Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Flowers

Some Christmases stand out more than others, and our first Christmas in the old farmhouse was one that I’ll never forget.

With only one large bathroom and two teenagers, we immediately set out to add another bathroom. Carpenter’s tools were strewn about the living room where gaily-wrapped presents should’ve been. My usual holiday spirit was buried deep beneath the never-ending layers of sawdust. The closer it came to Christmas the more I desperately wanted restoration – in my house and in my life.

One snowy day, while sorting through boxes of old wall décor in an attempt to make the place feel more like home, I suddenly got a longing for something new for the walls. However, with all the expenses of remodeling, there wasn’t money for non-necessities.

I tried to get over it but the longing only grew. I even prayed and asked God to take away the desire, but strangely, when I did, I immediately saw a clear vision in my mind of a beautiful dried-flower spray, full of shades of burgundy and pink. I shook my head in an attempt to make sense of what had just happened. The image was so vivid; there were even glitters of gold sparkling throughout it. I knew I had never laid eyes upon that spray, yet it had been clearly detailed in my mind.
The closer it got to Christmas, the more I thought about that floral wall display, almost looking for it with a sense of expectation.

At last it was Christmas morning. Even though I had told no one about my desire, I tried hard not to show my disappointment when the gifts were all opened and there were no flowers.

So, after putting the turkey in the oven I decided to pamper myself. I stayed in my robe (oblivious to the after Christmas mess), curled up on the sofa with my new book, and settled in for a comfortable read.

Suddenly my husband called from the kitchen, “Honey, were you expecting your mom and your sister?”

“Uh… no.” I had just seen both of them the night before, and besides, they always call before coming way out to our house.

But sure enough there was my mom carrying a plate full of goodies and my sister by the trunk of the car. I momentarily panicked, realizing there was no time to clear a path in our living room or to get dressed.

As my mother bounded through the front door she gave me a big hug, saying, “Your sister’s coming. She has something for you in the trunk.”


None of this made sense. My sister Sue and I had not exchanged Christmas gifts since we were kids. I had nothing to give her.

Sue finally came inside, breathless, carrying a long, narrow box. She handed it to me, hugged me at the same time and excitedly exclaimed, “A co-worker makes these and I just had to get you one. I didn’t know what color to choose, but something told me to . . .”

With chills racing up and down my spine, I lifted the lid of the box. Without her needing to tell me the colors, I knew exactly what they would be . . . pink and burgundy . . . with a sparkle of gold throughout.

“Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago” ( Isaiah 25: 1).

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