my mission...HIS gift...

It's late and this day has been a full one. Courtney is humming away in her bed, resisting the call to sleep. My husband is reading in his favorite chair and my oldest is upstairs invading some new planet in a virtual world of his making.

My heart is full and my soul at peace.

Christmas tends to go one of two ways in my house. We either end up embroiled in some medical drama with Court or we all eat too much and spend the next week rolling around like Weebles.

I am happy to report that this year it was the latter.


Earlier today my husband surprised me with matinee tickets to the opening day of "Les Miserables" at our local movie theatre. He had cleared this with Jonathan before hand so he could take the Courtney watch. So, it really was a gift from both of my guys.

This is one of my favorite musicals of ALL time second only to "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" for obvious reasons. Let me just say that this movie will touch your heart and if you are a non-believer, it just may be the first step in your conversion to knowing and loving Our Lord.

Yes, it is that powerful.

The cinematography was breathtaking. The actors were up to the task and then some. They sang their hearts out. The music was...well it's Les was phenomenal.

But beyond all of that, what will stay with me is the message of the movie. There is redemption and forgiveness. There is sacrifice and deep abiding love. There is standing up for what you know to be right, even if it may mean giving up your life.

My husband and I talked all the way home about how the movies themes related to our live and where we are at this moment in time, as a couple and as a family. We have walked through many valleys and crossed some pretty steep terrain in the last 24 years of marriage and yet there is

love...deep...abiding...sacrificial love.

My heart belongs to my God but my husband gets to carry it while on this earth. The same can be said for him I think. After all, that is our mission as a love someone more than we do ourselves. To direct one another toward the Cross, toward Our Lord. Somedays that is much harder than others.

I watch this man as he reads to our daughter and her face lights up. I watch him lift her to bed every night because God made the decision long ago that she would always need us to be her hands and feet. I watch him as he counsels our son on a weighty decision and I am amazed at his wisdom. My heart skips a beat as he takes my hand and we walk in the beautiful twilight quiet for a while. I watch him work hour after hour to provide for our family in these difficult economic times and I know I am blessed beyond measure.

He is my mission and I am his. To love him more than myself. To put his needs before mine. He is God's gift to me, one that I don not me.

Twenty-five years ago on Christmas Eve he asked me to marry him and be the mother of his children. Saying "yes" was the BEST decision I have ever made in my life.

Today as I held his hand in the theatre and we both wept during the final scenes of the movie, I realized that this mission of love and sacrifice has been filled with many tears. Some of joy and some of heart wrenching sadness. There will be more in the years to come, of that I have no doubt. Bit their will be joy and laughter as well.

I look forward to those years, however many God may grant us. Things will be no where near close to perfect but we will continue to walk together, loving each other along the way as best our sinful, selfish ways will allow.

For to love another person is to see the face of God...and I have to say...God has pretty spectacular blue eyes...

Merry Christmas my dear ones. May you spend tonight looking into the face of one you hold dear to you. And if that is not possible, may you know that God is with and always. You are never alone.

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