Heart of the Matter

Now allow me to take you up close and personal to one of our family’s Christmas moments… a moment of beautiful reflection for each of us.  It was a slow and easy Christmas day.  It was sweet and thoughtful… it was an unusually calm ending to this particular year. Like many, it was a challenging year for our family. We were stretched, and at times we felt like Stretch Armstrong, who by the way, has made a comeback onto the toy shelves this season. With every tug and pull from life, we realized how important it was to pray unceasingly through it all.

So why was this Christmas so simple and sweet? Dog tags. Yes, a simple set of dog tags, not real ones, but replicated ones.

You see, throughout the year my husband and I have a special drawer we fill with little things that have meaning. These little things eventually go in our family stockings. While at the Findlay airshow, my husband had these set of dog tags made for our son which we placed in his stocking. On each tag was our son’s name, his faith identified as “Christian”, and a special saying, “you, me, love God.” My husband and son have said this saying with hand motions each day to one another for the past eight years. On this Christmas day, in the midst of going through our stockings, we noticed tears filling our son’s eyes as he quietly stepped into another room. My husband checked on him, only to find out that our son was so moved by the gift and that his dad had something so special made specifically for him. He was completely overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. Yes, it was a beautiful moment- a response of uncontrollable joy.

When we read the message of hope God has written to us, how do we respond? Is our heart softened and ready to fully experience all that God wants to teach us? I know this moment was a humbling ending to our day for our family. In fact, tears of joy were shed by all of us as we responded to our son’s reaction. Our 15-year old son taught us that it wasn’t about the size or the number of gifts; it was all about the heart.