On Tuesday, my girls will be home - and on Friday, we will be all together in Church on Christmas Morning. That is always one of the loveliest moments of the year for me, and very precious. With Dad and Bob both being in ministry, and therefore 'at work' Christmas Morning, I had very few Christmas Days in the company of my parents after I got married.
I still miss my Mum on Christmas Day.
For lots of reasons, I am pausing today to pray for Mums who are separated from their children, or children apart from their Mums at this Christmastime. For some a temporary separation - for others, sadly, the deeper pain of bereavement.
For Elizabeth, working out in the Mission School in India, whose Mum is a member of our fellowship here, working in a local school under threat of closure, and whose lovely grandmother has been in hospital recently.
For Scott and Anjanette, our missionaries in Peru - and their Mums back in the UK.
For all those Mums whose children are in the armed forces, and will be serving overseas at Christmas. And for all those young men and women who would much rather be at home in snowy, cold Britain than out on duty in Afghanistan.
For Barbara, the mother of Olaf Schmidt, bomb disposal expert, killed last month in Afghanistan, and all other mothers who mourn.
For the little boy from the school where I teach every Thursday, whose Mum died of cancer just two weeks ago.
My Mum was particularly fond of this Johnny Cash song [it's the first couple of minutes on this YouTube video - ignore the stuff that follows!] It reduces me to tears every time.
Lord bless all mothers and children this Christmas time- whether together, or separated - and remind them that nothing can separate us from your love.