God has been so good to us, especially in the last few months, that our Christmas was wonderful before it even started. But it keeps getting better every day as we spend time with family and friends in Somerset, and reconnect with friends from the past as well. It is always so good to learn how God has been working in the lives of those we love, and, as my grandma shared this afternoon, this really has been a year full of blessings in our extended family. We’ve definitely had difficult periods, but God has really been answering lots of prayers for us. There will always be valleys, and Clay’s family is walking through one right now as they mourn the death of his uncle (his mother’s brother) on Monday, December 22. But God has been ever faithful and steadfast through all of our valleys, and He will be through this one too. What do I want for Christmas? Yeah, there’s stuff I’ve requested from the stores, and I will find things to spend my Christmas money on, but in the deeper sense of things, my heart is full this Christmas. I know that as I’ve been in valleys, sometimes it’s been hard for me to read about the good times that others are in. If that’s you tonight, and it’s hard for you to read about all my answered prayers and blessings, I pray that you would recognize that the valleys themselves are good times, as God works through them to refine you and make you more like Him. I can see that looking back on most of my valleys, and I know I will see it fully once I come to the end of my journey. My wish for you would be that you can eventually say the same.
Deeper thoughts aside, on this Christmas Eve I send out wishes to all of you for a Christmas filled with toys that don’t require batteries of have 73 pieces to lose, clothes that fit and don’t have to be exchanged, gift cards to places that you actually want to go, and gifts that actually fit in the van along with all the kids and luggage on the way home. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.