Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Gift of Pure Joy

This Christmas I received a gift that has filled me with such joy... even now when I think of it my heart swells and the tears come freely.

We gathered together... this congregation that has loved me and my husband through so many challenges and dangers and happy moments, too... sharing the light, telling one another again, "He has come!  God with us!," on Christmas Eve.  But there were new faces.  Faces never there before to share the light and the good news of Christmas.

Our son, Robert, and his lovely wife, Alison

Our sweet daughter, Trista
This year, for the first time, we gathered together as a family, whole, complete, to share the light.  

You see, our children have allergies, lots of allergies.  And one of those allergies is to poinsettias.  Poinsettias are very high in pollen, and many churches fill their sanctuaries with hundreds of them each Christmas season.  Many shops and schools and even doctors' offices do this as well.  All in an effort to decorate for the season, to spread some cheer with large, colorful blooms.

What this has meant for our family is that we don't go into restaurants or shops or museums... or even our church... during this season of anticipation and celebration of the Christ child.

But this year, our church took a leap of faith and purchased faux poinsettias.  These blooms were just as colorful, just as cheerful.  These blooms will be just as beautiful when they are brought into our sanctuary next year, and for many years to come.  This one choice, made by our family of faith, allowed me to invite my children to come, to share the light with us. 

These dear children, knowing what it would mean to me, came on Christmas Eve with loving smiles and tender hearts.  They listened as their father played to our King with handbells.  They greeted kind folks and they sang each carol.  As the elements of the Lord's Supper were passed from my elder husband, to me, then to Trista and Robert and Alison, and later the candle's light was passed in the same manner, my cup overflowed with joy. 

Here we are, among the poinsettias on Christmas Eve


Anonymous said...

So beautifully stated. I am so touched and so sad also that I never REALLY and truly understood how much this one small(?) thing could mean to my dearest friend...so much for REAL poinsettias!! Pauline

donna rae said...

Oh, Pauline, it was a true blessing for us! Thank you for sharing our joy!

Craig said...

and that's what the church is supposed to do. The church is supposed to know its family members, and meet them where they are, like Jesus meets us where we are.Yay for faux poinsettias – a little gift – obviously it meant so much. Makes me smile. Thank you, Donna Rae, and God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours.

donna rae said...

Thank you, Craig, for your sweet words... many blessings to you!

Bending Birches said...

amen to this--and such a beautiful family!