Yes. Absolutely.

I was late. I grabbed my watch in the dark bedroom and tried putting it on. After three attempts – I turned on the light. The buckle on my watch strap folded under. I pulled it out and secured my watch.

David was already in the van. I tossed my Bible bag in. It turned sideways, and the handle hooked over the lever of the adjustable cup holder. It blocked the space I normally set my purse. I untangled it, put down my coffee, dropped my purse, and jumped in.

The handle of my purse wrapped around my ankle. I couldn’t get it out. Frustrated, I lifted my leg which flipped my purse up on the dash. David burst out laughing.

I untangled it and we set off.

When I arrived at church I decided not to take any chances. I put my backpack purse on. I put my Bible bag in one hand and my coffee in the other.

I had one foot on the ground when I realized I couldn’t move. An elastic loop on my coat caught on the lever that reclines the seat. I put my Bible bag on the seat. I worked the loop off of the lever – while standing on one foot.

I can’t make this stuff up.

Am I cursed?

(I want my mommy.)

“Everyone you meet is hiding something, and it’s not because they’re deceptive. It’s because some wounds are too personal to talk about. …Is that where you are today – struggling with something too difficult to talk about? If so, remember other people are struggling too! …So instead of adding to their burden, try to ease it. You may be the only healer that crosses their path today. And when you help lift their burden – God will lift yours.” The Word for You Today, 12-3-18

I had my first “empty nest” moment last week. Each year I decorated my Christmas tree and waited up. When Derek came home, he would always exclaim, “Wow, Mom. You outdid yourself this year.” Last year he even put a picture of my tree on Facebook!

I stepped back admiring the tree. I thought, “I can’t wait until Derek gets home.” Then I realized, he is home – with his bride decorating his own tree.

We will be alone on Christmas Day. We told our children we will celebrate on the 26th. We remember having 3 Christmases on Christmas Day when our kids were small. It was exhausting.

We finally switched to Christmas morning with our immediate family. We alternated Christmas Day between my parents and David’s parents. We would celebrate with the other set of parents on a different day.

It worked well until our son married. Now, it is a jigsaw puzzle finding a day everyone is free.

Then, I thought of my mom. Her nest has been empty for years. And dad has been gone for almost 9 years. We give all our attention to the youngest members of our family at Christmas. We should take pictures with the oldest members.

We lost David’s dad right before Christmas 2 years ago. We know first-hand the grief of an empty chair at Christmas.

* * * * * * *

The 5th commandment is the only one with a promise. Honor your parents and God will give you a long life.

Deuteronomy 27:16, “God’s curse on anyone who demeans a parent. All respond: Yes. Absolutely.” The Message

I would never intentionally dishonor my mom or mother-in-law. But, I have neglected them. I need to call more often.

As if I wasn’t feeling guilty already, my study of Proverbs 19 added to it.

Proverbs 19:26, “Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother is a child who brings shame and disgrace.” New International Version

I let life push my mom to the background. I set down my pen and called her. It went right to voicemail. I can’t keep up with her.

I called my mother-in-law. She had a few minutes but was leaving when the bank opened. It was nice catching up with her.

Later, Mom called back and we caught up. My moms have better social lives than I do. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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