If I had to rank this Christmas on a scale from 1 - 10, it would be a 9 or 10. I didn't get to go home, but I got to spend tons of time with Lori, with friends, with an aunt and uncle and some cousins. To top that all off, we got to video conference with everyone at home! It honestly couldn't have been any better if we'd been there. And with all of the storms on the east coast, it sounds like it was a great thing that we were here.
I'm reading an AMAZING book right now called "The Silence of God" by Gale Sears. If you want a healthy dose of perspective, read this book. I think it impacts me more that it would normally based on the situation I find myself now. If I had read this book 6 months ago I think I would have been impressed and would have found it just as impactful. The only difference now is the people that I know. In the last 3 days specifically I have found great insight to some people in my life based on the experiences outlined in this book. I realize how easy I have it in life and in the gospel compared to most. I have never been more grateful to have been born in the time period or country that I was than I have now. I feel so blessed that I have what I have, and that I know what I know and it didn't personally cost me anything. That's not to say that I haven't had to work hard gain a testimony, or to provide for myself, or anything like that, but when you consider the conditions of so many in the world...it's just amazing.
I'm glad that I am reading this book around Christmastime. It's made me more aware of what gifts I've been given. Christmas isn't about the gifts under the tree. Christmas is about the birth and life of our Savior, of appreciating what we have, and finding ways to help those around us, whether by physically serving them, or if it's just a matter of lifting their spirits. I feel a small measure of the love that our Heavenly Father has for His children, and with this small knowledge, I hope to be able to help others feel of this love and to treat them as He would. I know as well as the next person that it isn't always easy to be patient, loving, or to even think kind thoughts, but what if we could? What if it was our very nature to have these qualities first, and have to 'work' to experience the opposite, rather than the other way around? Well, I don't really have a plan in place, but it is my goal to develop these good qualities in myself. Will you challenge yourself to do the same??