It’s the most wonderful/busiest time of the year, right?!?! It certainly is around our home and I am willing to bet yours is much the same. I still have about four more items to cross off my to-do list for today…all having to do with Christmas.
I’m sure by now we’ve all spent hours decorating our homes, shopping for special gifts for those we love & addressing those annual Christmas cards! Okay, ours are partially done…that’s one of those things on my list for today. Depending on how this blog goes, we’ll see if that one gets checked off! :)
I absolutely love the coziness of a home decorated for Jesus’ birthday. Wyatt is finally getting to the age where he loves helping me and Luke is enjoying undoing everything we have done. It’s crazy fun around here this year and we couldn’t be more blessed.
But, I’d be lying if I told you that I am all smiles. I still haven’t managed to hang our stockings. As much as I can anticipate the joy of the boys on Christmas morning, I can recall the pain of having an empty stocking year after year now, too.
Stockings were huge in my home growing up. My daddy still spends more time on them (for all of us, still) than I think he does on anything else. He loves seeing our faces as we dig into them. He graciously added Annabelle’s stocking to his mantel nearly three years ago on her first Christmas in Heaven…and Santa always leaves something extra special in there for me from my girl. I cherish that memory that my father’s given and continues to give me…remembering her and keeping her memory alive in ways he can. He knows all too well the pain of living daily without one you love so, so much.
But, here at home we’ve chosen to leave her stocking empty. I wasn’t really sure why until a couple of days ago.
I had just passed the stockings all piled up on the way down to the treadmill. I made another comment to myself that I need to hang them up followed quickly by another excuse of not wanting hers to be empty yet again. Sometimes avoidance is easier, you know? So, I hopped on the treadmill for a run and popped in my ipod filled with my favorite praise and worship music. It was somewhere during the second mile that God whispered truth into my heart…
“It’s supposed to be empty.” He said.
I continued to listen to Him as I ran and praised Him…still not sure of what He was trying to tell me. Then, He whispered again…
“The tomb is empty, too.”
I cried the rest of my run.
The HOPE that is found in an empty tomb is the same HOPE that I can find in Annabelle’s empty stocking…a blessing and a promise from the Baby Boy Whose birth we are celebrating…Whose life and death saved us all…and Whose empty tomb means everything to me.