I wasn’t planning on blogging today. I’ve been baking up a storm since Tuesday and I’ve got company to prepare for that will be here in a couple hours. And yet, here I am. What brought me here wasn’t a super-cool idea for you and your kids, though I’ve had lots of those this season. In fact, I had a whole Christmas newsletter planned out, as well as a printable for you. The thing is, I have been too busy doing all those ideas with my own family to share them with you.
I figure that’s okay. Someday, my kids will be grown and I can look back and share all those things, having actually done them. Or maybe I’ll even get in gear enough in time to share them next year. Who knows? Lately, I’ve been falling into bed exhausted every night. But it’s a happy exhausted. My house is fairly sparkling. My family is happy. The blog can wait.
So what brings me here today isn’t some happy holiday list, though I wish it was. What finally got me to plant my booty in my new office chair and whip up my first post since I moved into this house?
Me, crying at my kitchen sink. Sometime around this day every year, I fight that slippery slope into gloom and despair, and apparently the only way I can claw my way out is by baking. Keeps my mind and my hands busy and I generally love to cook, so it’s a happy place for me.
An unexpected quiet moment at the sink, letting my mind wander too long, and there it is. The Gloom. The Sadness. The Despair.
See, I pretty much live in a happy bubble throughout the year. I can choose who I want to spend time with and I choose people that love me. Encounters with those other people don’t happen very often, and when they do, we spread them out. Then Christmas comes and all of a sudden over two days we celebrate Christmas no less than six times.
Six family celebrations, and not all of them are pleasant if you’re me. There’s the house where I am literally ignored every year. Then there’s the evening I’ll spend being told that my life is a waste and I am ruining my children because I stay home. There’s the family that revolves around one person who happens to be a total jerk to me and all I can do is keep my head down.
And that’s not the worst. There are more hurtful things that I can ignore all year long, and then at Christmas it’s there, in my face. Some family members just don’t love me the way they should. And that’s that. And it will never stop hurting. I bring it to God over and over again and I’m warmed and blessed by Him and know that HIS love is enough.
Inevitably, though, I’ll find myself weeping into my sink as the reality hits me once again.
Christmas is hard, guys.
I read this post by Sarah Mae the other day and it really helped. And I spent some time in God’s lap. Asked him to show me that He loved me. Because I’m kinda needy like that.
He answered big. I won’t share what God spoke to my heart, because I want you to have your own moment with Him. Ask Him how He loves you. And really listen. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I don’t share this often, but I’ve been hurt a lot in this life. Some things are just too deep to share, but there’s a whole side of me that’s pretty much an open wound that I have to have covered and re-covered by the Lord.
And then sometimes it seems like I don’t count, that I’m forgotten. Sometimes it’s because of my love for God, and I must say that pretty much rocks. Hate me because I love Jesus? Bring it!
But sometimes, it’s just me. For some reason, certain people hurt me or don’t like me or treat me like they treat others. And it sucks.
But God shows me again and again that He always fills in the gaps. And I spend most of the year reflecting on how shockingly blessed I am. Sometimes, I even feel I am spoiled by God. I mean, my life is pretty amazing.
But there’s this whole other flip side and if I let myself dwell on that, it can get pretty ugly pretty quick. So today, I let myself cry a little and before I could really slip into that pit, little reminders appeared like ladder steps to climb right out.
Reminders like my husband. My kids. My mom. Reminders of blessings I’ve experienced all year long.
For every hurt, there’s a happy memory I can dwell on instead.
For every time I am ignored, there is a verse that tells me how God hears my every thought.
Every time someone tells me that I am worthless, or treats me like I am, I can smile knowing that God knew me and shaped me in my mother’s womb.
For every time I start to believe that I don’t matter, there is a face that depends on me to get through the day.
And that is how I get through Christmas. I hold on even tighter to what is good and perfect in my life. I try to be a light, and if I’m a little dim, then I at least try to not darken anyone else’s day.
And that’s really what brought me here today. I cringe to even think of sharing these dark thoughts. I want to only show the happy, joyful side of Christmas that I enjoy each year. Part of me is thinking, panicked, this isn’t who I am! I don’t want you to think I am a moody, depressed freak. But I know I’m not alone. I know some of you are hurting and worrying about facing a family that tears you down.
Dwell on what is good and perfect in your life. And if you’re so low you can’t think of what that might be, then ask God to show you. He will. Because He has not forgotten one of us.
He sent His son, Jesus to save us all. Including those jerks that treat you like dirt. So dwell on what is good. Treasure the things God speaks to you in your quiet time with him. Hug your husband and your kids often.
And have a Merry Christmas, friends.