It's Christmas morning and I sit here anxiously awaiting my daughter to arise from her slumber. She has but two gifts to open as we did most of her shopping on Christmas Eve (and will continue to shop some more next week.)
This morning she will receive an item of jewelry, a silver cross on a silver chain and her first bible. Just a couple of simple gifts to show her the spirit of Christmas.
Last night, my good pal OnePocketChamp, attended my church's Christmas Eve service. It is the first time he has stepped foot into a church this year. He was a little nervous, along the lines of "Dead Man Walking" as a prisoner would appear as he takes his final steps toward his fate. Les is a good guy and his decisions not to attend church (nor the decisions of many of my friends to do the same) affect the way I feel about them as friends.
I am just in hope that perhaps something that was said or perhaps something that he saw, allowed him to reflect upon the positive side of a faith-filled life.
My daughter also attended the service with us. It was the first time in the fourteen years she has been of this earth, that we attended church together. She seemed uncomfortable even though she told me later she wasn't. I too, hope that something she saw in my faith that will carry over into her heart.
After church, Les, my daughter (Briana), and myself met up with Les' son (Kyle) for dinner. The only place open was a Japanese Grill where Les had made reservations for us. The food was great, the rib-poking and joking was fun and the Sapporo beer was cold. Les refused to allow anyone to kick in for the bill. Thanks for a great Christmas Eve dinner my friend.
Today, Briana and I will visit with Les for an hour or so and give him a small gift that we both picked out. It's not much but it is something he can use. Briana and I will then head over to a another friend's home for Christmas dinner.
Later today, we will carry on my Christmas day tradition of seeing a movie. After the 'dust has settled' and we make our way home, I will certainly look back on this Christmas day and thank God for the friends and family he has given me. What I thought was going to be a lonely holiday has actually turned out to be a great one, thanks to those around me.
I give tremendous thanks to God for my friends here in Texas, those far away like Kato and C.C. who have remained in constant touch during the days and weeks leading up to this holiday. I give silent thanks during prayer for my time with my daughter this Christmas. She may be 14 but she is still my baby and just as much of an angel as she was the day I first held her.
I will have all of you in my thoughts as this day draws to a close, hoping your holiday was as joyous as mine and for those who are traveling, a prayer for your safety as you return home will be silently requested.
Remember this day for what it is meant to celebrate, the birth of our Savior:
<font color="red">"I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior--yes, the Messiah, the Lord--has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!"
Luke 2:10-11 NLT</font color>
Tonight, as you tuck your children into bed, thank God for the joy they have brought into your life. As you and your wife, girlfriend, husband or boyfriend prepare to put this day behind you, let them know how much they mean to you. Give gracious thanks for all that you have and do not dwell on the things that you don't.
While our bank account balances may say something quite different, if you have faith in your life and love in your heart, you are truly rich.
Happy Holidays from the long-winded guy in Texas who just felt like speaking from his heart as he watches his 'baby' sleep through a crack in the bedroom door.