Monday, January 07, 2008


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.