Blessed: Christmas Cup

Christmas 2022 was going to be an epic one for the books. It was going to be the first time we forwent the traditional Christmas presents in exchange for a trip filled with precious memories to last a lifetime. My youngest daughter was not so thrilled. She always enjoyed a “Christmas Haul”. Tons of gifts wrapped in beautiful packaging under a perfectly lit tree.

Her Christmas Cup should always be overflowing with gifts.

This year I wanted to trade all of it for airline tickets to see my oldest daughter in Idaho. I didn’t want a repeat of last year‘s Christmas without having both daughters under one roof. In reality, I know that life is ever changing and not all holidays will look the same. Especially while your children are growing up and finding their own way in the world.

My Christmas Cup is a little selfish too, it should always be filled to the brim with my children, on Christmas Day in matching pajama and tons of laughs and memories.

We started planning in October by purchasing the airline tickets and a meticulously chosen route to ensure a holiday trip to remember. We originally planned to fly to Idaho then take a lovely drive to Banff, Canada. Passports, tickets, rental vehicle and rooms were all secured. Nothing to do except wait for Christmas Eve so we could fly out.

Unless you have been hiding under a large, quiet rock, then you are aware of the Polar Vortex that hit the entire country and wrecked travel plans for millions of people. This made my Christmas Cup a little less full. I was beginning to worry.

I had been watching my United Airline app like a hawk. I checked it daily until our trip and everything was reported as “On time No Delay”. I’m the midst of watching the app, I was also stalking the Montana roads update on their website. Before we left our house it was deemed that Canada wouldn’t happen due to blizzard like conditions and road closures. The rooms were cancelled.

My Christmas Cup was draining little by little.

As Christmas Eve approached we made our way to the airport only to sit there through nine grueling delays. As strange as it may sound there was some comfort found in the camaraderie of all the other travelers. While we were all exhausted, drained, sad, and hopeless; we still felt joy when someone finally got to board a plane or when someone’s name was called who had been on standby.

We ended up missing a whole day of travel and had to spend the night in a town that was still an hour away from our destination.

My Christmas Cup was virtually empty and almost bone dry.

Even being a Christ follower who is full of faith, love and constant joy, it is so easy to be blindsided by our cup being empty. Several times during our travels I had to literally stop and remind myself that I am saved, sanctified and Jesus would not want me acting in a way that would land me on the evening news.

All through the holiday season our cups are filled and emptied with all of the ups and downs that life throws our way. I have learned through my own comedy of errors that my cup drains quickly when I am not putting Jesus first. It drains dry when I am not saturating myself with his word and reminders of why we even celebrate Christmas at all.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:1-2