While I may not always learn to love myself when I am with my family, I do learn to love- of that I am sure. I am learning to love bumpy rides, comical moments, awkward times, and times of such closeness and tenderness that I see beyond myself into the mystery of God's plan, His idea of the Family, as dysfunctional and delightful as it is.
It's Christmas Eve. Right now I have a Bread Pudding in the Oven, and as soon as it is done, I am taking it out, with oven mitts, carrying it to the car, and zooming down the street to my In-Laws where such a simple baked dessert will bring a lot of pleasure. It's my father-in-law's favorite dessert. He raves about my Bread Pudding so much that I feel I cannot fail at it.
As far as my extended family, we celebrated our Christmas Eve Get Together a day early, last night, at my house. Everyone was at their best behavior. My father's jokes were reasonably funny, my sisters took turns leading us in family games and sing alongs, my mother beamed at how loving and lively we all were, and even Harry was at his most charming behavior, cuddling with everyone and snooping around for crumbs and left overs.
Crumbs and scraps of ribbon and wrapping paper covered the carpet by the end of the evening. But more than that, Love covered us all. Love always covers a multitude of sins and frailties. (Proverbs 10:12)
Christmas makes me remember that wonder and miracles begin in humble places, places where people may even feel down, and low to the ground. If you approach the manger scene to see the Christ child, the lower you are to the ground, the better your view will be of the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Anyone can not only draw close and take a look, but you can take of the the Life He offers.
It's Christmas- and God has you in mind. He dispenses grace and love to the world, in abundance, all through and because of a Savior who came to us as a babe.
The timer on the oven just went off. The Bread Pudding is done. Gotta run.
Have a Blessed Christmas!