Quiet Time at Serenity

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We loved having Christmas company in the cabin. We loved, loved having Benjamin (Hannah’s boyfriend) here for making Christmas merriment (and funny gingerbread people) with us. We were happy to have Tiffany for chai, and we always have fun with the huge Sunday night crowd around our tree! Heather and Lauren came by with merry mix and the Doziers were bearing gifts, too. Even Baxter the cat has come home from Tennessee this year for Christmas. But for the next 36 hours or so, it’s just the four of us (and, well…Baxter). This is the quiet part of Christmas that is my favorite time of the season. I know we can’t have this special foursome Christmas Eve forever. One day soon, some boy or girl will permanently make his/her way into the heart of the boy or the girl and we will have to get used to sharing for the holidays, and that is just how it should be. (…Although I do think that might be the toughest kind of holiday giving!) But, for now, we will relish the moments and enjoy with unhurried appreciation the time and the closeness of family together.

As we do this, Glenn and I do not forget that it’s because of the Father that we can enjoy peaceful and truly happy times with our children. It’s because of Him that our children love to be with us (at least we think they do). It’s because of His guidance that they are secure in Christ and, thus, so many sorrows and burdens have been lifted from our lives. It’s because of His Son that we have family unity—of goals and hopes and ambitions. It’s because of Him that we have every gift that’s waiting beneath the tree. It’s because of an empty tomb that we are at peace in our souls. It is the security of Christianity that makes life consequential. I am sad for those families who are missing the meaning. I’m sad because the big God-shaped hole leaves us volatile to all kinds of havoc and heartache as it remains unfilled. I’m so thankful during the quiet times for the One who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us (Eph. 3:20). That’s what He has done at our house–immeasurably more. And we are so grateful.

Now, for the Christmas Eve business: In case you haven’t heard, the Bless Your Heart Christmas contest is officially over. I gathered the most qualified Claus-metologists from three states and they carefully examined the entries. They were unaware, while judging, of the authors’ identities. They took into account creativity, writing skills, rule adherence and portrayal of family values. May I now congratulate Jan Coppett of Huntsville, Alabama for the award winning entry below. Jan gets to choose five free items from www.colleybooks.org. Jan is asked to notify me personally with her choices rather than ordering online. So many great entries. So hard to choose. But here’s the one chosen by the judges: More entries will be featured before the year ends.

The Winning Entry:

I was 9 or 10 that Christmas and I was wondering if there was a real Santa Claus or if indeed it was like some of my school friends said–Santa was only your Mama and Daddy. This Christmas I was having doubts. But my Mama, who never told a falsehood, said if you didn’t believe in him, then he simply quit coming to leave you presents. I couldn’t take the chance on that happening, could I? I didn’t want to appear foolish to my friends, but at the same time, just so as to cover my bases, I played along. After all, I had a little brother who was 8 years younger than I, and it was fun to see Santa through his eyes. Even if Santa was your parents, my brother was having such fun. I sure wasn’t going to spoil it for him. Besides, didn’t I have a 10 speed bike in my daydreams?

A few days before Christmas, my parents and brother and I left to visit some relatives in town. We were gone for hours, and when we got home, there in the living room was the 10 speed bike I had been dreaming of for weeks, my favorite color and everything! I couldn’t believe it, Santa had come early, just to show me he could! There was a note saying the bike was a little large to bring on his sleigh, so he’d decided to make a special trip and bring it before Christmas! How could it be? The doors of our house were shut and locked before we left and still were when we got home! There must be a Santa, for how else could this bike have gotten inside our house?

I never did know how they did it, but I will always remember the year that Santa gave me one more year to believe!

Jan Coppett

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