food and drink

The most pleasurable thing in all of heaven and earth is to fall on your face and worship Christ. We are made to praise Him, to want Him, to love Him, to see Him, to be caught up with Him and only Him. It’s like my hands have been bound by a rope, unwillingly tied but now willingly going, onward, forward, into a desert of fog I’m unable to see through.

There is longing, memory, and thirst

but no fear

 

 

family time

The weather is so warm it feels like March. While the kids played with toys and my husband restored a bit of order to the kitchen, I enjoyed a nice walk with a friend this morning. The house is it’s usual post-Christmas self, and I’ve done this enough times that I know this drill, this state of the house being. The boys had parked their new Lego sets in the schoolroom where they slept. That way they’d be ready for when they woke up.

I always feel a little weak and exhausted after Christmas. My daughter has spent the day on the couch with a fever, and the boys are currently running around outside. Tonight we head over to my in-law’s house for a game night with the cousins. Our kids and two nieces got games this year from the aunts and uncles. Instead of exchanging gifts this year with my husband’s sister and her husband, we decided to go out for a double-date some evening during the time they are visiting. I think this will be a fun new tradition.

There have been two deaths in my husband’s side of the family this Christmastime. First his aunt passed away in the middle of the December, and just today her ex-husband died after being in the hospital for over a month. She hasn’t been at the past several family holidays and dinners, and had been somewhat estranged from her mother and siblings. She’d been to our house two of the past three Christmases to teach my daughter and I the ways of their tradition of making poppy seed bread. Last year we ran out of days before Christmas, but this year I’d blocked out the whole day of the 23rd as open. Elianna and I baked bread that day, for gifts, and in loving memory of our passed Aunt Donna.

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Christmastime

Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow
Praises voicing, greet the morrow
Christ the child was born for you!
Christ the child was born for you!
~Infant Holy, Infant Lowly~

It’s Christmas Eve morning, and though we’ve had a rich and full month of home and activity, I’m wishing now I’d stopped more to jot down the moments of our days. I’ve been slow to the computer, and more accurately, the feelings that I know to well up inside me during this time of year. But the emotions do come. They always come.

At the end of every day, and not just at Christmas, I feel a sense of dread and sadness. Another day is gone, lived, passed, and who well knows what tomorrow will bring? It comes between the hours of 9PM and midnight, thought it usually doesn’t last that entire time. I don’t remember feeling it before we moved here, but I do remember when the kids were infants, feeling the dread and anxiety as the night was approaching, right as most others were heading to bed. It was that feeling of knowing that I would have to get up, that sleeping was not guaranteed or predicted. In other years the dread would be tied to guilt, mostly over yelling or losing my patience. Somehow I’m never completely happy.

This is why Jesus Christ came for us, friends. Us in him, and he in us. As a mother, all I can do is receive our children as gifts for a time, to be given and taken away as God wills. I needn’t be afraid of the time that is passing, or worried about whether I loved to the fullest. God, in this process, is loving me, helping me, shaping me, upholding me and all of his children. We are not even trying to “do” here at all, but simply living in the overflow of gratitude and love.

Jesus makes it possible to be happy again. Christ has lived, died, and lives again for all eternity, coming again to make all things new.  I’m never completely happy here on earth, on this old earth that groans to be free from sin’s wrecking. And yet these sorrows inside do not exist as one more reason to be sad in this life, but as reasons of multitudes to give thanks and rejoice.

Merry Christmas Eve, dear friends!

little things

The high school had a snow day on Monday, so we did too. I’m basically just going through the motions over here, fully immersed in preparations for Christmas.  I’m alternating between helping with schoolwork, finishing up the last of the gift purchasing, and putting together a vague to-do and to-buy list for the rest of the Advent/Christmas food activities (cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, Uncle Glenn coming over for supper Friday, etc). I am also hoping to get a faint idea as to what to have for supper through Christmas and go shopping for those groceries in the next day or two.

The kids are feeling better and I am thankful for that. They still look paler than normal to me, but it is winter now, and it does take time to recover from illness. They were all well enough today to go down to main camp and help dad move the mattresses into the two newer cabins where the mice can’t get them. After that he took them sledding on the big hill. While they were doing that I took a twenty minute power nap, and then probably another fifteen minute awake nap, before heading out to find a watch for my father-in-law, buy nails for one of the kids’ stockings, then picking up our son from school. It’d been a little while since I’d seen him drive, so when we got to the usual spot on the route, I stopped the van in the middle of the snow covered road, traded places, and rode home.