from the past and what do I leave behind? How will I spend
my hours, days, and years? What remains?
This beloved verse reverberates throughout my being
as I ponder this important question. “And now these three
remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
As I rapidly move toward the day when my children and I no
longer share an address, there are endless prospects and an
excitement around the choices before me. With gratitude for
the past and the path traveled, I also look forward to the shifts
and transformation ahead. The possibilities beckon. One thing
I do know is this. The steps ahead must always be grounded in
faith, hope, and the greatest of these, love.
When I was a baby, a family friend gifted to me a
Christmas stocking made of felt. It spells out PATRICIA at the
top and is adorned with Santa and other Christmasy symbols.
This creation inspired a tradition, and my mom made a similar
one for each member of our growing family, including her
Each year, I hang my stocking with hope and care, and
Santa always delivers. I don’t remember the exact exchange,
but at some point before my first Christmas as a wife, my mom
delivered the PATRICIA stocking to me to hang in our
newlywed home. So for my first married Christmas, I hung it
up. I am so glad Santa followed and found me in my new
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