Monday, December 23, 2013

The Reality of Christmas

So...I am a cozy, tradition-loving woman whose ideal Christmas fell out of an HGTV Christmas special. Everything perfect. Gorgeous Christmas goodies for all the neighbors. Christmas parties every weekend of December. A warm, crackling fireplace with a sparkling Christmas tree covered in sentimental ornaments.

And I don't think I'm that unusual - especially when it comes to Christmas. Isn't that what most of us wish for?

It's not just a cozy house thing, either. I always feel "lacking" when it comes to the sentimental, worshipful feeling I think I should have when I think about Christ and the "Christmas story." Why don't I tear up and feel warm and generous and thankful inside like I should?

I've been listening to Andrew Peterson's song "Labor of Love" a lot this month. It has struck a chord with me, especially this year, because it focuses on Mary's labor and how uncomfortable Christmas night was for her and yet how God was in control of it all.

Christmas wasn't cozy for Mary and Joseph, or Jesus, for that matter. But what gets me every time is how Luke recorded that Mary kept everything treasured in her heart. She held onto the gifts that God gave her and would remember them for the rest of her life.

I've been working hard at making a habit of counting my blessings - writing them down - to remember the gifts God gives me. Today I was making cookies with my Wild Child and suddenly decided I had to document what Christmas has been looking like in our house this month. You won't find these pictures on Pinterest.

Misshapen cookie dough balls

A new Christmas tree skirt...but rather disheveled. 

The "mantel" with its decorations...and lotion...and game pieces...and random bells that fell off of elf hats...and probably multiple other things hidden in the garland.

The Wild Child taking a moment to poop and
read his Bible storybook at the same time. 

Looking out at the snow through *very* smudgy - not "frosted" window panes, despite what the song says. 

The presents actually NOT under the tree but on TOP of the bookshelf.

This. Whatever this is. Not a clean floor. That's what it's not.

Random ornaments on the TV stand because someone removed them from the tree and now their hooks cannot be found

The poor tinsel

The Wild Child himself

This is what all those goodies and Christmas cards look like before they leave your house

A helper who eats more chocolate than he puts on the cookies

Words aren't enough. 

That, folks, is the reality of Christmas. And it's okay. It's full of precious blessings and unexpected laughter and too much sugar and moments of thankfulness and worship that I choose to give back to God, rather than "feeling" them spontaneously in my soul. Once Jesus was a rowdy toddler. I expect that Mary had just as challenging a time as I do treasuring those moments in her heart, too, until she gave herself the same reality check.

God is good, friends. Merry Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. I lost it laughing at "the presents actually NOT under the tree but on TOP of the bookshelf" -- oh friend, I love you! This was really good.