Saturday, December 31, 2011

Be Still, and Know

These last two Christmas seasons found me recovering from a couple of major surgeries.  This last one was an ACL reconstruction in my knee on December 1st.  So usual festivities had been scaled way back.  How far back?  Well, for a woman who likes to have a clean house and the Christmas tree just so, this year I didn't even put up the tree up. Couldn't do it.  Further, the house was rather messy and, to boot, the vacuum was sort of broken (it stunk like mad, even with a new bag).  Gifts were minimal.  I did a little online shopping, but that was it. Secretly, I gave way to a little self-pity and wished I could just keep popping my post-surgery percocets, pull the covers over my head, and make the whole thing go away. Didn't even listen to Christmas carols.   (Sorry kids, if you're reading this, but it's not as if I could fool you, anyway.) This post-surgical stuff was rough!

But Christmas happened anyhow. It happened simply and sweetly.  When I went to the grocery store on the 22nd -- a major feat for me at the time -- unbeknownst to me, my two kids moved the heavy furniture, dragged the tree up from the basement and assembled it, put the lights on it, put the wreath on the front door, and even vacuumed with the stinky vacuum.  (They had to open the windows!)  I was beginning to think that maybe they might have just wanted to go to their father's and enjoy a ready-made Christmas, one with no prepping or cleaning required.  But no, they rallied!  They didn't have time to put the ornaments on the tree before I got home (and they're still not on) but the twinkly lights were on, and they plopped a Santa hat on top. It was kind of cute. The next day, my daughter set up the nativity scene.  Here's a picture of our Hallelujah Cow, an integral part of our Bethlehem Zoo. (The cow only assumes this position on December 25th, when the Babe is actually put in the hay.  Because that's when Christmas begins.)

On the 24th, we took part in one of the most beautiful candlelight Christmas services that I have been to in many years.  The music was gorgeous, the message illuminating, and the prayers just what I needed to hear...and pray.  The next day, we mostly did a bunch of nothin'.

It's not the way I would have planned it.  I had to let go of most of the stuff I wanted to do. Then again, the first Christmas was probably not what Joseph and Mary had in mind, either.  Sometimes I suppose it's just good to be still and know that He is God. And I was made to be still a lot this past month. I could have been writing more, but the pain meds kept me in a comfortable state of...something or other.  But I did have a lot of time to think -- to think about how precious my little family is, about how fragile we are in these earthly bodies of ours...and about how, as Pastor John quoted the Rolling Stones at church on Christmas Eve, "You can't always get what you wa-annt.... But if you try sometimes you might find... you get what you need."

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