Well Christmas is over. I had an ok time, lots of tears, and also lots of laughter. My husband Jason and I really clung to each other and shared intimate moments of pain and remembrance. We got special ornaments for Ella and little keepsakes to honor her memory, and these little gifts provoked such a mix of emotions…disbelief, grief, awe, confusion…hope.

I had a lot of anxiety surrounding my ideas and expectations for Christmas. One thing is for sure–It ended up being so much more than I expected it to be. My goal was just to get through it with as much grace as I was allotted. But God gave me a gift–he helped me find meaning in it.

A few days before Christmas Jason and I got a text from our cousins asking if they and their daughter jasmine could stay with us until their power was back on. Not wanting anyone to have Christmas without heat, we told them to come on over. Jasmine and I played games, while Jason and my cousin put a Christmas project together in the basement. We learned that they were going through a tough time financially and that they didn’t have enough money to buy jasmine gifts this year.

We decided to play Santa for Jazzy and went out and bought her lots of cute little girls clothing. It hit me while I was shopping–that if Ella was still here I would’ve been buying things for her this Christmas. God brought jasmine to my house, so I could bless her. That was so beautiful to me…it truly is better to give than to receive. I feel like God is always grafting and quilting our lives together–bringing the childless woman a little one to bless and love–because that is what she needs. Bringing the widow the love and companionship of family, and when that is not enough…her beagle perhaps :). Bringing the motherless daughters a polish adopted mother to love and glean wisdom from. Loss makes room for people we may have overlooked in the past–it opens our hearts and eyes more. I’m so thankful that God provided me the opportunity to bless someone else’s daughter this christmas when I couldn’t bless my own.



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