Friday, December 23, 2011

'C' and 'c'

I went outside a few minutes ago to take a bag of garbage to the trash can. It's 9:30 PM and it was pretty dark out. The stars however illuminated the street that runs parallel to our house and their brightness caught me off guard. I had stopped walking and stood in awe right there in the middle of our yard gazing at God's handy work, He is an amazing artist!  The stars were so bright that in my mind, reaching out and touching one was almost a possibility. I counted six planes in tonights sky and I couldnt help but wonder where each were going. I said a quick prayer for the travelers and asked God to get them where they were suppose to be going, safely, before I finished what I had come out to do and returned to the warmth of my house.

I hasn't felt like "christmas" this year.

There's no soft blanket of snow coverering our yard or vehicles.  It's cold out, sure, but not quite like I remember as a child or even in the recent years.

I had originally thought that we wouldn't put out our Christmas tree this year. I figured that it would just take up too much of what little space we have in the house and that it would constantly be a hassle with Vada getting into it. Turns out that I couldn't go without it-- it just didn't feel right to not have the tree up.

It also turns out that neither the thought of lost space or of the tree being a hassle with Vada were correct. Vada has been great with the tree and even with the packages that are under it. Sure, she is interested in its newness but she listens really well and if we tell her that she cant touch, she typically "gets" what were saying right away and it's just that simple. The tree does take up some room but its totally worth it! We didn't fully decorate it however, which was a result of not being able to follow our family tradition because we couldn't all be here at the same time. Instead I put up the tree with the lights and some bulbs and called it "good to go".

The second row of lights, towards the top of our tree, have burned out. Which actually happened on the day that I put it up. I have yet to fix that particular row-- even though I have the replacements sitting next to the tree. I like to tell myself that it's the thought that counts.

Like I already mentioned, we didn't do our yearly tree decorating tradition, which consists of us putting up the tree as well as decorating it on the night of Thanksgiving. I did hand out our 2011 ornaments. However, that too was done later than normal and Vada has yet to receive hers. Technically, she doesn't even have one.., yet. Which is kind of funny because she is always with me and should of  received hers first, which is kind of sad as well.

The truth is that I wanted to make Vada's ornament out of Palmers Clay. It was a late idea, otherwise I would have made it well before the holidays. I have a vision of a baby holding a heart that looks as if it has been sewn together in two spots. This is suppose to symbolize her having gone through her heart surgery earlier this year.  I had troubles making the face look realistic-- or cute, so its not made.., yet. 

Justin is working-- both Saturday and Sunday. Luckily he is on days, which means Vada and I will be able to spend time with him during the nights.

Every year we switch on again-off again for the holidays. Last year we had both Jasmine and Kiliegh for every holiday which was great because last year was all of Vada's "first's". This year it's their biological dad's (I also refer to them as--"Bio's") turn. Therefore, neither Jasmine or Kiliegh will be home for Christmas. Jasmine will come home on Sunday night and Kiliegh will come home on Monday morning. Monday is our only day to celebrate the gift giving part of "christmas".  So Christmas day will actually be our Christmas Eve, which Kiliegh will end up missing.

I'm really looking forward to Monday, I really enjoy watching the girls opening their presents from us, when they are grateful about what they have received. Sometimes its like they compare what we give to what they have received from their Bio's side and then its not too fun anymore. Hopefully, that's not the case this year. Plus, it's my only "down day" with the whole family and then Tuesday starts the rest of the week off with a trip to Saint Louis.

We traveled to North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. Besides the majority of our family getting sick in one form or another,  it was a good time. However it threw off our custody days which threw us off for two weeks (until it was constant again). The trip was totally worth a couple "off" days, don't get me wrong we'd do it again in a heart beat, but it was just something else that wasn't our "norm" for "christmas".

Finally, the biggest thing that happened was something that hasn't actually happened. I never got around to making Christmas cards for our friends and family. I have done cards every year that Justin and I have been together so I am kind of bummed that I couldn't make it happen this year. Again, it just had to do with timing issues but a bummer none the less.


You may have noticed that I have spelled "Christmas" with a lower case 'c' and an upper case 'C', I have done this on purpose and it's because to me Christmas has kind of broke into two separate entities. One actually being the "Christ centered" version and the true meaning of Christmas-- This is the version that rejoices in Jesus' birth and celebrates in and for Him. The other version is "Santa", tree decorations, food and gifts. We do "Santa" (Which is a whole other story...) and we certainly do the decorations and gifts but I see in too many situations where the gift giving and the glorifying of "Santa" takes over the importance of "Christmas" and to me it then becomes "christmas" with a lower case 'c', which is wrong, I know..

Anyway, a great deal of our traditions have not happen this year, which has made things seem a little unreal but I have maintained the important ones. The advent candles are not out but I still do the readings and I do them with Vada before bed. Saturday Vada and I will head to church to the Christmas Eve service and then again on Sunday for the Christmas morning service. I haven't got swept away with the stressful things that comes with all of the cooking, cleaning, wrapping and shopping that sometimes comes with christmas but I have been able to stay pretty focused on the true meaning of Christmas and that's CHRIST.

Tonight as I stood in our yard gazing into the beautifully perfect sky I felt closer to God. I wondered if this was what the sky looked liked the night that Jesus was born. It had to be similar. The stars were like tiny lights leading my slightly lonely heart back to Christ-mas and I realized that while Justin may not be here on the actual day of Christmas Eve or Christmas and while the older two girls would have to open their gifts later, Christmas would still come and I didn't feel lonely about not being able to traditionally do things. Vada and I would be centered in Christ together and we would lovingly wait for our family to come home.

It's funny how a starlit sky can bring me back to the reality of things but this just reinforces, in my mind, that God is in control and that He knows what I need and He knows what He is doing!

I don't know if any of this made sense but in my mind it did and I wanted to share it. There was something about standing in the cold air tonight, something about the quietness of such a big sky that calmed me and really helped put things into perspective. Things may not always go as I have planned them to go but that's okay. God has truly provided for me and my family and while I may not understand what he is doing all of the time, He knows and that's what counts.

Anyway, tonight, on the night before Christmas Eve, I wish all of you a Christ centered holiday.

Merry CHRISTmas!

1 comment:

krlr said...

Merry Christmas!

My brother, sister, & I did the custody shuffle for years - as you know, it doesn't matter what the date is. Hope your day is magic.