The Christmas season is upon us. A time of year when Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and where the longing for love, family and friends is placed center stage. Also, people are more open to be loving, kind, forgiving and thoughtful. Every year my goal during Christmas is to find that feeling that goes deep inside the soul, some call it the “Christmas spirit”. A feeling of peace, joy, love and savouring each moment by living it to its fullest potential. True Christmas must be celebrated in our hearts and souls. I think what the world needs today, is to find that magical feeling and fall in love with Jesus all over again.
For moms, Christmas can be a stressful time of the year. We are pulled in so many directions: house cleaning, work, laundry, gift shopping, menu planning, hosting holiday gatherings, and let’s not forget, decorating the house. Then if we add our children’s requests – usually last minute – for teacher’s gifts, pot luck dishes, and friend’s gifts; the list becomes endless. When life becomes overwhelming during he Holidays, I always feel the need to sit quietly and talk to Jesus and really think about the gift of His birth and what His life really means to us all. In the end, His life was really an act of unconditional love, as He really came to die, so we can have the gift of eternal life with God.
In life, there are days I feel in control and on task; while; other days, I feel like I am falling apart. Many times, it is in those moments where I feel defeated that something amazing happens and God just reminds me of how much He loves me; even though, I think He is not listening or doesn’t care. I remember this one day, where my family got on my last nerve. Requests were coming in from all directions, the to do list was a mile long, and the way I was spoken to was not nice, and made me feel unloved. I decided that I had had enough with the day, and retreated to my bedroom to have a chat with God, more like a ranting session.
I told Jesus that all I wanted was for Him to come down from Heaven, have a tea with me, and then give me some advice, and tell me what was He thinking when He blessed me with four children, and what made Him think, I could handle it. Then before going back to Heaven, I told Him I would want a great big bear hug, because I know, that one of His hugs would make me feel loved beyond what words could describe. His hug would also give me enough energy and strength to last a year. I fell asleep that night, telling Jesus that all I wanted, was His hug so that I could feel loved.
The next morning, I woke up, went to the kitchen, and proceeded to start my day. At one point, my two daughters came to tell me that our neighbour, little Ava Kennedy was at the door, and wanted to see me. When I went to the front door, she handed me a gift. It was a white envelope. I said thank you, placed it on a table at the front entrance and proceeded to walk back into the kitchen. Ava stopped me and said: “oh no, Mrs. McCann, you have to open it now!”
I walked back, opened the envelope, and took out a piece of paper. Then, I took out a second piece of paper with pointy things. I told Ava it was very creative, which really meant I had no clue what I was looking at. Then, suddenly, Ava says: “Mrs. McCann, I made you a HUG!!” I immediately looked down and realized, that what I was holding, were two paper hands which were attached together by a green ribbon representing the circle of a hug. Chills came down my back and my heart stopped. Luckily, the school bus arrived and as it pulled away, I sat down at my front window and began to cry. I had received my hug! Not the hug that I wanted, but maybe the hug that I needed. In that moment, I felt that Jesus had heard my prayer, knew my pain, and wanted to show me He was listening, He cared, and He loved me.
As I sat in my rocking chair, crying, and savouring this moment of awe, I could not help but feel Jesus’s love swell up in my heart, and I fell in love with Him all over again.
Maria lives in Tecumseh, Ontario with her best friend Sean, who she has been married to for 25 years. They have been blessed with 4 busy children: Patrick (22), Avery (17), Tia-Lynne (15) and Lianna-Maria (14). Maria has felt the calling to speak and write about the importance of putting God first in our lives. She is in the process of finishing her first book entitled “Footprints of Angels” being published by West Bow Press in 2018. Maria enjoys reading, listening to Christian music, photography, walking along shores of lakes and oceans, baking with her girls, and spending time with God in her prayer room. Maria will always cherish the experience of having lived in the small town of Bannia, in the province of Pordenone, Italy for 8 years where she had the opportunity to learn about her Italian heritage and experience first hand its customs and culinary diversity. Maria believes in giving back to the community. She is the Chair of Tecumseh Vista Secondary School Advisory Council and is the Chair of the Tecumseh Community Policing Committee with the Tecumseh OPP Detachment.