I found this piece of paper the other day, and it brought back my own memories - of practicing writing what would soon be my "new name" over and over and over. My Sarah Atchley will soon be Sarah Howe.
Last Christmas, it was Hannah who was engaged to be married. One year later, it is Sarah who will be leaving us very soon - engaged to be married in March. We have no more daughters to give away after this.
It lends a sweet urgency to Christmastime for me. Again (like last year) I've decorated a little earlier than usual. Again, in sudden unexpected moments, the poignancy overwhelms my heart. Next Christmas, there will be no daughters asleep in their beds in this house on Christmas morning.
But it is good....so good. Because these two new sons of mine are so good, so Godly, so fit to love and lead my daughters.
I've dreamed of all this, in Christmases past. I would hear some of the sweet, romantic holiday songs, like "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve", and "Baby, It's Cold Outside", and I would hold my Tim's hand, we'd sing together, kiss each other, and I knew with all my heart that I wanted this for my daughters. I wanted them to be loved and wanted by a man who was handsome and accomplished and strong in the Lord. I wanted them to share kisses by twinklelight with the one Someone Special...back then, years and years ago, it all seemed so remote and far away. I wondered who my "other sons" would be.
Tonight, I know. I know. Amazing!! What was once a misty, dream-like mystery to me twenty years ago...ten years ago...two years ago...has now materialized. My dreams for my daughters have come true. There is someone wonderful and Godly to sing a line or two of "Baby It's Cold Outside" to my gorgeous girls, and each couple is now making the sorts of Christmas memories that only lovers, and future lovers, can make.
This is my Christmas gift ~ two new sons, strong and good, who love my daughters selflessly. The way my daughters' mother has been loved.