Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas.


the days spin into more days and spin into more days.
each one bringing its own set of challenges that never seem to stop.
one thing. then another. then another.

my heart whispers,
Lord, when I said I'd love to be home for Christmas, this is not what I had in mind.



--

in the wee morning hours I hear a small voice cry out.

mom.
come.
i get up from my bed and go to her room.
wrapping my arms around her small frame,
i feel it.
the unmistakable warmth from a fever.
i dose medicine and calm her back to sleep.
48 hours of fever and sickness are upon us.
i'm up around the clock, caring for a sick sick child.

in one of those early morning hours,
i return to bed to find a sick, sick spouse.

more medicine dosed.

a few days later,
upon a return from a quick grocery trip to restock gatorade and children's ibuprofen,
the sound of running water greets me.

a toilet is overflowing.
which leads to a basement flooding.
which leads to a hot water heater being broken.

{Lord, this is not what I had in mind}.

----

then again,  i don't think Christmas lived upped to Mary's expectations, either.


sent out of her hometown, 
forced to take a long, long journey with her round, round belly,
her pregnant hips and back aching and feeling every rough, painfully slow step the donkey took on the road to Bethlehem.

and then, just when she felt a twinge of relief that they had made it to their destination,
another let down.

no place to stay.

weary and worn, i can imagine Mary curling up on hay,
too tired to care that animals were near.

and then the pains of childbirth began.

in the most unexpected way the man-God entered this world,
ready to save.


-----



so, this Christmas,
I replace my expectations for Him.

I forgo Christmas cookie platters for Him.
the hustle and bustle of shopping for Him.
french toast casseroles and prime rib dinners for Him.


 I let go of traditions to spend a night in the emergency room with a seriously ill spouse.
i wipe my daughter's hot forehead, nestling her in with her favorite, well-loved bear.
i bring gatorade and fresh cough drops and medicine and try to throw in some hugs and cuddles,
for even the Son of man came not to be served,
but to serve.


my heart whispers
patience and kindness and strength, Lord, please. patience and kindness and strength, 


the whirlwind of Christmas goes on with out our household in tow.
but as i let go of so much of the Holiday as we know it, i pray that
even with my stocking-less mantle and ornament-less tree,

{we may be celebrating the actual reason for Christmas more than we ever have}.


For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, 
 but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Mark 10:45 


our sweet grace, christmas last year, when our household was slightly-more-Christmas ready.


3 comments:

Melissa said...

Lovely Anna. He teaches us so many things through servng and pain.

Melissa said...

Lovely Anna. He teaches us so many things through servng and pain.

Rick George said...

Thanks Anna - needed to read this today.