Cadet Shawna Goulding | What Christmas Means To Me

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DSC01209I’ve been known to spend hours, days and months shopping for the ‘perfect’ gifts for family and friends. And if you were to ask me what Christmas means to me, I would say that Christmas is all about presence. Note: I did not say ‘presents’. I do not mean boxes wrapped and adorned with a bow. I simply mean being in the presence of one another.

If friends or family were to find the perfect gift for me it would be the gift of their presence. The TIME spent in the presence of one another is filled with conversation, laughter and joy that cannot be bought with any gift card.

At Christmas time, while in the presence of family and friends, I soak up every bit of TRADITION you can find. The tradition of worshiping as a family on Christmas Eve, the tradition of gifts not appearing under the tree until the wee hours of the morning, the tradition of each person gathered in the living room opening one gift at a time … valuing the gift of presence.

Spending time and sharing traditions in the presence of family and friends urges me to spend time and deepen tradition in the presence of a greater One.

Spending time in the presence of the Holy One has brought me to a daily renewal of TRUTH found in God’s Word; a Truth that is not only revealed at Christmas, but all year long.

It is in time spent with God, it is in His presence that I find strength to face each day; that I find courage to take on challenges that come my way. In His presence I am reminded of the truth of His unfailing love.

Dick and Melodie Tunney have penned the words to the worship song, “In His Presence”. They are words that I have prayed; words that remind me of the confidence and courage that can be ours when we find ourselves in God’s presence.

In the quiet of this hour
As I kneel before You now
I believe Your promise to be faithful
I don’t always understand
What Your perfect will demands
But I’ve learned to trust You more
In Your presence Lord

In Your presence there is comfort
In Your presence there is peace
When we seek to know Your heart
We will find such blessed assurance
In Your holy presence Lord

There can be such sweet reward
When we wait upon the Lord
As we take the time
He gives His perfect wisdom
To be found in Him alone
All our deepest secrets known
We’re surrounded by His grace
When we seek His face

Christmas is a reminder for me to seek Christ; to find comfort and peace in His presence; to trust in His faithfulness even when I don’t understand; to wait upon Him for wisdom.DSC01265