Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective by Mary Pat Johns
It’s been an unusual holiday season for me. The writing life is intruding in a not so ho-ho-ho way. The truth is, my manuscript for book 3 is due on January 7th— it’s a deadline, so instead of attending Christmas parties and gift-shopping, I’m sitting in front of my computer screen plugging plot holes and jimmying chapters around. Makes the holidays seem as if they’re not really happening. Thank goodness for church services that focus on the biblical aspects of Christmas. If not for that, my year would end with a blink and a punctuation mark.
I did, however, attend our church’s annual Holidazzle. It’s a lovely event as women decorate tabletops with all sorts of Christmasy themes. We sang, ate brunch, participated in gift-giving, and had a mother-daughter style show. It was such a pleasure to see friends and gaze at all the beautiful tables.
Later that afternoon, my husband and I drove to New Braunfels for my daughter’s surprise birthday party. What a thrill to see her eyes widen when she saw all of us. We sang a loud, offkey rendition of Happy Birthday, but heartfelt none the less. Her husband made sure the food was from her favorite farm-to-table restaurant—kebobs, a green salad, organic spring rolls, and plenty of homemade cheesecake to go around. There were as many children as there were adults, and they played soccer in the backyard. When the adults weren’t warning them away from the pool.
And, happily, there were “mamaw” moments for me. Once we all settled in to pray before the meal, my youngest granddaughter chose that quiet moment to exit the bathroom yelling for her mama. I quickly went to see what the issue was. She was trying to wash her hands and couldn’t figure out how the faucet worked. I turned it on and voila! Crisis averted.
Not too long after that, my grandson came and told me his brother got hot chocolate and he didn’t. Nothing would do but I fixed him a cup. Then another young boy wanted a cup, so I helped him through the process. I loved it when he very solemnly asked if “we could skip the marshmallows.” Well, of course. This mamaw would fix his hot chocolate however he wanted.
The next day, our son called. We’ve settled into a relaxed routine of watching football games, working puzzles, and fixing whatever is in the fridge to eat. This time around, I worked a puzzle with him, which doesn’t always happen. It provided the opportunity to catch up and share our hearts, since he’ll be gone most of December. The time together was precious.
And now, as I put the pedal to the metal on this latest story, I appreciate the events of that sweet weekend more than ever. I carry it in my heart as I tweak and edit a story meant for others to read and enjoy. In this world of conflict, I’m thankful the relationships most important to me are solid and loving. It makes all the difference as I go about my days. No unresolved conflicts. No striving. Only peace.
As I wrap up the year with my daily Bible reading, I’m about to embark on Revelation—the last book of the Bible. What a mystery the book has been through the ages. Scholars say it’s a microcosm of all time, and especially of the last days. Inherent in the Scriptures is the fact that Jesus is coming again. Probably much sooner than we think, though no one knows the day or the hour.
I tuck that knowledge close to my heart as the days fly by. For when He comes, I want to be ready. No fences left to mend…nothing left undone. Just a heart that’s free to love and worship the One who matters most.
Merry Christmas to all my readers. You encourage and inspire me more than you know.