Christmas, Redemption.

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Christmas, a time to get together as families and celebrate life.  An oppurtunity to contemplate Jesus’ birth.  Hope and redemption came here in infant form, born to die, humble and small, and amazing and grand all at the same time.  Beautiful.  Christmas is not about me, I understand.  There is a much bigger picture.  God is all about much bigger pictures.  And He is about Love and weaving that Love through our little stories to help us understand the bigger picture.  He showed me that again this weekend. 
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Christmas was hard this year.  Only the second Christmas I’ve had to share the kids and my family all went out of town, so there was this very alone feeling running around inside of me that I had to be very careful with.  It was not an invalid feeling except that it kind of was.  I am not alone; Jesus is very near.  But the very alone feeling teamed up with memories of the instability and craziness that was my childhood, and the brokenness that invaded and almost completely took over the last year of my life and I was left feeling somewhat suffocated with sadness.  Not anything like I have been in the past, I recognized and dealt with it.  I grieved it, took it to Jesus, cried, asked Him for help, prayed and listened, let Him hold me and let go of the pain. 
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And this Chirstmas, maybe more than ever before, Jesus worked his thread of Love through my story and so much healing happened.  Redemption played out like a sweet song, notes of loving kindness were woven together in wonderful rythym.  “What would you like for Christmas?” He asked me. “Well, I would like to not be alone.”  That was all I had.  No big grand plan really, just something to do besides sit in my quiet house.  He had a bigger, better plan though, as usual. 
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I spent the night before Christmas Eve having a sleepover with my Very Lovely Friend.  We stayed up half the night talking and giggling like little girls.  Christmas Eve morning we woke up to a to-do list from her Sweet Mama that included making pies and grocery shopping and the normal make ready things that most families do on Christmas Eve, except I have not ever gotten to be a part of that.  I have been asked to many holiday meals, but never a part of the get ready process, which makes sense I guess.  Why would you have your guest over to do all the work?  But that’s why I loved it. 
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I didn’t feel like a guest, and as a matter of fact halfway through the day her Sweet Mama declared that I was not in fact a guest.  You Know Who chimed in with so much Love via text message and Christmas Eve afternoon I was up two volunteer Mamas.  Drunk on warmth and happiness, my face wore a big silly grin all day.  I know that it might sound really odd to say that with every pie I made and thing we checked off the list, healing happened, but it did.  Slice potatoes?  Yes Please.  Another hug from behind while I help clean up the dirty dishes?  Amazing.  Bounce the baby and watch the little ones open presents?  Yes, yes, yes.  I know this seems like run of the mill holiday stuff to everyone, but it’s not for me.  Really, getting to be a part of it all, not just a witness to it all was the Sweetest Thing Ever.  I felt taken in by a warm, affectionate, loving, imperfect but wonderful family.  We spent the day together, ate, laughed, drank and we were merry together. It was lovely. 
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I came home and tucked my kiddos in and we woke up and had a super sweet and very laid back Christmas morning.  And Christmas afternoon off they went again..  And off I went again, to church with You Know Who, (who just so happens to be the aunt of my Very Lovely Friend and sister of her Sweet Mama).  The service was awesome, the worship was great, the message was so good and my heart, a little sad to not have my kiddos was prayed for by You Know Who before we all dashed off to share a sweet Christmas evening. The most genuine greetings of joy and excitement were followed by filling our bellies with warm, healthy, yummy food and then circling up in the living room to sing Christmas songs together. And there was a drum, and I got to play it. I’m not even kidding.  It was surreal really.  Kiddos running around from lap to lap while we sang God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, a few amazing solos were performed, pj’s were donned and desserts were munched.  It was the most fantastic thing ever.  Love ran through every moment. 
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Grateful is but the tiniest sliver of what I feel.  I have another testimony of God's extravagant goodness to tuck in my pocket.  My heart is full, full, full of Love and I am thankful for every smile that filled the room, every hand that passed food around the table, every warm word that was spoken.  It’s like God painted a Christmastime picture of redemption for my little girl self.  Not one moment lacked Light; He didn’t leave out a single detail.  I sit here still overwhelmed by Love, filled with hope, so blessed.  I am one grateful girl. 
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A very Merry Christmas indeed, Happy Birthday Jesus, precious newborn babe, born to die for redemption, Love’s pure Light, Christ the Savior, Lord at thy birth and such a generous, kind and loving Father. 

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Love, love, love.

 

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