Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In Search of a Contented Christmas

Normal Christmas,
let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless
you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect
tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I
shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch
myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world,
your return.
Mary Jean Iron
I have shared that quote before. (I changed the word day to the word Christmas just f.y.i.)

I love it.

It is a powerful reminder to me of the incredible gift it is when we are given the opportunity to live just another day.

It is especially true this time of year.

When our kitchen counters are covered with lists of presents to buy, cards to send, goodies to bake, parties to attend...

And while all that is such a part of the fun and such a part of Christmas - it is also not what I want my focus to be on this year.

I personally know some families who are hurting and struggling in a pretty major way this Christmas. One family recently lost their husband and father in a tragic way. Another family was recently told that the father and husband of the family was given less than three months to get his affairs in order as his cancer has spread to his liver, completely unknown and unexpected. Another woman, the mother of young children, was within the past few weeks diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent a double mastectomy and now will continue with radiation.

And the stress of decorating my home just so, getting my presents perfectly wrapped, scrubbing my house til it shines, baking fifty different varieties of Christmas cookie...well...the stress of it all, the importance of it all, just vanishes.

I would be content this year to sit with my family in our filthy home, eating day old popcorn and opening gifts of things that have lived in my drawers for years - just thanking God for this normal Christmas, where everyone was happy, everyone was healthy, and everyone was home.

None of us, none of us, know what the year ahead is going to bring.

I want to focus on what is truly valued and important right in front of my eyes.

I do not want to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the season, just to have it all pass me by without even stopping to enjoy it.

I want to get lost in the sparkle of my children's eyes as they witness the magic of it all.

I want the words to O Holy Night to truly sink in to my soul.

I want to soak it up. Every minute with my family.

Gathering around the piano at my parents singing carols.

Attending church together and seeing Adelyn dressed in her frilly little dress and little black shoes.

Laughing at my brother's house as we eat and joke and spend time together.

Seeing cousins I haven't seen in months.

Holding my husband's hand and adoring our children as they are little and here at home with us.

With tears streaming down my face I want to wish each one of you reading this a truly blessed, joyful, meaningful, deep Christmas. May it be one of your best yet.

Merry Christmas.



  1. Thank you for this reminder Beth!! Thank you! Tearfully I thank you. Prioritites, grace, treasure what we have, and yes, O Holy Night, God came near, Immanuel!!

  2. BEAUTIFUL!!!! Great words of wisdom!


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