Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Memories

I have been strolling down memory lane over the past couple of days. Why? I am not really sure. Perhaps it is just the nostalgia of Christmas or maybe it is because I am just plain homesick. As much as I love so many aspect of being in Colorado for Christmas it just hasn't felt like "Christmas" here. I told some friends the other day that for some reason I think Floridans celebrate the season a little more than Coloradans. Perhaps, in FL we always felt like we had to over compensate for it feeling like the middle of summer. I know that when we were in FL we always had special things that we did during the holiday season. There were tons of activities at the kids school and the relaxed mood of all the teachers was so much fun for me and the kids, I love all the Christmas programs and Christmas parties. Yes, it was a lot of work but looking back now I realize how much I enjoyed it. We always made a couple of trips to Disney (which I really miss), I loved going Christmas shopping with my sister and stopping for coffee along the way and it just seemed like everyone was so joyful and happy when I was out and about. It was so nice being able to go outside and not freeze. In all honesty, so far there really hasn't been anything special about this time of year. In fact other than my house looking all Christmasy it seems like just another day. I know much of my inner feeling has to do with the fact that as a homeschooling family who has a retired husband/father, all days are pretty much the same. I guess I am really longing for there to be something exciting and different to remind me that this is a special time of year. And so I have tried to create some specialness through bringing Christmas past to Christmas present.
One of my most favorite traditions is holiday baking which includes baking Mee-mee's Red Velvet Cake. I actually have made it twice already this year and I just love it because it reminds me of a very special friend and her wonderful family as well as a hilarious Thanksgiving/Christmas memory. So here it goes....
When I was in college at Samford University my best friend and room-mate's grandmother would always bake the most delicious Red Velvet Cake at Thanksgiving and she would return to school with it for us to snack on during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a treat that we loved and made final exam week so much better. Well, anyway during my Junior year I spent Thanksgiving with her family and on our way back to Birmingham with her little mustang packed to the gills we were in a car accident. I had been sitting in the front seat holding the Red Velvet Cake while we were travel down I-75. As we approached Chattanooga, TN traffic came to an abrupt stand still and we were rear-ended by someone traveling very fast. Her car was smushed and we were jolted but our only concern after the impact was if the Red Velvet Cake was ok. It was so very hilarious in that we were not concerned at that moment over ourselves nor the condition of her car....all thoughts were of the cake. (we had proper priorities back then) So, each year I bake this yummy cake and think of my precious friend Lissa and her wonderful Mee-mee who brought lots of Christmas cheer to us during Christmas at Samford. And here's a peek of something that makes me feel good all over with every single bite......
Pondering all these things, I felt within my spirit that God is so longing for me to have my heart turned toward him and to spend this season soaking up His beauty and the miracle of what I am celebrating, His great gift that transforms me every day of the year. He always has a way of taking us to places (sometimes kicking and screaming) to grow us and force us to do life in a different way. I do remember in the busyness of years past forced us to work really hard to make sure that we built into our Christmas events, times of reflection and simple celebrations of Jesus and as much as I loved all the excitement and fun activities of Christmas Past, filling Christmas with Jesus shouldn't be "work". So instead of bellyaching about how lonely I am and how is miss my busy Florida Christmas I rest in the fact that our family has been called to Colorado and within that call I have to put my attitudes aside and allow Christ to bring about the change in me that He so longs to perform. As I write this I am reminded of a quote I recently read by Cyril of Jerusalem. He said, "It is the sincerity of your resolution that makes you 'called'. It is of no use your body being here if your thoughts and heart are elsewhere." So if you are blooming where you are planted, seizing every moment God has offered you, I am so happy for you but if you are like me....feeling like a palm tree in the mountains, may you grasp deeply the words of this quote and realize that bringing the body, thoughts and heart onto the same page will bring about great transformation in the depth of your "calling" where ever that call my be. Wishing you many meaningful moments as you prepare for the celebration of Christ's birth.


1 comment:

3 Peanuts said...

This is a beautiful post and one we all need to be reminded of now and again. I would LOVE the recipe for that GORGEOUS cake and your toffee tiramisu cake looks divine too