Saturday, December 26, 2009

Reflections of the Manger

Christmas has come and gone again, the echo of it found in the laughter of kids playing with new toys, and the softly falling snow which has blanketed the world a dreamy white. I spent the "season" typically, shopping, cooking, wrapping, preparing, searching. Trying to find time to spend with the sweet Savior whose birth we are all work so hard to celebrate.

I stayed up late many nights, Bible in my lap opened to the Christmas story, enjoying the glow of the tree, waiting to feel You, only to have my time interrupted by children who were supposed to be sleeping.

I got up early, bleary-eyed and unable to focus on the Bible in my lap opened to the Christmas story, enjoying the first rays of light of a new day, waiting to feel You, only to have my time interrupted by children who were woke up too soon.

I listened to Christmas cd's, enjoying the songs of tribute to a Babe in the manger, waiting to feel You, only to have my time interrupted by children who were supposed to be playing.

On Christmas Eve, we attended church as a family, with 1000 of my closest friends, watched an amazing performance to celebrate Your birth, waiting to feel You, and was interrupted by the thoughts of all I was supposed to be doing.

We came home, ate dinner, read stories of Twas the Night Before Christmas and In a Stable, and tucked some sleepy ones into bed. I sat in my spot in the hallway, reading Max Lucado's God Came Near, and waited to feel You. Certain the kids were asleep, I snuck downstairs to pray for a moment, in the silence of the evening, waiting to feel You, and heard the scramble of feet running down the stairs, wondering where I had gone. All I wanted to do was cry...I really needed to find my Jesus and have my time.

I came upstairs, set up the egg-carton foamy thing on the kid's floor, and snuggled between the two of them, waiting for them to fall asleep for real. In the silence of sleeping children, You came to find me.

Everytime I went looking for You, You came to me. But I didn't know what You looked like. You are three years old and needed a drink of water. You are six years old and like to get up early. You are eighteen and just need to know that you aren't alone. You are twenty-one years old and need to make sure that I know you've got it all figured out. You are almost twenty-three years old and are realizing that being a mom isn't easy at all. And sometimes, you are fifty, and just need to know that this is all for keeps.

You wanted to be with me so much, that You came to my world as a baby, to be part of a family, so we would never have to be apart again. Merry Christmas, Baby Jesus. You were right here all along.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another Mother's Journey

On Tuesday I almost had to endure the unthinkable. Here is a link to a blog I've been following since the fall. Stand with this mom who did lose her son on Tuesday. And consider sharing a gift with someone that will never need to be returned. This is real life, friends. Love you all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Mother's Strength

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, has to be one of the bravest people in history. While we don't know a lot about her life, I think she would be familiar with the scriptures concerning the Messiah. She had to have some inkling of the sacrifice to come. I wonder if God shielded her mind out of love for her, knowing that the full weight of it would have been too much to bear. Knowing that her child, our Savior but her child, would be sacrificed.

That led me to thinking about all of us as moms. None of us know what we will be asked to sacrifice through our children. If, along with the birth certificate, we were given a time line, sealed in an envelope, of what our child would experience, would we open it? I don't think I would. Scripture says that God will provide me with just enough strength for the day, and not to worry what tomorrow will bring.

Yesterday He gave me strength for the day. Through a turn of events that only a three year old could devise, I was almost asked to give up Justin. Somehow he scaled to the top of his California-style closets, and using a belt and a caribbeaner (mountain-climbing clip), almost hung himself in an effort to be Superman. His belt got tangled, and gratefully, he only suffered a deep "rope burn" around his neck. As he tells it, he was trying to fly but it didn't work because he didn't have a cape.

A friend reminded me not to let this incident give Satan a foothold. I wonder if Mary struggled with that, not letting her fears carry her away, or feeling guilty for not protecting her son well enough. She reminded me God is the One in control. If yesterday was Justin's day to go Home, he would have. And God would have still been God, and Jesus would still be my Savior. While I can't imagine the heartbreak of those called to bury their children, today I will celebrate that I was only asked to be scared. I celebrate that God gives me to get through each day with Him.

And, while I recognize the Sovereignty of God, we no longer have the California shelving in the boys' closet. Seriously, people, this mom can only take so much.

Friday, December 4, 2009

O Christmas Tree...

You know how when you see a newborn baby and suddenly it makes sense to have another one, even though you thought you were done? You notice how good they smell, how perfect they fit in your arms, how utterly precious they are...and you forget that at some point they will cover you in spit up, learn to talk and get sassy, and sometimes make you wonder just what you were thinking!

That is how getting a real Christmas tree has worked for me every year. I love the idea of picking out the perfect tree with the kids and enjoying the fresh pine scent in our house.

I forget about the half hour it takes to get it straight in the tree stand, and the constant re-adjusting of a crooked tree for the next three weeks. I forget about being covered in pitch by the time I finish putting the lights on, and the scratches covering my arms while we are decorating. Somehow the fact that I am still sweeping pine needles from last year's tree escapes my brain, not to mention that I practically had to snap off all the branches to get the lights back off.

This year I remembered it all and decided to get a "real" fake tree, as my friend put it. I will not be a victim of the "Oh, honey, just one more..." amnesia this year. I am very pleasantly surprised with how good it looks, and while I'll miss the fresh scent, I can always light a candle.

Maybe this year I'll even let somehow else help me decorate it.