I recently shared on my Instagram stories that when I was younger, my mom was struggling as a single mother on our first Christmas in Utah. I remember that the church we were attending at the time, stepped in and donated a Christmas tree and gifts so that my brother and I wouldn’t go without.
The response from my friends and followers filled my heart and I was also surprised that a lot of people were shocked that I come from days such as those. But as us church kids growing up in a black church would say, “I don’t’ look like what I’ve been through”.
We’ve come a long way from where we started. I don’t know how to explain how a single mother was able to go from that, to owning her own business and getting her kids through college, except it was God.
Every year on Christmas Eve after the kids are down, I take a moment to take it all in. Our cozy fireplace, a tree taller than my tall husband, stockings that are stuffed to the max, and an abundance of gifts under the tree. I sit there and get emotional because I get overwhelming feelings of gratitude.
Thankful that we are no longer struggling. Thankful that I have a husband who loves me and is committed to me and our kids. Thankful that I have a career that can afford me these luxuries.
But most of all, I’m thankful that my kids don’t know that feeling. A lot of those emotions come from putting myself in my mother’s shoes and just imagining her trying her hardest and overworking herself to provide what a two-parent household should. Struggling to make sure that her two kids never went without and wouldn’t miss the presence of their dad. And I can honestly say, I didn’t.
If life has taught me anything this far, it is that as long as I continue to put God first and have the love and support of my family, I can walk into each new year with strength, love, gratitude, and grace to face whatever comes my way as a mother and a wife. I hope that even though my kids have way more than I did, that I am instilling gratitude in them. I believe it’s one of the most important values to get you through life. Especially in these times where we’ve put so much value in the materialistic things that we have that it’s never enough.
Merry Christmas and happy New Year from our family to yours.
Wishing you all of the blessings in this coming year!