by April Tribe Giauque
I slammed the 12-passenger van door shut. A cloud of steam released from me into the 18-degree air. I looked back at the 900 sq foot rental, and a thought popped into my head, “It’s Christmas, who have I thought of? Who have I served? Who have you helped?”
My mind flashed to all of the “good intentions” of making cookies, sending treats to the new neighbors, and preparing to give to the homeless. I heard a snort and a snicker, then the words
rattled across my head, wanting to start a headache.
I snapped my head back and huffed out a few more clouds of steam towards the sky and then down as I blew warmth into my hands.
I repeated. No, That was from old shamey—my Shame Shadow. Wow, I thought. He hasn’t said too much to me lately, but he really sucker-punched me with that one leaving the echo to ripple across my soul.
My feet crunched across the crusted snow as I walked up to the rental for a final look-through. I grasped the handle and pushed inside one last time, and shut the door behind me. It was all gone.
My eyes ran across the freshly scrubbed floorboards, the baseboards, the corners, and the walls—clean. I walked into the one bathroom, and memories of the two months living here with nine people sharing one bathroom made me laugh; that was tight.
Looking around the corner, the kitchen gleamed back like a shiny penny. I smiled. Dang! I thought I did great work. I do. A smile crept up—It was a pinpoint against old-Shame Shadow.
My great work was service for my family, my sons, and my daughters. Service was pushing through the last 2.5 weeks by amplifying others at work, keeping my thirteen students ever learning, my family fed, my writing business going, my child safe from destructive thoughts, helping them to get a new job, my faith glowing, Scriptures read, the bills paid, cookies made for my kid’s teachers, and moving out of the rental because three adult kids have had life changes.
It was like a thousand stars lit up the night sky inside my soul with the list, making my smile grow to a full grin and laughter. I spoke out loud in the empty house, “Yep, I have not given to the neighbors or the homeless in the way we usually do, but this year my neighbors were a few in my family, and they were the homeless and helpless.” No response from the negative darkness. Nice! My hands, back, and heart I gave to my family—my closest neighbor.
The thought that came was,
“when you are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.”
I felt the warmth of true light more and more in my heart as my heart jumped to,
“Love thy neighbor as thy self.”
I had; that was a little more Christmas in my heart.
I was made aware six days before we celebrated the birth of the “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” that He was the focus. That I had shared my light—His Light—with others The light shone within my own home, and isn’t that the best to feed your family with that light first and then share it out towards others? Sometimes we just need to have that awareness to see the perspective.
Therefore, because I left Domestic Violence Blessing number 5,513, I could see and feel what the service had done for our family.
Y’all, Christ’s birth is holy, memorable, and unique for each one of you. I pray this day you feel the love of the Savior and know that He’s got this; therefore, He’s got you!