So much to share these days and I'm not certain what order to say them in. Time is of the essence as I really should be packing and cleaning, but I don't want to. Is that a good reason not to do something? I'm not sure it is. But if I have anything, friends, it's honesty (and Jesus...well, that's where the honesty comes in here very probably) and that's just the truth.
I'll put first things first:
1. I have a for real life 12 year old now. Seriously people. His shoe size is as big as mine. For reals. Not even joking. It was a proud day for him. It won't be long until he catches that 14 year old of mine in height and she will never live it down (because she will be looking up at him....haaaaaaa). If I could describe him in one word it would be: tender. He has the most tender heart. This is a wonderfully, delicious big part of his soul. I pray fervently that it stays this way. That he doesn't become jaded and angry at a world filled with people who cannot for the life of themselves disagree with out defriending you on Facebook. I pray that he is so filled with love for the his Savior that he loves others well, especially those who disagree with him and call him all kinds of hateful names. I pray he is faithful and kind and has a hero's heart and a disgust for injustice and a longing to be in his for real home with his Father. That his eyes would be so focused on there that it effects what he is doing here on earth. I would say it is a joy to mother him, but that would not even touch the base of the mountain of joy that describes how much it is an honor just to know him. Such a daily grace (even when he leaves his socks on the dinning room table....even then.)
2. This has been a weird Christmas. I'm not even sure how to process it other than: it's been weird, man. I so know that this season is supposed to be about the small and unnoticed things in our world but it's so busy and loud around me all the time. Really Loud. I wrote a couple years about giving Good Gifts. I know all of this enough to put it in writing. And very probably I know a lot less about it than I think that I do. And then there is all the "shoulding" that I do on myself all the time. Who really cares if a certain tradition doesn't get done. Is everyone alive? Is everyone fed? Did everyone put on clean undies this morning? Yes! Then it is a good day. Especially, if the undies part happens. Christ was still born and laid in a dirty, stinky manger and we are still fighting for our lives to honor Him during this time. And it's a fight isn't it? A fight not to compare. A fight to assume the best in others (especially family members) during this time of year. A fight not to get sucked into tit-for-tats that don't really matter to begin with. A fight to see Christ for who he really is as Lord who pulled on flesh only to die 30 or so years later and rise again. It is constant. It is heavy. It is a joy. Press on, Friends!
3. I love to give Good Gifts. Really, there is nothing like it. There is nothing like giving a gift that points a person to the Person of Christ. Here is where I've been stuck this year: I like to give gifts period. I like to give my kids gifts that they will love. It makes me giddy to find that box of Star Wars figurines on sale and stick them in their stocking knowing they will freak out on Christmas morning because of it. And there is a big part of me that thinks that this is very shallow. Or at least it feels that way as I scroll down and read about how dear friends give their kids one gift on Christmas and my insides do this flip-flop and I start comparing. Again. I am desperate to figure out how to live and be #blessed in the middle without feeling like I have to be ashamed or shallow at the very least. I want to give Good Gifts. I want my kids to see where their blessings come from and most of all I want to believe it and live it myself. I want to walk into a store, knowing that one kiddo doesn't need those $5 slippers but grab them anyway b/c she has been talking about them for a year now and when she sees them sticking out of their stocking, well she will want to sleep with them on her feet she will be so excited. And that makes me happy but isn't my happiness. Did you hear me? Or read that, I mean? I think that is the secret of being #blessed and in the middle. Or at least a part of the secret. Knowing that every good gift is from above and so that car, that house, that whatever you own (or rent or lease) is in fact a blessing, given only by God Himself. And to know this is not saying that others are not blessed because they may not have those things. The secret is: knowing that our happiness is not in the physical things that we are blessed with but rather we are blessed in the Person of Christ. It is ok to bless others with a gift that they probably don't need. It is not ok to gain our happiness as children of God because of it. That is the difference and the thin line I am considering in this ever so weird Christmas season this year.
Merry Christmas, friends.
From my very large, loud, silly family to yours.
And a Happy New Year too.