Hello Dear Friends,
When Janet Zinke asked me to be the “guest writer” for this week’s edition of her sharing, my first thought was “What can I bring to a Christmas Greeting that hasn’t been said a hundred times?” And then I thought, “My wish for them is that their Christmas tree falls over!”
Really. That’s what I thought.
I don’t have a lot of “stuff.” I’m not really a “stuff” person. But, I do collect Christmas ornaments. Whenever I travel, or experience a special event, or want to remember a special person in my life, I find an ornament to remind me about that moment in time. Unpacking the ornaments is one of my great joys each Christmas season.
I also like big, real Christmas trees. After all, the tree has to be able to handle all the ornaments!
One year, our tree was huge, and honestly, the tree stand was not. We even anchored the tree to a ceiling beam from the top branches, because it seemed wise. Nonetheless, one day I came home from work and the tree was laying on its side. As soon as I walked in the house, my stomach flipped. I knew that many ornaments would be broken, we’d have a mess everywhere, and no one would understand why it was such a big deal.
And then I saw my children. At 4, 12 and 15 years old, they were sitting on the floor by the couch with a line of rescued ornaments on the cushions behind them. In front of them were broken ornaments, a bottle of glue and some washable markers. They had collected as many pieces as they could, and were trying to put them back together and color them to cover the wounds. They had wiped up the water from the tree and swept the room. The tree was simply too big for them to right, but they had done everything else.
At that moment I saw Christ clearly in each of my children. They had known me for who I am, with my silly habits and traditions. They had seen what was broken and worked to repair what they could. They had seen what couldn’t be fixed and knew to move past it. They had cared about me more than they cared about themselves. They had compassion for my hurt, before I even knew I needed it. They had shown me that they knew what Christmas was truly about… love for one another, in Christ’s name. It was an amazing Christmas.
So, my friends, my wish for you is that your Christmas tree falls over. Sometimes it is easier to see Christ after the fall.
Thank you for all you do for the kids of the Ranch.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas in His love,
President/CEO, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christian residential treatment and educational center for children and their families. We help the most troubled, complicated, and amazing kids by providing best-in-class psychiatric therapy and trauma-informed care, where we look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves.