In The Christmas Still
It's 5am, and I'm up writing a blog. For reasons I can't explain, I couldn't sleep this morning.
My head is whirling with details, thoughts, last-minute gift freak outs (did I order enough? will it come in time? will they like it?), meals that I haven't planned, things I haven't done, cards that I didn't send. We didn't take a Christmas picture of our family. I haven't bought anything for Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day dinner. My sink area is a disaster that I can't force myself to look at.
And so, I'm up. I'm up and I'm not happy about it, but now I am, because it's just me and the Christmas tree, which I haven't spent enough time in front of this year. Our tree. Our dazzling, gorgeous tree. If you can find a Martha Stewart tree on sale, GET IT. It blazes through our living room. I have no other lights on in the house right now. There is just me and the tree, and I'm finally taking in my minutes of Christmas Still, the minutes I am so needing to reflect on this time of year. No crowds, no stores, no people. Just the blessed Christmas stillness of dark morning.
I am reflecting right now on how God answers prayers, sometimes in the strangest of ways. We had hoped to have a child this Christmas. We do not, and at the end of November, I was feeling pretty devastated. I am worn out of waiting. We are exhausted of waiting. It doesn't feel real anymore. Our excitement over the pending adoption has turned to a quiet annoyance. I felt stripped of joy, somewhat removed of the ability to rejoice in the blessings of others. It was not going to be a fun Christmas, and I had resigned myself to that fact and moved grumpily ahead.
Then I got a random job. I tread carefully to preserve their privacy here, so I'll summarize. I got a job working for a family who, at the present time, needs some help. Help with driving, errands, childcare. They have two incredible and kind children that I have come to love easily. This job has answered my prayers in the strangest of ways: I have no time to be sad. I have no time to sit around bemoaning the fact that we are not parents yet. I have no time to feel the pangs of jealousy for those around me who do. Christmas is sneaking up faster than I have ever expericed it, and it's fantastic. I'm not dreading it anymore - I'm EXCITED for Christmas Eve and Day with my much loved family. Before it felt like a slowly approaching train full of painful emotion, an empty train with empty seats and now it's a fast moving express train of church, candy canes, traditions, presents, wine, fun!
I'm at peace with this train.
Not only that, but I am getting to experience Christmas with children this year. They might not be my own, but just yesterday I drove home singing Christmas songs (turns out no one really knows the words to "Frosty the Snowman" after the chorus) with two little ones in the back. I get to hear about Santa, Elf on the Shelf, Gingerbread Houses. It's fantastic. My Christmas, by some miracle, is full of children this year.
In the Christmas Still this morning, I am in awe of how God knows what I needed, so much better than I did. It is not time - yet - for us to have a child. Yes, I pray that it's soon. But, I am totally fufilled this Christmas in every way I can be. God knew that I needed less time to think on what we didn't have, and more time talking about Taylor Swift with two little girls who consistently crack me up.
He knew. He always knows.
From my Christmas Still to yours.