Wednesday, December 26, 2012

When our celebrations are pathetic

I had just started a hot shower after a quick pick-me-up, phone conversation with my best friend.  Someone needed to console me.  Yesterday was Christmas and it was not a good day.  It was actually a really gloomy, disappointing day.  I am a busy Mommy who is learning for the first time since my oldest was in utero how to balance work and motherhood.  It's hard and exhausting.  And so I had big hopes for fun, sweet family time this Christmas.

December has been filled with more juggling than even the more-than-full average month.  Since December 3rd, someone in my family has been in the hospital or sick every day.  In fact, I have only slept one full night due to the needs of the four precious ones who I share my life with on a daily basis.  Major back surgery, the stomach bug, and now the flu.  It's been a difficult and exhausting month.  It was a little funny when I was Christmas shopping at midnight the night before each family party (and waking up at dawn to wrap those gifts).  It was a little funny when I had to put mind over matter and pretend not to be running a fever when my children and husband were sick and no one else could take care of them.  It was sad, but still a bit funny, when my oldest son wore underwear so tight (because it was his little brother's) to a Christmas event that he walked with an uncomfortable gate.  (This is what happens when laundry has been neglected for 10 days.)  I could go on and on with all the mishaps of December.  The stomach bug alone could fill a page of craziness and chaos.

Little ragamuffin running a fever, but still excited.

We finally got Beatles Rock Band and instruments.  This game and the Wii U kept the boys busy for a LONG time!

Of course, Jack's favorite gifts are books.  He will have them all read before school starts.

Josh wanted this game for long rides home.  He gets to play his Nintendo DS for 30 minutes a day.  It's a big deal.

We read Luke 2 and sang Christmas hymns.  Lydie fell asleep singing Silent Night.  Poor baby. Temp of 104!
But when Andy and Lydie came down with fevers around the time we should have been leaving for the candlelight service on Christmas Eve, well, I didn't laugh.  Not at all.  And when the boys spent hours playing video games without a mention of Jesus hardly at all, surviving on a cheese ball and hot dogs, while I cuddled and tried to minister to my sick daughter and husband on Christmas day, well it was just too much.  And then when we found out the tornado was headed this way and we might spend Christmas night in our storm shelter in the yard, I completely fell apart.  When will it end?

In the much needed, hot shower, God finally spoke to me.  I heard his clear voice in a simple song on Pandora.  I cannot remember the title, but it sweetly reminded me that I belong to him.  I am His.  And He is mine.  I belong to Jesus Christ.  And some how that simple phrase allowed me to let go of my expectations and just relax.  Because of the indescribable grace of God our Father who allowed His Son to leave His perfect home and come to save a dying, sinful people, now I belong to Jesus.  And I love and trust Him.  And Hope shines through.  He always teaches me the meaning of Christmas, one way or another, in new and rich ways!  This too is His grace.

Today is a new day.  It might bring more sickness or tornadoes.  My plans (and there are always plans!) might be dashed.  But may I never forget that He holds me lovingly in the palm of His hands, the palms who tasted death so that I could be spared and loved.  And He is more than enough!  Praise the Lord!  Merry Christmas, friends!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless free!

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