I’m settling in after a 4-day trip with my mom, aunts and cousin to Louisiana. My heart is exploding with many emotions, however, one in particular is overpowering the others; gratitude. I am grateful.

As our trip ended, I was anxious to be home to see my family. Being away from them is bitter-sweet. Yet, the sweetness indeed becomes sour when the length of time missing the familiar has lasted longer than your heart is comfortable.

I drove home, hugged my husband and boys, and again, my heart no longer thirsted for their presence; it was satisfied. And all was right in the world again.

Reminiscing the 4 days brings tears of joy and mounds of happiness. Many families struggle to have the relationships I do with mine. I am blessed that we have so much fun together, laugh until our bellies pain, and can be completely ourselves without insecurities. Imagining any other situation is completely impossible. My grandparents did good….real good.

Natchitoches’ Christmas festival and fireworks show is must see. The atmosphere alone is as satisfying as a cold glass of sweet tea. The charm of the town, the friendliness in the locals voices, and sparkle of sincerity in their eyes, leaves anyone with a heart grabbing with two hands. It’s captivating, contagious, constant; and everyone is that way.

We sat along the waters edge, waiting patiently until the 7:00 show. We wanted to make sure we got great seats, so we nestled in our spots early. As people walked by, we watched families interact, laugh, and trying to stay warm. Even the crowd had a sense of unified charm.

As we sat and talked awhile, my mind stayed focus on a teenage girl sitting with her family near us. I was drawn to her. She was maybe 14 or 15 with beautiful eyes. But the sadness that filled her face, even when she smiled, was overwhelmingly present. I felt sorrow for her. Her family was poor, and noticeably different. Her mom seemed to be self-absorbed and possibly high. In all the positivity around us, the negativity of their situation began to outshine. I felt the urge to take care of her, but knew the impossibility. And I was left questioning why God was placing her on my heart.

Before the show began her body language began to tell a different story. She was freezing, had no coat, and hunched down to get warm. She covered her hands with her shirt. The temperature was near 32.

Then, my focus boomeranged back on me. Here I was, warm. I had a coat, a hat, boots, a fur vest, and gloves – and covered with a blanket. I could do nothing for this girl or her younger siblings. If I gave her my coat, what would her mom say? She had a coat on, nails done, smoking a cigarette, and just finished a Bloody Mary. What do I do? I’m torn, and she isn’t my child.

As the show ended, we got up, I took the blanket, walked over to her and wrapped her in it. She had been crying. I’m not sure why, even though I felt compelled to ask. I told her to have a Merry Christmas, I left, and felt completely empty inside.

This is a blog post unlike anything I have written. I’m asking you all to pray for this family. I don’t know the situation, and I don’t know the girls name. But what I do know is, God does. Please pray that she and her siblings find peace, warmth, and to seek Jesus.

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