this year.

Gualala Point County Park The end of 2012 is quickly approaching, and as I prepare for Christmas and my upcoming trip to Europe I'm starting to get nostalgic. Each year since college has been generally good, even though some of those years I experienced great difficulties and losses. When I look back on those years I'll admit the only good thing about those times were God, my family, friends and traveling. Those were the only things that pulled me through the difficult times. When I look at 2012, though, I remember it as an amazing year, filled with good times, laughter and great memories. There weren't really any horrible things to note in 2012 for me personally, which is a stark contrast to 2011 (when my promise of marriage was rescinded, I found out my mother had cancer and my uncle suddenly died).

But just as much as I see this year as a blessing from God, I see it also as a fulfillment of another one of his promises to me. Never in my life has my God failed me. And whether or not you believe in God, I just cannot explain my life except that it's been in God's hands from being to end. "Hope does not disappoint..." Romans 5:5a always resonates with me. That is God's constant promise to me. Through the bad He always carries me and I am blessed because I am his Child.

But even as Christmas approaches, I've forgotten its real meaning. (Hey, I'm only human. And on a side note, that's the most amazing things about God. I am way far from perfect, but even for such a sinful, imperfect person as myself, God cares for me and loves me.) Anyway, I've been inundated with work. Imagine trying to finish off your wedding season. Now multiply that by three. That's how much work I have left before Christmas. And honestly I've been feeling completely overwhelmed over the past two or three weeks. So it's no wonder I lost sight of Christmas.

But Christmas to me is the celebration of God and His son, Jesus. And remembering their sacrifices for me and everyone else in this world. This is what I want to remember. Not that I'm tired or sore or exhausted. That Christ suffered so much just to alleviate all of my burdens and all my suffering. That's what Christmas is about. And celebrating how awesome God and Jesus are.