Merry Christmas Eve!
Let’s start by deep breathing and I will give you some peaceful images to ease your mind…
There- feel better? Did you find your Zen place?
Here, I have one more for you…
Ahhh- wait, what? How is this an image of Peace?
I’ll get to that… 😉
Oh how I wish my life was like the Hallmark movies I am watching each and every night. I fall asleep to sweet dreams, sugar plums dancing in my head, and 6 hours later, I wake up abruptly, wrapped up in my sheets to my frantic life.
As the December month dawned, it seemed as if everything I tried to create, experience, and/ or do – had a Christmas curse on it.
I’m not being silly. I seriously couldn’t catch a break.
I’ll set the scene-
Embarking on the almost 2 hour journey to capture the perfect Christmas tree- FAIL.
My children all had epic freak outs on the top of a mountain where I preceded to state the importance of this day ( quite loudly, I might add) and with exasperated syllables- ” you…. need… to… get… up… off… the… ground… and… smile….”
So- after insane threats & lots of judging looks from passerby-ers, we managed to cut the tree down & salvage smiles for a family picture. If you only saw the moments before & after…
Long ride home 😂
Then there was the tree trimming that I pretty much did all by myself, with multiple light strands powering out through the next couple days, cookie baking where I almost poisoned everyone & neighborhood present delivery that ended with scrapes & cuts. Ouch. Not good. Not good at all.
As I sit back and think about what went “wrong” – it was me. Each and every time.
I was wrong.
I approached each situation from my crazy over zealous, “Hallmark” heart and each time , I felt it fell short of the movie version. To me. But never to my kids.
They don’t have the same perspective to warp an entire experience into a complete and utter disaster. They can’t even remember what they had for lunch.
They just have kid brains.
And maybe we should too.
When you hear about “experiencing Christmas through the eyes of a child”- I think it’s a pretty smart idea. Kids get excited, they don’t overthink, or even think at all, sometimes! ( which makes us parents crazy…) They just live. And drink it in.
* This is a REAL picture of Quinny….*
Granted, usually it’s messy, and loud, and unorganized, and sometimes a plain old hot mess.
But you can roll with it, like a kid- or get frustrated, like a grown up.
We adults over analyze, over plan, over evaluate, & ultimately lament over everything.
Where’s the fun in that?
I just got back from my annual trip to the Gaylord Hotel outside DC, where we visit Santa, go ride the train, search for Gingy- the giant gingerbread man, etc. I’ve loved it every year.
Funny thing about praying for peace & patience… God might just throw you some curve balls to get you practicing…
There was SO MUCH running, yelling ( the good kind- when your thrilled with life) jumping in front of strangers, insane elevator button pushing, awkward pointing, etc. And I had many chances to lose my cool. Almost … when my children were consistently PHOTO bombing other family pictures, and then Quinn hurled her boot right at my shin. And almost when my 2 oldest girls ( 4 & 6) ran into the middle of a crowded hallway and proceeded to tackle & kick each other. There were tears.
But NOT mine.
In moments when I would’ve normally lost my mind – I actually stayed calm.
I collected the puddle of my children on the floor, and gathered their lost articles, and we went on our way.
I waited for the freak out in the car on the way home- still nothing.
Where was this calmness coming from? This was weird.
Ah! I just remembered I swapped out my coffee for herbal tea this week. Yes… totally why… wait, huh? no?
Was it b/c I switched deodorants? Because that motion- sense stuff was all bull honkey.
True- I smelled quite nice, but still, it couldn’t JUST be that…
And then, it occurred to me what I’ve been praying for recently.
A sense of PEACE – among all things. Not a PEACE-FUL Christmas- but rather, a more relaxed, child-like wonder, happiness and solemnity in our Christmas endeavors.
So there it was.
Not MY peace, but HIS.
Annnnnnd back to the image-
What does this bird have to do with Christmas?
This creature, has a home atop a birch branch that is outstretched over a ranging waterfall.
Should it worry? Fret? Lose sleep? Move to a safer, more remote habitat? Or will troubles follow no matter where she rests…
This bird IS peaceful. Right there, submerged in thundering and somewhat frightening circumstances. But there is PEACE.
And that is my Grown – Up Christmas wish for you all.
That you experience PEACE, ( “PEACE I leave with you; my own peace I now give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.” John 14:27)
The calm that doesn’t come from
an hour at the spa, or a clean house, or even achieving that perfect Hallmark moment- those things can so easily be taken or ruined. But the calm that comes only from HIM, and letting him hold you.
Amidst all the storms of life.
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Welcome, sweet Baby!
Merry, MERRY Christmas to ALL.