Our Christmas was spent with my Husband's family. It began with Midnight Mass, and it culminated this afternoon with a traditional family dinner. Last night, we went to Mass with my mother-in-law and our baby niece. The latter fell asleep in my arms as soon as the processional began, and she was so warm and cuddly, so precious and little, my heart overflowed. I held her close the entire service. My niece made me think of the Christ Child who came into the world to redeem us. I thought, too, of all the gifts this year has brought.
This year has been a year of growth and blessings, joy and heartache. People have come into my life and some, sadly, have left it. My niece was born. My Husband and I became Godparents together and separately (we have three Goddaughters between us). My cousin and her husband are with child. My little brother also was married last week, and therein I gained a sister-in-law and another niece and two nephews! Unfortunately, our choice to support my brother and his wife has cost us the fellowship of the rest of my family, including my parents. But that is a post for another time. I have come to discover that for every challenge, there is also a blessing to be found. This year has also been a blessing in so many ways. I have been to the Middle East, I have learned how to quilt, and I have achieved many small, personal goals. So, too, have I grown spiritually as well as in obedience towards my Husband. These are my happiest achievements, and I pray that they continue!
My Husband gave me a Christmas spanking today-- not for correction-- but as a loving, tender moment. As I leaned over the side of the bed, my Husband held the small of my back with one hand. With the other, he dealt several, swift swats. I felt loved and humbled, both powerless and yet somehow secure within beautiful boundaries. It was a gift. Afterward, he held me close and I melted into him.
I praise God for the gifts and blessing of this past year... and I wonder in joyous anticipation what the New Year will bring! :-)
God bless you all!