I love Christmas. I am sure you do too. Each year I look forward to being with family, my favorite traditions, visiting friends and, of course, all of the yummy food! It is so fun to shop for gifts, and to watch the little kids excitement as the advent calenders move closer and closer to the end. But in the weeks leading up to Christmas this year I felt like I wasn't feeling that feeling I look forward to feeling...Does that make sense? So much has been going on in our families lately. Too many people we love have been sick and in the hospital and going through difficult challenges. And I know our family is no exception. It seemed like everywhere there was just so much tragedy and sadness. I was feeling discouraged. Brock and I have had many conversations about it all. Is this just a part of getting older? Or are hardships really coming at a more frequent and intense pace?

My Grandma's {mom's mom} family was asked to be the actors in their stake's live nativity this year, and Trey and I went to watch the performance Saturday night. Sitting there in the dark watching my parents, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins act out this sacred night was so special. My four year old cousin was such a reverent little shepard, and I couldn't hold back my tears any longer when at the end they were all bowing down to the baby in the manger.

I realized I didn't have to feel like Christmas was "ruined" by everything I had been worrying about, but rather it was a blessing to have Christmas during this time. That this is why that tiny baby was born. He can take away all of our worries and sorrow and pain. I felt it so strongly at that moment. I know that is His gift to us, and I am so thankful to have this time of year to remind us, and to give us the oppurtunity to worship Him more. I needed to have Nativity pagents to go to, Christmas music on the radio, friends to give goodies to, Christmas concerts to attend and time to be with our families. I needed Christmas.

I am so grateful for the gifts I have been given. To know I am a child of God. To know He loves and watches over me. For my health. For a loving husband and little boy, and for a baby on the way. I really couldn't ask for more.

I hope everyone can enjoy the feelings of peace, joy and love that this time of year bring. Merry Christmas!

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