Sunday, December 20, 2009

Time for a Christmas Message

I read an article in the December issue of Ensign magazine that, while not a typical Christmas story, was a story of true love and unselfishness that touched my heart. Titled Dad's Lesson in Love, by Marcia Akes, it is the love story of the author's in-laws. While both of her in-laws struggled with health issues in their later years, Mom was bedridden for several years, and it was up to Dad to take care of her. Marcia tells of some sweet moments, like Dad learning to cook so he could bake Mom's favorite pies for her, or learning to sew so he could alter her clothing to make it easier to get on and off her while she was in bed. Sadly, Dad's body gave out before Mom's in the end, but he left what was essentially his deathbed in the hospital, and spent two days, "going on nothing but sheer determination", checking his wife into an adult care facility and training the caregivers on how to take care of the love of his life after he was gone. All of this was so tender, but what really slayed me was Dad's quote italicized up in the corner of the article: "I'm just a common man, with common thoughts, and I feel I've lived a pretty common life; there will never be any monuments dedicated to me, and undoubtedly my name will soon be forgotten; but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough."

Wow. That quote seems to sum up what life is really about. I would not have been interested in an article about a man who got up out of his deathbed to make sure that the month-end accounting was finalized at the office before he died! Indeed, for the many people who don't even have an office to go to right now, money is short and love is really all there is to give this Christmas season. Let it be enough. As hard as it is not to feel depressed or discouraged when money and material things are lacking at Christmas, may I suggest that those feelings dissolve when you stop comparing what you are able to give with what others may be giving. Free gifts that make a difference include sincere thank you notes to people who have touched your life, carols and visits to those who may be lonely, gifts of time and service written up as homemade "coupons" for family members (I particularly enjoy footrubs, if any of my kids are reading this), paragraphs detailing all the good that is in someone you love, and I'm sure you can think of many better ideas.

I wish all of you a truly merry and love-filled Christmas. Jesus Christ knows all of my faults - He should, he carried them - and yet He loves me anyway. And I don't believe He loves me in spite of my weaknesses, I think he just plain loves me. I want to be more like Him.

To get an MP3 download of the article I referred to above, click here .


avagdro said...

Thanks Lecia for sharing Christmas Message.Wish you a joyful Merry Xmas ahead.

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Connie said...

Beautiful! I love feeling the true meaning of Christmas and forgetting about the rest.


Signe said...

That is a nice article! While I love you I will not be giving you any coupons for foot rubs! Love you.

Kent and Jan said...

Amen. Some people get stone monuments when they die, others weave their monuments into the lives of others. I would rather have people ask, "Why was there never a monument raised to him?" than, "Why was there a monument raised to him?"

Merry Christmas!