Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In waiting

I can wait.

I'm really good at waiting.

For example, each year that my husband and I exchange Christmas gifts, we manage to wait until around December 15th (give or take) to exchange gifts.

And every morning, I wait until the last possible second to roll out of bed when I have to be up.

And I've waited to get in a decent, consistent workout routine for years.

Bad examples?

Fine.

I can't wait.  I'm notoriously bad at being patient and letting moments 'be' without thinking about what's coming next or what I should be doing.

Sit and watch tv?  Sure, while I sew or copy recipes or plan a grocery list.  Enjoy breakfast?  Sure, after emptying the dishwasher, scrubbing the highchair and wiping down the counters.  A nice road trip?  Sure, I'll pack my books, magazines, 7000 piece puzzle (ok, maybe not).  But, you get the point.

Anyway, waiting is not something I'm good at, and this Advent season, I've finally gotten the message that has been sent to me loud and clear for months.  I don't think I was ready to hear it for awhile.

This fall, when I pictured our Christmas season it included our children running around with their new treasures while I sat in the midst of it all, my belly round and preparing for a new addition.  I pictured a winter filled with home renovations and perusing Pinterest pages on how to make small bedrooms work.  I pictured our summer as a family of five and all of the new challenges and joys that would bring.

But, that was not to be.  We found out relatively early on that our baby wouldn't live to become part of our family.

And we grieved.  And I needed to get out.  So, we traveled to visit family and friends.

Wait.

And Halloween came and it was time for making costumes and picking pumpkins and eating candy and making applesauce.

Wait.

And a round of sickness followed by an early Thanksgiving with my family, followed by another round of sickness.

Wait.

Then, a magical trip to Disney with my in-laws and toes in the sand and lovely weather.

Wait.

And finally, now, a third round of sickness, this time, through our entire family, knocking most of us out for the greater part of a week right before Christmas.  Forcing us to cancel work, school, activities.  (Oh, I see, you wanted me to wait.)

Wait.

Every one of these things were wonderful (minus the sickness, of course).  When I left town shortly after my surgery, I knew I needed an escape.  And we needed events and holidays and once-in-a-lifetime trips.  They were planned, and they have been filling and fulfilling and wonderful and memory-creating.

But, I've finally heard the voice.  Wait.  God telling me to slow down.  Or rather, sickness so strong through all of us that I had no other option:)  That Christmas to-do list?  Meh.  If things happen and they're out of love and they give love and everyone is happy working on them, ok.  If not, scratch it.  Jesus is only in the love that comes in Christmas preparation, not the frustration.  That's all us.

I was given a gift today, sitting in my grubbiest sweats while the sweetest little girl laid across me, her soft hair brushing my face, chubby fingers touching my neck, watching her chest move slowly up and down as she breathed through her fever.  Older brother snuggled up tight under his blankets in my other arm, still in his pajamas, feverish and tired.  We sat in the room lit only by the twinkling lights of our Christmas tree, ornaments added each year as our family has grown, changed, traveled.

And we watched the story of the birth of Jesus in all its glory and I knew that this was what I was being told.  My life.  As it is right now.  Amazingly perfect in all of its imperfection.  Sickness and exhaustion and complete lack of preparation.  Grace given in spite of ALL I am lacking.  Such freedom from my own expectations!

And suddenly, I knew peace.  Beauty. Love. Joy. Hope.

This spring, I think I'll be me.  A better me.  Without anything too new added in.  I'll plant a garden.  Play with my children.  Love myself.  And if there's some down time in there, I'll capture those quiet moments in my mind, clinging to them as they happen.  In the end, I know those are the ones truly worth remembering.

5 comments:

  1. Lovely. Glad you got the message! ;-) I wrestle with enjoying the moment every day. Do, take the time to enjoy the current moment, for it is very fleeting......

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    Replies
    1. Thanks--I'm a little slow on the uptake, but I usually get there;) Yes, these precious moments, so very dear.

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  2. :-) Did you recognize your mother-in-law's comments? LOL

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