We've enjoyed and not enjoyed an incredible mix of sweet and bitter this year and now I try to savor the good, the sweet and the lovely over the heartache.
The kids and I have made all sorts of delicious cookies and we've plunged ahead into the traditions so full of meaning and grace and hope. I am mindful of why we do each task, I cling to the hope represented in the dove cookie cutter I press into the cinnamon dough, to the vision of reunion signified in the blue stained glass cross I hang at each window.
I am surrounded by friends and children and a husband who love me. My blessing really do overflow. Our kiddos, especially, share with me their joy and anticipation and excitement. I watch them arrange and re-arrange the creche on a daily basis, playing out the story of Christ's birth. It is then that I cannot help but remember that His coming was in part so that pain would not linger eternally.
His birth signifies so much to me. This morning I read how God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ. To live in a created man! I read it and re-read it and read it again. All the power and glory of God squished and contented in his creation. If the Creator could be content to live in an insignificant part of his creation, surely I can find contentment in the difficulties of life, in the pain and heartache, the losses.
This year, remembering and celebrating Christ's birth takes on a particular poignancy. I know he wasn't born on December the 25th, that the date was stolen from pagans and redeemed in Christ's honor. But I think that anytime we are going through a valley, remembering and taking time to commemorate Christ's birth, death, and resurrection, brings to our remembrance the fullness of the hope we have in Him. This is why, even though I don't feel like doing all the joyous traditions of Christmas, I am. Some things take precedence over what we feel.