I don’t have anything extra for Christmas. I’m not making lists of gifts to buy or ingredients to pick up. I’m not ordering Christmas pictures, or sending cards, or buying matching pajamas because I don’t have anything extra this year.

I have a plan to make gifts for my family out of old art supplies, but I’m relying on a light bulb moment for what to give my son. My more pressing concern is we’ve just run out of milk and, possibly even more pressing, coffee. 

We have a temporary roof over our heads and I’m grateful, but I’d be lying if I said the temporary part doesn’t tempt me toward worry

And there are two reasons I haven’t driven my car anywhere this week—one, the gas light has been on a bit too long for comfort; and two, I haven’t quite scraped together enough dollars to renew my registration. Adding a ticket to my overdue bills is the last thing I need.

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But can I tell you something? I swear this is true —cross my heart—I am so happy. I’m smiling as I write these words.

I don’t have everything I want. That list would definitely include coffee and milk and also chips, but I do have everything I need.

Actually, I have more. 

The temporary roof? It’s over the warmest and coziest little place I’ve ever stayed. And though it might be temporary, I have no real fear of ever being without a roof because I am loved better and by more people than I deserve. 

The milk and coffee shortage? We have plenty of other food. There is no danger of starving here and, if nothing else, not having some of what we’re used to is a reminder of how lucky we are—it’s a reminder to be grateful.

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This isn’t the year I get to spoil the people I love with expensive gifts. This is the year I’m grateful for a little artistic talent and some unused art supplies. It’s the year I’m grateful for how my son is so well-loved by so many people he won’t even notice the lack. 

This isn’t the year I have all the snacks and cookies and drinks I love. This is the year I’m grateful for some cocoa powder to mix with hot water, a cozy blanket on my lap, Christmas movies to watch, and the best kid in the world to watch them with. 

This isn’t the year I find any security in self-sufficiency, this is the year I find all of my security in my God.

This isn’t the year I have everything I want. This is the year I realized I have more than I need. 

And I am grateful.

PS – Ever wonder what the angels on the tree really need? It’s simpler than you might think. 

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