How was your Christmas?!
What did you do?
Where did you go?
What did you eat?
I truly hope it was sheer perfection!
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I was working toward a perfect Christmas...
My tree was decorated beautifully...
My presents were wrapped carefully...
My table was set with my best dishes...
We even had snow!
Yes, I was well on my way to my Currier and Ives, 'Over the River and Through the Woods' Christmas!
I decided that I would be organized and in complete control!
What a great feeling!
I planned ahead for our Christmas Eve morning church service - I picked out, ironed, and laid out everyone's outfits... packed our church bag... and hung up everything I would need for myself...
I prepared in advance the food for our Christmas feast - I washed, chopped, measured, and stocked my fridge with all my hard work...
I set my alarm for 6:00am, and crawled into bed the night before Christmas Eve with thoughts like, I'm going to look great, I'm going to feel great, I'm going to have a perfect Christmas! And I drifted off to dreamland....
Somewhere between being snug in my bed, and visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, I awoke to my bedroom door flinging open by a frantic and wheezing 5-year old.
My Soren had gone to bed with a raspy cough, and by 2:00am it had reached its full, scary potential.
He couldn't breathe!
I woke Micah up and we hurried Soren to the kitchen to try a few remedies, but nothing worked until we finally just put him in a hot shower.
While Micah and I stood around waiting for the effects of the steam to calm Soren down, we talked about how we can't take a coughing, wheezing child to church in the morning. Micah said, "Who knows who'll be the next to get sick! I think we all should stay home!"
I was so disappointed! But I knew he was right.
By the time Soren was breathing adequately, and I had dug around in our cupboards for the humidifier and Vicks, it was an hour past the time he initially woke us up. I went back to bed but tossed and turned the rest of the night.
I knew I'd start Christmas Eve exhausted and worried about many things - My Soren, my other children who might catch it, my extended family that was due to have Christmas dinner with us that night, and my own health!
SO.... How do you have a perfect Christmas?...
It doesn't exist!
I realized that not one person in my life had asked me to run around like headless chicken in an attempt to make things perfect.
I also realized that even our best efforts and intentions still fall short in an imperfect world.
Was I so busy making everything perfect that I failed to remember what God did for us on that very first Christmas 2,017 years ago?
Yes, I had forgotten what was better.
"'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.'"
- Luke 10:41-42
What is "better"?...
Slowing down, calming down, and being still at Jesus' feet.
"She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said."
- Luke 10:39
I had decided Christmas Eve morning that I would accept my derailed plans, and have a cheerful heart about everything!
Yes, I was exhausted and worried, but I enjoyed my family...
and was thankful to God for each moment...
And in doing so I realized, once it was all over, that I indeed had had a perfect Christmas after all!
"May your heart be light...
From now on our troubles will be out of sight...
And may all your Christmases be bright..."
~ Courtney ~