prayerIt’s that time of year again. Personally, I am a Christmas whore – I love everything about it. I love the lights, the trees, the crowds, even the candlelight services.  The beauty that people take the time to create gives me joy, because it means that even in the drudgery of our worlds, the lows points and the misery, we still find our own bits of perfection to display.

I try and remember in all of it that it is also someone’s birthday, but I don’t like to harp on that.  For me the celestial calendar that shows that the most revered baby in the world was probably born in another time, confuses the issue; so I don’t dwell on it to much.  For me, God is a benevolent father that sits on high and occasionally laughs at my antics.  He already knows what is going to happen, and who and what I am and will become, and he knows my heart.  Maybe that is the most important part to me, he knows my heart.

I don’t attend church regularly although I take opportunities to present God to my children.  I don’t believe that God needs my presence every Sunday to love me, and I don’t believe that he either wants or needs me to pray for my own selfish reasons.  I don’t ask God for things for myself very often – usually only things like reminders to myself that he believes in me, or little charges to my heart to remind me that I am worthy.  But I don’t ask for easier days or more money, I don’t ask for less pain or a simpler road – in my heart I believe that if God wanted me to have those things, I would have them.

I only routinely ask for one thing – and I do it pretty constantly.  I ask for the health and safety of my children.  I don’t care if God or his son forgets me; I don’t care if God ignores me or spends his precious time on more worthy causes; I only beg that he takes care of my children.

And when I ask for taking care of them, I am not asking that they get more toys, or the latest and greatest friends.  I don’t need for them to have money, or fame or even that all their dreams come true – they can  work for that.  What I need from God is simple – the knowledge that he is watching over them, teaching them, and holding them close to his heart.  Don’t bother with me, hold them.  Keep them safe, and show them the glory of his own heart.

At Christmas I watch with absolute joy my children’s faces and excitement as they put their faith in a man that they don’t know and can’t see.  They believe in their heart that there is a world, a workshop that makes toys and hopes come true. They can understand that reindeer fly without question, and they see it not only in the materialism of the day, but in the hope.  And it is that hope that is most perfect.

When my kids whole face lights up, I remember a time when my whole face lit up. When their emotions literally overcome them as they sit on a man’s lap, believing with their whole heart that he will bring to them what they think will make them happy, I remember when I felt the same.  When they see lights outside the car windows, and don’t look at the perfection of them, but the beauty of them I remember to stop cataloging cost, and look at the overall magic.  My children give this to me.  My children show me the way.

I dislike that it seems like only one month a year that I truly remember what magic looks like.  Sometimes it seems the day to day routine cancels out so much of the perfection of a child’s smile. I hate that I forget happiness, that I forget kindness, and that irresistible urge to run free except this time of year.  It certainly isn’t my children’s fault – it lies completely with me.

So my New Year’s Resolution this year will be to find that magic in my children each day.  My resolution will be to believe in the beauty of my children’s happiness (you know I don’t mean the material happiness).  And when I go to that candlelight service, I will kneel, bow my head and thank God for the greatest gift he could ever give – my children.  And then once again, I will beg that he forgets all about me, and turns his attention instead on the two angels he deemed me worthy to hold.