I love the Christmas season. Since Lillian was born around Thanksgiving and I spent the holiday season in the NICU, (along with future holiday seasons hospitalized) I have usually struggled in this season. I never really realize it until the oppressiveness is on me for awhile and then I realize it's because this is the time life shifted so drastically. It's not really something I am thinking about actively, it just seemed to happen. This year has been different. I have not felt the oppression. In spite of a pretty difficult year, I've found gratitude even in the most difficult times. Let me tell you how freeing it is. Praise the Lord for knowing my heart and mind and healing the dark places.
This last couple weeks has been a whirlwind of activity and ministry with bits of difficulties mixed in. My kids..my whole family in fact, have been sick for what seems like forever and their sleeping time has found me wakened many times by a cough symphony, music no parent wants to hear. I find my brain crumbling as I fret over the never ending coughing ( a place I need to give over to the Lord, but that seems to be a process I struggle in) I have friends who talk about anxiety and panic attacks and this is the only thing I can compare it to. Having no control over an illness that is controlling the breathing of my kids. If you could visualize a cartoon brain crumbling in on itself, that's how I feel, literally. I struggle with the coughing and the increased treatments and keeping track of what med I gave to what child last. I can't think of a worse time for my husband to have been sent out of town for training.Then, I look at the poinsettias on my table and they are standing tall and I find joy and peace and gratitude that the Lord gave me that beauty to focus on.
I have not finished my handmade Christmas cards and at this point it's not looking good for you folks who didn't get one from me yet...sorry about that, best laid plans. Still, I'm thankful, I'm glad I have a home that is warm and food in the house, and adult kids who jump in to help me out as things tend to go wrong. I delight in the fact that I have an attached garage so we can avoid the elements and some of the cold that is upon us as we move to and from the van. Finances are tight, yet I was still able to take two of my kids to doctors for treatment and get their medicine. While it is a hardship, it is something I could do. I'm grateful. I had a stressful morning yesterday and some confusion with my hair cut appointment. I sent a text inadvertently to my hairdresser that was meant for someone else. It was embarrassing for me and a lesson that an inconvenience is just that, it's not the end of the world. I was thankful for grace in that moment and it was a lesson learned for me. There was a time I might have allowed the whole situation to dictate my whole day.
Have a blessed Christmas season. Look for reasons to be grateful, I doubt you'll have to look far. Life can be hard, but just because it's hard doesn't mean it's not blessed. That's the view from me this most wonderful time of the year.