Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for my husband, the man the children in Walmart identify as Santa Claus. Oh, I know that he is only one of hundreds of representatives of your saint – the one named Nicholas of Myra – but he is so unique and gifted. I thank You for allowing me to share this special relationship called marriage with him for so many years.
I think back, Lord, to our time in Spain, when my husband first grew his beard. Only You, Lord, know the personal sacrifice that meant! But I am so glad that even this simple grooming aspect has led to so much joy and fulfillment. It reminds me of how you take even the simplest things in our lives and turn them to good – for Your glory and our blessing.
I also think back, Lord, to his health catastrophe in 1992 – the one that led to weight gain and years of worry and concern. But even then, Lord, You were in control.
And thank you, Lord, for the first time that my husband “discovered” he was a Santa-figure to those children in the pizzeria. We have told that story over and over, and I wonder if the little boy who sat and stared in wonder that Santa was purchasing a pizza at his father’s restaurant has now grown to understand a little more of what sacrificial goodness is all about.
I thank you, Lord, for the first opportunity my husband had to portray this “right jolly old elf.” It was so much fun being his missus – and so much fun to pick out that first “Mrs. Claus” outfit! It was uncomfortable sitting on the equipment at the top of the fire truck – but SO worth it when the little girl from our neighborhood ran up and handed my husband her Santa wish list, complete with an appreciative thank you. How blessed to be in a situation where we can participate in simple joys!
Through the years, You have more than rewarded us for the hours of unpaid Santa work. One of my dearest treasures is the story of our first two grandsons, living in Japan with their parents. Their father had been chosen by his squadron leader to “fly” Santa in from the North Pole (actually they taxied from around the corner of the hangar). I remember the absolute delight and joy when Daughter reported that the boys, excited at first by Santa’s disembarking from the jet, started to loudly proclaim to others within hearing that “that’s not Pop-Pop” – whom, they firmly believe – even now – is/was the CinC CJ (Commander-in-chief of Christmas Joy)!!!!! It reminds me of Your unique Holy Spirit -- Who helps even the youngest of Your children to identify Your voice and guidance.
And then there’s our dear 3-year-old granddaughter, who skypes with us regularly, and who understands that only Pop-Pop has the necessary requisites to be the Right Jolly Old Elf. She has taken to scrutinizing every “counterfeit” gentleman in stores and their entrances for Pop-Pop’s unique mannerisms. It reminds me that we must seek You diligently in all things.
Yes, Lord, You have blessed us mightily. Now I ask that You graciously give my dear husband the strength to continue on for several decades more, You know how his health has suffered – especially this year – but we trust You that this is only a temporary setback, and that the year 2018 will bring renewed vigor.
I pray this in the glorious Name of Your Son, born to us for our salvation over 2,000 years ago.
Your servant in Jesus’ holy Name,
Mrs. Noelle Claus