I'm on the couch, holding my breath and praying silent prayers that the quiet of this house might be here to stay for the evening. There's dishes and laundry and piles and crumbs; my body is still but my mind is on a treadmill as I assess the damage of the day and the possibilities of the two hours ahead.
Maybe you're right there with me, trying to recover from another day that took so much out of you. If you are, this post is for you.
The tree is up- unlighted and unornamented and standing awkwardly in a space that it doesn't really fit because we're trying not to have it in the baby zone. The kids and I couldn't locate the storage bins with the rest of our Christmas treasures, and,quite honestly, I didn't have much in me past getting the tree up.
If your Christmas preparations are coming slow compared to the days flying off the calendar, if your level of unpreparedness is going from unsettling to near panic, this post is for you.
I'm flying solo...again...because these weeks have been busy ones for my husband. He's meeting the demands with such grace, gone on a moment's notice to walk into situations of high emotion and high mental energy, only to return to us hours later.
If you're parenting alone, if your family is gone when you thought they'd be here, if your evenings don't always pan out with the ones you expected in attendance...this one's for you.
Well, now that we're all here and convinced that we should be...what can I say to us?
Some of you may need to hear that "this too shall pass," that the weight of today is not the weight that todays will always have. Seasons change eventually, and not every season has to be cherished. Just because you don't love every phase of your life, it doesn't mean you don't love the people that are central to that phase. So gather your people in and kiss the tops of their heads and move toward the turning of seasons.
Maybe you need to hear that Christmas doesn't have to be awesome, that your kids will probably not remember the specifics of this year, that Jesus came no matter what the state of your tree is. If your heart is pounding from the business of Christmas, dim the lights and light a candle and listen to this. Know that Jesus arrived in a busy time, but He came anyways. He has come, is with us, is near. Our preparations for Christmas can be an offering or a hindrance; I strongly suspect His expectations of you are not so high as your own expectations of yourself.
And maybe this season finds you alone, either in surprising ways or in ways you've dreaded for months. Loneliness can be hard to pinpoint or explain, and it can smart so deeply even in joyful moments. If you're feeling a shift in friendships, if you're missing someone who won't celebrate with you this year, if you don't understand how you can be surrounded by people and still feel isolated...I hope the peace of Christ will meet you right where you are.
The stillness is fleeting at times. The quiet moments that I need in order to make sense of all the loud ones, those have to be fought for or cultivated or stolen away from other things. I hope this Tuesday evening finds you resting or laughing or finding hope to push you into tomorrow.
Good night, friends.