remember to kiss my main man even in the absence of mistletoe and watching the laundry and dishes pile up and vacuuming up more pine needles from the dying yet beautiful Christmas tree and just wanting to soak in the moments and not forget the wonder and beauty of this season....I keep asking myself, "How do I really get back to the Heart of why we celebrate Christmas anyway? How do we still enjoy giving gifts and receiving from those who want to give without it becoming about the stuff? How can I instill in the hearts of my children a love for giving and a heart of gratitude?" I mean, right now, any time Noah David sees a baby lying in anything, he points, smiles and says "JeeJee". He's getting it. And Daniel Isaac continues to report that he just doesn't want or need anything for Christmas. We talk about Jesus constantly...not just at Christmas time, but it's just normal. But me, how can I regain focus? I love to give....I love making gifts...I love wrapping gifts...I love it all. More than anything and more than all of that, though, I really love The Gift. And Dad brought my heart back to where it needed to be tonight...as he read after the last gift was unwrapped [a pitiful summary compared to what Dad really read to us that he'd prepared, but this is the main part and what stuck with me]...

Christ made a lot of claims to be....
...the living bread (John 6:51)
...the light of the world (John 8:12)
...the gate (John 10:9)
...the good shepherd (John 10:11)
...the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)
...the way the truth and the life (John 14:6)
...the true vine (John 15:1).

And He is. He is all of those things to me, and oh how my heart will burst even more if my boys, my little lights in training, could grasp those. If we can all grasp that all of this joy and fun and gift-giving and laughter and light is all because of Him....

Merry CHRISTmas.

I'd gotten off track and distracted by my to-do list that was post-poned a day and an evening with some terrible side effects of food poisoning (yeah, bad timing, eh?), but my heart has been lifted and my eyes readjusted and the blur removed. LET US SHINE!

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