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Overflowing with JOY

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I was lying in bed talking to Lenny the other night when I told him that I would try to cry a lot less in the coming months and years. His response, “Uh, yeah. Like that’s gonna happen with Kristen coming home and the twins coming home and then everybody leaving again.”  I cry. I’m not proud of it, but it seems like my life and my heart are just overflowing with joy. The emotions just swell up inside of me and are expressed through tears. Tears of sorrow. Tears of pride. Tears of joy. Tears of happiness.

When did I get to be so weepy? I have no idea!

Overflowing with Joy

Tears of Joy

For example, our son Brandon and his beautiful bride gave us an incredible, amazing and life-changing gift last year for Christmas. As I unwrapped the gift and pulled out the baby bottle with its little note inside, my jolly Christmas spirit turned into a ball of emotion. The first words out of my mouth? “Ohhhh, no!!”  Why “oh, no”? I have no idea. I must have been thinking that this was not the gift I was expecting “oh, no, not at all” what I was expecting. The “oh no” was quickly followed by tears of pure joy. At that time, we (nor did the parents-to-be) know they were expecting twins. It wasn’t until a week later that an emergency room visit revealed yet another reason for me to shed tears – twins!

These are just two of the reasons that my soul is just so overflowing with joy. I have many more and most of them have names, like Lenny, Heather, Stephanie, Brandon and Jennifer, Phillip, Morgan, Kristen, Owen and, let’s not forget, grandchildren. I have other family members that bring me tremendous joy, like my baby sister Cindy. She is not only the best sister, but she’s an incredible wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, friend and nurse.

Overflowing with Joy

The Best Christmas Ever

This Christmas promises to be the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!! Maybe even in the history of the world!

Why? Well, amazing things are happening in my family at Christmas.

Something you may not know about me is that Lenny and I (shhhhh) are not married. I feel as though I’ve known Lenny my whole life. He is such an important and intricate part of my life that it’s just hard (impossible) for me to imagine my life without him. Lenny and I are as committed to one another as anyone with a marriage license – probably more so. But, we’ve decided to take the plunge and make our relationship legal in the eyes of our government. We will be having a private pseudo-ceremony on Christmas Eve when ALL of our children will be home. I love Lenny. He is my rock. My source of strength and my shelter from the storms of life. He doesn’t complete me – he makes me a better person.

As if getting married on Christmas Eve isn’t enough of a reason to be overflowing with joy, I have more. Our sailor girl will be back from deployment and home just in time to celebrate Christmas at home. Right here. At home. We are so proud of our sailor girl. She has an amazing attitude, impeccable character and is moving through the ranks of the Navy like nobody’s business.  Did I mention our sailor girl will be home for Christmas?!!! {insert tears of joy here}

So, Lenny and I are getting married, our sailor girl is coming home, what next? Glad you asked! Our son Brandon is a soldier in the US Army and we just received a phone call from him yesterday that his leave request has been approved and he and his family will also be home for Christmas! In case you didn’t catch that, this means the twins will be celebrating their very first Christmas at home. Right here. At home. {insert more tears of joy here}

Overflowing with Joy

But, wait. There’s more….

The baby boy in the family moved off to college this fall and he is doing amazing. Excelling. Fitting in. Playing his tuba better than ever. Better than ever before! There’s a story behind this, but it’s the baby boy’s story, so I’ll just have to say that music is his passion. He was struggling with his passion over the summer. He wasn’t sure he even belonged in the conservatory. He was overwhelmed. Feeling defeated. Feeling like he was a fake and didn’t belong. Unworthy. You get the picture.  But, through patience and the guidance of an incredible instructor, he’s gotten his music back and it’s better than ever.

It is such an amazing thing as a parent to see your child succeed. To see him become the person you already knew he was going to be. He just needed time to see it and believe it for himself. I’ve had many of those proud parent moments throughout my life, but even more of them this year. It seems all our children are growing up all at once. They are each discovering strengths about themselves that Lenny and I tried to tell them years ago existed within them. But, now, they see it for themselves. They are putting together the pieces of their lives one accomplishment, one failure, one opportunity and one step at a time.

I love my family. They are each so very special to me. I wish they all could see the potential I see in them! I wish they all could own their strengths and follow their hearts! In the meantime, Lenny and I will be here guiding them, advising them and cheering them on. Family. Nothing. Else. Compares.

If you’ve read through this entire post, bless you! I am not trying to be boastful, but simply sharing from my heart. Not every day is as grand as today. Not every tear is shed for joy. But, today, I’m just overflowing with joy and had to share it before I just burst!

As we start this holiday season, here’s wishing you and your loved ones hearts overflowing with joy and cherished memories to last a lifetime!

Til next time…

Pam from The Birch Cottage

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