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In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.















Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Angels Among Us

I went into Christmas week with a very heavy heart. It is hard for me to be merry when so many are lacking financially but emotionally as well. I see the sadness or hopelessness and it is almost impossible for me not to cry. It is hard for me to be merry when my heart literally aches for my loved ones that are unable to come home and share in the holidays with us.

After work last Wednesday, I drove to a larger town to do my Christmas shopping. To say that it was crazy is an understatement but I went knowing it would be this way. I mentally put on the garment of patience before entering the store which seemed more like a zoo.

 

Watching rude people pushing and shoving their way…hearing people swear and loudly proclaim their anger at having to share in the isles with others…giving looks to all which said, “How dare you be in my way” Listening to Christmas music playing in the background, declaring it a season of love, peace and joy, while watching people act the opposite. How ironic. I took my time and chose to stay out of people’s ways. Still it was hard to not take in all that negativity and anxiety in the midst of the Christmas rush. It really is sad when people resort to meanness or check their manners at the door. My already heavy heart got even more heavy.

If you stop and really listen, it is quite sad that people are spending money they don’t have or that they are going through a difficult time in their lives and still trying to go through the motions of Christmas. While waiting in the check out line, I listened to a woman talk with despair about her present situation. She was sad and broken hearted because of not having enough…not enough money to buy gifts or food, not enough people that understood her, just simply not enough and she was feeling all alone in this world. Then and there I wanted to put my stuff back and give her what I had because we have enough…more than enough love, enough food, enough things, enough people that love and support us, enough of everything that makes our lives what it really is. Full.

Yet there are so many that don’t have enough. There are so many that are alone or lonely. There are those that have just lost loved ones or have someone dying right now. There are those so baron of the things of the heart, that they have no hope and believe in nothing.

We may be having a little bit of a financial struggle right now, but by all means we have enough…we have more than enough of those things that matter the most, like hope…hope that things will get better and that is what I wanted to give her more than anything. Belief in a better day. Belief that she is not alone. And then I wondered if maybe she is all alone and that made me almost start crying while standing there in line.

In all reality, we did not spend a dime on Christmas because we did not have it to spend. Every single bit of it came from angels that had bestowed upon us such kindness that enabled not only the little’s but my grandchildren to have a little something under the tree as well and to top it off with food for our family Christmas. Along with all this, have come anonymous and various cards and kindnesses of little gifts, e-mails, and notes, that have totally and completely blown me away…that has left me speechless & with tears of joy at knowing each one of you…and left my husband realizing that the blogging community is not only real but a wonderful one at that.

Finding ourselves on the receiving end instead of the giving end was a humbling experience. Getting to provide the young one’s with gifts was a blessing in itself. Yet the real gift came in the form of humility which came wrapped up in such joyful adornment and from such beautiful hands, that we were forced to humbly accept what was set before us. These grand gifts from every single angel gave us the gifts of hope and belief. Hope & belief that things will be get better and we will get through this. Belief that there are many wonderfully kind human beings in this world and that some of them chose to walk this journey along side of us.

It’s because of some of these angels that I found myself in the store late last Wednesday night, and being reminded by this down trodden woman, of how truly blessed we are to have enough of those things that cannot be bought. When I got back inside my vehicle I broke down and cried. I cried for this woman and all others that do not have enough. The weight of the world lifted off of me as I laid my burdens down. As I embraced the reminder that I am truly not alone and that I, in fact, have more than enough, I cried tears of joy.

I prayed for those that do not have enough and then I thanked God for sending his angels to me. Angels really do walk among us.

Even though I know some of my angels may not share my spiritual beliefs, I personally believe God brought each one of them into my life. Please do not doubt for a second dear angels, you have made my life better just by knowing you.

 Dearest angels(you know who you are), thank you for not only your generosity, but your friendship. Thank you for giving me hope and belief that I am never alone. Thank you for reminding me that there are way more good people in this world then bad. Thank you for caring about me and my family. You cannot possibly know the fullness of what your gifts meant to us.

So despite my aching heart over missing my loved ones, I went into Thursday with a whole new attitude. Getting 8 new inches of snow didn’t stop us from enjoying our family Christmas that Thursday night. Even though I still felt the absence of those that were missing, I felt like I was being hugged by joy, just being surrounded by those I love and knowing the value of it.

On Christmas eve, as the little’s and I talked about Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus being born in a barn, I was struck by their innocent belief. They pulled me into their excitement of shepherds, angels and a baby laying in a manger. What a gift to see all these things through their eyes and to be reminded of what I believe.

The day after Christmas I received one of the greatest gifts. My eldest son called to tell me that he had proposed to his girlfriend on Christmas night! I knew he was going to because he had shown me the ring when we had family Christmas but I didn’t know when he was going to actually propose and of course what if she said “No.”? Happily she said “yes” and so now it sounds like there will be a wedding in 2011. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a better daughter in law so I am doing the happy dance over gaining not only another “daughter” but a grandson as well, since she has an 8 year old son.

After taking down Christmas all day Monday(in spite of little lady’s protests and cries at keeping our tree up “every single day of the year”),cleaning the house and getting our home back to normal, and then working Tuesday and Wednesday, I am not only exhausted but happy to be home today. 

Since we are getting freezing rain as I type and it’s going to be turning into snow by this afternoon, and expected to continue through tomorrow, I am even more thankful to be home over the next few days. I can hardly complain because we had been experiencing a heat wave the past few days with temperatures around 30! That doesn’t happen here very often.

So today I am home and have spent the start of my day reflecting on this past week and I am beyond overwhelmed with this feeling of such gratefulness over having more than enough…which is more than I ever dreamed of having. A lot of the credit for my renewed hope goes to all you angels. Whether it’s been something tangible, kind words of support and love, prayers or sending me love and hugs, I thank you. I wrap myself in the warmth of all that is mine and with the knowledge that I can share my abundance. I do have something to give after all.

I end this post with saying, my hope for each one of you is that you have enough…enough of all those things that matter the most…enough hope & belief that makes life a joy to live. As 2010 comes to an end, may you look back and see things to be grateful for. My hope for each of you is that 2011 ushers in an abundance of hope, joy, love, peace, belief and kindnesses into your lives, no matter what circumstances come your way.

My task for today and tomorrow is to decide on my word for 2011. Confidence was my word for 2010 and it has served me well. I may have a ways to go yet but I feel I have come closer to gaining the confidence that I so desire. Do you have a word for 2011?

Until next time, much love and hugs being sent your way, Lori

 

 

 

40 comments:

Colleen said...

Lori, my prayer for you is that 2011 is overflowing with joy, laughter, love, hope, beauty and goodness for you and your family. I pray that your heart is always so very open to the goodness of those around you and I am thankful you choose to share that with us here.
You are an angel.
God bless you in 2011 and always!

Linda said...

A sweet post, Lori. You do have a tender heart.

I've never done the word-of-the-year thing, but the first one that popped into my mind when I read what you said about it was "grace." Grace is what God shows us when He offers us forgiveness and eternal life with Him, if we will just trust in what He has done for us through His Son. Grace is granting someone the mercy that they don't deserve. May we all practice it in 2011.

ladyfi said...

What a wonderful post - you are a lovely person full of love and compassion. So glad you were at the receiving end of angels' generosity too.

My words are 'invincible summer' - I hope to bear this in my heart throughout the year, no matter what.

I wish you a kind and loving year to come!

Brian Miller said...

that is so cool that those angels were there to provide for you and yes it is humbling to be on the recieving end...we were there in the recent past...a lot of growing for me as i like to play the giver...

Busy Bee Suz said...

Your words and your heart always amaze me.
I hope 2011 brings MORE joy for your family. Congrats on your son's upcoming nuptials. :)
xoxoxoxo

Debbie said...

Lori....thanks for your very sweet message today on my birthday! You are an amazing woman who is pretty near a saint as far as I am concerned! I just read your post and you always remind me to take a close look at the reality of things in life. I can tend to fantasize about life sometimes and wish to see only the things I want to. I am so glad you had some angels that helped you through this. If I was ever in a position to help someone, it would have been you...God Bless You....and let you word for 2011 maybe be Gratitude....that's what gets me back to where I need to be ALWAYS...no matter what's going on.

Together We Save said...

Thank you for sharing!! You are so kind it gives me hope for the upcoming year!!

kcinnova said...

Lori, you truly have a heart that has been softened and open to loving everyone around you. What a gift! And yes, a heavy gift to bear sometimes, because you see and hear all of the pain, too, and yet you turn it all over in prayer and are comforted.

Contentment, Joy, and Kindness are all words that enter my mind when I think of you.

kcinnova said...

PS: Congratulations to your son and to you, too, for the gaining of more family to love!

Nancy said...

Thank you Lori, for your lovely prayer. I receive it gratefully. I wish the same for you and your family. I hope that you can all be together next year, and I hope and pray that the woman who didn't have enough finds more of all the things she needs in 2011.

Just Be Real said...

A beautiful angel story Lori. Filled with promises. Love the proposal. What a blessings. May you have the best 2011 dear one.

Pseudo said...

Much love to you too Lori. Yo are such a kind heart and bright light. Wishing you joy, peace, grace, and abundance in the New Year.

LPC said...

Lori - You give us all so much. I'm an atheist, so I'm very far from your named beliefs, but your heart, your spirituality, your open communication, all resonate profoundly. I wish you the best for 2011.

My Aimless Infatuation said...

May each day of 2011 bring tears of joy to you,((hugs)).

The Incredible Woody said...

"enough hope & belief that makes life a joy to live' - I love that!

slommler said...

Little lady would love my house then for the tree and all the decorations are still up. I love the lights and the ornies!! They will remain until the end of January!! I love it!!
I am doubly blessed to have enough and you as a bloggy friend!
Happy New Year sweetie
Hugs
SueAnn

Garnetrose said...

What a wonderful post. I know how tough it is for many this year and it does break your heart to see how some are suffering when we are doing so well. The reason you have so many angels in your life is because you probably have been angel to someone else. I hope this new year brings you great joy and happiness.

wolfie185 said...

It is wonderful to have those angels in your life!! You pay honor to them in your words and heart. I hope 2011 is filled with many blessings and love.

LauraX said...

Lori...you are one of the most beautiful, giving people I have met online (or anywhere) Your heart is so wide open and caring...you inspire me to rest more deeply in gratitude for the richness of my life, for the wealth that surrounds me, holds me, fills me.

May this New Year be ripe with good health, love, and every blessing you are so deeply deserving to receive. Congratulations to you, your son, your whole family...what a wonderful way to begin a new year!

LauraX said...

oh, my word is connection

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Happy New Year, Lori. I hope all your dreams come true in 2011.

Just Be Real said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR Lori! Blessings.

TechnoBabe said...

Hi Lori, when I was growing up I remember people bringing Christmas gifts and food as well as Thanksgiving food to us. We would not have had anything extra if they had not brought it. But because it was the norm, it did not affect me adversely. That was just the way it was. I think part of the sad part is that the commercialism puts so much pressure on parents to make sure kids get presents. The emphasis is on getting and not on making things to give to others. Do you know what I mean? The fact that people shared with your family is exactly as it should be right now. On the occasions that you are able it is your turn to share. We all just keep passing around the gift of giving and sharing. Many blessings to you and your family for a new year filled with new adventures and more and more love.

Kathryn Magendie said...

What a beautiful post - *smiling*

Happy New Year to you and to yours, Lori . . .

Jeni said...

I most definitely believe there are angels among us and I had an angel visit me a long time ago -not sure what year it was but I think it was either 1996 or 1997, in the early spring that year. I picked up my mail and among all the bills, was an envelope with a return address for a bank in State College. Inside that envelope was a cashier's check for $300 -and no indication at all as to who had sent this gift to me! At that time, I was struggling like crazy to try to stay semi-afloat, financially. Searching all the time for a full-time job of even a steady part-time job to supplement the part-time job I already had. It would be another 8 months before I found a steady part-time job and another two years till I found a full-time job! Those were some extremely lean years for me when I had nothing extra at all to get anything for my kids for Christmas,their birthdays. Not even for a wedding gift for my older daughter when she got married either. I never did learn who sent that check but it helped me cover the cost of heating my house that year, that I remember. Since then, a couple from our church gave me a very healthy chunk of money shortly after I was diagnosed with cancer -on both occasions -a gift that really came in handy both times, for sure. And I firmly believe the lady who came here and bought up so many of my needlecraft items a week prior to Christmas was an angel sent to me too! This year, Mandy and I were able to sign up for the gift program for under-privileged children and got gifts for two toddler aged children -just trying in a very small way to begin paying things forward for all the times people have come to our rescue too. Still a long, long way to go but it feels so much better, deep inside, to know at least we made a start on that road. Gives such a better perspective on life in general doesn't it?

Joanna Jenkins said...

As always Lori, I am inspired by your grace and loving heart. You are a very special woman.

Congrats to your son and future daughter-in-law. What joyful news!!!

I hope 2011 brings your family good health, easier times and all the love your hearts can hold. xo jj

Friko said...

Dear Lori,

This is a truly uplifting post, may you stay as positive and contented throughout the new year.

Thank you for coming over and commenting on my blog. I am glad to have found you.

Michelle said...

Beautifully written, Lori.

I know what you mean about the crowds out there at this time of year. We only went out once or twice over December so we missed the stress. Ok.. we did not miss (as in regret) the stress (LOL), we just avoided it! ;-)

It's a weird feeling when you're used to being the givers/doers and end up on the other side. Our family has faced that a few times the last few years. Humbling and a real blessing too, as you've found out for yourself. I've had the miracle "internet angel" gift boxes, etc. It's just such a wonderful thing - this strange thing the internet. It can be used for stupid senseless stuff, but it can also link hearts and souls in miraculous ways.

Hope 2011 is a WONDERFUL year for you all, Lori. XX

emily wierenga said...

oh Lori, your heart is so beautiful. you're a tender angel. love you.

Life with Kaishon said...

I am always amazed at your positive perspective. Even at the worst of times, you manage to find joy. And then you share it with all of us. What a blessing.

So thankful your Christmas was special. Wishing you all good things in this new year sweet Lori. All good things! Congratulations on the new daughter in law!

Unknown Mami said...

You are such an insightful, thoughtful and kind person and I my wish for you is that 2011 continues to provide you with enough and then some.

We had a friend stop by today and while he and I were sitting alone in my living room he looked at me and said, "You have such a great life". I looked at him and he continued, "Your home is nice, you have a great husband, and a beautiful daughter." He's so right and I am so lucky. No matter what our struggles, I am so lucky.

blueviolet said...

It is so wonderful to read that you've been blessed and that your heart is so grateful for those blessings. I hope the new year is rich and rewarding for you!

Shrinky said...

Oh Lori, like attracts like, if you are surrounded by angels, it is because you are one too! What a tender, loving post to read - thank you for reminding me of all that is good in my life, it's often so easy to take things for granted! Hugs to you and the littles, and many congratulations on the up-coming wedding!

Shrinky said...

Oh, I forgot - my word for this year must be "Health" - I truly want to take charge of my self inflicted aches and pains, and start living a healthier life-style!

SciFi Dad said...

I'm so glad you got some happy news on your holiday, and I hope your optimism continues to inspire not just you, but your family and friends as well.

deb said...

I was so humbled to read this , Lori.

I wish to always live so well.

love to you and all the best for the New Year

Hilary said...

Beautiful, Lori. Your heart always is. Congrats on your son's engagement. Your daughter-in-law and grandson to be hit the jackpot by joining your family.

Buckeroomama said...

I am thankful that you had a very special Christmas, Lori. You are a very special lady, with such a big, open, and generous spirit.

I wish you blessedness throughout 2011.

Suldog said...

Lori, so much of it is in the attitude we bring to what has been given us. Some of those who curse and moan have way more than some of those who smile and say a prayer of thanks.

You, obviously, have the right attitude. I like to believe I do, also. So do those who find it in their hearts to help others, even when some of them might appear to need help themselves. Others, for whatever reasons, do not see the blessings that are there for them (the biggest of which is the entire reason for celebrating the season, of course, and once you understand that one, all else becomes rather trivial in comparison.)

Everything gets better. That is God's plan. Once that is understood, misery will not survive. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, and there are always people willing to help us get there.

Here's hoping 2011 is joyous for you and yours. Thanks for stopping by my place so often!

mommytoalot said...

This is a post that certainly hits close to home. I totally see people being rushed and rude, but also see the "spirit " in people. During this time of the year our schools all participate in Project Share and have a competition to see which school brings in the most food. My kids love to bring food to school. Some of the schools adopt a family and take care of their Christmas for them. Project Share also provides gifts to low income families as does our Fire Department and churches. We are blessed to live in a community that reaches out to people. Even when I was a child I remember waiting anxiously and excitedly for our church basket to arrive. It would have a turkey and much more. My mom wouldn't have to worry about buying a turkey. We were poor growing up but i remember fond Christmases. IT was about family and fun.
xxoo
I agree Lori, you have a tender heart and I so wish I could meet you some day
xx