Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ooh! He Did It Again

Our son rockin' a Christmas gift

"Woo hoo! Christmas break! Time to kick back and relax!... said no mother ever." My friend's Facebook status has had me chuckling ever since. So true.

Do you have an annual freak out about a week before Christmas, wondering how it will all come together? I do. And it's even worse when money is tight.

{This is where I introduce a 10-step plan to help you not freak.} Nope.

Our four stockings 

But a couple of days before the big day you come to terms with how much you can do and let go of what will be done. The pressure is off and I finally start allowing myself to enjoy what we've got and let go of what's just not going to happen.

Silas' stocking still hangs waiting for him to open

Christmas is over, and even with all its sadness, comes the reality that I wish I had hung onto a few weeks ago; a lesson I've regretted not remembering many times before: 
Our $18 tree! 

God will do it again. 

Let it ring in your ears. He's offered you strength when you needed it, listened when you cried, and provided when you didn't know how it would come together. He will do it again.

I'm embarrassed to say that as I looked out on December I thought these things instead: 
How are we going to be able to do this? We're barely (and miraculously) meeting our monthly needs, how will we find enough money to add on Christmas? 
We have no decorations. I thought our first Christmas stateside in our own home would be like this or that, have this or that.
How can our gifts ever compare to those of our wealthier friends and family members?
I want to do so many special Christmas activities, should I plan them or will it feel like another to-do?
I'm so behind on our advent calendar.

Christmas paintings from 2011, 2012, and 2013

But he did it again. How did it come together? How did we make room in our budget for gifts and how did our house end up decorated?  I can see fingerprints and clues, but they are simply the traces of the Reason: a faithful God.

Christmas Eve morning when we celebrated at home

I didn't get every Christmas wish and I didn't create the memories I thought I would. But it was lovely. Truly lovely. 

I post this as a reminder to myself--a little altar if you will--for the next time a case of the "how's?" overwhelms me. He did it! My parents came for a sweet visit, they were kept safe, I got to see my son enjoy their gifts and create memories. We bought a tree at a bargain price and were able to give both bought and created gifts... and no one scoffed. I sent all of five Christmas cards! We watched at least half a dozen Christmas movies and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. We celebrated with both sides of the family! Our hearts are full. This is my Christmas-y altar.