*Aren't they cute?! I love my kids! :)*
My kids teach me a lot - I guess it comes with the territory of being a Mom. I learn more from them than they do from me.
This Christmas was fantastic. The kids were shaking with excitement with the opening of every gift. It taught me a little more about my need for gratitude, but that's another post :)
I was having a hard time with a certain family member [who will remain nameless...maybe they aren't even family ;)]. This person really, really upset me and I kept being offended at the slightest of wrongs. I was bothered by this person's lack of gratitude [keep in mind the mote and beam thing] and their desire to have nothing to do with our family. I tried to push these frustrations out of my mind, because I wanted Christmas to be perfect, regardless of what this person was doing. It hurts when you do everything you can to show someone love and they don't accept it.
As I was getting ready for church, I walked up to the bedroom we were staying in. On the window seat were two bears. A giant, fluffy teddy bear hugging a tiny red bear. My kids had positioned the bears in such a way that the big bear was hugging the little bear.
It hit me, right then, that my kids were teaching me the true meaning of Christmas. It was wonderful to give and receive thoughtful gifts, but it was far more profound to receive that little reminder that I need to love.
The Savior came to earth so that He could perform the Atonement. There are a lot of people who quote John 3:16. Before I ever became very religious, I could even recite this verse. But, it's the verse that follows that is even more meaningful to me:
"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17).Jesus Christ didn't come to point the finger of shame at everyone, He came to help, to love, to heal, and to help us attain the precious gift of eternal life.
I've been through hard times, just like everyone else, where I've felt alone and despairing. It's not the darkness of the times that I remember, though. It's the spiritual "hugs" I felt from my Savior that got me through the difficulties. Whether it was a needed phone call; a convenient day off for my husband so that he could spend time with me; or just a strong feeling that helped me to know that even though I was suffering, God cared about me; I could feel the divine love that I so sincerely needed.
Those two teddy bears hugging - the big one holding the smaller one so tenderly - was a symbol for me of the love of Christ and a reminder that I need to show that love to others. Regardless of the fact that some people may be harder to love others, I need to reflect that sweet Christmas gift of love, by doing what I can to share my love with others.
I am so thankful for my Savior. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I have been baptized and confirmed by authorized Priesthood leaders. God has not forgotten us; we have a Prophet on the earth today who has been called and sustained by God. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He will come again. He can take any weakness and turn it into a strength. I know that my prayers are heard and answered by a loving Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit has confirmed to me that the Book of Mormon and the Church are true. How thankful I am for the divine, all-encompassing love Heavenly Father has shown me.