Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I knew this was coming soon, and now the day is here. Tonight in just a little while we will be opening Christmas presents as a family. We were going to wait until tomorrow morning, but the weather is getting bad, so we need to leave to travel to my mom's as soon as we get a window of clear weather tomorrow. Last year we started the tradition of opening our own presents with just our family at home before going to our parents' houses. This way, we get to enjoy our Christmas together, and the boys get a chance to play with their gifts from us a little bit before leaving town.

I am excited to see the boys' faces light up when they walk into the living room and see their new train table and Thomas things and their little keyboards, and then open up the presents we have wrapped for them. But, I know in my heart I will be missing my little Eliana so much, I hope it won't show on my face when I smile back at those two precious boys. I wish I could see her face light up just like her brothers', as she experiences all of it for the very first time, all wide-eyed with wonder. How different and how wonderful it would all be if she was here with us. There will be joy in our house this year, because of the gift of God's son Jesus coming into the world, and the gift of our own two sons, but there will be a deep sadness as well, because each year there will always be someone missing.

We only filled two stockings. There should have been three.

I wrapped presents for three of the people I love most in the world, my husband, and my two boys, but what about my little girl?

Two little Christmas out-fits are neatly laid out on the couch ready to be worn by my children to the Christmas Eve service tomorrow night. There should be a little green velvet dress and burgundy shoes with bows sitting right next to the boys' snowman vests and corduroys, but the dress is still in the back of a closet. She will never wear it.

Nothing is quite the way it should be, nor will it ever be.

And yet, there is hope.

Hope found in another baby, the one who came 2000 years ago, born in a stable though He was God Himself. Hope because God made a way for us to be with Eliana again someday. Because He sent His son Jesus into this world to die on the cross for our sin, all we need to do is believe in Him, and accept Him as our Savior. Then, there is nothing that can break that promise, or steal that blessed hope, that we will all be together in heaven, celebrating through all eternity. That is why we can still celebrate tonight.

And though things aren't as they should be now, we are promised in Revelation 21:3-5 that we will not remain in this unfulfilled state forever. Speaking of the future, John writes:

“Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”

And that is why when the stockings are empty and the presents are unwrapped, there will be one more box left under our tree; a little package to be opened last. Inside? A little porcelein baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger. Jesus is our greatest gift this Christmas. He is where our hope lies, in placing our faith in Him today, for a future with Him when everything will finally, once and for all be set right.

Merry Christmas, sweet little baby Elli! We wish immensely that you could be in our arms tonight, right in the center of it all, but we are so glad we know with complete assurance that you are with Jesus tonight. I know you are so happy, and so full of awe and wonder at all those beautiful heavenly sights. There you don't even need Christmas lights because the whole place is filled with the light of Jesus, and the angel choirs are singing the most beautiful Christmas hymns there could ever be. I can't wait to see and hear it all with you when the time is right. I love you so much, princess! Can you see the little Christmas tree we made just for you? You are in my heart each moment.

Here is Eliana's tree. We have added lights and a garland, and changed it some since this picture I took right after the boys helped me put some ornaments on.


  1. Beautiful, Jess. I will be thinking of Eliana tomorrow for sure. Huge hugs!

  2. Eliana's tree is very beautiful! I love all the butterflies!! I know I am so thankful that a little baby was sent to us so many years ago to save us from our sins. I do draw comfort knowing that my baby is with Him.