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12 Pearls of Christmas | Day 10 - Christmas Mourning by Tricia Goyer

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Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!
Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls
of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents!
If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog
throughout the next few days.
We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as
some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook
or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2,
2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.
If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see
what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help
women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy
of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of
the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
***

Christmas Mourning
By Tricia Goyer

As I sat in our living room last Christmas morning, there was a pile of presents
under the tree. A smile filled my face, just thinking about the joy and laughter
that would fill the house in a few hours when we gathered around to hear the
Christmas story, worship Jesus, and open presents.
That morning as I thought about the celebration of our Lord's birth, my mind was
already busy unwrapping. No, I wasn't thinking ahead to presents. Instead, I was
unwrapping the many memories of Christmas that I carry on my heart.
I remember sitting at the kids' table in Grandma's mobile home, laughing and
goofing around with my brother and cousins. I remember the doll house my
Grandpa made when I was seven and the loving care my grandma took to decorate
it.
I remember the boom box and banana clips from high school and my first
Christmas with my son Cory not long after I turned eighteen. Cory was only six
months old, but the greatest gift God gave to both of us that year was John—my
soon-to-be husband and Cory's soon-to-be daddy.
There are memories of the kids acting out the Christmas story and Goyer family
gatherings in which forty of us would eat in our cleaned-out and heated garage
because it was the only place big enough to set up tables and chairs for everyone.
I also will never forget the first time I celebrated Christmas in California with my
biological dad and the four sisters I didn't know growing up. I had a happy heart
that day, being with people I didn't know well but who amazingly looked and
acted just like me. How cool is that?!
As I write this, there are faces going to be missing around the tree, to be sure.
There's always a sense of missing when the people you love are far away. And
that's when Christmas Morning becomes Christmas Mourning. I'm thinking of my
mom, dad, siblings, in-laws, and friends, wishing I could fill me house with their
faces, their smiles, their laughter. I'm sure you understand.
It's so easy to center Christmas around the baby who God sent, but we cannot
forget the purpose for His coming. Jesus' mission wasn't just about the manager,
the angels, and the swaddling clothes. His purpose was to offer himself so that we
can spend eternity with Him and those we love.
The greatest gift is one we've yet to open. Salvation comes to our hearts when
we whisper a prayer of faith and relinquishment—when we give up the right to
ourselves.
Like a beautifully wrapped presents under the tree, the best part of the gift is still
to come. My mind is anticipating the unwrapping. I can only guess of the joy and
laughter to come!
***
Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of four, grandmother of one, and wife to John.
Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find
the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and nonfiction
titles offering encouragement and hope. Tricia is also on the blogging
team at MomLifeToday.com, TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling
and Christian sites. In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia
volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder
of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently
leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Tricia, along with a group of
friends, recently launched www.NotQuiteAmishLiving.com, sharing ideas about
simplifying life. She also hosts the weekly radio podcast, Living Inspired. Learn
more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com.

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