I have to admit this has been an especially emotional Christmas for me. When Katie & my niece read the Christmas story, I got choked up & tears streamed down my face. When they came to the part that said, "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart", I felt like that was me this Christmas. This will be the last Christmas with family for a couple years & when my brother was praying before the meal, even he was choked up (which I rarely see happen). That made me cry again. And again at Christmas Eve service. 

I have been viewing this time as a blessing in a couple ways. One is just the special time with family. But, also, I think of how no one ever knows if it's their "last time" to see someone. We KNOW this is the "last" holiday with family...at least for awhile. What a blessing to know that ahead of time so that I can "treasure up all these things and ponder them" in my heart. We're looking forward to next year when we will have fun new moments to treasure with those we love in Ghana! In the meantime, I'm storing up memories from home to treasure forever. 

Please take extra time during the holidays to relax (not stress about cleaning or the food/preparations). ENJOY your time with family and friends so you have some great memories to treasure!!