December 9

Looking toward Home

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalm 96:11-13

 For me, the anticipation of Christmas is directly tied to the change of seasons. The first cool spell thrills my soul and warms my heart. My mother, Pat Leopard, and my mother-in-law, Doris Chervenka, reinforced that feeling in me by sharing their love of their gardens and their need to have their fingers in the soil and their faces in the sun. It’s where we had our deeper discussions about our family, life, and love. I didn’t recognize until now their shared strength of spirit was more than their individual characters. It was the Holy Spirit.

In January and February of 2012, at the ages of 96, and 72, the culmination of their faith was clearly visible when both of them with unearthly focus, lifted their arms from their hospital beds straining upwards, looking earnestly into a Heavenly realm only they could see to cross over the physical threshold of this earthly life into Eternity and Home. Thanks be to God!

The change of seasons has begun in earnest and I’m looking forward to December 25th when I hope to spend another Christmas with my family and my sweet stepmother, (and last of my three moms), Kathie Staffa. Mom seems genuinely surprised to find herself still here at age 87 and I will soak up her maternal parentage like a sponge while I am able to be with her. I pray I never lose this sense of anticipation and excitement, and someday I too will reach up from a spent and exhausted earthly body to be lifted into the presence of my Lord and Savior, and I will be safely Home.

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[Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash]

God bless us all and instill all of us with an unquenchable desire to love and live our lives accomplishing all He has planned for us to do, and that we will always feel an overwhelming sense of anticipation and joy that once all is done, we’re going Home!

Cheryl Grabow

Additional Scriptures: 2Corithians 5:1, John 14:2-3, Philippians 3:14, Philippians 4:20

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