This time of year always brings the emotions close to the surface. This past week, my niece, who has served the last 18 months of her life on a mission for our church, returned home–safe and sound. Today I will be traveling to hear her speak about her experiences. My heart is full of gratitude for her safe return, and for the blessing that she is to our family.
As I watched for her at the airport, my heart started to beat a little faster. We were all excited. But there was one person there whose heart was extra tender: her mother’s. As I watched my sweet sister-in-law, I realized her mother heart has been stretched for 18 months. A piece of her heart was far away. At that very moment, she was watching for that piece to return.
Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday. I feel extremely blessed to have her in my life. When we were struggling to have children, there were times when I wondered if my mother would be here to meet the children that we hoped and prayed for. But now, years later, she is here to enjoy another Christmas with all of us. My 5-year-old daughters know and love their Grandma very much.
After we went to the airport to see my niece return from her mission, we went out to dinner and shopping with Grandma. When we returned home late that night, my sweet husband came out to greet us. My youngest daughter excitedly said, “Daddy, we spoiled ourselves today!” That simple statement reflects what happens with Grandma. We are extremely well-cared for in her presence.
My mother’s heart has overfilled my own.
In honor of my mother today, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Christmas stories. Aside from the telling and retelling of the Savior’s birth, this story is my favorite. In other words…
The Christmas Story that Came in Second Place
It was Christmastime. In a home with my parents, five brothers and me, it was a busy time. My mother had received a beautiful handmade porcelain nativity from my Grandmother Lloyd. The pieces were delicate and my mother would place them on her mantle as a reminder of the reason for the season: the Savior’s birth. Under each piece, my mother would place a small light that was attached to a string of lights. They would light up the mantle and make it glow, seeming to a young child like a piece of heaven.
Happy birthday, mom. I love you!!
If you enjoyed this, please check out my other Christmas posts: