It's 5am, and I'm up writing a blog. For reasons I can't explain, I couldn't sleep this morning.
My head is whirling with details, thoughts, last-minute gift freak outs (did I order enough? will it come in time? will they like it?), meals that I haven't planned, things I haven't done, cards that I didn't send.
We didn't take a Christmas picture of our family. I haven't bought anything for Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day dinner. My sink area is a disaster that I can't force myself to look at.
And so, I'm up. I'm up and I was not happy about it, but now I am, because it's just me and the Christmas tree, which I haven't spent enough time in front of this year. Our tree. Our dazzling, gorgeous tree. If you can find a Martha Stewart tree on sale, GET IT. It blazes through our living room. I have no other lights on in the house right now. There is just me and the tree, and I'm finally taking in my minutes of Christmas Still, the minutes I am so needing to reflect on this time of year. No crowds, no stores, no people. Just the blessed Christmas stillness of dark, snowy morning.
I am reflecting right now on how God answers prayers, sometimes in the strangest of ways. We had hoped to have a child this Christmas. We do not, and at the end of November, I was feeling pretty devastated. I am worn out of waiting. We are exhausted of waiting. It doesn't feel real anymore. Our excitement over the pending adoption has turned to a quiet, depressed annoyance. I felt stripped of joy, somewhat removed of the ability to rejoice in the blessings of others. It was not going to be a fun Christmas, and I had resigned myself to that fact and moved grumpily ahead.
Then I got a random job. I tread carefully to preserve their privacy here, so I'll summarize. I got a job working for a wonderful family who, at the present time, needs some help. Help with driving, errands, childcare. They have two incredible and kind children that I have come to love easily. This job has answered my prayers in the strangest of ways: I have no time to be sad. I have no time to sit around bemoaning the fact that we are not parents yet. I have no time to feel the pangs of jealousy for those around me who do. Christmas is sneaking up faster than I have ever expericed it, and it's fantastic. I'm not dreading it anymore - I'm EXCITED for Christmas Eve and Day with my much loved family. Before it felt like a slowly approaching train full of painful emotion, an empty train with empty seats and now it's a fast moving express train of church, candy canes, traditions, presents, wine, fun!
I'm at peace with this train.
Not only that, but I am getting to experience Christmas with children this year. They might not be my own, but just yesterday I drove home singing Christmas songs (turns out no one really knows the words to "Frosty the Snowman" after the chorus) with two little ones in the back. I get to hear about Santa, Elf on the Shelf, Gingerbread Houses. It's fantastic. My Christmas, by some miracle, is full of children this year.
In the Christmas Still this morning, I am in awe of how God knows what I needed, so much better than I did. It is not time - yet - for us to have a child. Yes, I pray that it's soon. But, I am totally fufilled this Christmas in every way I can be. God knew that I needed less time to think on what we didn't have, and more time talking about Taylor Swift with two little girls who consistently crack me up.
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