Looking back through this year’s Christmas pictures I noticed two things. First, we have no babies or toddlers. Second, we are basically happy people. I don’t mean to imply there is a correlation between the two.
When our kids were little, Christmas was frantic. We were threading the eye of our Christmas break with the nine-hour trip from our house to grandparents’ homes in a red station wagon packed tightly with Matt’s meds, everyone’s clothes and hidden toys for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.
All our pictures of those visits show happy people.
Our kids grew up and eventually our daughters and sons-in-love packed their vehicles and headed to our house for Christmas.
The grandkids usually arrived on Christmas Eve Day taut with excitement. I made it my mission to keep them occupied until we opened presents that night and eventually tucked them in bed.
Pictures of one of those Christmas Eves were taken at the model train station. Wearing engineer hats with red scarves around their necks, they were joyful children.
This year we had a nineteen year old, two seventeen year olds, a twelve-year-old and two nine-year olds who arrived for dinner on Christmas Day. We were the grand finale so they were mellow.
In this year’s pictures our grandkids looked perfect while parents and grandparents looked pleased.
Our Christmas pictures don’t show the years of hard work, prayers and frequent head-butting on the part of both parents and kids, but the fruits of that labor are showing.
The Christmas decorations are put away and a New Year full of promise and opportunity lies ahead, but instead of New Year resolutions, I spend New Year’s Eve making Old Year Observations.
I flip through my agenda for the year past and reflect on how faithful He is to us – always. That braces me for the year to come.
I stopped making resolutions for the coming year, but I thought our twelve-year-old grandson would have some that were interesting so I asked him to share them.
On Saturday, after we watched him play the first of three basketball games he would have that day (I’m pretty sure he’s a NCAA MVP in a future National Championship game), I asked him to tell me his New Year resolutions when he and his family came to have lunch on Sunday. He rolled his eyes, but I knew he would come through. He did, and here they are.
(1) Make All A’s the rest of the year.
(2) Spend more time with Him.
(3) Dribble lower and be a better ball handler
(4) Be a better hitter in baseball.
(5) Don’t be as lazy around the house.
Recently I read that parents have the opportunity to raise a child until he or she is twelve or thirteen. After that age a parent’s main job is to guide the child so he or she will make good choices. Guiding is easier if the teaching has gone well.
Mother wrote in her journal, “Through God’s actions in the past we can learn about the God we serve today.”
Whether we look at the old year and make observations or choose to face the New Year with new resolutions, we can be certain that the God we serve will always be faithful. Parents have the opportunity of sharing that security with their children and guiding them into eternal life.