MTL Christmas - Page 14

It was 2004 and my first Christmas married. My husband and I were living in San Antonio while he served as a young Captain in the Air Force JAG corps. We were driving all the way to southern Michigan for the holidays. Here’s the part where I cannot stress enough the fact that no one on this planet can control the weather. As you probably guessed— we got dumped on. It doesn’t seem appropriate to call what we experienced a blizzard. It felt more like a revival of the Ice Age—the National Guard was even called up. What should have taken us about 21 hours took us close to four days. At one point, we were kicked out of a hotel parking lot by a police officer for sleeping when there was “no room in the inn”—sorry, I couldn’t resist. Only one of those nights were we able to sleep in a hotel. At one stretch, we sat for over six hours without moving an inch on a packed highway—oh, and I don’t want to forget the black ice incident with our new truck. There were crochet hooks, my reverberating screams, and my little Westie bouncing around the cab and the bin of Mexican pottery. Somehow we all made it out without anything broken. We completely missed most of Christmas day and didn’t arrive until dinnertime. But there was one thing about our 2004 Christmas that went right. Time. My husband and I were stuck in a vehicle together for almost as long as we had been away on our honeymoon. We had been married for seven months at this point. I wouldn’t say that getting stuck on the highway like this is something I ever want to experience again, but I don’t regret the time I had with my husband. When I’m old and gray, I know I’ll never say that I spent too much time with my husband—or any person I love. The gift of time is to remain present and to �ive in the moment you’re given I can’t tell you that your season will be perfect, even if you started preparing in July, or that if you follow some prequalified steps to simplicity, you will have that stress-free holiday that we all dream of—because no one has complete control over the weather, traffic, the lines at the grocery store, health or teenagers. Our family has had Urgent Care visits on Christmas Day, downed power lines for days, blizzards so bad that it was illegal to drive on the roads and even some legitimate family crises. Experiencing these moments together have brought special bonds into our family because of the memories and the lessons. Memories are made everywhere. My desire for this Christmas is to make sure I’m not trading in the possibility of timeless memories because of the annoying or frustrating 14 MTL Magazine / www.mtlmagazine.com For more from Elizabeth Byler Younts, check out Promise to Keep on mtlbookstore.com times or my own negative attitude. The gift of time is not just a measurable hour here and there that you strategically carve out of a busy season to spend with your loved one. The gift of time is to remain present and to live in the moment you’re given, even in the middle of the busyness. These hours and days with our loved ones are a gift. These exact moments can only be lived once. Don’t waste the time. Don’t rush the season. Be present, because memories are timeless. Related Products: The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman, $15.99 I Choose You Today Deb DeArmond, $14.99 Just Show Up Kara Tippetts & Jill Lynn Buteyn, $15.99