First Christmas Away from Family

We are two days away from Christmas and what a beautiful time it can be for some and not so good for others.  Just making a big move myself basically across the country it’s my first not spending it with my immediate family.  I am fortunate though to have cousins near me to be with.

I have always had friends that haven’t went home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and always thought how selfish it was not to spend it with family.  But now in hindsight I understand it’s just not doable at times to make it back.  Some people make new lives and have new families they have to be with.  I guess it is something that just clicked in my head with understanding.

This month has been great and difficult at the same time.  I have learned to find happiness in the small things, and then great loneliness in other areas.  It is all a growing experience and having this time of year brings hope and great outlook.  Now starting to take my time and energy into weekly giving to the people that don’t have a home in areas of Oklahoma City.  There is such a need that we have here at home instead of abroad we need to concentrate on.  I have been the one to judge them and say they don’t have to be if they don’t want to be.  But I have felt compassion for them.  Because one thing I have always said is “you haven’t walked in my shoes.”  That resonated with me so much on Monday.  I haven’t walked in their shoes or life’s path.  If I could only fix their pain or give them a life of living.  I just pray and trust if anything we do for them it is taken with gratitude but at the same time with a giving heart it doesn’t matter what their reaction is.  I know the Lord knows my heart and the attitude of giving it came from.  This is a outreach I know will not change.  I think about it day and night now and I am having to be careful not to let it get me down because it is sad.

This year for once I am thankful for Facetime.  Ha.  Never been big on it but it will put me at my mom’s house in a second.  Having really no friends here besides family which have been such a blessing, I have had to learn to cope with issues and things I haven’t which I am thankful for.  Just another part of this Journey I have been on the past year.  My Christmas wish came true this year and it was to move out of Alabama.  How I miss certain things, I would not turn back at all!!!

The outlook is bright for me and anyone who sets their sites on making themselves better and wanting more out of life.  One thing I learned is don’t give up on your dreams.  God has given me the desires of my heart and I am thankful beyond measure.

May we reflect on what we have got this year and not what we don’t and not worry about the small things.  Life is too precious and beautiful not too.  Crazy and scary things are happening to people these days and if we reach out in LOVE to one another and show compassion, we can change lives.  Show the love of Jesus that he showed us on the cross and we will be forever changed in our own lives.

And please let’s each of us stop JUDGING each other.  Guilty here and everyone does it.  We all have our own hidden dirty laundry, so don’t act like yours is screechy clean.  Tide doesn’t get all the stains out.  hehe

So thankful for the birth of Jesus and his love for us.

May each of you have a Merry ‘Christ’mas and blessings this next year.  Look forward with great expectation and go after your dreams.  It’s never too late.


Derek (along with Riley and Toby)





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