Monday, January 07, 2008

seasons

I will warn you now, I'm feeling a tad melancholy. The other day we took down the Christmas tree. Juden had fallen in love with the tree. The night we put it up he was ecstatic and laid on his tummy just staring at it chattering away about how now it was Christmas. I prefer white lights on the tree but we used colored because they always seemed a bit more magical to me as a child. As soon as it got dark Juden would run around turning all the Christmas lights on and all the other lights off yelling,"Look Ella, now it's Christmas!" I thought this was cute at first until I was reading a book or changing a diaper and suddenly the room went dark except for the soft glow of the tree. That was his ritual every night and since we put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving he had grown very attached to it. With this said, you can imagine how tragic it was when we had to take the tree away. I felt like a big meanie as the tears streamed down his face while he watched Josh out the window and pleaded,"Don't take my tree, don't throw it in the trash." I tried to comfort him, telling him that we had to take the tree away because it was dead and that Christmas was a season and we would get another tree next year. I held him in my lap as we sat on the floor by the heaps of brittle pine needles and I felt a little of the emptiness. Christmas and New year is such a painful and lonely time for so many. We do celebrate Christ's Birth but we are also celebrating the hope of what is to come as a result of His birth. Someday He will come and heal all of our wounds, He will wipe away the sin that corrupts and bring peace. But for now, for a little while we are left here with all of our dysfunctional relationships and discord, our sickness and longings, disappointments and brokenness. Our reality of struggle and loneliness juxtaposed with hyper-consumerism and fake overly-sentimental "holiday cheer" tossed at us from every direction can seem quite harsh. That is our current reality, battling our flesh and pains that intermingle with our joys so closely sometimes that it is difficult to decipher which is which. The wells of joy and beauty in my own life have only grown deeper in light of the hard things I've gone through. How amazing to serve a God who knows our aching and despair and can meet us where we are. His joy and peace is inside me but someday... it will be fully realized.

4 comments:

Amy said...

I love how you look past the moment you are in and see the bigger picture. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but most of the time I am just in the moment with the little boy who is sad about loosing the dead tree, and I never get around to thinking about the rest... Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I like your perspective.

katiek said...

It was kinda hard for our kids too, but what I told Josiah was that we had to take the three down to celebrate his birthday soon. "Christmas has to end so Josiah's birthday can begin!!" Normally that wouldn't help someone else but since Josiah and Juden practically share a birthday...It is interesting how a child's severe reaction can make us very reflective. We shake things off so much easier. Their intese joy and sadness makes us stop and think about what we truly are feeling.

osh kosh baloche said...

linda, you nailed it. i have always wondered why i felt such a let down after Christmas was over. Yes, we celebrate His birth, but you're right...we're also waiting for the glorious future that awaits us with Him. Thanks for articulating that so well. My heart breathes a sigh of relief.

Mom said...

Again this year there are good highlights to hold on to...the two-hour lunch with you and Amy at the English Rose. Listening to that familiar British accent, teapots kept warm inside teacozies, fine bone china, all things English. Being immersed in Daddy's culture for a while and a peaceful visit together amidst all the activity. Standing together around the perimeter of Amy's darkened church Christmas Eve, holding little candles, after sharing communion and hearing Oak sing his solo. The bustle of Christmas dinner with all the family (of course, missing Heather and hers) And those few moments around Betsy's piano (Those precious notes of "In the Bleak Midwinter" she played after hearing you sing.) Seeing the happiness and pride on your brother Scott's face as he hosted us all for Boxing Day in his own home. Holding his flaming Christmas pudding, handing out the little gifts. Seeing Keith having come out of a difficult time, standing on the brink of new and good things. Our last night together, laughing and just enjoying each other. Blessings during a blessed season. (And I didn't even mention my little darlings!!) Don't be too sad! God is so good to all of us! Love, Mom